Novelist Alison Pace has written award-winning novels about dogs, but for the longest time she lived as a dog person without a dog. And then she met Carlie, her beloved Westie, who now shares her life in New York City.
“I used to think that my main motivation for getting a dog of my own was to connect myself to my past, to my childhood that was filled, in so many ways, by dogs. And having a dog has indeed done that for me,” she writes in the introduction to her new memoir, You Tell Your Dog First. “But the other thing that has happened, and this is something I believe in 100 percent, this is something I feel certain happens to all dog people: the dogs in our lives connect us to our present and to our futures. Dogs have made me more open and accepting of people, more understanding of my family, more on the wavelength of joy.”
The book, published last week by Penguin, describes her life growing up with — in this order — a St. Bernard, an English Mastiff, an English Bulldog, a French Poodle, an English Sheepdog/Irish Wolfhound/something else mix, a Scottish Terrier, a Wheaten Terrier, three Shar-Peis, a Jack Russell terrier, a Corgi, and two Boston Terriers.
The inspiration for You Tell Your Dog First was, naturally, Carlie. “As a writer who works at home, I talk to my dog,” Alison says. “Alas, she doesn’t answer but she has always been a wonderful sounding board. And the fact that I tell her so many things is just one aspect of the relationship I share with her. I hope you’ll enjoy reading about all the things I’ve shared with my dogs over the years. And less verbally, but perhaps more importantly, all the things my dogs have shared with me.”
Alison is also generously offering Dogster readers a free sneak preview of the book’s first chapter.
HOW TO WIN
We have FIVE copies of You Tell Your Dog First to give away — and the contest is open to readers worldwide!
To enter, simply use your Disqus account to comment below to tell us the last thing you told your dog. We’ll pick our favorite comment on Tuesday, November 13, at noon PST, and contact the winners by email. You’ll have two days to respond or we’ll pick another winner.
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Good luck, everyone!