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Katie Up and Down the Hall: The True Story of How One Dog Turned Five…

by Glenn Plaskin

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13418162,132 (3.77)8
"The heartwarming true story of how one special cocker spaniel turned four strangers into family"--Provided by publisher.
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In 1988, Glenn Plaskin bought a twelve-week-old cocker spaniel puppy, and named her Katie. As a first-time dog owner, he hardly knew where to begin, but a mutual friend introduced him to his neighbors down the hall in his Battery Park City apartment building, Pearl and Arthur. This older couple were life-long dog owners, and their last dog, a cocker spaniel named Brandy, had died two years earlier. Unprepared to get a new dog at this late stage of their lives, Pearl in particular is more than willing to help Glenn learn how to be a dog owner, and provide dog-sitting services.

It's not long before Glenn, Pearl, Arthur, and Katie start to build a bond a good deal closer than friendly neighbors. Arthur and Pearl were never able to have children, and Glenn's family, while close emotionally, is not close geographically. Pearl becomes another grandmother for Glenn, and a vital part of Katie's life, since she can't (usually!) accompany him to the office. Katie is a pampered darling, but a sweet, cooperative dog as well, and the fun grows when, as an indirect result of Glenn's work as a newspaper columnist, Katie starts to get modeling jobs.

And then Glenn's life runs full speed into a brick wall. The paper he works for is sold, and he's among the many let go. With all the other newspaper people on the job market at the same time, he's not having any success finding a new job. While he's still looking, his long-standing back trouble worsens dramatically, leaving him too disabled to work. He's getting physical therapy and attending a support group at a local community center--and Katie, accompanying him to the center, expands his family once again. She starts playing with six-year-old Ryan, and Glenn forms a friendship with Ryan's single dad, John. Coincidentally, John wants to move to someplace that will give him a less stressful and demanding commute, and an apartment becomes available in Glenn's building, on the same hall. Pearl becomes a friend and confidant to John and a grandmother to Ryan, and the three households bind together. They're in and out of each other's apartments, having "family" dinners together on a regular basis, and celebrating birthdays together. When Glenn is recovered enough to work again, he gets a job with Family Circle, and one of his feature articles is "Grandma Down the Hall," about the family they've created together.

It isn't all high spirits and fun. They're in the residential building closest to the Twin Towers. They live through the terror of realizing what's happened, fleeing the expanding debris cloud, and slowly rebuilding their lives and waiting out the time until they can return to their apartments. Also, Pearl and Arthur are in their late seventies when we meet them, and Katie is a dog, so in one sense the ending is no surprise. Glenn Plaskin makes Katie and his human neighbors come alive on the page, though, and while the ending is natural and inevitable, it's also deeply moving. Honestly, I cried through most of the last two chapters.

This is not a depressing book, though. It's warm and engaging and hopeful, and a must-read whether or not you're a "dog person."

Highly recommended.

I bought this book in ebook format.

You can read more of my reviews at Lis Carey's Library ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
A fun and heartwarming story about a real life situation. ( )
  RodgerA | Oct 6, 2016 |
Okay well I am posting after reading this book and I have to tell you that I found this story lacking on a lot of levels. I do not mind the doting owner but what I do mind is that he just dropped a lot of names and I just did not connect from him. I did feel that the story was more about the other characters then anything else and I feel that Katie was left out of the story. Wasn't it her book? I also felt that Glenn's story was needed in order to understand other parts of the book. I am just not sure I ever connected throughout the book so it was a fail for me.
( )
  Angel.Carter | Aug 11, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
In the spirit of all good animal memoirs, 'Katie' delivers a heart-warming tale of animal friendship. As Katie opens her owner's heart, she also brings together an eclectic group of neighbors who live in her apartment building. This is the type of story that reminds us that family isn't always blood, and often comes on four legs as well as two.
  GondorGirl | Jun 1, 2014 |
A WONDERFUL HEART-WARMING READ THAT WILL MAKE YOU CRY TEARS OF JOY AND SADNESS! -- A personal memoir by bestselling author and celebrity journalist Glenn Plaskin, KATIE is a moving story about a man who discovers the true meaning of family after adopting a cocker spaniel puppy. Through the magnetic personality of his mischievous dog, the author soon makes powerful connections with several of his down-the-hall neighbors in a high-rise located in the unique Battery Park City neighborhood of Lower Manhattan. First, Katie trots into the lives of Pearl and Arthur, a warm-hearted elderly couple just a few doors down from Glenn. Later, John, a single Dad, and his rambunctious young son, Ryan, also move in and are seduced by Katie's charms.

All of their lives are profoundly changed as they are transformed from neighbors to friends to family, with Pearl as matriarch. The motherless boy finds a "Granny"; his Dad inherits a mother, Glenn discovers a confidante. Set in New York City, we witness nearly sixteen years of antics and family adventures spanning Hollywood high times, bad health, accidents, blustery winters, even the terrors of 9/11. Through it all, the family clings to each other, sharing a deep bond that give each comfort, support and security.

Based upon a widely-read article in Family Circle, here is an unforgettable story about the love that makes a family-one that transcends the hard realities of time, tragedy, and inevitable loss. ( )
This review has been flagged by multiple users as abuse of the terms of service and is no longer displayed (show).
  caroren | Feb 8, 2013 |
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"The heartwarming true story of how one special cocker spaniel turned four strangers into family"--Provided by publisher.

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The heartwarming true story of how one special cocker spaniel turned four strangers into family.
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Hachette Book Group

2 editions of this book were published by Hachette Book Group.

Editions: 1599952548, 1609410386

 

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