I’m Not Single, I Have a Dog

Dating Tales from the Bark Side


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About the Book

At age 60, Susan Hartzler has learned to accept, even love, the single life, provided she has good friends and a dog or two by her side. Always attracted to the quintessential bad boy with his good looks and charming ways, she was sure she could change “the one” into a devoted partner and loving father, but her compulsive giving and fixing behaviors went hand in hand with her disappointing and disastrous romantic relationships. On a purposeful trip to the pound, she hoped to find a dog to care for, one that would sniff out the bad guys, give her a sense of purpose, and help her find meaning in her crazy world. Thoughtful and funny, this memoir follows Susan’s life through the many ups and downs on her way to finding unconditional love. Her journey is a personal one, full of the hard decisions it took to learn to put herself first and stop entering and staying in unhealthy relationships. By saving a dog, she rescues herself, learning to love herself as much as her dog loves her.

About the Author(s)

Susan Hartzler is an award-winning writer, blogger, and a public relations professional. She trains her own dogs, two talented Australian Shepherds who are both working actors and models. She volunteers her time as an evaluator for Therapy Dogs International and escorts her dogs to hospitals and schools to visit children in need.

Bibliographic Details

Susan Hartzler

Series Editor Brian Patrick Duggan

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 231
Bibliographic Info: 23 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8448-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4303-8
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Dogs in Our World

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface 1
1. Canine Intervention 5
2. Angel by My Side 11
3. Speed Dating at the Veterinary Hospital 16
4. Think Pawsitive 19
5. Growing Up Dog Weird 25
6. Love Quest 31
7. The Law of Attraction 40
8. Barking Up the Wrong Tree 45
9. Rolling Over 50
10. The Fur Flies 56
11. Lady and the Tramp 61
12. Bite Me 70
13. Pawtograph 77
14. Working Like a Dog 84
15. Barking Bad 89
16. Dog Fight 93
17. All You Need Is Love—and a Dog 100
18. Love Quest, Doggie Style 105
19. Father, Son and Holy Dog 110
20. Fashion Faux Paws 115
21. In Dog I Trust. In Myself, Not So Much 119
22. No Fleabag, Please 124
23. You Had Me at Woof 130
24. ­Dog-Tired 135
25. Bark! The Herald Angels Sing 142
26. Lucky Dogs? 146
27. My Pack 150
28. No Love Like Dog Love 156
29. Dog Love ­Fur-Ever 162
30. Fluff Ball Needs a Home 167
31. A Good Dog Is a Tired Dog 173
32. A Sad Tale 180
33. Pick of the Litter 186
34. Learning to Weave 191
35. Dr. Baldwin 197
36. September Mourning 201
37. A ­Good-Bye Tale 206
38. Sleeps with Dogs 209
39. Ashes to Ashes 213
Afterword 216
Index 221

Book Reviews & Awards

• “What a wonderful read. From start to finish, you can identify with the author and just proves that dogs, not diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Susan takes you on a journey filled with laughter, love, loss and angst. I give it five paws!”—Susan Sims, publisher, FIDO Friendly Magazine

• “In this work, Susan Hartzler explores a simple truth: we may disappoint one another, but dogs never do that to us. There’s heart and soul in Hartzler’s account of the dogs she’s loved who loved her back. She’s honest, brave, self-aware, and humorous in writing about her romantic disappointments and the bedrock affection of dogs whose presence were both salve and salvation for her. There’s no hint of misanthropy in her story, just a growing self-awareness and embrace of the idea that no life with companion animals is incomplete or lacking when it comes to love.”—Bernard Unti, senior policy advisor and special assistant to the President & CEO of The Humane Society of the United States.