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Monday, July 16, 2012

"Charlie: A Love Story" by Barbara Lampert~ A dog with spirit and character!

Charlie: A Love Story tells of the beautiful love between Charlie, a Golden Retriever, and the author, Barbara Lampert. It takes place in Malibu, California. When Charlie turned eleven years old and started having some health problems, a journal Barbara was keeping about her garden quickly became mostly about Charlie.

Because it emerged out of Barbara's gardening journal, Charlie's story developed against a background of her gardening activities and images of her extensive cottage garden. And because it is in journal form, Charlie: A Love Story is told while it is happening and is mostly uncensored, providing an intimate look at the bond between Charlie and Barbara, an incredible connection between a canine and a human. And as a psychotherapist who specializes in relationships, Barbara brings that sensibility and understanding to Charlie's story as well.

Charlie was Barbara's loyal confidante and best friend. He was indomitable, had a zest for life and an uncanny emotional intelligence. As Barbara says in her book:"Charlie's a big dog, not just physically but in every way. He has a big heart, a big smile, lots of courage, a big appetite, and a great, big, generous spirit. Charlie's the emotional core of our family, the most solid being I have ever known, and wise beyond his years. Charlie and me. It's a great love affair, a once-in-a-lifetime connection."Charlie: A Love Story is about devotion, joy, loss, and renewal, about never giving up or giving in. But mostly it's about an extraordinary dog and an extraordinary relationship.

About the Author:
Barbara Lampert is a psychotherapist in private practice in Brentwood, California for more than 20 years. She has a Ph.D. in medical sociology and two master's degrees - one in psychology and one in sociology. She lives in Malibu, California. The passion of her life is dogs!

The Bookish Dame Welcomes Ms Lampert to write a Guest Post :

How did you write “like a dog?” How did you get into Charlie’s head in telling your story?
Thank you for having me on your wonderful site and for this very thought-provoking question!

Oh how I wish I could have known exactly what Charlie was thinking! I know that a lot was going on in his head. He was so wise and seemed to understand so much. But I’m wondering if we can ever know exactly what’s going on in the head of a dog – or another animal for that matter. How difficult it is at times for people to articulate what’s going on their own heads. As a psychotherapist I’m in the business of listening to people express what they’re thinking and feeling, and I see the difficulty people have at times even doing that.

So I would say that believing we know definitively what an animal or other being is thinking is questionable. And because dogs explore the world mostly with their noses and we do so mostly with our eyes, there is likely to be a vast difference between the way people and their best friends think.

Charlie’s story came out of a gardening journal I was keeping. When Charlie turned eleven years old and started having some health problems, I started writing about him, and within a short time that journal became mostly about him. It wasn’t until approximately two years into the writing that it occurred to me that my journal entries about Charlie might become a book.

In telling Charlie’s story, I was always concerned with what Charlie might want or what he might be thinking or feeling. We were so close that I think I was right in most instances. I could look in his eyes and almost read his thoughts.

But my primary focus was to tell Charlie’s story the way he might have liked it to be told and to give him the dignity and respect he deserved. And for me that meant being very careful not to assume anything I didn’t know for sure. Instead, I wanted people to know how extraordinary he truly was. That his spirit was indomitable. That he faced life’s challenges better than any being I have ever known. And I think Charlie would have wanted people to know about his sense of humor, his very funny ways, the joy he got by making me and others laugh. Most of all, I tried to convey my profound and endless love for Charlie and his deep, loyal, and abiding love for me.

Again, thank you so much for hosting me today. I’ve enjoyed being here! Charlie too, I think!

Thank you, Ms Lampert!  I loved Charlie's story and how you were able to express the magical relationship that occurs between precious dogs and their owners/fellow travelers.  You absolutely conveyed Charlies sense of humor and his way of communicating with you. It's an extraordinary story.

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Deb, thanks again for featuring Barbara (and Charlie) on your blog.


Thank you so much for hosting me on your site and for your very kind words about my book!
My best to you,


Great interview! I loved Charlie!!!! And it was neat to meet Barbara. This is a fantastic book!


Hi Chrissy,
What wonderful comments!I so appreciate your enthusiasm for Charlie's story!
All my best,

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