Puppy Chow Is Better Than Prozac

The True Story of a Man and the Dog Who Saved His Life

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Regular Price $3.99 CAD

Regular Price $2.99

Regular Price $3.99 CAD

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On Sale

Feb 10, 2009

Page Count

400 Pages




Nonfiction / Pets / General


To Bruce Goldstein-an edgy, twenty-something New Yorker trying to make his mark in advertising-just waking up in the morning was an ordeal. Underemployed and recently dumped, he was well into the downward spiral of bipolar disorder. Even with therapy, lithium, Paxil, Wellbutrin, and Prozac, he could not shake his rapid mood swings, his fear of dying, or the voice of Satan, who first visited him one sunny day in Central Park. Then came Ozzy, a black Labrador pup (named after metal’s “Prince of Darkness”) who leads Bruce toward recovery through complete, canine dependence. From the depths of his despair to a life remade, Bruce shows how learning to care for, train, and love the hilariously loyal Ozzy provided him with the structure and focus he needed to heal.

What's Inside

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OK! Magazine
“An inspirational true story on the therapeutic benefits a pet can provide.”

“For the grown-up Lassie lover…Warning: Get this only if you’re ready to adopt—you may head to the shelter after the last page.”

Palm Beach Post Blog
“Goldstein writes as a real person would. Not every author does that…If you’re looking for a good book, and yes, it happens to be about dogs, look at this one.”

BP Magazine
“Goldstein’s story is captivating, sometimes heartbreaking, and honest. It has the unique ability to promote an eye-opening understanding of bipolar disorder while appealing to the greater population of dog lovers. No doubt it will go far to help dissolve the stigma associated with bp.”

“From the opening sentence…to the last…readers will appreciate how one seemingly insignificant four-legged creature made a life-altering difference to a young, suicidally depressed man. Four paws up…Joining the recent wave of memoirs about dogs and their owners, Goldstein’s book differs in that it focuses on the ability of canines to touch our souls and provide unconditional love and support during times of extreme psychological stress. In that respect, it is similar to Mark Doty’s Dog Years.”

Evansville Courier & Press
“A sensitive memoir [that] traces the steady and terrifying collapse of an advertising executive into bipolar manic depression and shows how a wonderful dog named Ozzy helped.”

“This is a 100% first-person account, and it is a harrowing one…The eventual ending of the book…is almost ridiculously tear-jerking, and at the same time so life-affirming that it is tempting to recommend that everybody with a mental disorder rush out and get a dog immediately. But that is not Goldstein’s point at all: he tells the story of what worked for him, not what will necessarily work for others. But he tells it with such heart that it is impossible not to wish for an Ozzy for everyone.”

Dog Fancy
“It’s more than just a story about mental illness. The book chronicles the way that raising a dog changes your life for the better.”

Bookviews.com, a May “Pick of the Month”
“It is a chronicle of falling in love and experiencing all the joys of man’s best friend…A wonderful true story.”

Modern Dog
“Surprisingly uplifting…A tale most dog owners can relate to.”

Writing Doctor’s Blog
“If you’re a dog lover, the subtitle will convince you to grab this book. Bend down, drop your umbrella and purse on the way, and see what Goldstein has to say for himself about his love affair with a Labrador retriever puppy…Is Puppy Chow overly sentimental? Maybe. But humor saves it. Is it for dog lovers only? Maybe. And then again, maybe not. Because the subtitle is right. Ozzy does save Bruce’s life. More, it’s about what we all, sick and well, must learn to expect from ourselves, no matter what. And finally, it’s about how the magic of love, even a dog’s love, can save us when we’re lost.”

The Yummy List
“Funny. Tragic. Warm…Cleverly written, anyone who likes a grown-up dog story will be transported for the time it takes to enjoy.”

“An uplifting romance that will inspire anyone who’s suffered from depression and remind women everywhere why they started loving men in the first place—because deep down, they’re pussycats.”

Paw Print
“Takes us into the world of author Bruce Goldstein’s manic depression, just as Sylvia Nasar’s A Beautiful Mind explored the horrors of schizophrenia…Pet owners will certainly relate to Goldstein’s having to rearrange his life around Ozzy…Goldstein’s prose flows effortlessly…The book’s message is life-affirming and life-altering.”

Curled Up with a Good Book
“A true testament to why dogs are man's best friend…The transformation between Bruce pre-dog and post-dog…is astonishing to read…Goldstein is unflinchingly honest and real, tapping into a deep, dark pain that most people never personally experience. This book offers insight into the terrors of mental illness but also has the tender and humorous moments that many dog lovers can relate to.”

“My Pet World with Steve Dale” nationally syndicated column
“The book is filled with stuff any dog owner can identify with…Quite funny and always honest.”

James Patterson, # 1 New York Times bestselling author
“This very funny, sad book is even better than the cover, and it’s a helluva cover!”

“In this man-boy-meets-dog memoir, first time author Goldstein hits a number of satisfying…notes relating his story of heartbreak, mental illness and redemption in the big city…Goldstein’s chronicle is funny and absorbing, and should have dog lovers nodding along in happy recognition.”

“Goldstein bravely shares what it is like to live with bipolar disorder…[A] heart-warming and at times heart-wrenching story.”

Colorado Springs Independent
“The pace of Goldstein's words alone will suck you in to his story. His descriptions are so vivid you'll feel as if you've taken up residence in his brain, riding the raging storm within him. Your heart will race with his, and your breathing will slow when he is calm. Perhaps most importantly, you'll come to love Ozzy (his "furry antidepressant") as much as Goldstein does.”

Metapsychology Online Reviews
“Astonishingly honest and direct…Gives a vivid description of what bipolarity is like from the inside. Though compelling and engaging, [Goldstein] somehow still manages to write a ‘feel good’ kind of book on this tough issue…A personal and touching account on coping with mental illness…An interesting and engaging individual story.”

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