Elaine Castillo discusses rescuing dogs — and herself [Video]

Elaine Castillo discusses rescuing dogs — and herself [Video]

In Open Book - Everand Originals by Ashley McDonnell

Elaine Castillo discusses rescuing dogs — and herself [Video]

As any dog lover knows, becoming a dog parent is a transformative experience. For writer Elaine Castillo, who’s rescued many dogs — most of whom experienced abuse — loving and nourishing her four-legged friends has been life-changing.

“Living with a dog who’s perceived to be ‘hard’ and understanding that he doesn’t have to be a ‘hard dog,’ that if anything, he’s not just capable of, but worthy of softness, I think it was a revelation for me, too. … If I’m telling my dog — whom I love, and who I want to give the world to, and who I want to see that the world is not a scary place that he has to fight all the time — if I’m saying all of those things, or thinking all of those things, or believing all of those things for him, I’m also rehearsing believing that for myself.”

Hear more about Elaine’s journey with her current rescue dog, Vincent, and lessons she’s learned from a lifetime of raising dogs in the video below. Follow it up with her latest book, Good Girl, which is part of Everand Originals’ Roxane Gay & series of essays.

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Elaine Castillo, named one of “30 of the Planet’s Most Exciting Young People” by the Financial Times, was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her debut novel, America Is Not the Heart, was a finalist for several prizes, including the ELLE Big Book Award, The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and the Aspen Words Literary Prize, and was named a best book of 2018 by NPR, Real Simple, Lit Hub, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, New York Post, Kirkus Reviews, and the New York Public Library.

Her most recent work, Good Girl: Notes on Dog Rescue, is part of our ongoing series curated by Roxane Gay celebrating original voices.

Find out more about the works released in the Roxane Gay & series below.

Good Girl by Elaine Castillo

Award-winning novelist and essayist Castillo details her life spent rescuing and training dogs, a story that reveals just as much about modern society and culture as it does our relationship with humankind’s first domesticated animal.


Built for This by Julia Turshen

Let cookbook author Turshen lift you up with her memoir about embracing her inner and outer strength. Turshen shares how she learned to appreciate her appetite for food, started powerlifting to marvel at all the things her body could do, and now knows the meat on her bones is “made of the things [she’s] capable of.” 

Start Listening

Memoirist, essayist, and novelist Jarrar offers an honest and wholly original user’s manual on how to raise a happy and well-adjusted child with little help and even fewer resources, but a fierce willingness to live out loud.

Start Listening

My Year of Psychedelics by Gabrielle Bellot

In this fascinating and literally trippy memoir, acclaimed essayist and columnist Bellot shares the story of how magic mushrooms, ayahuasca, and other psychedelics transformed her life for the better.

Start Listening

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About the Author: Ashley McDonnell

Ashley is an Everand editor who loves Ernest Hemingway, “The Hunger Games,” and EDM. When she’s not reading, she’s making nerdy podcasts about anime and manga and learning to DJ.