Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me from Myself
By Julie Barton
Penguin Books

The familiar adage has it that a dog is a man’s best friend, but Julie Barton proves that they are a woman’s, too. Who knew that dogs could eradicate severe depression? Barton didn’t until, in her 20s, she suffered a nervous breakdown and collapsed on the floor of her New York apartment, disorientated and physically unable to function. Her chronic, debilitating condition, stemming from a childhood poisoned by a physically and verbally abusive brother, would require a wonder cure. Enter Bunker, a golden retriever she decided to take in and who would in turn save her life. In her affecting and sometimes disturbing memoir, writer and former publishing house associate editor Barton describes how she became dependent on her “comfort dog” and his unconditional love as she learned to cope with her condition. And of course, their meeting at Bunker’s adoption as a puppy was written in the stars. “He walked over to me … coming closer and sitting at my feet. In that moment,” she writes, “I knew. I’d been chosen. My dog had found me.” Bunker’s legacy reiterates the fact that dogs make discerning, compassionate companions.