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Christmas Dog, The [Kindle Edition]

Melody Carlson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (295 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Betty Kowalski isn't looking forward to the holidays. She just can't seem to find Christmas in her heart. There's church, of course. But who can she bake for these days? And who would care whether or not she pulled out the Christmas decorations?

Her new neighbor just adds to the problem. He's doing home improvements that don't appear to be improving much of anything. These days when Betty looks out the window, she sees a beat-up truck, a pile of junk, lots of blue tarps, and--horror of horrors--an old pink toilet.

But when a mangy dog appears at her doorstep, the stage is set for Betty to learn a very important lesson about what Christmas is all about. This contemporary Christmas story is a timely yet gentle reminder that God can work miracles through something as seemingly insignificant as a little brown dog.

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

A little before seven on Monday morning, Betty woke to the sound of someone trying to break into her house. At least that was what it sounded like to her. . . .

It was that scruffy dog again. Jack Jones's mongrel. The dog crouched down, whimpering, and despite Betty's bitter feelings toward her neighbor, she felt a tinge of pity for the poor, dirty animal. And Betty didn't even like dogs.

"Go home, you foolish thing," she said. "Go bother your owner."

The dog just whined.

Betty knelt down with the screen still between her and the dog. "Go home," she said again. "Shoo!"

But the dog didn't budge. And now Betty didn't know what to do.

From the Back Cover

Christmas miracles can come from unlikely sources

Betty Kowalski isn't looking forward to the holidays. She just can't seem to find Christmas in her heart. Maybe it's because her husband is gone. Maybe it's because she's missing her children. Or maybe it has something to do with her obnoxious new neighbor, who seems to be tearing his house apart and rearranging it on the lawn.

But when a mangy dog appears at her doorstep, the stage is set for Betty to learn what Christmas is really all about.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1237 KB
  • Print Length: 173 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 080071881X
  • Publisher: Revell (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002LARQ9A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #283,891 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Whether you're struggling to find that perfect gift or just craving a cheery story to put you in the mood for Christmas, this is the book for you. The star of the show is the cutest little ball of fluff you could imagine: a would-be monster who saves the neighborhood --- and the holiday season.

THE CHRISTMAS DOG is a little Yorkshire terrier with the character of an imp who always shows up at just at the right time. It's hard to envision how anyone could ever call him a mutt, but that's what old Betty Kowalski thinks he is. Betty is the grandma who lives next door to Jack Jones, a young man who has become the neighborhood nightmare. Prim and proper, Betty is usually neighborly and friendly to everyone, but "that Jack character" has gotten her all fussed up.

Ever since Jack moved in, he's been tearing his house apart and leaving bits and pieces of it in his driveway for everyone to look at. A pink toilet has been sitting in his backyard for weeks, but the trailer in the front yard is worse. It's piled up with muck and junk and then covered with a blue tarp, roped down by some clear containers with a mysterious liquid inside. Wondering what that liquid could be keeps Betty up at nights, thinking maybe it's a toxic substance or maybe Jack is working on a meth lab. She feels that Jack is a jerk because he works with his power tools all night long and yells at his neighbors. And now his mangy mutt seems insistent on relieving himself right on top of Betty's favorite dogwood.

Betty seems to have become grumpy in her old age. She's a widow, alone for the holidays; can we blame her? It makes an old woman feel a little forlorn to face the holiday season again --- especially when her neighbors aren't so friendly.
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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwearming November 2, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Loved this book. Clean wholsome entertainment. Great holiday read but good reading any time of year. Carlson has a wonderful way with keeping the suspense going while keeping paralell stories moving along simultaneously. I cant wait to try another of her books.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sweet. Predictible but Sweet December 8, 2009
A sweet Christmas story that is predictable and full of difficult characters who grow and change. Betty is a lonely and embittered elderly woman who knows the goings-on of the neighbors but has lost touch with the neighbors as people. Jack spends his nights littering his yard with debris and tearing apart his house. Or is it his house? Then there is Avery, a step-granddaughter with a chip on her shoulder and a controlling mom. Finally, a brown bundle of fur who just shows up one day and mixes things up for everyone.

