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Circling the Waggins; How 5 Misfit Dogs Saved Me from Bewilderness [Kindle Edition]

Cayr Ariel Wulff
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Book Description

More than twenty years of performing pet rescues could wear anyone down. Especially when the pets that end up being permanent residents in your home are the most irascible, insane and ridiculously un-adoptable pets known to man. Circling the Waggins follows two middle aged women as they maneuver through one unexpected pet debacle after another in a rugged and isolated cabin in a National Park. They emerge from a dark and difficult time as they discover that even the tiniest of lives is precious; heartache and joy go hand-in-hand, and love is an eternal circle of wagging tails.

Editorial Reviews


"[Wulff] says of animal rescue, "Once involved in it, it becomes impossible to ignore an animal in need." She takes in a boxer mix who grows to an enormous size and intellect, and a puppy whose previous owner's children's abuse may have resulted in brain damage.
As she faces the heartbreaking prospect of losing Dillon, who has reached the astonishing age of 20, the other pets offer comfort and hope. Wulff excels at depicting the endearing personalities of the many dogs and cats that share her life." - Akron Beacon Journal 11/4/2012

From the Back Cover

"Circling the Waggins is a heart-felt and moving story of two women's quest to heal and nurture a wide variety of animals.  C.A. Wulff poignantly captures the complex personalities of the mice, dogs, and cats that inhabit her wilderness home as well as the humorous chaos that ensues as they all try to coexist.  It is by turns a roller-coaster ride of animal rescue, as well as a keen reflection on the frailty of all life and the healing power of love and letting go."   - Tim McHugh, author of Ivan! A Pound Dog's Views on Life, Love, & Leashes

Product Details

  • File Size: 1363 KB
  • Print Length: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Barking Planet Productions (July 16, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008M9X2TM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #655,549 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging account of life with misfit pets January 15, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I borrowed this from the Kindle library on a whim and enjoyed it enough that I plan to purchase Ms. Wulff's first book Born Without A Tale. As a dog lover with 2 dogs of my own -- one of them a misfit stray husky -- I enjoyed the stories detailing life with her various misfit dogs, cats, and wayward mice. I skipped over some of the pages detailing an elderly dog's euthanization, but I found myself laughing at the chapters introducing the mice to their home and the ensuing chaos this caused.

Unlike another reviewer, I did not find the title misleading. The chapters present various accounts of the "misfit" dogs as described, though there are additional chapters devoted to the cats and mice, all of which I found enjoyable.

The author's lifemate Dalene comes across as utterly obnoxious based on her comments and actions, and her apparent unwillingness to help in the care and maintenance of the animals. These sections quickly became annoying to the point that I found myself wondering how on earth these two women managed to live with each other so long, and whether the portrayal of Dalene was deliberately negative. The book would have been better enhanced to leave out most of those sections, or to augment them with some positive commentary by Dalene.

The authors politics definitely come across in the book, though I didn't find this to be excessive. Mainly this occurs as a preface to the chapter detailing
Waldo's "hump-buddy" stuffed animal. The final chapter seemed less of a chapter than a short rant about automated phone systems, and might have been enhanced with more story as it seemed to end very abruptly.

All in all, an enjoyable read. If you have amazon prime, you can borrow for free from the Kindle library.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable Homey Story July 23, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Reading this book is like sitting on the porch rocking and chatting with Cayr. Each chapter is a mini-story about the dogs, cats, and mice that share the cabin with her and Dalene. If you are fond of pets you will share the emotional highs and lows as the animals age, become ill, and pass, and rejoice when new friends are welcomed to their home. I haven't read her first book Born Without a Tail, but it's next on my list.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It was as if in many ways I was reading my own story September 26, 2013
This is a great read of all animal rescue folks out there. If you ever rescued an animal or animals, you may find a lot of yourself in this book. I sure did! I did not know about this book until I had bid for it on a Facebook auction. So glad that I did and that I won!!! This book took me on a journey that was endearing, sad, funny and personal all at once. This is a great book to sit down curled up in a blanket on a cool rainy day or cold winter night with a cup of hot tea and get lost in the adventures of Cayr and her partner. You will not regret it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable December 12, 2012
By EllieRN
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have to admit I had to ignore my differing opinion on when a pet should be put down. I hate putting one of my beloved pets down, but I hate even more when I know they are hurting and no longer have a good quality of life. And smoking with them in the car...really?
That being said, I still enjoyed this book. It is obvious that these women love their pets and the author is able to tell their stories in a humorous and loving way. So, if you like stories about dogs, cats and even mice, then you will enjoy this book. I do recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just Wet Noses and Going Walkies October 26, 2012
There's a lot more to living with dogs than wet noses and going walkies. Cayr Ariel Wulff entertainingly chronicles the rocky flip side of pet care in "Circling the Waggins," a heroic tale of triumph over turmoil and exhaustion. Wulff and her companion Dalene take in the misfits that have defeated lesser souls, including genius behemoth Waldo - a 75-pound golden/boxer mix with equal parts brains and brawn - an exuberant but mentally challenged Shih-tzu/Chihuahua named Rocket Boy, plus three more dogs, aging cats, and way too many accidentally acquired pet mice. Despite the challenges presented by this demanding and eccentric crew, Wulff's chronicles may still send you to the animal shelter to do a bit of rescue on your own. You'll want to reap the rewards of love and joy which "Waggins" so beautifully describes.

