Matthew Gilbert's new book is Off The Leash: A Year at the Dog Park.
From his Q & A with Caroline Leavitt:
You’re a person after my own heart, a homebody, yet Toby, your dog, transformed you into someone who loves the company of others and who is truly present in the world. How did this alchemy take place?Visit Matthew Gilbert's website and Twitter perch.
When the puppy you’re falling in love with comes into your office and starts nudging your elbow with his cold nose, looking at you with his brown eyes like you’re the best person in the world, well, you go wherever he wants to go.
And my dog, Toby, always only wanted to go to the dog park. So as reticent as I was to stand around making chitchat with other dog owners, I couldn’t resist Toby’s hunger for play. I was the classic writer-type who writes because he’d rather not communicate in person; the thought of a dog park group was not inviting. And I was the classic TV addict who prefers to be protected from the hurts and messiness of the real world by a screen. But I had a dog who was a thoroughly social being, and he pulled me and pushed me.
I love the way we get the dog we need. In my case it was an introverted owner getting an extroverted dog who pulled him into a more vibrant, present life.
And gradually, as I write in the book, I came around. Big-time. I began to love the semi-anonymity of the park, the shared exhilaration of watching dogs wrestle and play, and the new friendships, which were...[read on]
Coffee with a Canine: Matthew Gilbert & Toby.