Random House, Inc.
Lee and Ted are a young, hip New York City couple living together in New York City whose lives consist of nothing but cool work assignments, long lunches, and evenings out with their equally hip and trendy friends. But, not yet feeling quite equipped for life or love, they’re vague about plans for “the future.” “Our relationship is like a French movie,” Lee tells a friend. “There’s a lot of interesting character development, but no plot.”
One summer weekend, Lee and Ted stop at an animal shelter. They've always wanted a dog, and perhaps if they commit themselves to a loving pet, they reason, their lives will become more rooted. When they meet and fall in love with Rex, a beautiful, lively spaniel of mysterious origins abandoned on Doggie Death Row, they elatedly adopt him and bring him home, expecting to be flooded with doggie gratitude and exuberance. But Rex doesn’t romp and wiggle happily like the yellow Labs in Alpo commercials. He doesn’t greet Lee and Ted with exuberance or fetch The New York Times. Instead, Rex is unlike any dog the couple has ever known–he clearly loathes his new owners, their friends, their apartment, and New York City. He terrorizes everyone he encounters (even the friendly librarian who lives next door) and runs away every chance he gets. Lee and Ted are flummoxed. How have they ended up with the only dog on the planet who won’t offer unconditional love?
The couple question whether they can handle this dog, especially in New York City. They can’t agree on how to train him–while Ted wants to use the “hand-corrective method,” Lee prefers a nurturing approach. Consequently, Rex’s behavior doesn’t improve much in the first few months. And Lee and Ted’s relationship doesn’t improve either–they begin to argue constantly. But the twosome refuse to give up on their pooch. As Rex becomes more doglike, they begin to take delight in Rex’s antics and signs of progress: his first nonviolent dog-run experience, his first Halloween costume contest, his first kiss. And as they witness their pet’s gradual transformation from a wounded, fearful puppy into a confident, free-spirited dog, Lee and Ted’s relationship also transforms, as their commitment to the dog seals their commitment to each other.
Lee Harrington writes with an open heart, in prose that is witty, insightful, and poignant. Ultimately a love story between humans and animals alike, Rex and the City is a hilarious and riotous romp of a memoir.
Baker & Taylor
Describes how a young couple's lives are turned upside down when they impulsively adopt Rex, a dysfunctional mutt, and how Rex's transformation from wounded puppy to free-spirited dog energizes their commitment to each other.
The author of The Bark magazine's award-winning column "Rex and the City" describes how a young couple's lives are turned upside down when they impulsively adopt Rex, an irrepressible mutt and dysfunctional canine, from the animal shelter and how Rex's transformation from wounded puppy to free-spirited dog reenergized their commitment to each other. 25,000 first printing.