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Hardcover Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs Book

ISBN: 0385316984

ISBN13: 9780385316989

Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

At the age of 36, Caroline Knapp, author of the acclaimed bestsellerDrinking:A Love Story, found herself confronted with a monumental task: redefining her world.??She had faced the loss of both her parents, given up a twenty-year relationship with alcohol, and, as she writes, "I was wandering around in a haze of uncertainty, blinking up at the biggest questions: Who am I without parents and without alcohol? How to form attachments, and where to find...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


This is my first book review and, WOW! did I pick a great one to start off with. You'll have to pardon me if I'm over-enthusiastic with my praise, but I'm telling it as it is. From page one, I totally related to this lady (Caroline Knapp), from the time she was 'just thinking' about getting a dog, to going to the Dog pound to 'just look', to 'should I adopt or not?' to 'well, maybe' to finally getting the pooch. I think I even got the same Mutt breed that she adopted. The Pound informed me that my Sara was a GSD/Mix. Ms Knapp adopted a Shepherd/Mix. She says this is Dog Pound code for "We really don't know." I became so engrossed with the human/dog connection we have with our soul mates, that I looked Caroline Knapp up on GOOGLE. Sad, it is to say, I found out that she died of cancer at the age of 42. Her loyal companion, Lucille, was there at her bedside, faithful to the end.

Dogs is dogs, but we love them

Pack of Two lives up to its subtitle--it is an intricate and subtle exploration of the relationships between people (mostly single) and their dogs (often plural). Knapp appears in the book to be working through her reservations about the strength of her attachment to her dog Lucille. There is some pretty convoluted introspection, but she eventually comes out with a very life- and dog-affirming position--in the best cases, we love our dogs for themselves, not as replacements for kids, partners, etc. Well, no kidding. I think she approaches, but does not look straight at, the possibility that the affirmation we receive from our dogs makes us stronger--because we have dogs, we don't need people as much, and may be happier to be without partner or kids--although she makes the point that dog people tend to be more sociable and have more friends (often other dog people)... Alone (if you call hanging with the mutts alone) more, but less needy. Not a bad way to be.One footnote. Knapp unfortunately confuses operant conditioning/positive reinforcement with no training/no discipline. In fact, operant conditioning/positive reinforcement training requires a great deal of discipline--it's just the discipline doesn't take the form of strangling your dog, pinching his/her ears, etc. People who don't train their dogs are really irresponsible. People who believe you have to hurt your dog to train it are either misguided or sadistic. Jean Donaldson's "The Culture Clash" makes these points clearly and forcefully.

the most touching and compelling book I've read in years.

This book is perfect for people who own -- and love -- their dogs, yet are stymied when their non-dog lover friends say, "Sure, Barkey is cute, but he is JUST A DOG." Caroline Knapp has truly communicated the joys of "dog cohabitation" (as opposed to "dog ownership") in a way that even non-dog people can appreciate. Her largely anecdotal work will both resonate with those who have a dog, and will help to shade in mysterious and perplexing areas for those who don't -- and who wonder how people can get so darn attached to an animal. And, perhaps best of all, Ms. Knapp avoids most of the preposterious dog-as-human-in-little-fur-coat anthromorphism that many writers of less talent and intelligence have used to convey that difficult to describe feeling of being engaged in a reciprocal love relationship with a dog.As a writer myself, I am impressed -- and a little bit jealous of -- Ms. Knapp's use of language and phrasing to convey both complicated concepts and strong emotions. And, there are quite a few instances of humor in the book as well -- any dog owner who, as Ms. Knapp recounts, is convinced that a neighbor overhearing him or her speak to the dog would think "I'm a goon" will certainly empathize.Again, the tone of this book is appropriate for both "dog people" and those indifferent to dogs alike. And, for those individuals (you all know who you are) who have fretted while dining out -- or, better yet, refused a dinner invitation altogether -- because of not wanting to leave Rover home alone, this book will speak to your soul.

a classic for dog lovers

last month, my maltese dog, priscilla, died. i had gotten her when she was 6 weeks old, fell in love with her instantly, and stayed in love with her for the next 16 years. my husband bought Pack of Two after reading a book review. in the review, the relationship between caroline knapp and lucille reminded him of myself and priscilla. my husband's concern was that my reading it might be too upsetting for me. on the contrary, knapp's insights into the interdependence between people and their dogs was enlightening, entertaining, and heartwarming. the strenght of the book lies in the psychological assessment of why we bond so strongly to these animals. knapp has really done her homework, citing interviews with psychiatrists, psychologists, veterinarians, and pet owners, as well as reporting research done on the human companion-animal bond. what results is a book that explores the connection we make with dogs. we fall in love with our dogs and they accept us for w! ho we are. we relive our past lives through our dogs and they bring out the best in us. they provide us with constancy and companionship. as i read through the pages, i kept repeating "yes, oh yes, i know houw you feel". i will grieve for my priscilla for a long time to come, but the comfort i derive from these shared experiences found in the pages of this book help ease my pain. bravo to knapp!! this book is bound to become a classic for dog lovers everywhere.

An honest, unashamed account of a woman's love for her dog

Eloquent yet direct, touching and honest without being sentimental -- this book comes straight from the heart. Excellently written, Caroline Knapp succeeds in verbalizing the thoughts and feelings of dog owners who love their dogs as deeply as they do their dearest family members. She captures with words what many of us have felt and known in our hearts...anyone who has felt lost and alone and turned to his dog for comfort and love will understand what she means when she describes having a dog as "solitude without loneliness." Anyone who has heard "its just a dog" and secretly thought, "No, he's my dearest friend" will see themselves in many places in this book. Those who feel a desire to get a dog but don't know why will likely find the answers in this book -- especially if they've felt deep personal pain. For those of us who love our dogs deeply, but come from families or cultures who consider this kind of love "stupid" or! ! "abnormal," this book is a vindication, a testament that the way we feel is normal, that there are many others who feel as we do. If you fit any of these descriptions, I'm sure you'll find "Pack of Two" as insightful and moving as I have. A warning: though this book is well-written and interesting in itself, non dog lovers may find it difficult to "get into" this book and may well be bored by the details which dog lovers will find delightful.
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