Jan 13, 2014

Book Review: Short Leash: A Memoir of Dog Walking by Janice Gary

Title: Short Leash: A Memoir of Dog Walking and Deliverance by Janice Gary
Published August 1, 2013; Michigan State University Press
Genre: memoir

About the book: Janice Gary slowly finds healing through her dog Barney, through her frequent walks in the park with the dog, and in her writing. She details in her memoir her progress in overcoming her fear of strangers and deserted places such as the park, while her dog Barney learns to accept other dogs and curb his aggression towards other dogs.

My comments: This is a very personal account of an individual's attempts to recover from mental injuries and be the confident, outgoing person she was before. To overcome traumatic events, namely the memories of a brutal attack by a stranger and the traumatic suicide of her father, the author walks and writes her way to recovery with the help of her second dog, Barney, and her new interest in writing. Her books takes you along on her walks in the park and tracks her thought processes along the way. This also very much a "dog book," as it deals with the happy times, the responsibilities, and the heartbreak that can come with owning a dog.

Excellent writing, but expect a book that is often very reflective and slow paced. The book reads as a personal journal that takes you season by season through the author's observations of nature and her thought processes as she walks to recovery with her dog Barney.

Short Leash: A Memoir of Dog Walking and Deliverance, was chosen as a “Groundbreaking memoir” by Independent Publisher and a New Pages “Editor’s Pick”. Janice Gary is the recipient of the Christine White Award for Memoir and the Ames Award for Personal Essay. As a writing coach, she helps others writers find their unique voice and stories. She blogs at janicegary.com

Thanks to TLC Book Tours and the author for a review copy of this book.
Click on the link for more reviews by the tour participants. 


  1. I am an animal lover and I definitely believe that a relationship with a pet can help in mental rehabilitation in a serious and major way. I am glad that authors are beginning to talk about such experiences. Sounds like a very worthwhile book.

  2. I think pets in general can be therapeutic. Thanks for your review Harvee. This sounds like a special book.

  3. I just picked up a copy of this one - I'm looking forward to a slow, leisurely read.

    Thanks for being on the tour.


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