Christmas book collectors may want to look into this one especially if they are dog story fans.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A nice enough story, but the writing is pretty weak November 25, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am a sucker for Christmas stories - written and on screen. Around Thanksgiving I start looking for a few Christmas books, and use the Tivo to find some holiday movies. So I was happy to find a new book for 2009.

Unfortunately, I did not feel like there was much here. While wanting to see how the story would resolve itself, I felt like I was slogging through the story-telling. How many times must I hear Betty, the central character, think that her neighbor, Jack Jones, must be a dreadful person, even though, as far as I can tell, she has interacted with him less than a few minutes? How many times must I read her fears that he might be a criminal, perhaps even a serial killer? And it is hard not to laugh at writing like, "What if she were setting herself up for trouble? What if Jack Jones was a dangerous man? A criminal? It was one thing to love thy neighbor, but what if her neighbor was a murder, or a pedophile, or a sociopath? Should she take cookies to a man like that?"

So, while I agree with other reviewers that this is a nice, gently story, to me it felt like a 2 hour, made-for-television movie that didn't really warrant more than 30 minutes.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let the Christmas Dog Capture Your Heart! December 7, 2009
Another enjoyable Christmas book was just published by award winning author Melody Carlson. You'll want a copy of her new book The Christmas Dog just for the cover photo alone-it's going to capture your heart! In this Christmas book, a runaway daughter seeks the safety of her Grandma's home, a few days before Christmas. A relationship develops between Avery, a young woman in her mid-twenties, and Betty, the Christian grandmother living alone. The young woman is seeking shelter from a difficult mother, as she desires maturity and independence. Another relationship in The Christmas Dog occurs between Grandma and her neighbors, revealing a level of mistrust, gossip and fear.

The Christmas Dog is about a tiny lost dog finding his way into the lives of these characters. While he never speaks words in the story, the Christmas Dog shares a language of love and imprints on each of the people in the story. I wasn't pleased with the dog's name-Ralph-since he's so much cuter on the cover photo and in the story. As a dog owner, I think the author could have selected a dog name rather than a human name, that's just my opinion. Overall, the book is excellent, even my middle-school daughter enjoyed it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple Story December 15, 2012
By Noels
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really simple story but just loved it. If you are an animal lover you will identify with the way this little dog changes peoples lives.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming and Heart Warming
This was a truly heart warming Christmas story, told from first person point of view of Betty Kowalski. Betty was alone at Christmas. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Beth Cutwright
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very simply written sweet story.
Published 1 month ago by Sparkle J.
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel Good Story
Seemed very Human things that I or my neighbors would do and think. Was a very good story and makes for good feelings. Would read more by this author
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed
Truly enjoyed this book. Heartwarming, love, everything all rolled into a really good read! Great to cozy up with by the fire!
Published 2 months ago by MEESHA
5.0 out of 5 stars THE CHRISTMAS DOG
Published 3 months ago by Linda
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story, great lesson
I have to say that in this book the main lesson is not to judge a book by its cover and I did when I bought the book. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story
I loved this book and couldnt put it down, every page was better than the last. It was heart warming to watch the grandmother and grand daughter bond.
Published 4 months ago by michelle gilliam
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet story and well written
Not my usual genre but a nice change of pace. Well written and held my interest. The ending was a little too predictable. Would read another book by this author.
Published 4 months ago by Terry Mayou
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Lift-me-up book!
I really enjoyed the read. It was very simple but had all the right qualities for a heart warming book
Published 4 months ago by flubbercat
4.0 out of 5 stars slow start but a great read!
I enjoyed the characters. The story line is to love our neighbors, and to do that you have to get to know them. Read more
Published 5 months ago by conger63
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More About the Author

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women and children. That's a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a "storyteller." Her novels range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops) but most of the inspiration behind her fiction comes right out of real life. Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, TrueColors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She's won a number of awards (including Romantic Time's Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog. To find out more about Melody Carlson, visit her website at

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