The Power of Dog by Andrew Marshall

A memoir about getting a first puppy, turning forty and transforming a son and mother’s complicated relationship.

On the eve of the millennium, the life of therapist and best-selling self-help author Andrew Marshall was in a dark place. The counselling that he recommended to everybody else had not shifted the grief from the death of his much-loved partner despite trying three different therapists. His career as journalist had reached a dead end. He was struggling with low-level depression and his polite but distant relationship with his mother had left them both tip-toeing round each other.

His solution? To get Flash, a collie cross puppy perhaps not the best choice for someone who’d never owned a dog, or even lived with one, before.

In this funny and moving memoir, Marshall chronicles not only the ups and downs of training an excitable puppy but how Flash brings back his childhood fear of wolves and the unresolved issues with his parents. Slowly but surely, by looking though Flash’s eyes, Marshall starts to laugh again, fall in love with the Sussex countryside and heal old wounds with his mother. At the climax of Flash’s puppy years, he gives him enough confidence to take a real-life wolf for a walk. And in the final section of Marshall s diary, Flash still has one last lesson to teach him.


This is a beautiful and moving memoir of a dog’s life.

Andrew had always wanted a dog, but it had never been the right time for him. As so often happens, the right dog for him came along just when he needed him.

I loved reading about their relationship, from the early days of settling his new puppy into his home, his journey through puppy training and into dog adulthood.
I was struck by what a good owner the author was. He did all his research, and was so good at training and socialising Flash.

This book really shows us the important place dogs have in our lives, and how they can bring such joy and value to us.

A poignant and moving story, highly recommended for any dog lover.



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