Book Review: Dogma, The Zen of Slobber by Barbara Boswell Brunner

Dog-ma The Zen of Slobber Tour

  • Review: Dogma
  • Series: —
  • Author: Barbara Boswell Brunner
  • No of Pages: 326
  • Release Date: Published August 1st 2012


Barbara’s vivid and dramatic stories, told with a wicked sense of humor, will make you laugh out loud. She definitely gets what living with rescued dogs (nine of them!) is all about.

When Barbara meets her future husband, Ray, it is love-and dog-at first sight. Over the course of thirty-two years, seventeen relocations and nine dogs, their mutual love of dogs guides them on their unconventional path. The love that Barbara and Ray get in return is literally lifesaving, with one dog attacking a lethal intruder and another discovering Barbara’s cancer. Her own survival story underscores the story of how her dogs become survivors themselves.

Each new dog adds its own dynamic to the family, sometimes upending it. From Turbo (whose Spock-like ears may have provided super powers), Barbara learns about the will to live; Lexington demonstrates incredible patience and an inexplicable love of golf; Madison teaches that laughter is truly the best medicine and that the whole “nine lives thing” is not reserved just for cats; Morgan should be sainted for tolerating Izzy, who is as cute as she is bad.

Barbara is certain that somewhere in doggie heaven there is a poster that says “If you are sick, injured or in need of really expensive medical care, FIND THESE HUMANS!”

My thoughts:

If you read my reviews on a normal basis, you already know I’m a sucker for dogs. Anything dog related!! Books that have dogs in them are a huge plus. This one especially got to my heart having rescue pups of my own and having lost two of those pups. These babies just can not be replaced and although I could never put it into words, Barbara does a great job of getting the fun of having dogs and yes, even the stress, onto paper in a beautifully poignant manner.

From page one you are left feeling so grateful that she is able to put such LIFE into this book. Again, I’m a dog lover but although this is about having pups and the fun they bring to your life, it’s aobut LIFE at it’s best, and yes even sometimes worst. Most of the time I was laughing so hard I was crying, knowing full well what she meant when she said,

Chaos, calm, crisis, centering. Somehow, the contrast felt right to me.

Now in this particular moment she’s not talking puppies, but it fits perfectly! And that’s what this entire book is about, the chaos of loving puppies and the calm they can bring to your life.

Night one of crate training- Madison turned into a screeching banshee. We did everything the books said. We ignored her and tried to get some sleep. Eventually the crate got moved to the opposite side of the house. Ray could still not ignore her. Her cries were piercing and I was sure the neighbors thought we were doing her great bodily harm. At one point Ray mentioned something about flushing her down the toilet if she didn’t shut up.

  • Midnight…screeching…
  • 1:00 AM…screeching…
  • 2:00 AM…screeching…

At 3:00 AM, Madison was taken out of the crate and tucked in nicely at the foot of the bed, peacefully sleeping, and that is where she slept for the remainder of her life. Crate training… major fail.

The entire book had me cracking up but the above small excerpt really had me going!! I have also completely failed at crate training every pup we’ve ever had! I thought we sucked at parenting, apparently not, the puppies are just letting us know in a very vociferous way that they are NOT happy.

There are so many excerpts that I can share but instead I will just tell you, if you need a pick me up, this is a MUST READ. It’s hilarious, beautiful, funny and loving all wrapped up into one book of fabulousness!

About the author:

Barbara grew up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania with her parents, sister and always a dog, or two or three. She founded three successful businesses in the Pacific Northwest and is a prolific fundraiser for breast cancer research. She and her husband currently live in Southwest Florida with two dogs and copious amounts of dog fur.

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