Sleeps with Dogs: Confessions of an Animal Nanny in Over Her Head

20893966by Lindsey Grant
3 of 5 stars

I became familiar with the author thanks to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)—a nonprofit program that encourages anyone to write 50,000 words in 30 days. When I found it in 2009 it was still pretty small—their annual fundraising goal was somewhere around $100K, I think (today it’s $1.4 million). Although one of the founders had produced a book, I was a bit surprised that year after year, none of them mentioned getting something published (oh, how naïve I was, thinking that just because you worked on something for years that meant someone would buy it). So when Grant—the former program director—happily declared she’d gotten a deal, and her book was coming out last fall, I was very excited!

Although this isn’t exactly what I expected, I enjoyed reading it, especially after the first few anecdotes. I hesitate to call them “chapters”—they aren’t numbered, but they are organized chronologically for the most part. Having uprooted our lives to come to Colorado for something different, I found her dream of starting her life in San Francisco familiar in both the good and bad aspects. The lifestyle is everything you dreamed of—if only you could afford it. You have so much in common with the people! At least, you think you would, if you had time do anything besides work and take care of your pet. Your family is convinced you’ve made a mistake but they try to support you as you insist that everything is fine, don’t worry. This is a set of stories gained from chasing a dream, discovering it isn’t quite what you thought, but using the experience as your next jumping off point to do what you want to do in life.

I liked this more the further I got in the narrative, and anyone who has ever worked a service job will appreciate the level of detail devoted to these anecdotes.

If you’d like to see more reviews or buy a copy for yourself, Sleeps with Dogs is available on Goodreads and on Barnes & Noble’s website here. Please consider supporting your local bookstore!

Similar reads:

  • The Unsavvy Traveler: Women’s Comic Tales of Catastrophe by Rosemary Caperton (editor) – This collection of travel memoirs from various women describes the hilarious and trying circumstances they faced when traveling around the world. A series of “how did I get here?” moments that is very fun to read.
  • The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World’s Most Glorious – and Perplexing – City by David Lebovitz – I love this book! Aside from explaining how I managed to offend every Parisian I encountered during my brief weekend, it contains delicious recipes, especially for desserts.
  • Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart – This is a cute find I stumbled upon at my library! NYC – 1945 – Marjorie and her best friend Marty arrive in the Big Apple fresh out of college and determined to make their way independently. They become the first two women hired to the Tiffany and Co. sales floor to assist with all kinds of errands. Her stories from that summer are amazing snapshots of what that time was like in America.

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