What does a hip, arty, self-interested and semi-committed couple in a closet-sized New York City apartment do when they tire of their jaded lives? They decide to rescue a dog with issues, of course. Canine turns into guru and delightful mayhem ensues in Rex and the City: A Woman, a Man and a Dysfunctional Dog. Author Lee Harrington writes the award-winning eponymous humor column for The Bark magazine, and in her book she relates the life-changing events stemming from the fateful summer day when she and her live-in boyfriend Ted stopped at a shelter ( where John F. Kennedy got his dog she notes) to just look. With memories of beloved childhood pets running through their heads, they bring home a growling, cowering spaniel-mix puppy named Rex who refuses to act like any dog they've ever known. Tension mounts in the cramped apartment as the restless couple (she is an aspiring novelist, Ted's a documentary filmmaker) struggle to adjust and promptly begin to argue over everything from how to discipline the dog and where he should sleep to his hunting breed identity. When Rex develops separation anxiety right around puberty, all bets are off on who goes first the dog or their relationship. Harrington's wry, self-depreciating intelligence is completely winning as she readily admits her insecurities and captures their struggles to form a family in a sophisticated, yet isolating city. While the story sometimes feels stretched to book length, with plenty of paragraphs on the emergence of the adorable Rex's inner Lassie, not one dog lover on earth will turn down a metaphoric walk with this loveable pair and their kooky canine.

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