Her novels such as City Dog, Pug Hill, and A Pug’s Tale have gained loyal readers.
But moving to New York City to pursue a career as a novelist she found for many years she was a dog person, a dog novelist without a dog. It isn’t easy to find dog-friendly rentals in the neighborhoods where she wanted to live.
Eventually she writes about finding an apartment which allows dogs and adopting one-year-old Carlie, or Carleigh, as her breeder called her. Carleigh was a show dog who didn’t have what it takes to win the rosettes, but Carlie would make a loyal and devoted pet.
You Tell Your Dog First is a series of warm and humorous essays that anyone who has ever shared their life with a dog will immediately relate to.
Alison is a late 30's single woman living in New York City. Quite often she is aware that she is becoming that crazy dog person, as she tailors much of her life around morning walks in Central Park and putting the needs of the dog before her own.
Most of us have no problem relating to that. And I wanted to reach out and assure her that, no matter what anyone says, we are the normal ones.
Although she knew few neighbors in her old neighborhood, walking with Carlie she was able to make friends with other like-minded dog walkers. Carlie was able to spot bad boyfriends too. And that can be embarrassing when we have to admit that to our dogs.
Just like it seems that every human being in Los Angeles has a lawyer on retainer, it seems that every unmarried woman in New York has a therapist. In the only essay I found to be rather pointless she has sessions with a therapist which involved “a lot of crying.” She does spare us the reason for the crying, which keeps the book upbeat and positive.
“Have you met anyone,” “Are you seeing anyone,” are questions she gets a lot from her friends and family. The book ends with an essay on meeting a charming man at a party. They remember that they had seen each other frequently at the park, he, a Lab owner and she, a Westie owner. I wanted another essay to tell us how this promising relationship turned out.
I confess I love Hollywood endings.