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What the Dog Did: Tales from a Formerly Reluctant Dog Owner Paperback – Bargain Price, June 13, 2006


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From Publishers Weekly

Journalist Yoffe recalls her entry into urban dog ownership—a life experience this former "cat person" thought she could avoid—in this witty memoir. Yielding to immense pressure from her husband and young daughter, Yoffe finds herself the main caretaker of a rather high-maintenance, rescued beagle, Sasha. Like most books in the pet genre, this one is cute; unlike many, it's not precious. Yoffe relates amusing tales of bodily functions gone awry and house-training incidents (beagles are notorious for having difficulty in this area), as well as vivid recollections of Sasha's behavioral training. She also includes tidbits from people she's met at dog classes and competitions. "[A]lmost everyone I knew with a dog had a story. Maybe companionship and someone to lick your feet isn't what really motivates people to have dogs. Maybe being able to tell dog stories is." Yoffe fleshes out her anecdotes with fun facts about canines, on such things as the evolution from wolf to dog and the fatality of a dog bite. Not surprisingly, Yoffe eventually becomes a true dog lover, and Sasha becomes just the first in a series of beagle orphans to traipse through the author's home.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Laugh-out-loud funny."--O: The Oprah Magazine

"Yoffe chronicles her gradual conversion to full-blown dog lover with amusing and frustrating episodes of doggie care."--Washington Post

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (June 13, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582345651
  • ASIN: B000OFOIYA
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,003,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Rat doc 001 on January 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Emily Yoffe is an incredibly funny writer. Her tales of adventure/misadventure with her beagle had me laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes and had to clutch my belly in pain. I read this book on a plane flight and the person in the next seat surely thought I was out of my mind. It's not solely the hijinx of the beagle that are funny but the writer's thoughts and her descriptions of her life and actions that remind me of what it was like to be a new dog owner. Some of the other reviews that rated the book poorly picked out certain anecdotes in the book that the reviewers didn't find funny but I think if you read it with a light heart and memories of your first dog, anyone else will find it incredibly entertaining and hysterically funny too.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful By B. Kirkham on April 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was by no means a perfect book. Ms. Yoffe's writing pace drags at times through tedious mawkishness over this or that adorable or precious thing that her perpetually incontinent dog has done. The book reads as I'm sure it was intended to - as a coffee table discussion among friends trading anecdotes over the things our pets do that are perplexing, hilarious, strangely human. For me, as a recent first time dog owner the story hits more often than misses. There are dozens of 'drop the book laughing' moments where I either see myself as the same sort of clueless pet owner as she or thank God above I don't have as high maintenance an animal as a beagle in my care. We're all human. We don't have it all figured out. As American humans, we most often don't even care to figure it all out before leaping into life changing situations much to our personal detriment. C'est la vie. Somehow, both we and our pets mostly find a way to soldier on despite our utter lack of competence at living life perfectly. This book's best quality is to show us our own ridiculous behavior in the context of funny dog stories and then smile at it. It's not War and Peace, folks. Just a funny book about being a dog owner. Take a breath and don't flame the funny dog story telling lady.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By loves2read on October 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I absolutely loved this book! Anyone who has gone through the trials and tribulations of of dog ownership (espcially when cats are part of the family) will truly appreciate Yoffe's sense of humor. If you own, or are planning on owing, a dog you must read this book.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Loves Dogs, Loves to Read on June 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I started reading this book at 10:30pm and I couldn't put it down! I usually drift off after a few minutes of reading but this book was great- hilarious and very witty. One of the best books I have read in a long time and very refreshing- a great summertime read. Read it to find out exactly "what the dog did"- you'll have some great stories to pass along to your other dog lover friends as well as around the water cooler. Just read it somewhere where people won't mind hearing chuckling, you won't be able to keep it to yourself!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C. Kroupa on February 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This was my first exposure to Emily Yoffee, and I enjoyed the book immensely. She writes with humor and intelligence (not surprising, as she also writes for Slate Magazine!), and covers a multitude of doggie events. Dog lovers will enjoy the antics of her beagle, and her easy style of writing makes it easy to identify with her and other dog-owned people. A wonderfully fun read, and informative as well.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Harnett VINE VOICE on July 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Two things. One, I am not a dog person. Two, there can never be too many dog books. As long as they're funny and at least somewhat informative.

Slate columnist and lifelong "cat person" Yoffe's account of how she became a dog person easily fills these requirements. It's packed with enough information to confirm a healthy resolve never to own a dog, at least not a beagle, and the self conscious are cautioned against reading it in public lest you attract stares for continuous eruptions of solitary laughter.

Yoffe starts from the lowest point of dog ownership, the night when she single handedly removed the strap of her favorite bra from the rear-end of her relieved beagle, Sasha. The chapter goes on to share stories about other canine culinary feats. One dog wolfed down the entire rubber gasket from a refrigerator in one piece; another swallowed a seven-inch knife. This latter was discovered only because the uncomplaining dog had stopped sleeping in her customary curled-up position. Sasha's special cat litter treat gets mentioned in a later chapter.

While most dogs will eat just about anything, beagles have other drawbacks. The beagle-rescue website has an upfront buyer-beware. "Getting a beagle after this was like reading about a car model in Consumer Reports: `If you want an automobile that will start reliably, requires little maintenance, runs in all kinds of weather and has a good safety record, then this model is not for you,' and then running to the dealer to put down a deposit on an Osie."

Incontinence is a recurring theme, a common trait of beagles. "When Sasha first arrived she did live up to the promise of being completely unhousebroken.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Gigi on September 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I laughed, I cried.... I couldn't put it down ! the author is a good story teller whose anecdotes and stories about dog ownership keep you laughing throughout. A good book thats a must for anyone considering a pet. Begrudgingly and underneath all the humor, Yoffe shows a sentimentality for Sasha and for all dogs !
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