Book Review: The Book of Barkley

“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.”  ~ Groucho Marx

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A worthy goal of any life is to aspire to be the person our dog thinks we are. I’ve been blessed enough to have two once-in-a-lifetime dogs in my life, and their love and companionship marked me indelibly.

I think the same can be said of the Labrador Retriever at the heart of The Book of Barkley, by L.B. Johnson. I have a soft spot for Labs, having trained them professionally for years before I got into EMS, and Barkley’s exploits in the book bring back some fond memories of my own.

But make no mistake, The Book of Barkley is no mere book about a dog. It’s equal parts memoir and life lessons, nostalgia and hope, all woven together by stories of Johnson’s once-in-a-lifetime canine companion, Barkley.

As a storyteller of no small talent myself, I am envious of very few people’s writing abilities. L.B. Johnson is one of those people. She paints with words, her prose lyrical and contemplative, capable of wringing tears and laughter from the reader in equal measure.

Not gonna lie, I wish I could write like that.

If your measure of a good book is one that can make you think, and feel, pick up a copy of The Book of Barkley. You won’t be disappointed.