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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Who would have thought that a dog would enjoy eating lemons? In spite of the mouth-puckering sensation, would any dog actually want to go back for more? Who would have thought that a dog would make missiles out of rolled socks, throwing them into the bathroom to garner the much desired attention of his owner? This was Barkley and he was much more. Barkley is a black lab that entered author L.B. Johnson's life at a time when relationships, family and friends, job choices and career moves were all a complicating puzzle. But there was nothing puzzling about this adorable black lab. He was difficult, he had his challenges, he had a sensitive stomach (although he would devour anything and everything in sight, only to release it in an unsavory manner in an unwelcome location shortly after). But Barkley was, pure and simple, pure love. He was that shining light that revealed himself at the end of his life: "I will remember him, standing there in the light with the reconciled luminosity of angels in stained glass, their form, a four-legged one, lacking wings, but not their saving Grace."
L.B. Johnson has written a compassionate and heart-warming story - The Book of Barkley - about more than just a dog. Anyone who has ever owned a pet will understand the compelling bond that develops between the pet and its owner. It's a bond that opens up thoughts and memories and expands the owner's human perspective of the world and the life that he/she has lived and is living. This is a story about that bond, the relationship that opens up the heart and reveals an understanding, a comprehension of the overall meaning of life. Well done!