- Bob Tarte, author of "Kitty Cornered," "Enslaved by Ducks," and "Fowl Weather"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good read July 6, 2014
By A fan
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Cute and heart warming story about how dogs & cats come into our lives and into our hearts. Enjoyable read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable May 31, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am not really sure what it is about these books by Wulff, but I simply love them. The story telling and commentaries are engaging, honest and sincere. And, her love of animals shouts out from every page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Dog Tale May 17, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was recommended to me by a friend. Once I got into the book, I couldn't put it down. The book details day to day life with a houseful of misfit animals - dogs, cats, and mice. I could certainly identify with the author's stories. I had a mouse and dozens of cats as childhood pets. I currently have a houseful of dogs.

The author describes the many vet visits she made with her pets, and some of the tough decisions she was forced to make. I was greatly impressed by the author's knowledge of various animal ailments. Kudos to her for taking the time to research each problem as it came up.

The book is filled with funny animal stories. I especially enjoyed the tales of dressing the dogs up for Halloween and entering them in costume contests. The book also includes many sad times when one pet after another made the sad journey to the Rainbow Bridge. I highly recommend this book to animal lovers. You will definitely laugh and cry. You may even learn a few things about animal care and the treatment of various health issues pet owners often face. I enjoyed this book so much that I am now reading another of this author's pet tales.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming
As a fellow animal rescuer, I felt connected to Circling the Waggins immediately. Each chapter made me laugh at Wulff and at myself for the crazy things we will do for our pets as... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Sheltertails
5.0 out of 5 stars circling the waggins is a delightful book
The love for these dogs is so wonderful These people show upmost love and respect for these dogs. If only all animals were treated this way we would have a more respectful attitude... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Peggy Eller
3.0 out of 5 stars Highs and Lows
I feel a little ambivalent about this womans' story. It was quite emotional and emotions ranged from happy to see she was healing to irritation and even became fed up with it all... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Lazemaple
Loved this memoir. Loved the writing style...fresh,open, honest, engaging as well as informative. Ms Wulff is obviously a very compassionate, interesting and bright lady who has... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Michael Munger
5.0 out of 5 stars great summary of rescue
Great story about the good, the bad, and the frustration in animal rescue. I could identify with many parts of this book.
Published 11 months ago by Tina MacNaughton
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book!
I felt like I was living in their household because of the author's story-telling talent. I'm lucky enough to have shared my life with many wonderful pets & the author put into... Read more
Published 12 months ago by *k*
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, straight from the heart
I didn't know what the book was about when I downloaded it, I chose it simply because on a quick glance I could tell it was about dogs. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Dusty Corrals
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book for Dog People everywhere!
I sailed through reading this book in just a few hours, it was so enjoyable! The author obviously adores her animals as much as we adore ours, and she writes engagingly about every... Read more
Published 12 months ago by middlemoo
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book for all dog lovers
Only someone who really loves dogs can understand why someone like Ms. Wulff would do all the things she does for her pack. Read more
Published 15 months ago by nonie
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More About the Author

Cayr Ariel Wulff is an author, artist, and animal advocate. She has volunteered in animal rescue for more than 26 years. She is a Contributing Editor at and during 2012 served as Contributing Editor at Pet Pardons News. She reports on stories of animal abuse and animal welfare. She writes a column as the Cleveland Pets Examiner, and is the National Animal Books Examiner. She also maintains a personal blog about dogs: 'Up on the Woof', and uses her yelodoggie art to spread the joy of living with dogs. She has written five books about her rescue pets experiences; "Born Without a Tail" (2007), "Circling the Waggins;How 5 Misfit Dogs Saved Me from Bewilderness" (2012), "Parade of Misfits" (2013), "How to Change the World in 30 Seconds: A Web Warrior's Guide to Animal Advocacy Online" and "Finding Fido: Practical Steps for Finding Your Lost Pet". She attributes her love of animals to having been raised by Wulffs.

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