(CBS Local)–Author Dave Barry has been making people laugh for decades.

The Pulitzer Prize winner is back with a new Simon & Schuster book called “Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog” where he explains how his dog Lucy is helping him to enjoy life at age 71. While Barry’s wife didn’t initially want a dog, Lucy’s presence has been life-changing for the family.

“My wife thought that dogs were dirty, smelly, lick your face, drink from your toilet…and they do,” said Barry in an interview with CBS Local. “They’re going to do all those things. She didn’t get the upside. My daughter Sophie insisted and really wanted a dog. She wore my wife down. My wife now gets on the floor and lets Lucy lick her.”

Barry’s lessons in the book are simple, yet difficult for some to achieve. The author’s dog reminds him of things such as make new friends, don’t stop having fun, pay attention to the people you love and let do of your anger. This is the first time that Barry has been vulnerable and transparent about his personal life in one of his books.

“I don’t usually write introspective books,” said Barry. “I usually write booger jokes, that’s as far as I get into myself. In order to write a book about what I don’t like about myself and what I could do better, I had to talk about myself more than I usually do. It’s not exactly a self-help book, but it’s is more of a self-help book than any other book I’ve written. Most of my books actually hurt people, people come out of them stupider.”

In a career full of many achievements, the one that tops the list for Barry was winning the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for his work at the Miami Herald. Barry still remembers the specific details of the day many years later.

“I did not expect to win a Pulitzer Prize, I was writing booger jokes in the newspaper,” said Barry. “I got nominated without knowing it and I won without knowing it. The Miami Herald knew and they wanted me to find out in a big surprise when it was announced. So, they tricked me into coming in to the Herald that day. I was supposed to go to Key West that day with my son Rob. I go in and everyone is gathered in the newsroom and no one has told me why. I told Rob we can’t go to Key West this weekend, but I told him I’d buy him a Nintendo. He jumps up and puts his arms around me and at that moment, they announced that I won the Pulitzer Prize and took my picture.”

Lessons From Lucy” is available now.