The Book of Barkley: Love and Life Through the Eyes of a Labrador Retriever

The Book of Barkley: Love and Life Through the Eyes of a Labrador Retriever

by L. B. Johnson


Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Tuesday, July 23


It is a story, not one of science, and one that may not be remembered past this one lifetime. It is the story of someone that did not know his destiny, but followed it with unfaltering step, bound to me, not by vows or paper, but in the name of the trust that was the best part of his nature. It is a story of the one that taught me to love, even as he occasionally barfed on my carpet. It is simply the tale of a black Labrador retriever named Barkley. It was the beginning I never anticipated; belief that there were no limits that made tragedy inevitable, a gentle nuzzle that made the walls fall away, and the pull of the leash into the day's infinitude. It was an ending I did not expect; a leash laid across the chair, an empty bed, a glass tipped over, spilling the blood of wine. The noise that empty rooms make is as clear as tears. In between, there are the stories, of friends, of joy and dog hair, of a small pink ball with feet known as Mr. Squeaky, which became my mortal enemy at dawn, as I tried to sleep. There are tales of the great "bacon incident" and how I know more about how to clean carpet than should be allowed by law. There are words that twist and turn in the shade of an ancient tree, a sonnet to an old dog, who lies between the bones of poets, to be unearthed as he releases me to remember. - From the Book of Barkley

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781478734345
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Publication date: 07/21/2014
Pages: 254
Sales rank: 806,372
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.58(d)

