Dog Is My Co-Pilot: Great Writers on the World's Oldest Friendship

Front Cover
Crown/Archetype, Feb 4, 2009 - Pets - 304 pages
2 Reviews
Dogs have been our muses, our mentors, and our playful and noble co-pilots. They’ve had a profound influence on us as healers and spiritual guides, and also as co-workers, helping to guide, hunt, herd, search, and rescue. Our bond with dogs is deep and unbreakable, and there’s no better source a reader can turn to for a richer understanding of that complex and wonderful relationship than The Bark.

The Bark began as a newsletter in Berkeley, California, that advocated for an off-leash area where dogs could cavort and play. Within a few years it had become a full-fledged, award-winning glossy magazine that published work by some of the best writers in America today. And as it grew, the magazine embraced a much larger canvas: to cover the emerging phenomenon of “dog culture” that has been developing over the past decade, as dogs have moved out of the backyard and into our homes, communities, and, indeed, the very center of our lives. As editor Claudia Kawczynska writes, “The implications of integrating another species into society’s daily fabric go well beyond how we nurture our dogs. It calls for a revamping of the standard etiquette—respecting the concerns and interests of society at large. This new relationship, along with an appreciation for our rich and unbounded future, comprises what we call dog culture. This is what The Bark set out to chronicle.”

Dog Is My Co-Pilot is an anthology of essays, short stories, and expert commentaries that explores every aspect of our life with dogs. Fifty percent of the material here has never been published before. The book is divided into four sections: Beginnings explores that first meeting, “the initial murmurings when a dog-human relationship is formed.” Pack investigates the theme of “togetherness” and pays tribute to the dynamic of multiple personalities in the canine-human relationship. Lessons examines what dogs teach us, from love to enlightenment. The final section, Passages, reflects on the themes of true friendship, transformation, and loss.

Included are pieces by Lynda Barry, Rick Bass, Maeve Brennan, Margaret Cho, Carolyn Chute, Alice Elliott Dark, Lama Surya Das, Pam Houston, Erica Jong, Tom Junod, Caroline Knapp, Donald McCaig, Nasdijj, Ann Patchett, Michael Paterniti, Charles Siebert, Alexandra Styron, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, and Alice Walker. In selections that are humorous, poignant, truthful, sometimes surprising, and frequently uplifting, Dog Is My Co-Pilot embraces the full experience of the world’s oldest friendship. For people who love great writing and, yes, great dogs, it’s a book to be both shared and treasured.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Dog is My Co-Pilot: Great Writers on the World's Oldest Friendship

User Review  - Leslie - Goodreads

A nice view of the world of those of us that call ourselves "dog-people." Some of the short stories were funny, some sad, some well-written, some not so much. But overall, a quick and easy read that will make you smile. Read full review


Crimes Against Dog by Alice Walker
The Color of Joy by Caroline Knapp
Mutts by Maxine Kumin
The New Girl by Margaret Cho
Blind Date by Stephen Kuusisto
A Womans Best Friend by Erica Jong
Neighbors by Michael Patermiti
Play Dogs of the New West by Jon Billman
Darwins Dogs by Mark Derr
Lala the Loot by Michelle Huneven
A Story by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Breathe by Donna Kelleher D V M
God Is Dog Spelled Properly by Lama Surya Das
The Second Sheilah by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
The Children Are Very Quiet When They Are Away
Accident by Mark Doty

The Dog Is a Ham by Louise Bernikow
Why We Dont Play Chess by George Singleton
Donna and Harry by Jon Katz
Living in Dog Years by Bill Vaughn
A Story by Pamela Painter
Ten Things My Dog Taught Me That Made It Possible for Me
Love Is Never Having to Say Anything at
A Story by Alice Elliott Dark
One Dogs Response to 911 by Lee Forgotson
Comfort by Abigail Thomas
Navajo by Nasdijj
Saying Goodbye to Shelby by Thom Jones
My Colter by Rick Bass 26 1

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

Claudia Kawczynska is editor in chief and Cameron Woo is the creative director of The Bark, which they cofounded in 1997. Recognized as one of the Most Notable Magazine Launches of 1999, The Bark has garnered numerous honors, including a Folio Gold Award and Best Alternative Press Award. The Bark is published out of Berkeley, California, where the editors live with their dogs Nellie, Callie, and Lenny, and cats Sammy, Hoagy, Bailey, Maggie, and Big Mama. Visit The Bark at

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Bibliographic information