Drinking with Miss Dutchie
By Ed Breslin
(Thomas Dunne Books, Hardcover, 9780312619756, 288pp.)
Publication Date: March 15, 2011
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Drinking with Miss Dutchie is a story about Dutchie, a Black Labrador, and her lasting impact on the life of her owner and narrator, Ed Breslin. In contrast to the typical tale of dog as man's best friend, Breslin's is a unique reflection on dog as role model and teacher. While the author struggles with clinical depression and addiction, Dutchie maintains her pure lust for life. Over twelve years, she masterfully and instinctively shows Breslin how to view the world for what it is – and embrace it with full force.
Raised in North Philadelphia, the second oldest of twelve children in an Irish Catholic family, Breslin recounts his lifelong struggles with alcoholism and depression, and his exquisitely loving, 30-year marriage to his wife Lynn. Breslin tells us how Dutchie, through her elegant negotiation of the world's difficulties and upheavals, showed him how to quell his fears, unwittingly modeled how to strengthen his relationships, and encouraged him to live in the present.
Marcel Proust wrote: "The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." Dutchie's were Breslin's new eyes, exemplifying for him the nature of altruism, purity and awareness of others. Drinking with Miss Dutchie is a memoir, but it is also a narrative on moving forward, on identifying what matters, and on staying true to it. Dutchie is Breslin's best self, and his is a story that ultimately describes the incredible power of animals to bring us to our senses.
ED BRESLIN is a former editor and publisher who spent two decades in the book business. He now writes and edits full-time. Ed lives with his wife in New York City and in the Hudson River Valley.
"An intense book, a real page turner, one of the best and most unusual, celebrating the human-animal bond.” -- Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of The Hidden Life of Dogs
"So pleasurable to read that it almost overcomes the underlying pain and loss at its heart." -- Robert Stone, winner of the National Book Award for Dog Soldiers
"A truly heartfelt memoir, this story will remain in your mind as clear and magical as a shooting star." --Patricia Bosworth, author of Marlon Brando: A Biography
“An expression of grief as pure and as harrowing as Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking. To borrow a word from Didion's title, this is a magical book." --Peter Straub
"A charming, heartfelt book. I have rarely seen a discussion of the death of a beloved dog as profound as this. It affected me deeply." --Jeffrey Masson, author of Dogs Never Lie About Love and When Elephants Weep
"Tough-minded, tender-hearted, and compulsively readable, Breslin's book eulogizes a great-hearted Labrador Retriever who taught her master the joy of living." ---Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way