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Publisher's Summary

An honest and deeply moving debut memoir about a young woman's battle with depression and how her dog saved her life.
At 22 Julie Barton collapsed on her kitchen floor in Manhattan. She was one year out of college and severely depressed. Summoned by Julie's incoherent phone call, her mother raced from Ohio to New York and took her home.
Haunted by troubling childhood memories, Julie continued to sink into suicidal depression. Psychiatrists, therapists, and family tried to intervene, but nothing reached her until the day she decided to do one hopeful thing: adopt a golden retriever puppy she named Bunker.
Dog Medicine captures the anguish of depression, the slow path to recovery, the beauty of forgiveness, and the astonishing ways animals can help heal even the most broken hearts and minds.
©2016 Julie Barton (P)2016 Penguin Audio
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Critic Reviews

" Dog Medicine simply has to be your next must-read." (Cheryl Strayed)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Gillian on 09-19-16

Ssh, I've Got You, Buddy... what makes this such a good book. A story of friends saving friends.
But I'll say it: This is like three books in one. The "first book" is one of the clearest, finest, most honest accounts of depression I've ever heard. It's so unflinching that, if you haven't been around depression, it can be enervating. But, and I have clinical depression, it cuts to the bone and explains it in a way I never could. Bless her. The "second book" is about Barton's slow struggle into a form of normalcy--one that is so filled with self-absorbed, inconsiderate choices that I stopped listening for a while. Especially since she shrugs off signs of an illness with Bunker, wallows in the self-pity of, "oh gosh, why is this happening?" -BUT- the "third book" is of her total wake up call, her total devotion, her total determination to give back the love that she's received. Because after the meds have kicked in, therapy's a possibility. And after the therapy's kicked in, action's a possibility. And boy does Julie act! In all areas of her life, Bunker's life shines like a beacon, and she lives every ounce of her love.
I could not stop listening as the story has grown into something with the most tremendous amount of insight imaginable. She shows courage for Bunker, forgiveness for atrocious abuse from her brother in their childhood; she shows accountability for her poor choices. And she shows hope--golden, glimmering hope.
I'm glad she narrated it herself as she has warm, emotional tones. She does read rather slooowly, though, so I had to switch to x1.25, even x1.5 at times, as it dragged. But don't let it get to that point! Get past the "drag" and listen to this heartfelt book.
After meds, after therapy, after action? There's honest, blessed love.

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16 of 19 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By sarah on 07-26-16


I never review books but had to this time. I waited and waited for this book. As a person who has faced depression, hospitalization for suicide ideation, and ultimately found myself saved in the service of helping rescued dogs- I found this book to be pretty self centered and found many instances of the author and her family being irresponsible dog owners and then thinking about how this hurt them- not the dog. I don't want to give away the plot- but even her choices in the end seemed to serve her best-and that was her first priority. I also think this is a book that simplifies depression and I couldn't find myself relating to her. I still highly believe in what animals do for our mental health and know that my dog literally saved me and continues to do so every day- so this is a very worthy topic nonetheless. Hopefully other readers will get more out of this than I did.

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21 of 26 people found this review helpful

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