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My Life As A Border Collie

“Using her border collie, Daisy, and the characteristics of border collies as a background, Johnston has found an unprecedented and extremely clever way to teach readers about codependence. Her training as a licensed professional counselor and licensed substance abuse treatment practitioner clearly helps Johnston elucidate this important topic, but what shines through is her personal experience with codependence, her love and tremendous respect for her dog, Daisy, and her intense admiration for this remarkable breed called the border collie.”


Mary R. Burch, PhD

Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) and author of The Border Collie: An Owner’s Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet

My Life as a Border Collie is an informative and entertaining book that examines the syndrome of codependency as expressed in the life and tales of the author’s border collie. To the attentive observer, ‘man’s best friend’ teaches living lessons about the paradoxes of human nature. I will return to this book over and over again as I seek freedom from my learned, self-defeating thinking and behaviors. This book is a highly valuable addition to the personal library of anyone working on recovery from codependency.”


David L. Nelson, MD

“I have read multiple self-help books about codependency through the years. Nancy’s book, however, provided the best visualization for recognizing codependent behavior via her continuum. For the first time I can keep an awareness of whether my behavior reflects ‘you’ve gone too far’ or if I was responding in the ‘this is okay’ end. The continuum has quickly become a supportive self-awareness mind exercise for me.
“Nancy Johnston presents a refreshing method of recognizing our true feelings in response to various situations in a positive manner.”


Lauren K. Keating, DVM

“A clinically relevant and useful book. Nancy Johnston provides a continuum of behaviors from which readers can self-identify as healthy or less healthy. She illustrates the consequences of these behaviors through stories about her own life and through case studies from her practice. She then provides specific actions for self-directed change for any reader motivated to embrace health.


“I learned quite a bit about border collies too!”


Molly O’Dell, MD

“Nancy Johnston’s advice for codependents and those who love them finds a new voice in My Life as a Border Collie. Johnston draws on life with her own border collie, Daisy, to give the reader a whole new way of thinking about codependency, as she taps Daisy’s behaviors to illustrate both the good and the less-optimal sides of loyalty, devotion, service, and other attributes. The range of those behaviors, from successful to exasperating to self-defeating—and back, thank goodness—has never been clearer than in this wise and witty book. Sit! Stay! READ!”


Lisa Tracy

Journalist and Author of Objects of Our Affection: Uncovering My Family’s Past, One Chair, Pistol, and Pickle Fork at a Time

My Life as a Border Collie is a remarkable, energetic, and joyful book… containing many great lessons for all of us whether we are dog owners or not. Its lessons range far beyond her “life as a border collie,” to include how to be in a family, how to approach the world sanely in an insane age, and how to really love. I recommend it highly!”


Katie Letcher Lyle

Author of Friends in High Places, My Neighbors' Ghosts, and All Time is Now

My Life as a Border Collie made the dog lover, the therapist, and the recovering codependent in me smile with appreciation. Nancy cleverly weaves in an overview of the best literature on codependency and recovery as she sheds the light of everyday life on it with stories of herself and her dog Daisy and their similarities. Using a border collie as her mirror to her own strengths and struggles, she explores many stumbling blocks to recovery in a lighthearted manner. Bravo, Nancy, for providing a template for recovering readers to look at themselves honestly without taking themselves too seriously. I know I have ‘dog-eared’ several sections to revisit.”


Lois B. Horne, EdS, LPC, LSATP

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