Official Review: Belly Rubs and Butt Scratches How My Dog...

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BookishCreature
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Official Review: Belly Rubs and Butt Scratches How My Dog...

Post by BookishCreature » 16 May 2018, 16:44

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Belly Rubs and Butt Scratches How My Dogs Love Saved My Life" by N. G. Menton.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Anyone who’s ever owned a dog can tell you that they’re more than just animals – they’re family. Nicole Menton knows this better than most. In her memoir, Belly Rubs and Butt Scratches: How My Dogs’ Love Saved My Life, she explains how her five dogs helped her stay strong as she battled with depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder.

From the very beginning, I was struck by the author’s absolute honesty. She holds nothing back, vividly describing what she experienced during panic attacks and bouts of depression. She chronicles the awful intrusive thoughts that would plague her day after day, along with the painful events in her life that would often exacerbate them. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for Menton to relive those dark periods in her life, and I admire her bravery in putting it all down on paper.

The writing itself is equally arresting. It can be hard to explain a mental illness to someone who has never experienced it. Depression is more than just a bad mood, and OCD is more than just alphabetizing your bookshelves, but getting those ideas across to someone with no frame of reference is tricky. I think this is why Menton made it a point to use powerful, evocative details to help the reader feel what she was feeling. It’s easier to understand how debilitating a panic attack can be when she writes that she felt as though her bones were rusting away like the remains of the Titanic. This is why I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a friend or loved one who is struggling with a mental illness. Menton’s detailed account may give you the perspective you need to understand what that loved one is going through.

Dog lovers will also enjoy this book. The author’s overwhelming love for her dogs almost drips from her words. Those dogs saved her life in more ways than one, and it warmed my heart to read about the positive impact they had on her mental and emotional state.

Overall, I’m happy to give this book 3 out of 4 stars. The author mentions that she wrote this book mostly for herself, as a way to better understand her own illnesses and coping mechanisms. While it is by no means lacking, it did lean a little more towards journal than memoir, missing a bit of the literary flair that would have made it a four-star work. I still highly recommend it to any reader who is dealing with mental health issues in themselves or in someone they care about.

******
Belly Rubs and Butt Scratches How My Dogs Love Saved My Life
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SamSim
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Post by SamSim » 17 May 2018, 06:52

This sounds heartbreaking and uplifting simultaneously. I have occasionally had panic attacks, but this woman sounds like she had really intense conditions to cope with. I can attest to the fact that a dog can be all that gets you out of bed in the morning when dealing with depression. Thanks for your honest review!
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Post by kandscreeley » 17 May 2018, 08:40

Dogs are such wonderful animals and can be a great tool for all kinds of illnesses. So, I'm glad that the author has used them to help her through her horrible experiences. I'm glad that the book was vividly written because you're right. It is hard to understand those things without having gone through them. Thanks for the review.
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Post by gen_g » 17 May 2018, 08:59

Thank you for your lovely review! This seems like a great book, and dogs are certainly loyal creatures with boundless love - I'm extremely glad to hear that the author had with her great companions whilst battling her demons.

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Post by SABRADLEY » 17 May 2018, 13:21

I could see this book helping a lot of people, especially since the author was so candid in her descriptions of her illnesses. Thank you for a lovely review.

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Post by teacherjh » 17 May 2018, 14:21

It sounds like the author has a gift for description. I have experience with depression and anxiety, so this book would probably be personal to me as well as enlightening.

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Post by Bianka Walter » 17 May 2018, 17:05

You're absolutely right when you say dogs are family. They are our children. I have zero experience with depression or anxiety, but I do know that a cuddle from a dog can make anyone feel better.
Thanks for the heartfelt review, I really enjoyed it.
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Post by olakonipekun shallom » 18 May 2018, 07:29

Dogs are man's best friend, people say this a lot. I have also come to realise that humans are also Dogs best friends, it explains why the five dogs were always there for the author. Such loyalty exceeds what anyone can give...

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Post by NL Hartje » 20 May 2018, 11:47

Not being an overly "pet person" myself, I'm not sure I would relate to this book. I'm no animal hater by any means, I just feel that my pets provide our family simple pleasures and I've never experienced any of those deeper feelings. That being said, I'm glad there is a market and a following for these types of books. So many find solace in their pets and it's nice to see stories that reflect this love.

Thanks for the review lady!
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Post by crediblereading2 » 22 May 2018, 13:13

This is such an emotional read. Dogs are indeed a man's best friend and finding comfort in dogs during times of sickness is so inspirational.

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Post by sanjus » 27 May 2018, 09:36

nice review regarding a book which reveals how the tamed creatures like dogs love us in return and make us feel happy
life is only knowing the unknown, we can do this by reading books easily

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