Year of the Bookwormz: 2011

52 weeks. 2 friends. 1 challenge.

Book W: LibraryLove February 13, 2011

You Had Me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness by Julie Klam

Book description~ Julie Klam 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. You Had Me at Woof 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, Julie 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-walks 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, You Had Me at Woof recounts the hidden surprises, pleasures, and revelations of letting any mutt, beagle, terrier, or bulldog go charging through your world.

My expectations were pretty off base with this one. I was hoping to finish this with a broader perspective, maybe even some tips for making the animal rescue a more efficient one or how to read animals in a different way. Alas, I left wanting so much less. Author Julie Klam shares her memoir-esque recount of her involvement with Boston Terrier rescue on the east coast. Sadly, this book was basically a cut/paste from the author’s inbox; countless emails ad nauseam she shared with folks in her rescue group about various dogs and their issues. These emails also recounted dog after dog that even the author didn’t get too invested with; how do you expect the reader to commit when the author doesn’t? The book was all over the place. Chapterized with lessons 1-11, I was hoping to actually expand my mind on how other rescues work, since all I know is Akita rescue, and Akitas have VERY different needs than Boston Terriers; I was just disappointed.

For those of you who know me, it’s no surprise that my husband and I have volunteered with Akita Rescue in our area for about 4 years now. We were so thankful to have found rescue when we had to put our 10-year-old Akita down after 2 painful surgeries to remove aggressive Cancer.We transferred our loss and sadness into the greater good. When our hearts healed we were ready to adopt another dog and got so lucky to have two amazing dogs! Through our involvement in rescue, we’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Maybe for someone who wanted to put their toe in the water with rescue, this would be a great book for them to learn the ins and outs? Maybe not. Klam was overindulgent and it felt like filler at one point.

I kept asking myself “where’s the beef?” and I finished the book feeling hungry.

2/5 stars

2 down, 24 to go!

In progress, Carry Me Like Water



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