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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“You don't have to be a dog lover to appreciate Maynard's insightful narrative, ... a hopeful interlude made for turbulent times. It's the kind of book you consume in one sitting and then heave a sigh as you reluctantly read the last page."
“A delightful romp with a mutt for all hearts.”
“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!”
"I'm loving your transcendently rewarding book!"
"Maynard’s humorous, heartwarming memoir explores every facet of canine companionship, from dog psychology to scooping poop. Read by the author, the narrative adopts an air of authenticity and relatability that would otherwise be lost."