The $30,000 Dog

In "My Life with George,” Judith Summers writes about her neurotic and very expensive dog.

After Judith Summers’ husband, Udi Eichler, died from gastric cancer, love seemed an impossibility.

But she hadn’t counted on meeting George.

George was a beautiful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, with a head deemed too big for show exhibition and a heart made for trouble. Summers was a goner.

“I’d fallen in love at first sight before, though never with a dog. But within seconds of seeing this one, I’d had what the French call a coup de foudre. I was knocked out, irredeemably smitten.”

In “My Life with George: What I Learned about Joy from One Neurotic (and Very Expensive) Dog,” Summers shares the impact this small dog has had on her and her son Joshua’s lives. From the moment George stepped into Summers’ home, he ruled the roost. Rules like “No getting on the furniture” and “No sleeping in the bedroom” lasted less than one night. But it wasn’t just Summers’ discipline that took a beating. From an appetite for organic roast chicken and a propensity for injury, George’s habits have made him one expensive pet: Summers calculates she has spent more than $30,000 on dog-related expenses during George’s nine years with her and Joshua.

But along with incorrigible shredding and refusals to go “walkies” came a deep desire to love and be loved, and Summers can’t deny just how much this overweight, overindulged, overly dominant dog means to her, especially after she came close to losing him – twice.

“George found us when we were lost, and anchored us when we were adrift. He’s warmed our hearts, kept us on our toes, and often reduced us to hysterical laughter, all without saying a word. He’s kept us awake for countless nights, seen off one of my boyfriends, and at times driven us barking mad. Still, Joshua and I wouldn’t be without him for anything.”

“My Life with George” is on sale now.

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Article Categories:
Dogs · Lifestyle