About the Author

L.B. Johnson left her family home on the West Coast, where she once was fired as an elf at Santa's Workshop, to carve out careers as a jet pilot and federal agent. She and her husband live in the Midwest, in the house that Barkley built.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Book of Barkley: Love and Life Through the Eyes of a Labrador Retriever 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
amyshan More than 1 year ago
Love and Life indeed! A poignant tale about Barkley, a Labrador Retriever. It's not just about the life of this dog, but how he affected those in his life. There is a deep connection between humans and dogs, and as all pet owners can attest, dogs are not just mere pets. The bond between pet and owner is not just filled with love, but sometimes frustration. The author writes "I could have gotten a cat. No, I'm not a cat person. I could have gotten a pet rock. Or a BMW." She was in her pajamas chasing down her dog. Barkley! Enjoyable story.
MPaul1 More than 1 year ago
If you buy this book expecting light, cutesy dog stories you may be surprised.  This is a Memoir - one filled with imagery and deep emotions, not just a life, but how that life was changed for the better by a canine best friend. There are fun dogs stories to be sure, but the overall theme message is of those deep relationships we develop with other souls and how they change us. I loved this book and in reading the follow up "Saving Grace - A Story of Adoption" I'm a big  fan of this talented, lovingly gifted author.
indiebrag More than 1 year ago
We are proud to announce that THE BOOK OF BARKLEY by: LOVE AND LIFE THROUGH THE EYES OF A LABRADOR RETRIEVER is a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree. This tells a reader that this book is well worth their time and money!
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite Who would have thought that a dog would enjoy eating lemons? In spite of the mouth-puckering sensation, would any dog actually want to go back for more? Who would have thought that a dog would make missiles out of rolled socks, throwing them into the bathroom to garner the much desired attention of his owner? This was Barkley and he was much more. Barkley is a black lab that entered author L.B. Johnson's life at a time when relationships, family and friends, job choices and career moves were all a complicating puzzle. But there was nothing puzzling about this adorable black lab. He was difficult, he had his challenges, he had a sensitive stomach (although he would devour anything and everything in sight, only to release it in an unsavory manner in an unwelcome location shortly after). But Barkley was, pure and simple, pure love. He was that shining light that revealed himself at the end of his life: "I will remember him, standing there in the light with the reconciled luminosity of angels in stained glass, their form, a four-legged one, lacking wings, but not their saving Grace." L.B. Johnson has written a compassionate and heart-warming story - The Book of Barkley - about more than just a dog. Anyone who has ever owned a pet will understand the compelling bond that develops between the pet and its owner. It's a bond that opens up thoughts and memories and expands the owner's human perspective of the world and the life that he/she has lived and is living. This is a story about that bond, the relationship that opens up the heart and reveals an understanding, a comprehension of the overall meaning of life. Well done!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If your a lover of dogs, particularly Labs, and especially black ones, this book will have you: Ponder the words, laugh out loud, glance at your Lab, or images of your Lab, or breakdown about the fact that they give you unconditional love, asking only for food (Bacon!) or a gentle hand in return. There are scribes, wordsmiths, writers, gifted writers, and gifted writers with the knack arranging words on paper that will tug at your heart. Johnson is in that last, small group. More and more of my books are ordered for a tablet. Some books I still purchase the paper version.....ones I know I want to keep and pass on when it's time and well dog (pun intended....) eared. This is such a book. DonaldMac
Borepatch More than 1 year ago
This is a very unusual book by an unusually talented author. Johnson has the ability to weave together funny and sad, thoughtful and goofy, intellect and emotion in what is ostensibly a memoir of her dog Barkley but which is really about our own grappling with mortality. At one moment it is deep pondering on the way our dog's spirits join with ours (we see in their eyes the reflections not of our selves, but of our selves as we would wish it to be). The next it's all play, describing one of Barkley's exploits that may remind us of something similar from one of our long lost four legged friends. The ending, with her dream of the ghost of Barkley coming back to visit is so beautiful and painful that the hurts of our own long departed pets - and the joys of them as well - are suddenly fresh. The book is written almost as a series of vignettes which I thought was a good thing. Johnson's writing (and her subject) sometime have an almost painful beauty. I'd like to see more from this author.
Absentminded_Engineer More than 1 year ago
This story weaves together the life of the remarkable and introspective LB Johnson with her unfaltering loyal companion Barkley.  They share the joys of life, the sorrows, the bacon, and the occasional dog vomit on the carpet.  If you are a dog lover you will love it for the familiar images of fun and frustration that come with having a pet with personality.  If you aren't a dog lover you will still love the book for the beautiful turns of phrase, the belly laugh inducing stories, and the touching reminders that life is good even when it makes you want to cry. Buy a copy for yourself and one for a friend because if you loan out your copy you likely won't get it back!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book illustrates all that is glorious and bittersweet in person's relationship with a four footed companion. It's more than that as well--it shows one person reflected in the beautiful brown eyes of a gentle souled Lab. Read it and laugh, cry, and maybe see parts of yourself in their experiences.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is an old saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words." This author's words are worth a thousand pictures. Her turn of phrase, insight, and humor create vivid images and emotions. This book will take you from eye-misting depths to laugh-out-loud highs in short order. A truly enjoyable read. DesertRatJak
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so engaging I could not put the book down until I was done, at two a.m. After just a few chapters I knew that this was a book about much more than a dog. The author fills it with plenty of of lighthearted fun which will have you laughing out loud at a dog with a personality as big as his heart. But it's also a deeply layered, personal and philosophical journey of a broken heart, healing and the enduring strength of faith and family. You will see yourself in here, the parts you know, the parts you know but don't  speak of. As you read, you will have memories come up that you' though you had forgotten. Then, when the evening ends and the book is finished, tears likely drying on your cheeks, you will be better for the journey. If you have ever loved a dog, you will adore this  book. If you have never loved a dog, but have loved deeply, you will cherish this book. - Deborah B. 
GigiKsPetcetera More than 1 year ago
The Book of Barkley is a treat (pun not intended!), written in beautiful, lyrical prose that deeply touched my heart. LB Johnson knows how to be truly present in the moment, and she shares her brilliant observations in this wonderful book that is part lively memoir, part meditation on the quiet but important times in our lives. Thanks to Barkley, she learned to willingly embrace what it means to be truly alive: opening yourself to love and hope and trust, while knowing all too well how fragile life is and how each one of us is only a breath away from mortality. The reader is gifted with a glimpse into life with one small soul whose paws gently trod the Earth for only a decade or so, and a testimony how he changed LB's life for the better. The Book of Barkley will make you laugh, ponder, and shed a tear or two, and remind you to appreciate the small things in life. Owning dogs teaches you not only patience and forgiveness (for hair, vomit, and other unmentionables), but also how to greet each day with unbridled joy, and to receive their greatest gift of all: unconditional love. Love often comes in surprising packages, not the least of which was a bundle of black fur named Barkley, Black Lab Extraordinaire with a tender stomach, a mind for mischief, and a heart bigger than his physical body. I loved this book, and I think you will too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Here is the story of a jet pilot, a leader of men. A woman. And her life path with joy, pain, and pathos befitting any romance. Except this is not about the love of a man. It’s about the love of a dog. But not just any dog. Barkley. Black Lab extraordinaire. I think it was George Carlin who said owning a dog was automatically a sad proposition. Because with dogs not living 70 years like we humans, the outcome is pretty much a forgone conclusion. But author L.B. Johnson takes us on her journey, his journey, their journey with both solemn and joyful remembrance: I will remember him, standing there in the light. the reconciled luminous-less of angels in stained glass, their form, a four legged one, lacking wings, but not their saving Grace.  The light upon him was so bright, that when I looked at it, the body of the dog and face had clarity, almost brilliance, but without form or dimension, no longer animal, no longer flesh and heart and bone, but simply the brilliant inherent capacity to love as fully and as freely as possible. That is the way I wish to remember him.  His Light If you’ve ever loved a pet, read this book. If you’ve never loved a pet, read this book. If you are not even a pet person, read this book. And understand unconditional love can, and does, go in both directions.
dmkerns More than 1 year ago
Marvelous. Powerful, painfully beautiful at times and paradoxically comforting. This is much more than a simple book about a pet, the exquisite language, the landscape of a life lived well and ending too soon. If you have ever loved an animal, this story will resonate in ways you never imagined. We are in the hands of a master.