Last night I did a book reading and discussion at the Eleventh Step Book Store in Westmont, NJ. This is a recovery bookstore that has been in operation for over 20 years. The owners, Mae and Ray, greeted me warmly and enthusiastically. I could not help but notice the many other CRP books displayed invitingly on their shelves which are full of carefully selected books for recovery.
Mae and Ray had already read My Life as a Border Collie and clearly were interested in the topic of codependency. With great love, Mae told me about their dog, Cody, who had been at their store daily with them for 17 years. She showed me Cody’s picture and talked about how customers would come into the store especially to visit Cody who was so engaging and responsive to others. She then smiled and said to me, “You know why the dog’s name was Cody, don’t you? It was short for Codependent.”
In such an atmosphere of informed recovery, it did not surprise me when Ray, later in the reading and discussion, described My Life as a Border Collie as offering “gentle guidance” on this topic of codependence. He spoke about the ways codependency can be presented to others and the defensiveness that often arises. He was saying the gentle stories and lessons may help others to see themselves more easily.
And Beau Carr, the events coordinator at the William & Mary/B&N Bookstore in Williamsburg, had independently used the word gentle in his blurb about my signing there, saying the book offers “insight and gentle humor.”
I am glad to hear people using this word “gentle.” As I wrote in my book I was not trying to ease people into this topic. This is just the way I created the book. But if people are finding that the book enables them to feel comfortable with this topic and thus better able to understand more things about themselves, then I am grateful.
It appears that this gentleness allows people to benefit from My Life as a Border Collie from several points of entry. Those who do not know the topic by the name of codependency seem to pay attention to the notions of loss of self in others and those who really know the topic of codependency seem to be enjoying a very different, metaphorical way to extend their recovery.
I am pleased to offer gentle teachings to such a powerful issue as codependency.