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Old Dogs: Are the Best Dogs Hardcover – October 7, 2008


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Old Dogs: Are the Best Dogs + Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life With Dogs + Beautiful Old Dogs: A Loving Tribute to Our Senior Best Friends
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st Simon and Schuster Hardcover Ed edition (October 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416534997
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416534990
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gene Weingarten is a nationally syndicated humor columnist and a Pulitzer Prize–winning staff writer for The Washington Post. He lives in Washington, DC.

Washington Post photographer Michael S. Williamson was born and raised in Washington, DC. A two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Williamson has covered a variety of global events over the last thirty years, including the wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua, the Philippine revolution, strife in the Middle East, the Gulf War, and conflicts in Africa and the Balkans. At the Post, Williamson works as both a photographer and a photo editor. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his daughters, Sophia and Valerie.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Honey, 10

Shanna solemnly passed the butcher knife to Lance, her 16-year-old son. Shanna was a recent widow, Lance, the new man of the house. It was Lance who had brought home the stray.

Shanna had heard about this breed, particularly ones hardened by the streets, trained to do God Knows What. She knew of a test to find out if a dog is too vicious to keep. The test is not without risk.

"I'm going to give her some food," Shanna said, "and then I'm going to suddenly take it away. If she attacks me, you have to kill her."

Shanna put down the bowl. Lance gripped the knife, white-knuckled, wary...

They laugh about it now, nine years later. Honey the pit bull, as sweet as her name.Copyright © 2008 by Gene Weingarten and Michael S. Williamson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

It's full of beautiful photos and funny, moving stories.
April Sun
Not oversized like a typical coffee table book, this book can be read, enjoyed, and kept on the shelf.
Jabberwock
This is a great book for any dog lover and I highly recommend it.
Lizz A. Belle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 84 people found the following review helpful By C. O. Aptowicz on September 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have nothing against the cuteness of puppies, but that territory has been well covered in the book world. Hence, I was thrilled to stumble upon this book, which perfectly spotlights the extraordinarily charm of old dogs. Marrying together wonderful photographs with witty biographies, the book captures what makes old dogs so great: their unapologetic quirks, their enduring mischievousness and their rock-solid love. Every type of dog imaginable is covered in this book, and every type of owner is allowed to give their unique testimonies about why old dogs truly are the best dogs.
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65 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Deborah Day on October 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
My Stanley, who is on page 18, died this year on July 31. I wasn't certain the book was being published, nor if Stanley had "made it". If he hadn't, it would not have changed my love of this homage to our best old friends. I took the book with me to give to my 86 year old mother, living in Assisted Living, and I read aloud the introduction. My mother cannot see well, but knew my Stanley and rescued close to 20 dogs in her life.
Together we cried as I read "Remembering Harry".

Thank you Gene and Michael!!!
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn E. Golding on October 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Have just bought this book because Harry reminds me of my previous Lab "Jay" who was put down at 13 1/2. It was the most wrenching decision I have made, but the most right decision. If you own a dog, have loved a dog or have a friend who IS a dog, then this is a must have book for you.
Harry's story made me cry too. Have the Kleenex handy.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Elsin A. Perry on January 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ben Franklin said nothing is certain, except death and taxes.

But here are two more certainties: you will cry when you read the last three words on page 13 and laugh when you read page 18 of "Old Dogs Are the Best Dogs" by Pulitzer Prize winners Gene Weingarten and Michael Williamson.

People love books about puppies. They're so cute and cuddly. But they have no real personalities yet, other than "cute and cuddly."

Old dogs, however, have their own distinctive personalities, quirks and traits, developed over a lifetime.

This captivating book is a tribute to our old dogs, our best friends.

Mr. Weingarten asked his readers at the Washington Post to tell him about their old dogs.

In the acknowledgments of "Old Dogs Are the Best Dogs," he thanks the countless people whose dogs had their pictures taken but didn't get into the book.

He writes, "For this omission we entirely blame the editors of Simon & Schuster, who, for reasons known only to them and for which they will no doubt have to answer in the Hereafter, balked at producing a 1,294-page book."

"Old Dogs Are the Best Dogs" combines a striking full-face, full-page photograph of each old dog (taken by Michael Williamson) with a narrative opposite each.

We meet Chester, the Pembroke Welsh corgi, on page 35. Herding is in that breed's DNA. What's a house dog to do?

Every morning, Chester takes his own personal flock downstairs, one at a time, in his mouth. There are eight of them, including little gingerbread man, large gingerbread man, purple teddy bear, and mousie. He deposits each member of his flock under the coffee table and ignores them the rest of the day.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By MacGuffin VINE VOICE on November 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As an apartment-dwelling animal lover whose building forbids dog ownership, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review this. The title is self-explanatory--although I doubt it was their intention, photographer Michael S. Williams and columnist Gene Weingarten have collaborated on a work that's guaranteed to melt even the hardest of hearts.
The dogs profiled in Old Dogs Are the Best Dogs were, at the time they were photographed, at least 10 years old. A short profile accompanies each photo; that we learn so much about each subject in so few words is a testimony to both Weingarten's skill as a wordsmith and Williams' ability to capture the essence of these cherished pets that I grew to love by proxy. Not only was I touched to the core by these grand old pooches (I get very sloppy over non-human animals), but as an editor, I positively reveled in the excellence of Weingarten's command of English. Indeed, while this book could easily be perused in an hour or so, I found it almost too rich to process all at once and like very fine tea, I preferred to enjoy it in small sips that I could savor over time. It really is that wonderful.
I was planning to purchase a copy of this as a Christmas present for a beloved cousin, but she just lost the eldest of her five rescues and she and her husband are still crying for their old Barney, the Great Dane mix that literally thought he was a horse (her sister-in-law lives next door with her equine family). So while now is probably too soon, a copy of this will find its way to their bookshelf at a time I deem appropriate. For those lacking such constraints, consider this for the animal-lovers on your holiday list--I promise it won't disappoint. HIGHEST recommendation.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kiwi VINE VOICE on October 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Thirteen years ago I got rid of husbands and started filling the house with dogs. I am now extremely joyful, I have intelligent conversations and there is a lot less flatulence in the air !!

When we age, we need to detach from people/objects that no longer work in our lives...it's part of that right of passage path we all must take. The quicker we accept what is not working and move forward with what IS working, the calmer and more refined our journey becomes. Dogs know this instinctively....they don't bother to mourn that which has become outdated.

This book is my every breath....it is beautiful in its form, in its photos and in its stories.. Tears rolled down my face from page one.....but emotions are not always about pain and loss. They are about remembering your own heartfelt memories and experiences that have made you who you are.... and have brought you to this point.

There are many things I no longer need, but I must have this exquisite book in my posession..... to have and to hold. I cannot imagine a more endearing, thoughtful gift.
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