Bad Dog to Best Friend by Sharon Delarose (GR Cleanup Project)

Bad Dog to Best Friend - Sharon Delarose

GR Cleanup Project. 

 

Bad Dog to Best Friend is the author’s personal journey of rehabilitating a “used” dog with issues named Dakota. The family chose to adopt Dakota in the hopes that she would perk up their aging dog and help ease the pain of her all too eventual passing. Their first dog arrived already trained and perfect and they were naively expecting the same easy transition when they brought Dakota home. Boy, were they ever wrong.

Dakota was a dog abandoned numerous times and they soon discovered why. She had no house manners, was a submissive pee-er, had separation anxiety, chewed, bullied and was an all-around menace in a doggie suit. I felt bad reading these early chapters both for the family and for their elderly dog. Unlike most people in the general population, they chose to keep Dakota and help her through trial and error and various methods. I have to give them a lot of credit for this. They make some mistakes and are a little clueless in the beginning but their heart was always in the right place.

This book isn’t really a hard core training book (if that’s what you’re after) but more of a journal of Dakota’s trials and tribulations interspersed with stories about her naughty deeds and the ways they worked through them. Though it suffers from repetitiveness, is a little unpolished and a few chapters, notably the one devoted to “almost” meeting Victoria Stillwell, should’ve been culled and/or reorganized to improve the flow of the book, the memoir felt extremely honest to me and I enjoyed reading about Dakota and watching her slowly blossom into a loving member of the family.