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You Had Me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the…
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You Had Me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness (2010)

by Julie Klam

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2811963,955 (3.53)5
This book is the hilarious and heartfelt chronicle of a woman learning the secrets of love, health, and happiness from some very surprising teachers: her dogs. The author was thirty, single, and working as a part time clerk in an insurance company, wondering if she would ever meet the man she could spend the rest of her life with. And then it happened. She met the irresistible Otto, her first in a long line of Boston terriers, and fell instantly in love. This work is the often hilarious and always sincere story of how one woman discovered life's most important lessons from her relationships with her canine companions. From Otto, the author realized what it might feel like to find "the one." She learned to share her home, her heart, and her limited resources with another, and she found an authentic friend in the process. But that was just the beginning. Over the years her brood has grown to one husband, one daughter, and several Boston terriers. And although she had much to learn about how to care for them, wallks at 2 a.m., vet visits, behavior problems, she was surprised and delighted to find that her dogs had more wisdom to convey to her than she had ever dreamed. And caring for them has made her a better person,and completely and utterly opened her heart. Riotously funny and unexpectedly poignant, it recounts the hidden surprises, pleasures, and revelations of letting any mutt, beagle, terrier, or bulldog go charging through your world.… (more)

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» See also 5 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Julie Klam was thirty, living alone, and convinced she'd never find True Love. She decided she needed a dog in her life, did careful breed research, and decided on a Boston terrier. Then she made an hours-long drive to Pennsylvania to adopt Otto, in part because his picture matched a dog's face she'd seen in a dream.

She thought she was just adopting a pet, to meet her own needs and have the company of a dog again. In fact, she had just taken the first step on the road to a life of dog rescue.

It didn't happen overnight. At first, Julie just enjoys Otto. She's got a lot of other things to worry about, such as finding a way to make a living that is satisfying, financially adequate, and doesn't force her to spend too many hours away from Otto. Toward that end, she takes a class in Animal Communication (the mystical kind.) It proves to be an entertaining experience that appeals to her sense of the ridiculous, and in the end she concludes that if it is not a complete fraud, she at least does not have any special talent in that regard.

Gradually, though, she finds herself visiting the website of the rescue group that connected her with Otto. As she meets her future husband, has a child, and begins her career as a writer, she also starts to arrange transportation for rescued dogs and do home visits to potential adopters and potential foster homes. She and her husband do some fostering themselves, though since they tend to end up with the more difficult dogs, it proves stressful for them, their daughter, and their own dog.

Klam writes about the frustrating experience of pulling dogs, Boston mixes, from the home of a nice, charming, dog-loving man who has both financial and emotional problems. There's both heartbreak and success here, and it's a moving story. At one point, Klam is the only person available to pull an elderly female Boston mix from the city pound, where her owner has surrendered her and where she'd be unlikely to survive if not pulled immediately.

There are a lot of wonderful dog stories here, interwoven with the story of Julie Klam's life, and the lessons in love and happiness that she, her husband, and their daughter learn from the dogs.

Highly recommended. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
I wanted to like this book as I am a dog lover but I just couldn't handle it. The author is a little too neurotic for me and I didn't care too much for the reader. ( )
  MHanover10 | Jul 10, 2016 |
One look at the cover and having rescued a few dogs myself, I began Woof.

Heartwarming, amusing, heartfelt memoir....4* ( )
  pennsylady | Jan 26, 2016 |
This book was an utterly charming and laugh-out-loud-funny read. I am a Boston Terrier mommy; perhaps I found it particularly humorous because I am so charmed by the breed. I think that this is a book for all dog lovers despite how "Boston focused" it is. It will also appeal to animal lover's in general as Julie Klam's overall message is that companion animals can be very important in our lives and can help us work through our larger life issues, such as grief, loss, depression, sadness, lonliness, etc. I am not completely sold on the format- the organization of the chapters just doesn't flow well- but each chapter could stand alone as a short story, so that is the way that I read it- one chapter at a time, cuddled with my reading buddy, Punky. ( )
  NetteinNJ | Jan 24, 2015 |
Julie Klam's delightful memoir of raising Boston Terriers and working for a Boston rescue society was a fun and quick read. As an owner of 2 Bostons, I was particularly drawn to this book and it provided an interesting take on the world of pet rescue, of which I had known very little prior to reading this book. Although some of the stories were sad, others were heartwarming and funny as Julie, her husband, and daughter became variously attached to or horrified by their fostered rescue dogs. I particularly appreciated the real life candor that Julie displayed regarding the ethics behind dog placement and the profit-driven world of vet medicine. ( )
  voracious | Mar 2, 2014 |
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"The humans have tried everything. Now it's up to us dogs!"
-Danny, 101 Dalmatians
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For Paul, who has never said no to a dog who needs us
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One night I dreamed I had a dog.
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