So, something that a lot of people know about me is that I am a huge dork about dogs. I mean, I love my own dog, because she is great, but I love dogs in general. I’m that person who will interrupt a conversation to point out a dog walking across the street while I’m driving. I will make faces at dogs out the window of a restaurant. I will cry at dog videos.
In conclusion: dogs, man.
I think that it’s pretty common of dog owners to talk to their dogs. Maybe cat people do this, too, but my experience with cats is that they’re not quite as expressive as dogs when you’re talking to them. Dogs, on the other hand, are super expressive. They twitch their ears, they raise their eyebrows, they just have all sorts of feelings about what you’re saying. And they’re always ready to party, even if you’re just like, “hey, remember pizza?”
But I think we’d all like to know what our dogs would say back to us, if we could understand them in a Dr. Doolittle twist of fate. And I think that’s what first drew me to Walking in Circles Before Lying Down.
This novel by Merrill Markoe doesn’t claim to be fancy or literary, and I didn’t really need it to be when I picked it up this past summer, or when I curled up with it today after a particularly crappy day of work. The book tells the story of Dawn Tarnauer, a down-on-her-luck Californian in her mid-thirties who’s been unlucky in love, family, and career, but very lucky in canine affection. After a rough breakup with her boyfriend, Dawn realizes that her dog, Chuck, has stopped just looking at her, and has started to talk.
Look, guys, I’m gonna be honest. Walking in Circles Before Lying Down is pretty ridiculous rom-com of a novel, and pretty much everyone in it (dogs included) is dysfunctional and a little silly. But this book is a fun, playful read. It’s a lovely little pick-me-up for dogs and people alike, and I had a lot of fun reading some of the bits out loud to Sammi. She was pretty intrigued by the dog voices. You’ll have to take my word for it, since I couldn’t take any pictures due to her attempting to climb onto my lap.
Sometimes, you just need to read a book that’s fun and silly. Sometimes you’ve got to take off your “grown-up reader” hat and just pull something off your shelf that’s going to make you chuckle, even if it’s a story about the sort of dysfunctional family that would make you smack your head into a wall if they came into your office (womp womp). Sometimes, you need to curl up on the couch with your dog, and read a book about a depressed girl in a tiring job who really just loves her dog, and who finds out just how much her dog loves her back.
Sometimes, you’ve just got to throw the ball, and look at that face.