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I Am Bunny: How a "Talking" Dog Taught Me Everything I Need to Know About Being Human (Hardcover)
Social media stars of @WhatAboutBunny, Alexis Devine and Bunny the "talking" dog, deliver a memoir loaded with wit and passion for animals, as well as the vulnerability and authenticity of a woman who learned to take care of herself by learning to talk to her dog
When Bunny, a fluffy, black-and-white sheepadoodle, was eight weeks old, her guardian Alexis presented her with an odd gift: a button programed to say “outside” when pressed. Within a few weeks, Bunny was using it all the time and Alexis, encouraged by Bunny’s progress, continued to introduce more buttons and more words . . .
Three years later, Bunny can now communicate using over one hundred buttons, stringing together important, relatable, philosophical phrases such as “Love you Mom,” “Dad went poop,” and “Ugh why?” In I Am Bunny, a memoir in essays and beautiful, full-color photographs, Alexis chronicles not only how Bunny learned to “talk,” but also the profound impact their journey has had on her life. Caring for Bunny has revealed to Alexis a path to self-acceptance, if not complete self-love, and as their relationship developed and their ability to communicate deepened, Alexis was able to reflect on and reframe her past traumas in a newly vulnerable and healing way. Helping Bunny through her fear and reactivity allowed Alexis to examine these qualities in herself, and as she created a safe space for Bunny, she too found space for her own healing.
Through charming anecdotes about day-to-day life with Bunny, explorations into prior animal language studies, and plenty of irreverent humor, daring, and heart, Alexis tells the story of how she and Bunny have become so inspiringly close, and explores the ancient and unique bond between dog and guardian that so many of us know leads to a deeper, more meaningful life.
About the Author
Alexis Devine is an artist and entrepreneur hailing from Seattle, Washington. She was a longtime creator of wearable art before her sheepadoodle, Bunny, known as “What About Bunny” on social media, became an internet sensation in the fall of 2020. Bunny is part of an ongoing canine cognition research study at the Comparative Cognition Lab at UCSD. Alexis is a Licensed Family Dog Mediator, Fear Free Certified Professional, and Certified Canine Enrichment Technician. Her goal is to further our understanding of the power of connection and importance of empathy, meeting her dogs where they are and understanding them on their terms first to facilitate trust and promote an environment that supports them as the incredible creatures they are.
“I’ve spent my life exploring the deep bonds between animals and their humans, and few are deeper than the bond Alexis shares with Bunny. Their ability to communicate with each other in a clear, meaningful, mutually beneficial way shows exciting promise for the future of animal communication. This book—which helped me better connect with my own dogs—is a sweet, honest, and humorous exploration of their day-to-day life together that their fans will adore!” — Dr. Marty Becker, New York Times bestselling author and founder of Fear Free Pets
“If only every researcher was as funny, thoughtful, and insightful as Devine. Communicating with animals has been one of our greatest endeavors, and with the mind of a scientist and the panache of an artist, Devine shows us how easy it is, if we just have the patience and imagination to try. Wonderfully written and beautifully illustrated, I Am Bunny will have you intrigued, laughing, and looking at your furry best friend in a whole new way." — Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods, New York Times bestselling authors of The Genius of Dogs
“I Am Bunny is a glorious game-changer of a book—a fascinating inside look at the iconic Bunny, who showed us the depth of how dogs think and feel, and the woman who helped unlock her ability to 'talk.' The delightful photos and the charming (and often hilarious) anecdotes—mixed with easily understood science—makes it clear there’s a Bunny in every dog. If your dog could communicate with buttons, she’d tell you, 'Please now buy book. Love you.'” — Maria Goodavage, New York Times bestselling author of Top Dog
“In essaylike chapters broken up by playful photographs of Devine and Bunny . . . [Devine] shares how her experiments with Bunny have 'allowed me to examine the ways I communicate with the world, and also with myself.' The result is a quirky account of self-discovery and a lighthearted testament to the power of human-animal bonds.” — Publishers Weekly
"I Am Bunny is inspiring, captivating, and addicting. Delivered through the lens of a whimsical artist, Alexis Devine gives us a spectacular masterclass in everything 'dog.' But buckle up. Don’t mistake the beauty and stylishness of this book for a lack of gravitas. Alexis Devine and her dog Bunny rip open the seams that separate our two species, exposing the significant cognitive, emotional, and neurological similarities that we share. So prepare to have your head spinning—in a good way. A very, very, good way." — Pilley Bianchi, author of For the Love of Dog: the Ultimate Relationship Guide and founder of the Chaser Initiative
"The story of Bunny is incredible, but having had a front row seat to Bunny's amazing journey, I can personally attest that this story, and Alexis herself, are as real and authentic as they come. A gripping must-read for anyone interested in this rapid revolution in our understanding of what other animals can do." — Leo Trottier, cognitive scientist, founder, and CEO of FluentPet
"At a time when the world is overwrought with hollow human voices, it is a welcome source of joy to journey with Alexis in her patient, gifted, and always compassionate efforts to make it possible for our fave poodle-pony, Bunny, to discover her own voice." — Amanda Seales, comedian and social justice advocate
“[This book] is a must-read for all pet guardians. Through her eloquent, heartfelt, and often downright hilarious storytelling, Alexis Devine demonstrates not only how we can all become better pet parents, but better humans. Her memoir is both educational and entertaining, beautifully balancing the history and explanation of animal training and behavior against the backdrop of endlessly entertaining, moving, and equally perceptive personal experiences, stories, and anecdotes. As Bunny might say: Book, Love, Yes." — Bronagh Daly, CCUI FDM, Five By Five Canine