978-0-385-31698-9 / 9780385316989

Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs


Publisher:The Dial Press



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About the book:

Caroline Knapp is head over heels in love--not with a human being, but with her mixed-breed dog, Lucille. From the moment Lucille first locked eyes with Knapp through the bars of an animal shelter cage, the intelligent, pointy-eared mutt began to transform Knapp's life. Reeling from the deaths of both her parents, a breakup with a long-term boyfriend, and her newly won sobriety after a 20-year battle with the bottle (which was skillfully chronicled in a previous memoir, Drinking: A Love Story), Knapp found in Lucille not only companionship, but "consistency, continuity, connection. In a word, love." Although she doesn't regard Lucille as a replacement for alcohol and lost loved ones, Knapp does believe "that in loving her I have had that sense of being filled anew and essentially redirected, an old identity shattered and a new one emerging in its stead." In Pack of Two Knapp, with the help of dog psychiatrists, trainers, breeders, and owners, explores the partnership between human and dog and the mysteries of the canine mind--how dogs love, how they think, and how they see human beings. And despite her findings that the dog will remain essentially "mysterious ... unknowable," Knapp is ultimately at peace with this, still devouring the moments when dog and human can "transcend the language barrier" to "understand what the other wants and feels." This book pays homage to the wonderful and complex relationship between one woman and her dog. --Naomi Gesinger

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