Author: Janice Gary
First copyright date: 2013
Type of book: Dog walking, nature, finding beauty, aging, dog, protective nature, bonding, dog/human relationship, getting over fears
General subject matter: Finding beauty within nature and learning lessons from it.
Special features: N/A
Price: $19.95 dollars
Janice Gary never walked alone without a dog by her side-a big dog. Once she was a risk-taker, a girl who ran off to California with big dreams and hopes of leaving her past behind. But after a brutal attack on the streets of Berkeley, her youthful bravado vanished, replaced by a crippling need for safety. When she rescues a gangly Lab-Rottweiler pup she names Barney, Janice is sure she's found her biggest protector yet. But after Barney is attacked by a vicious dog, he becomes dog-aggressive, making walking him almost impossible. After years of being exiled by her terror and Barney's defensiveness, Janice risks taking him to a park bordering the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. There she faces her greatest fears, including loose dogs, strange men and dangers real and imagined. As the leash of the past unravels, Barney sheds the defensive behaviors that once shackled him and Janice steps out of the self-imposed isolation that held her captive for three decades. Beautifully written, Short Leash is more than a dog story or a book about recovering from trauma. It's a moving tale of love and loss, the journey of a broken soul finding its way toward wholeness.
I think Janice Gary wrote this book for two reasons: the first reason is to demonstrate the healing power that dog walking and dogs in general have over people, and second reason is for her to remember Barney.
a. Why did the author write on this subject rather than on some other subject?
I sort of think that at first this book was a school assignment, and she has been trying to write about her family and upbringing, but perhaps it didn't feel right to her, thus she decided to write about Barney and dog walking, also exploring the passage of time and how this activity can lead to inner healing.
b. From what point of view is the work written?
The book is written from the first person point of view, completely from Janice's point of view. From time to time the essays do reflect and talk about her life before Barney as well as what she learned through the years.
c. Was the author trying to give information, to explain something technical, to convince the reader of a belief’s validity by dramatizing it in action?
I think that she has been trying to convince the reader of a belief's validity. Personally this book has really impressed me, the format and writing of it that is. She demonstrates throughout the book how time and nature as well as Barney have helped her heal and get beyond her fear.
d. What is the general field or genre, and how does the book fit into it? (Use outside sources to familiarize yourself with the field, if necessary.) Knowledge of the genre means understanding the art form. and how it functions.
I would guess the general field of the book is a memoir from 2001 up until 2006 that focuses on a healing relationship between Janice Gary as well as the power and lessons one can get from nature and dog walking.
e. Who is the intended audience?
I would guess the intended audience would include just anyone, although I think the main audience would be other dog owners.
f. What is the author's style? Is it formal or informal? Evaluate the quality of the writing style by using some of the following standards: coherence, clarity, originality, forcefulness, correct use of technical words, conciseness, fullness of development, fluidity. Does it suit the intended audience?
I find the writing to be beautiful; there's something poetical about it and she's also detailed when it comes to certain aspects. (What I find interesting is the way she learned of description, to address the five senses when trying to describe something.) The words and atmosphere tend to be easily understood, but at the same time what has impressed me is that throughout the pages she manages to endear me to Barney, thus I was very sad at the end.
g. Scan the Table of Contents, it can help understand how the book is organized and will aid in determining the author's main ideas and how they are developed - chronologically, topically, etc.
The book is organized chronologically from 1991, then it skips to 2001 and from then on moves to summer of 2006. The style works because I open up my heart to Barney and become heartbroken.
g. How did the book affect you? Were any previous ideas you had on the subject changed, abandoned, or reinforced due to this book? How is the book related to your own course or personal agenda? What personal experiences you've had relate to the subject?
I have a miniature dachshund, and somehow the ending really scared me, especially at the thought of her aging and health problems and so forth. I honestly didn't think I would be this affected by the book. Getting a dog certainly changes perspective and life. (Contrary to the cover, this book isn't about a dachshund.)
h. How well has the book achieved its goal?
I think the goal was well achieved because it does inspire me to spend more time with my doggy and perhaps I'll do my best not to be lazy and enjoy taking her on a walk.
i. Would you recommend this book or article to others? Why?
I honestly would recommend this book to others because she's good at writing the way she was healed through Barney, although I think an update on her life would be nice. (The story finished in 2006, what happened from 2007 up until 2013?)
a. Theme: The theme is the subject or topic. It is not necessarily the title, and it is usually not expressed in a complete sentence. It expresses a specific phase of the general subject matter.
Healing can be unexpected and usually takes place through nature as well as a pet and writing.
b. Thesis: The thesis is an author’s generalization about the theme, the author’s beliefs about something important, the book’s philosophical conclusion, or the proposition the author means to prove. Express it without metaphor or other figurative language, in one declarative sentence.
Sometimes its necessary to take risks and pets can be more than just pets.
This is for TLC Book Tour
Janice Gary’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, December 16th: Book Club Classics!
Monday, December 16th: Shelf Pleasure – author guest post
Tuesday, December 17th: The Book Wheel
Wednesday, December 18th: BookNAround
Thursday, December 19th: Bound By Words
Friday, December 20th: Dog Spelled Forward
Monday, December 23rd: Patricia’s Wisdom
Thursday, December 26th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, December 30th: Bookchickdi
Thursday, January 2nd: Peppermint Ph.D.
Monday, January 6th: Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, January 7th: Teena in Toronto
Wednesday, January 8th: Bibliotica
Thursday, January 9th: Book-alicious Mama
Friday, January 10th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Monday, January 13th: Book Dilettante
Tuesday, January 14th: My Bookshelf
Wednesday, January 15th: Mom in Love with Fiction
Thursday, January 16th: Suko’s Notebook
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)