Pretzel, Houdini & Olive: Essays on the Dogs of My Life (Paperback)
Told from the perspective of a self-identified "crazy dog lady," these eleven interconnected essays follow one woman's relations with five different dogs. Together, they travel over terrain spanning her husband's battle with cancer, his death, her grieving process, and her rejoining the living as her dogs lead her forward from the other end of their leashes. Alongside her personal story, she considers such cultural issues as Americans' unhealthy relationships with the natural world, ageism across species, poverty and privilege, hoarding, and the meaning of happiness. This is not a sentimental "who-rescued-whom?" book about the healing power of animals. Instead, it explores one representative human's relationships with dogs, with all their joys but also their frustrations, neuroses, and downright craziness.