Book Review: Dog-Ma, The Zen of Slobber by Barbara Boswell Brunner

Dog-ma The Zen of Slobber Tour


Barbara’s vivid and dramatic stories, told with a wicked sense of humor, will make you laugh out loud. She definitely gets what living with rescued dogs (nine of them!) is all about.

When Barbara meets her future husband, Ray, it is love-and dog-at first sight. Over the course of thirty-two years, seventeen relocations and nine dogs, their mutual love of dogs guides them on their unconventional path. The love that Barbara and Ray get in return is literally lifesaving, with one dog attacking a lethal intruder and another discovering Barbara’s cancer. Her own survival story underscores the story of how her dogs become survivors themselves.

Each new dog adds its own dynamic to the family, sometimes upending it. From Turbo (whose Spock-like ears may have provided super powers), Barbara learns about the will to live; Lexington demonstrates incredible patience and an inexplicable love of golf; Madison teaches that laughter is truly the best medicine and that the whole “nine lives thing” is not reserved just for cats; Morgan should be sainted for tolerating Izzy, who is as cute as she is bad.

Barbara is certain that somewhere in doggie heaven there is a poster that says “If you are sick, injured or in need of really expensive medical care, FIND THESE HUMANS!”

My review:

You know those books that take you from laughing out loud to crying into your pillow? Yeah. Dog-Ma, The Zen of Slobber is one of those books. The author shares her memories of nine dogs with vastly different personalities, including:

  • Kashi, the surfing Doberman
  • Turbo, the jail-breaker
  • Madison, the rebel
  • Lexington, the golf fan, and
  • Cooper, the ingenious food thief

In the midst of multiple cross-country moves, Barbara and her husband Ray adopt nine dogs, dealing with cruel pet shop owners and clueless former pet owners. There are sweet stories, funny stories, and sad stories, but the love comes through in every one. My favorite aspect was that most of the dogs were Dobermans or Rottweilers, which are my two favorite breeds. I’ve had a few of each and they were all big babies. (Have you ever tried to tell an eighty-pound dog he can’t sit in your lap?) I highly recommend this book to all animal lovers. Oh! And there are pictures of the sweet puppies!

One note of caution: There are a couple dog fights and several dog injuries and illnesses. If reading that kind of thing really bothers you, be aware. I’m squeamish, though, and it wasn’t detailed enough to bother me. It just made me sad for the animals (and their humans).

About the book:
Title: Dog-Ma, The Zen Of Slobber
Author: Barbara Brunner
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release date: August 8, 2012
Pages: 324
Where I got the book: Free from the author in exchange for an honest review

Buy the book:
Amazon print book

Find the author:
Amazon Author Page

Author bio:

Barbara grew up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania with her parents, sister and always a dog, or two or three. She founded three successful businesses in the Pacific Northwest and is a prolific fundraiser for breast cancer research. She and her husband currently live in Southwest Florida with two dogs and copious amounts of dog fur.