Bark and Lunge

Saving My Dog from Training Mistakes

Non-Fiction - Animals
320 Pages
Reviewed on 10/14/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Kari Neumeyer thinks Groucho Marx was onto something when he said, "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

Kari's name rhymes with safari. She has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School and has worked for news outlets in Washington state and the Czech Republic. She grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television. Now she lives in Bellingham, Washington, with her beau, Rob, and their dog family.

In her spare time, she volunteers teaching an adaptive martial arts class to adults with developmental disabilities at the Max Higbee Center, fostering a love of creative writing to Whatcom Young Writers, and walking shelter dogs at the Humane Society of Skagit Valley.

She blogs about dogs at

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Isis is a female German Shepherd. Often bred as guard dogs, these dogs can also be great pets, if consistently trained and well cared-for. German Shepherds have boundless energy, but given the right environment, they can demonstrate boundless love. Isis was full of love. It is evident in her story. However, she was a difficult dog to train, one that was labeled by countless trainers who crossed her path as aggressive. But was she aggressive? Or was there something genetically wrong with her that caused her to react unpredictably and uncontrollably when least expected?

Kari Neumeyer is a writer and a journalist. When Isis entered her family, she opened her heart to this wonderful dog. She tried everything, every possible trainer in her geographic area, to alleviate the trauma that Isis was causing, although perhaps it wasn't really Isis's fault. No one will ever know. What we do know is the love that formed a bond between Kari and Isis is so profound. This once-in-a-lifetime dog, who was all heart and died too young from an enlarged heart, captured her owner's heart, but also captures the hearts of the readers who follow this story. Leo, who came home to Kari's house before Isis departed, is just as loving, but in a different, more subtle way.

Isis is the story. Her story demonstrates love and dedication to a purpose, the purpose of being a family and, in Kari's case, a dog family. While Isis struggles from one training debacle to another, so too does her trainer and owner, Kari. Isis is a survivor, though, and when she's behaved her worst, she can still put on a pretty face with a big smile (hence her nickname, Smilely Bird) as if to ask her owner, "Are you coming out with me or not?" This was a heart-warming read. Well done!