Centered Dog, Centered Self.
In Follow My Lead, Carol Quinn walks us through her journey towards self-discovery, learning to live more fully in the moment, and adopting a more balanced approach towards life and love. It’s Zen and the art of dog agility . . .
With chapters like “Know your dog” and “Have a cookie”, Ms. Quinn illuminates the many takeaways that she learned from working with her own dogs. For instance, she writes about letting go of self-criticism, because “[p]erfection is just good PR”. In one conversation, her trainer Irina asks, “Do you work for free?” Well, dogs don’t, and neither do people. Reward your dogs with cookies; reward other people with “cookies”, and don’t forget to reward yourself as well.
But don’t think Ms. Quinn is all sunny messaging. She talks about her dysfunctional relationship with her on-again, off-again boyfriend Henry and her gradual realization that she can’t turn a “basset hound” into a border collie. And when writing about her encounter with an obnoxious dog-owner, she notes the difference between dogs and people: “[p]eople are sneakier. We mind-fight or trash talk behind our adversary’s back or walk our crazy dogs off leash–or mention them in a book.”
Follow My Lead is a fun read interspersed with–dare I say it?–inspirational dog pictures. Organized into bite-sized chapters, it’s the perfect book for reading as a pick-me-up in the middle of a stressful day. If you’re an animal lover or agility hound, you’ll enjoy the format of pairing life lessons with dog lessons. My only wish is that I could know more about the author’s external journey as well as her internal one. I was hungry for more agility stories, more dog encounters and to know what happens next! I suppose that’s not a bad sign though. I guess I’ll have to wait for Ms. Quinn’s next book . . . . or maybe the movie!
Until then, my best advice to prospective readers? Stay calm, stay in the moment. And don’t forget your cookies!
P.S. Dear Readers: The Daily Toki is holding it’s first book giveaway! If you’d like to receive a free copy of Follow My Lead, leave a comment on this post. And for an extra chance to win – leave a comment on The Daily Toki Facebook page! Winner will be drawn at random. Entry for the giveaway will be open through Wednesday, August 23. Good luck! (No purchase necessary. This and all Daily Toki reviews reflect the unbiased opinion of the author.)