A new year is a time for new beginnings, and in Girl’s Best Friend, Rebecca Leisher describes how friendship helped her to overcome a self-destructive lifestyle and learn to face life with an authentic confidence. In Rebecca’s case, her friends were dogs — first, her childhood companion Rusty, whom she turned to when she was a shy, lonely kid, and then Quilla, a dog she adopted from the streets of a Mexican beach town. Being content with life and those you’re lucky enough to love, it turns out, is as good as any philosophy.

Happy New Year to you and your loved ones (canine included).

UPDATE, 1/12: Changed “addiction” to “self-destructive lifestyle,” as the writer says she abused, but was not addicted to, alcohol and drugs.

Victor Tan Chen is In The Fray‘s editor in chief and the author of Cut Loose: Jobless and Hopeless in an Unfair Economy. Site: victortanchen.com | Facebook | Twitter: @victortanchen

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