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Old Dog [Kindle Edition]

Barney Bardsley
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Barney Bardsley writes with humour, sincerity and deep understanding of people, and now dogs, as well -- Sheila Hancock

If, like me, you have loved and been loved by a dog, you will love this book --Ben Fogle

Product Description

Muffin was a rescue dog, an ordinary mongrel who joined the Bardsley McGee family in Leeds in 1999. She was three years old, a 'little shipwreck' of a dog who had been badly neglected, undernourished and contained in a high-rise flat for whole of her young life. The family she came into was also under pressure, as the writer's husband Tim was in the middle of a long struggle with cancer and had been told earlier that year that his illness was terminal. Never having previously shown interest in animals, Tim bonded almost instantly with chaotic little Muffin, who became a steadfast companion during his final months. And during the dark days after Tim's death, and when the author's daughter left for university, Muffin became a loyal friend with an uncanny ability to display empathy around times of illness and loss. With Muffin reaching the end of her days, author Barney Bardsley looks back over the eventful years they have shared, to remember the joy and laughter that this loving, soulful creature brought to her family. Her story will strike a chord with anyone who has ever loved, and been loved, by a pet.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 305 KB
  • Print Length: 165 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (18 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008J3ZPH8
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #122,618 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By Hels
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
They say you should never judge a book by its cover and this is true for `Old Dog'. Although its central character and raison d'etre is Muffin, a mongrel Barney and her family lovingly rehomed from the RSPCA rescue centre, it's about so much more than that. It deals with the perennial questions of life, death, love and unstinting loyalty in the face of developing tragedy. As Muffin accompanies the family throughout her beloved master's terminal illness, the author has been deeply helped and inspired by her nature and compassionate steadfastness. She was there at her master's side along the difficult road of gruelling treatment. She helped Barney and her daughter through their subsequent grief by simply being herself and loving life and the universe, having a blast, showing that she cared and was protecting them. Some lyrics kept springing to mind from a certain song when I thought of Muffin. `I'll protect you from the Hooded Claw, keep the Vampires from your door, when the chips are down, I'll be around with my undying, death defying, love for you........' Muffin is ordinary but has an extraordinary effect upon those in her immediate circle. The book which is written in an easy style shows that dogs-especially Muffin are very sensitive creatures who are intuitive, sniff danger and pick up sorrow. They will do all they can to assuage it, giving comfort even just by being omnipresent. There are also wider examples of how famous dogs in history have shown such devotion and unselfish valour. It is a touching, thought-provoking book which you may need a tissue for at times, but it is in my view ultimately an optimistic read which answers far more questions than it poses, stays with you and is so much more than just a book about a dog. She is now immortalised in print and running on in the Gipton bluebell wood in the sky with coquettish red bandana about her neck and watching over her family as ever. Muffin -`second star to the right'.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely read, beautifully written. 9 Sept. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved this book! It was beautifully written and hard to put down. It is autobiographical and describes how the authors dog, Muffin, helps Barney's husband through the difficult 10 years of cancer treatment and then how she helps Barney and her daughter pick up the pieces after his death. It is heart-wrenching in places but never maudlin. Anyone who owns a dog will appreciate the story of Muffin's life, and anyone who has lost a loved one will finish the book feeling positive.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written and moving... 18 Sept. 2013
Barney Bardsley's book is part memoir, part meditation on the extraordinary relationship between dogs and humans. This book is a must for anyone who loves dogs and appreciates elegant prose and deep feelings. After experiencing a series of shattering losses, Barney explores how her dog, Muffin comforts and supports the small family who save her. She includes some extraordinary doggy tales of devotion which entranced my 11 year old son (as well as me) and examines how it is that dogs and humans have developed such a particular bond. Those of us who have dogs tend to invest them with all sorts of characteristics and qualities, this book explains how and why this can be healing and mutually rewarding. read it and weep...but in a good way!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true "rescue" dog 17 Sept. 2013
By NinaG
Format:Kindle Edition
The book is insightful, joyful, life-affirming, honest and warm.
The author writes beautifully. Flowing prose, unforced and lovely metaphor, lyricism without sentimentality; a quality of writing that makes you smile and sigh with satisfaction.
And the dog? Well, Muffin is a true "rescue" dog. Having been rescued, she proceeds to rescue and rescue again those who gave her a home.
Everyone who has shared their life with a loved animal knows the joy and support that the relationship brings. Those who take in "rescue" animals marvel that these often neglected and abused creatures so readily bring such trust and love. The fact that these things are known to us does not detract in any way from the power and enjoyment of this book. After reading it you may want to hug your loved ones - human, canine, feline, whatever - just a little bit tighter.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old Dog by Barney Bardsley. 26 July 2013
For anyone expecting sentimentality or advice about how to comb nits out of a spaniel's fur, forget it! This is, at heart, not a book about dogs and what they give us. It's about what our human friends often to fail to deliver, though they may try: unstinting loyalty, emotional consistency. It's a book about grief, and recovering from grief - and the different ways you can make that journey. It's also, indirectly, a book about Leeds, and in particular about leafy North Leeds. I recommend it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old Dog but New Life 22 Aug. 2013
By Paul A
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Barney weaves us back and forth through the early foreboding early days and the days following; the eager joy of new-found love to the harrowing realisation of imminent loss. It's not really dear Muffin who's the real subject here but she's the thread that provides the warp for Barney's tapestry. I liked this book and felt I'd come to know not so much the dog but those whose lives provided the weft built upon Muffin's steadfastness. Thanks, Liz.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must for dog lovers 18 Jan. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Poignant and written from the heart
Dogs bring such joy to humans and this story is a prime example of the difference they make to our lives
Remember - it's better to have lived with and loved a dog than never to have had the privilege of such unconditional love and adoration

Carol B
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars PLEASANT READ 21 Nov. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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