Walking in Circles before Lying Down by Merrill Markoe
Amazon Summary: Dawn Tarnauer's life isn't exactly a success story. Already twice divorced, the young Californian is too busy job-hopping to start a career, her current boyfriend insists on living "off the grid," her life coach sister perpetually interferes with incomprehensible affirmations, her eccentric mother is busy promoting the culmination of her life's work—the Every Holiday Tree—and her father is ending his brief third marriage while scheduling two dates for the same night.
Dawn's only source of security and comfort, it seems, is Chuck, a pit-bull mix from the pound. So, when her boyfriend announces that he's leaving her for another woman, a despairing Dawn turns to Chuck for solace. "I should have said something sooner," Chuck confides, as he tries to console her. "Couldn't you smell her on his pants?" Dawn is stunned. It's one thing to talk to your pets, but what do you do when they start talking back? It's not just Chuck, either; she can hear all dogs—and man's best friend has a lot to say. The ever-enthusiastic Chuck offers his tried-and-true advice on the merits of knocking over garbage and strewing it everywhere, auxiliary competitive peeing etiquette, and the curative powers of tossing a ball. Doubtful of her own sanity, Dawn considers that, in the ways of life and love, it might be better to trust Chuck's doggie instincts instead of her own.
Right now I'm reading stuff I don't have to think about...stuff I can take at face value and just enjoy...period. I've struggled to find something that holds my attention for very long.
I grabbed this audiobook to listen to in the car on my way back and forth between my home and Mom's. I didn't have high hopes for taming my wacky brain right now, but I really wanted to try.
The first part of the story was slow...setting up the characters, their lives, their personalities, etc. dry, ho-hum - I wondered if I had made a mistake.
To make matters worse, many of the other characters are about as likable as lint.
Dawn's boyfriend Paxton doesn't like dogs and makes them sleep in the hall - Paxton is "off the grid" DJ and gets mad when he thinks he's being interrupted...calling this guy a jerk is putting it mildly. Worse to me was that Dawn put up with it.
Her sister is a nut...and not in the funny way. An obnoxious, self-centered nut.
Her mom...seriously...no wonder Dawn has issues.
Dad isn't much better.
Once Chuck answers Dawn, after doofus-head Paxton dumps her, the fun began...at first Dawn thinks she's crazy...and tries to figure it out...once she finally lets go and starts truly conversing with the dogs, I couldn't wait to get back in the car to listen.
Chuck's answer to every problem - "throw the ball"
Pull off the road right here and throw the yellow ball. It's right under the seat. I'll bring it back so enthusiastically that I will break your heart with the pure delight I take from simple minded minutiae. Wait'll you see the look in my eyes!! It's a gift that keeps on giving."
I so love Chuck's voice!!! And his vocabulary!!! Chuck saves this story just as he saves Dawn.
An added bonus for me is that Chuck's voice is spot on for my oldest daughter's little pit mix Zeke. All of our animals have voices. We talk to them, and they talk back.
Nothing at all wrong with that!
Zeke has been with us since my daughter traveled to Honduras in April, and we have struggled to find his voice...until Chuck!
Once I made the connection between Chuck's voice and Zeke, I couldn't help but smile warmly every time Chuck spoke.
Zeke is just about as hard-headed and sometimes mischievous as Chuck as well!
Are you blogging about me?
I loved that there is a rhyme and a reason for everything Chuck does...a logical explanation for the unexplainable in human eyes. Chuck doesn't overthink, analyze, wallow in anxiety...he calls a spade a spade and spits it out. I love it. What an analogy for how we should handle life.
“There’s two kinds of peeing,” he says. “There’s regular peeing, because you have to pee. And then there’s auxiliary competitive peeing. For acquiring an empire. I’m all about the real estate.”
Merrill Markoe was a head writer for Late Night w David Letterman, and I will definitely read more of her writing!