Bark and Lunge has received three national book awards:
Indie Excellence Award and Sponsor’s Choice Award,
USA Best Book Award, and
a Gold Medal and 5-star review from Readers’ Favorite.
The Great Dog Adventure Podcast: Learning How to Deal with a Reactive Dog
interview and podcast by dog trainer Fern Camacho:
When I heard what it was about, I was even more excited because I think it’s a really important topic that should be covered and it’s a subject that people kind of hire me to deal with a lot. And I think just having this book out there, a lot of people are going to be like, “Oh my God—you too? Thank God! I thought I was alone in this.”
…Bark and Lunge isn’t really a training manual. It’s the story of a woman and her reactive dog, Isis, and the lengths she and her husband go to try to find help for their dog’s behavioral problems.
It’s also a story of love, and regret, and trying to make an impossible situation that much more possible. In the end, Bark and Lunge isn’t about training mistakes and reactive behavior so much as it’s about hope.
Champion of My Heart
review by Roxanne Hawn:
If you’ve ever lived with or tried to rehabilitate a fear reactive or fear aggressive dog, you’ll find the highs and lows with Isis familiar. One step forward. Three (or three thousand) steps back. If you’ve been lucky enough never to have worked with a dog with issues, read the book anyway. It’ll save you a lot of heartache because you’ll know what NOT to do.
My Rubicon Days: Reading with Ruby:
review by Lara Elizabeth:
I applaud Kari for the lengths she went to in finding a training solution for Isis that did not exacerbate her stress and anxiety, evolving from an early start with an old-school trainer who pushed prong collars, to a positive reinforcement trainer who helped to rehabilitate her. I also appreciate the variety of training methods described, the assertion that force-free trainers make mistakes too, and that not only do you need to seek out the training method that works best for your dog, but the individual trainer.
Story Circle Book Reviews
review by Martha Meacham:
You don’t have to be a dog enthusiast to like this memoir. Kari Neumeyer shares her personal reflections on the dynamics of relationships as this couple adjusts to having a dog as a significant figure in their lives together. … I encourage readers to enjoy this personal account of joy and sorrow, and to share the book widely if you know anyone considering getting a puppy. Her resources and up-to-date references are great recommendations for building a successful relationship with your dog.
review by Susan Bulanda:
The book is an easy read and very well written. Ms. Neumeyer captures the emotional turmoil that she and Rob went through as they raised and trained Isis. Although they were misguided by a few dog trainers who were not qualified to deal with a dog that has bitten, was aggressive and had anxiety issues, their devotion to Isis and their determination not to give up were commendable.
Wag ‘N Woof Pets
review by Janet Keefe:
What I loved best about this book was the openness and honesty in it. Kari doesn’t gloss over the mistakes she feels she made, and she learns from them. That is how life is; we all make mistakes with our dogs. One of my favorite quotes from the book is: “Certain dogs hold the top spot in one’s heart. I find the expression Heart Dog to be a little cloying, but I relate to the sentiment, preferring to think of Isis as a Once in a Lifetime Dog.” I highly recommend this book, as I am sure you will also enjoy reading about that life.
review by Caren Gittleman:
My heart and my soul were warmed and deeply moved while reading Bark and Lunge. The dedication and selfless love that Kari (and Rob) felt for Isis, and their desire to give her the best and happiest life, are truly the epitome of what I can only hope to be. The often difficult, frustrating and emotionally exhausting steps they took to help Isis with her ‘anxiety and reactive’ issues, made my heart smile, as well as giving me the shot in the arm and wake-up call that I needed to continue to enrich Dakota’s life in every way that I possibly can.
Bark and Lunge is a touching, inspiring, must-read for ALL dog lovers, not just those with less-than-perfect dogs.
Life with Beagle
Review by Christie Zizo:
What goes through your mind in the aftermath of a dog bite? Any responsible pet parent would wonder if there is anything they did wrong to lead to that moment. Kari Neumeyer explores the mistakes she made leading to her German Shepherd’s incident, and what she did after to make sure it never happened again. I’m currently in the middle of reading this one. And I recommend it to anyone with a reactive dog.
Judge, 2nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards:
The author shares her own story generously. It covers nearly every aspect of the dog owning lifestyle, and every part of the dog and human relationship. Other people who have struggled to train the dogs they love will find her story relatable and her voice comforting and encouraging. While her story is helpful to others in similar situations, she doesn’t try too hard to give advice or tips, letting the story speak for itself. The chapters are not too long or too short; they give the reader time to rest and invest in each part of the story, but for the most part, they keep moving forward without too much lagging pace. The photos are well rendered, especially since most are snap shots; they add a warmth to the book that will appeal to dog lovers. While the author uses emotion in her retelling, the book is not overly sentimental. The book uses dialogue and description effectively to tell the story, usually keeping the two in an easy to read balance, (demonstrating) good narrative skill. The cover image clearly establishes the audience of the book: dog lovers. The book is even more narrative than, perhaps, the title and subtitle suggest.
review by Emily-Jane Hills Orford:
What we do know is the love that formed a bond between Kari and Isis is so profound. This once-in-a-lifetime dog, who was all heart and died too young from an enlarged heart, captured her owner’s heart, but also captures the hearts of the readers who follow this story. … Isis is a survivor, though, and when she’s behaved her worst, she can still put on a pretty face with a big smile (hence her nickname, Smiley Bird) as if to ask her owner, “Are you coming out with me or not?” This was a heart-warming read.