“For as long as I can remember I have been searching for an ideal friend,” says this lonely Englishman, a writer, and unexpectedly finds this relationship with Tulip, a dog. The first thing you should know about My Dog Tulip is that it is not another dog-rapturising account like Marley and Me; rather, it is the only true rapturous account of a dog. J.R. Ackerly's little modern classic, which remained unfilmed all these years, is now a wild and beautiful and surprising animation film. There must be dozens of books about dogs since Marley and Me, and still My Dog Tulip, published in 1956 in a small print run, remains fresh and contemporary and edgy. Long out of print, it is now reissued as a NYRB classic.

Tender musings

When Ackerly takes in the Alsatian as a favour to his friend, he does not think he'll remotely care for the dog. But Tulip becomes his closest friend and transforms his life. “She offered me what I had never found in humans: constant, single hearted, incorruptible, uncritical devotion, which it is in the nature of a dog to offer.” What follows you think is an account of the cute doings of the dog, but Ackerly surprises you with an honest and precise record of Tulip's life, which includes elegant and stylish passages about Tulip's excretions. That is not all: you also hear about Tulip in heat.

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