Rectangular photo of Stacey Colino’s office bookshelf with titles on dogs, happiness, and well-being. Photo credit Stacey Colino.

Jen Golbeck and Stacey Colino (NASW Member)—The Purest Bond: Understanding the Human-Canine Connection

Cover of the book The Purest Bond: Understanding the Human-Canine Connection by Jen Golbeck and Stacey Colino, with title words and author’s names in white and black print over a photo of a Golden Retriever against a blue background

The Purest Bond


Jen Golbeck and Stacey Colino (NASW member)
Atria, November 14, 2023
Hardcover $28, eBook $14.99, audio book, $17.99, audio CD: $34.99
ISBN-10: 1668007843, ISBN-13: 9781668007846
eBook ASIN: B0BTZB7VKC, audio book ISBN: 9781797164939
Audio CD ISBN: 9781797164953

Colino reports:

The Purest Bond stemmed from a fascination with how and why our relationships with our canine companions are so mutually beneficial.

In September 2020, I met Jen Golbeck, founder/manager of the social media sensation The Golden Ratio, through our agents at Aevitas Creative Management. We clicked immediately, based on our shared history of rescuing dogs who’d been surrendered by their owners, the close and loving relationships we eventually developed, and the intense heartache we’d each felt when our beloved pups passed away.

We met during the COVID-19 pandemic when, like many people, we were both spending more time with our dogs. People were also adopting dogs at record rates, and rescue organizations and breeders had long waitlists of people seeking a dog to call their own. It was a natural subject for us to write about together.

Portrait photo of Stacey Colino

Stacey Colino
Photo by Scott Robinson

A lifelong dog-lover, I’m a health and science writer who’s had three rescue dogs as an adult. Jen is a scientist who rescues old and sick Golden Retrievers. Together, we dove into the scientific research about how the bond between people and their pooches benefits both creatures, physically, psychologically, cognitively, and socially.

After eight months, we produced a detailed proposal that our agent Todd Shuster sold to Atria Books. Writing the book was a nine-month affair. During our research, I was blown away by some of the science-backed elements behind this amazing bond, including how dogs can “catch” our emotions, facilitate learning among children and communication in families, and detect medical problems in their humans. We also interviewed dog-owners about their experiences in these areas, all of which made the book even richer than I expected.

One thing that surprised me was how much time we would spend on publicity before the book was published. If I’d known, I would have kept my schedule lighter during that time.

My advice to aspiring authors: Count on the entire process taking longer than you expect and having unforeseen responsibilities crop up. The journey is worth it if you’re passionate about your subject. You’ll be thrilled when the book enters the world.

Contact info:

NASW members: will your book be published soon? Promote it by submitting your report for Advance Copy.

Tell your fellow NASW members how you came up with the idea for your book, developed a proposal, found an agent and publisher, funded and conducted research, and put the book together. Include what you wish you had known before you began working on your book, or had done differently.


View Advance Copy archives at

Thinking of writing a book? If you are a NASW member, you may access a list of more than 200 books and online resources to help you craft your book proposal, find an agent and funding sources, negotiate your contract, learn about self-publishing, publicize and market your book, and more at

View the recording of a recent Advance Copy Virtual Business Chat, A Primer for Authors on Book Publicity. NASW m login required.

Send book info and questions about book publishing to Lynne Lamberg, NASW book editor,

Follow @LynneLamberg on Twitter for news about science/medical books, writing, and NASW authors.

Banner image adapted from original photo by Stacey Colino.

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November 15, 2023

Advance Copy

The path from idea to book may take myriad routes. The Advance Copy column, started in 2000 by NASW volunteer book editor Lynne Lamberg, features NASW authors telling the stories behind their books. Authors are asked to report how they got their idea, honed it into a proposal, found an agent and a publisher, funded and conducted their research, and organized their writing process. They also are asked to share what they wish they’d known when they started or would do differently next time, and what advice they can offer aspiring authors. Lamberg edits the authors’ answers to produce the Advance Copy reports.

NASW members: Will your book be published soon? Visit for information on submitting your report.

Publication of NASW author reports in Advance Copy does not constitute NASW's endorsement of any publication or the ideas, values, or material contained within or espoused by authors or their books. We hope this column stimulates productive discussions on important topics now and in the future as both science and societies progress. We welcome your discussion in the comments section below.

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