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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

Critic Reviews

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

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gillian
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 09-19-16

Ssh, I've Got You, Buddy...

...is 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.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointed.

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.

21 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Simply beautiful.

I have never written a review yet have listened to many many books and have read probably a hundred reviews in order to find the books I'm searching for. This book moved me in a way like no other has. I'm an animal lover, dogs especially. But also someone who has suffered from bouts of depression. The bond between human and dog is mesmerizing to me. How an unspoken language of touch and emotion can speak a thousand silent words.
You will not be disappointed with this book.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Somewhat Disappointing

Would you try another book from Julie Barton and/or Julie Barton?

No. I was hoping for a story about the relationship between a person and a dog, as indicated by the cover photo. However, this story is a personal account of the experience of depression, with a few stories written in about various tragedies and some excerpts about puppyhood.

What could Julie Barton have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

This book should be portrayed as a depression memoir, not a book about the relationship between people and dogs.

Would you be willing to try another one of Julie Barton’s performances?

No

What character would you cut from Dog Medicine?

Not a character issue

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Insights into Severe Depression

Julie Barton shares her dark world of depression and the healing she receives through a relationship with a canine pal.
It's well written, honest and I've started recommending it to clients with depression and or mood disorders. At it's core, it appears to be a book about the power of love; and as a psychologist, one can never get enough of that ageless and timeless theme.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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as good as it gets

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If my friend were a dog lover, there would be no question that I would recommend this book. To those of my friends not dog lovers, I would still recommend this book so they might better understand those of us that have been "bitten" (excuse the terminology) by the dog love bug.

What did you like best about this story?

I so enjoyed the story because it is a heartfelt memoir. It is also read so tenderly by the author.

What about Julie Barton’s performance did you like?

Comes from the heart

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Carol
  • VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, United States
  • 08-06-16

Yet another reason we connect with dogs

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Would appeal both to dog-lovers and to those who have struggled with depression. This is a very accurate and hope-inspiring story.

What did you like best about this story?

The story was written in a straightforward and unselfconscious way.

What about Julie Barton’s performance did you like?

Knowing that she was the main character in the book made listening more meaningful. She has a good voice for narration.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes-I was captivated.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Highly Recommend

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has experienced depression, either first hand or through a friend, and to those that have known the deep healing of an animal companion. The author narrates the memoir giving it a raw nature, so be warned that you won't find a sugar-coated version of what it's like to live with depression.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Beautiful!

This was a beautiful story! I understand the feelings she had for her dog just by listening to her voice. It reminded me of my own love for a dog I once had. Thank you

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Dog Story

This book is at times painful to listen to,but offers insight into the pain and suffering of a clinically depressed person. Thankfully love wins out. You know bunker dies and you know you will cry and you do.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful