The Power of Dog by Andrew Marshall (Book Review)


Today I am thrilled to take part in the blog tour for The Power of  Dog by Andrew Marshall. It is a subject very close to my heart and I thank Red Door Publishing for inviting me to join the tour.


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  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 .His career as a journalist had reached a dead end. He was struggling with depression and his polite but distant relationship with his mother had left them tip-toeing around 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 through 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.


Amazon Purchase Link

My Review

The Power of Dog is the story of author Andrew Marshall and his collie cross dog called Flash. When partner Thom dies Andrew is consumed with grief. He has always dreamed of owning a dog, so looks for a canine companion to help with his depression.

Andrew had read the training manuals but had little hands-on experience of the chaos a new puppy can bring. However, Andrew soon learns that knowing the correct training techniques and putting them into practice are two very different things!

Life opened up for Andrew,  neighbours he hardly knew stopped to fuss the puppy. He soon discovered that everyone had (somewhat conflicting) advice on dog ownership. Andrew soon found out that training a boisterous and mischievous collie cross puppy was not going to be easy.

Andrew recalls the first few weeks of owning a puppy in minute detail. It is pleasurable to be reminded about this time,  which we often forget. It brings back lots of happy memories.

Andrew describes the devastation he felt at the end of Flash’s life, a raw and heartbreaking time for dog lovers. By this time Andrew had a partner, Ignacio, who shares Andrew’s grief at the loss of Flash. I’m glad they went on to give a home to a new puppy together who they named Pumpkin.

My own experience of dog bereavement.

At the end of the book, Andrew quotes one of my favourite poems by Rudyard Kipling. I actually wrote a blog post about the poem last year and it can be read here

I have talked at length about the loss of my own dog Alfie who we sadly lost suddenly in 2017. It was the overwhelming feeling of emptiness and loneliness of losing Alfie which lead me to start writing this blog. This blog is actually a dedication to his memory.

An insightful, funny often moving account of the relationship between a man and his dog.

Alfie’s poem

Alfie’s story


About the Author

Andrew Marshall is a couple’s therapist and author of the memoir My Mourning Year. Writing as Andrew G. Marshall, his published work includes the international best-sellers I Love You But I m Not in Love with You and How Can I Ever Trust You Again . He also writes for the Daily MailDaily Telegraph and Mail on Sunday. He leads a team of therapists who offer his Marshall Method Therapy in London and Berlin.

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10 thoughts on “The Power of Dog by Andrew Marshall (Book Review)”

  1. Oh the memories of potty training a puppy! I took in 5 Dachshund puppies, not siblings but all their ages where within a few months. 5 Dachshund puppies running around the kitchen! I had a vinyl mat down a newspaper on top of that. They would tear up the newspaper and chew the vinyl. My wife wanted the puppies, and I could never turn down a dachshund. She said I would never get them potty trained. She found a rich boyfriend and moved out. Within a couple months she was married after she divorced me, and I had 10 dachshunds to take care of. The other two came a few months later. She toldShe told me I we never get them potty trained. I call it house broken. I got them potty trained, some took a lot longer then others. She told me I would never get the first tree she had potty trained they were about 7 to 10 years old. But that was relatively easy. A few rescues they said we’re not trainable but they also trained fairly easy. One particularly set up and beg,turn circles, to the door and cry to go out. that one they told me they were going to shoot because he was not housebroken. I’m willing to bet one of their other dogs still made the mess when Smokey was gone. A doggie door, and 20 x 64 foot kennel helped a lot. So all 12 of my dachshunds at the time were potty trained.
    Eight of my dachshunds or within a few months of age of each other and they all across the Rainbow Bridge was in a few months of each othe.
    You think as a person gets older, and the more doggies he puts to sleep when that time comes, the easier it would get. But it doesn’t, it gets harder and just tears you apart. And when you say you don’t want another dog, life goes on and you get another one!

    1. That is an amazing story John. I adore dachshunds but also know how stubborn and strong willed they are, youmust have the patience of a saint!We had 2 standard long haired who were just perfect. The house was always full of children and I never had a moments worry with them. Now I have a smooth, mini who has been abused and it is like a completely different breed. I know that Darcy loves me so much but I also know he will bite without warning if ever he feels a tiny bit threatened.He’s been here 3 years now and we have made progress but the damage is done and I have to be so careful. He will kiss me and growl at me at the same time! His housetraining is fine but he will urinate on something of mine if he wants to. I really applaud you, 12 dachshunds at the same time when I have problems with just one! I agree losing them only gets harder, but for the short time they are with us, they give so much and no one can take our memories. Have a lovely day x

  2. I have had a few would like Darcy. Back in the early 90s I was holding one when a person come in and startled him and he bit my nose hard. But he also was a very loving dog.
    I have one today that every time he wakes up he wants to bite me. And after a loud noise he wants to bite. There are other things that set him off also. It makes a person wonder what happened to them before you got them. He does not bite hard most of the time I’m just giving my finger and tell him go ahead and bite it. After he does that once he is fine. He is also a very loving dog.
    I have a long haired miniature female that wants to rest her head over my nose at night and I just move her and tell her I have to breathe. I’ve had her for about a year now. She is a lot better than when I first got her.
    I had one male long hair that was not want to because he had a overbite who would put his feet up on my shoulder and presses head against mine to show affection.
    Some of the rescues took a while before they would trust me.
    I should let you know that even though I had a lot of dachshunds I was home all the time. If I would not have been able to be home I would have never had that many.

    1. You must have some amazing stories. Do they get on well together? sleep together? I wonder if Darcy would benefit from a dachshund companion. He has Holly for company, my chi/shihtzu but she is much older than him and I read that they bond best with their own breed. Have a lovely day.

  3. If Darcy got along with a companion it would be great. All of my dogs got a long with some of the dogs, but not all the dogs got along with everyone. Some got along with everyone but some didn’t. So getting a companion for Darcy would be great if he got the wrong with it. But a chance you take when you bring a new dog into the home. I know you know that as well as I do, but sometimes not everybody does. Being I work out ofout of my Pole Barn at home I can let the dogs out and shifts for the ones that don’t get along with other ones. The ones I have all get along at this time, but years ago I had some that did not. Being they we’re rescues, it only took little things to set them off. That’s another story I’ll tell you another time. Have a good day!

    1. I have put the word out to my rescue friends that I would be interested in a dachshund if one came along. Darcy is just grumpy with other dogs, he gets jealous and will growl but it has never escalated. With people, he bites first and thinks later…someone has hurt him very badly, bless him.

  4. When I had all 12 and I was with them they would all get along with each other. And I would let them run around in the pen outside and play. Derby and Winnie the brother and sister slept together in a large kennel.
    The rest of them would sleep with me on the bed. As time went on some would decide they like to jump off the bed, so the ones that wanted to jump no longer slept on the bed I put out in out in the kitchen and they slept in their Kennels or on the kitchen floor on blankets. Their kennels have blankets in but the doors are open so they can go in and out as they please. They we’re locked in their kennels at feeding time. That way their food was measured and they did not get to eat the other dog’s food. Some dogs were in the dining room because I did not have a room where I could fit all the Kennels in one place. When the three oldest we’re gone at ages18, 17,&15, I kept the nine of them in the kitchen.
    Know that I only have 3 it seems like most my family is missing. Nowadays it seems like it cost just as much at the vet for the three dachshunds now, as it did for for 12 dachshunds a few years ago.
    Have a great day!

    1. I can’t believe you had dogs that lived to 18, thats amazing. The problem with dachshunds is that they like to sleep IN the bed, not on it! I would love to hear more about the 3 that you have now, I could talk about dachshunds all day!

  5. I don’t know what to do about the autocorrect I was reading my post. It changes when I hit send. On the first one it is supposed to say: Getting a companion for Darcy would be great if he gets along with it.
    The second one it changed now to know. Oh well you can’t win them all.

    1. Don’t worry, I understand fine, not a problem. Thanks for taking the time to message me, it means a lot.

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