Starter Dog: My Path to Joy, Belonging and Loving This WorldON SALE NOW!

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“Some things about being human can’t be learned from your own kind.”

Starter Dog
by Rona Maynard

Rona Maynard wants to love her life again. Stuck in the what-next doldrums after quitting a big job, she needs a new bridge to the world. So, well into their married life, she lets her husband talk her into their first dog, a rescue mutt named Casey. Rona frets about shedding, lost travel opportunities, and arguments about walking duty. She doubts she can love a dog. But when Casey romps through her door, Rona falls hard. Over time he gives her what no human could — a new way of seeing and a pathway to the heart of a moment. Her downtown neighborhood reveals its true face as she explores it with Casey, making new friends and discovering hidden beauty spots. She learns to have adventures on her own stomping ground. Through Casey, Rona falls in love with the world and her place in it, an animal among other animals.

Praise for Starter Dog

“A wise woman’s reassessment of life and love, Starter Dog is a beautifully felt, thoughtful and often funny read. While the rescue mutt may be billed as the star of the show, Maynard herself commands center stage, evolving in surprising ways. Unfailingly observant, this book is deeply life-affirming—a joy to read.”
Ann Dowsett Johnston, bestselling author of Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol
“An enchanting love story between a pet and his human. Rona Maynard shows us with marvelous wit and sensitivity how the world is expanded and enhanced by the companionship of a dog.”
Hilma Wolitzer, author of Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket: Stories
“As a late convert to the world of dogs myself, I devoured Rona Maynard’s gorgeous, engaging prose…. Starter Dog is far more than a tale of a woman and her dog; this gem of a book showed me it’s still possible to find simple, everyday beauty in an uncertain world and that love and connection, discovered one daily walk at a time, beat ambition and accomplishment. I loved the heart and wisdom woven through this inspirational book, and dog lover or not, you’ll love it, too.”
Laura Davis, author of The Burning Light of Two Stars and The Courage to Heal
“When you buy yourself a copy of this funny, honest adventure of a book (and you must), you're going to want to clear a few hours and read every word. God, Rona Maynard is a good writer.”
Abigail Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of A Three Dog Life and Still Life at Eighty: The Next Interesting Thing
“Among the many canine classics I've read, Starter Dog is the leader of the pack. It's a beautiful tribute to a long marriage in which kindness toward a dog unlocks stored affection between spouses. It is also a powerful meditation on the pleasures of a life spent discovering the world from a dog's perspective instead of slogging at the office. With humor and insight, Rona proves that some things about being human are best learned from a dog. I loved this book.”
Catherine Gildiner, New York Times bestselling author of Good Morning, Monster
“A delightful romp with a mutt for all hearts.”
Donna Morrissey, bestselling author of Pluck
“An elegant and engaging tale. With this tender invitation to get to know her beloved pup Casey, Rona Maynard makes dog lovers of us all - even the most ardent of cat people like me!”
Mark Henick, mental health advocate and bestselling author of So-Called Normal
"I'm loving your wonderful book!"
Joseph McElroy, award-winning author of Women and Men