A sweet and beautiful story of a man, a dog, and the redemptive nature of a good walk from award-winning author David W. Berner.
A man, his dog, and a long walk can lead to unexpected discoveries. In the tradition of many literary walkers, David W. Berner sets out on foot hoping to reexamine his life, look back and forward, and most importantly, through the help of his young dog, Sam, try to find harmony in new beginnings and the uncertainties of the present.
In a series of chapters, each dedicated to one walk during a summer of hiking, the author finds that it is his beloved pet that allows him to awaken to a new spirit of mindfulness, finding beauty, wonder, and comfort in the ordinary, and to see a life, a neighborhood, and even a country with brand new eyes.
Publishers Weekly: “Berner’s plainspoken manner reveals moments of true enlightenment. Dog lovers and spirtualists will adore this.”
James Dodson, the best-selling author of Faithful Travelers, The Dewsweepers, Final Rounds, A Golfer’s Life with Arnold Palmer, and The Range Bucket List: “The poet Wallace Stevens wrote that sometimes the answer comes with a walk around the lake. In my case, it’s a daily walk around the neighborhood at dawn with the dogs that provides an answer to the unknown challenges of the day. Writer David W. Berner knows this truth better than most, a timeless phenomenon splendidly explored and revealed in his wise and insightful Walks with Sam, a moving memoir about how a young dog can teach an old man new tricks about mindfulness and presence. Hard to remember when I’ve enjoyed a walk with two friends more, a reminder of the important things dogs help us discern about ourselves — and the world around us.”
NetGalley: “I haven’t smiled this much at a book in quite a while.”
“This is a sweet book from a sincere, thoughtful soul. As Thoreau found the whole world in his saunterings around Concord, Berner finds it walking his beloved dog Sam in an ordinary suburban neighborhood. His musings have a lovely, quiet inwardness, as he contemplates youth and age, continuity and change, community and solitude, love and envy, mourning and celebration, all with the subtle guidance of the dog he calls “the most mindful monk I know, a teacher of the perfect way to move in the world.” —Dean Sluyter, author of Natural Meditation and Fear Less
“Thoroughly delightful. David W. Berner describes his beloved dog Sam as “a teacher of the perfect way to move in the world.” And with that, Berner embarks on a season of dog walks, mindfully following Sam’s lead in opening himself more fully to the thoughts, perceptions, and encounters that cross their path. Effortlessly runs the gamut from the profundity of Berner’s musing on mortality, to the surprises that lurk within the seemingly mundane. A lovely testimony to the ways in which intention transforms our experience of our own lives.”
—Barbara Monier, author of Pushing the River
“As Kierkegaard once wisely said, “If you just keep walking, everything will be all right”. On a sabbatical from teaching, author David W. Berner begins a series of daily walks with his dog Sam. What from outward appearance to others would appear to be a regular jaunt to exercise a beloved pet is inwardly a reflective journey as the world is explored by both two and four-legged friend. Each walk takes its tone from the lay of the land, from the people and dogs they meet, from the signs of a society that has forgotten how to slow down in wonder and empathy.”
—L.B.Johnson, author of The Book of Barkley