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You Had Me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness Hardcover – October 28, 2010

205 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Klam (Please Excuse My Daughter) recounts the touching, often hilarious tales of life with Boston terriers. She adopts her first pet, Otto, after a "substantial" little dog "came slow-motion scampering through the high grass and wild daisies of sleep." With Otto, the then single Klam learned about compromise and sacrifice. Married and pregnant, the author adopts a little "doglet," Beatrice, and distracted by a newborn, forgets to have the puppy spayed--resulting in a series of hilarious misadventures worth the price of the book. She continues to rescue, foster, and adopt dogs--spirited Hank, adored Moses, chubby Sherlock--each with his or her own special needs, idiosyncrasies, and "teachable moments" in trusting one's instincts, achieving balance, helping others, finding contentment, loving fiercely, and letting go. This gem of a book is a gift to dog lovers everywhere.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"A funny, wise and moving account of being dragged into reluctant adulthood by a pack of abandoned Boston terriers. It didn't just make me laugh---it also, I'll confess, made a grown man cry." ---Ken Foster, author of The Dogs Who Found Me --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books (October 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594487766
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594487767
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #523,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Julie Klam grew up in Bedford, New York. After attending NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and interning at Late Night with David Letterman, she went on to write for such publications as O: The Oprah Magazine, Rolling Stone, Harper's Bazaar, Glamour, Redbook, Family Circle, and The New York Times Magazine and for the VH1 television show Pop-Up Video, where she earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Special Class Writing. She lives in Manhattan with her daughter, dogs, and Dan.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

199 of 202 people found the following review helpful By tachi1 VINE VOICE on September 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A Boston Terrier was my father's engagement gift to my mother. Another was my seventh-birthday gift. As I approach Medicare, for the first time in my life I don't have a Boston Terrier. My 10th one died recently at age 15. At some point during our dog's illness, my husband and I decided that this was our last dog. It was a rational, logical, and realistic decision based on our ages and circumstances. So why am I so uncommitted and unconvinced by it? This book reminded me.

Not everyone melts when they see a Boston Terrier. Buggy eyes and flat noses aren't most people's idea of doggy beauty. There are prettier dogs, bigger, fluffier, more colorful, more and less energetic, equally smart and funny. But there is more to these little creatures than their looks. Their personalities dovetail perfectly with mine and we understand each other. (Exactly what that says about me, I don't know). Every important moment in my life has been shared with, at least, one. I still come home and look down, I still check garden gates, I still look at dog toys at the grocery store.

The author is even more of a dog person than I am. She tells the story of, not only her own dogs, but of dogs she has provided foster homes for (something I admire tremendously in others and would never be able to do). Reading her book feels like having a conversation with a friend you have much in common with. She shares the good times along with the sadness and the every-day frustrations and inconveniences.

But most of all, she shares how these little loves who don't speak still manage to help you understand the complexities of life as well as the simple truths we might not have, otherwise, noticed.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Bigdumptruck on September 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Julie Klam's "You Had Me At Woof" is just a perfect read - funny, smart, and at times serious. I will be the first to admit that I was never a dog person until I got my dog, and even still, HE is the only dog I like. But I think Julie has turned me around and sold me on the idea that other people's dogs are pretty great too.

While not specifically a "how to" book on happiness, it's clear that Julie discovered to be fulfilled beyond the role of wife and mother, she needed to help these abandoned dogs find forever homes, and it's a noble calling. The book provided great insight into the whole world of rescue dogs, and the people who rescue them. I found myself rooting for the dogs, and for Ms. Klam.

A thoroughly entertaining read.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Linda Bulger VINE VOICE on October 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Right now the demand for dog books can scarcely be sated. Being one of the insatiable readers of these dog books, I got my hands on Julie Klam's You Had Me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness and thoroughly enjoyed it. Klam is an accomplished writer with a great sense of humor, and she would need one, living as she does in a Manhattan apartment with her husband, daughter, and a variable number of small dogs who can't be counted on to mind their manners.

Julie has a passion for Boston terriers. She got her first Boston when she was thirty, depressed, underemployed and alone. She really wanted to meet a man and eventually get married but...well, she got a dog to bridge the gap and bonded with little Otto right away, making him the complete focus of her attention. Not all readers will relate to her indulgence of Otto, but many people feel the same way about their canine companions--and many others feel a strong enough bond to understand why others might go that far. For Julie, her relationship with Otto was unselfish and nurturing, helping her to transition to other relationships.

Fast forward to Julie married and raising a daughter. For me, the most interesting aspect of her story was her work with a Boston terrier rescue organization. She got involved in picking up Bostons from shelters and organizations and placing them in foster homes, while working to find "forever homes" for these appealing pooches. It was not her intention to foster dogs, never mind adopt, but somehow...somehow...we keep finding Julie with a macrame of leashes walking a tangle of little dogs through the streets of Manhattan. Some dogs just wriggled their way into her heart.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By JRay VINE VOICE on September 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
IF the title isn't cute enough, the reader will soon meet even cuter Boston Terriers that Julie has devoted her life to rescue. She starts off the book with her own story, this book is somewhat of a memior, but is so much more. I did hold my breathe in the beginning because I really didn't want to read another woman's tale of her narsasitic life while after being lead to believe this was truly to be a dog's tale. It is just that....a story about her dogs, with also details of her personal life woven in the story. She does such a great job telling all the stories of her own pets (Otto and Bev) and her rescue pets (there are many). I enjoyed so much reading about her last rescue of the book Dahlia. What a sweet dog. Just a story about Dahlia would have been enough to fill the pages of a book. What I love about this book is that through Julie telling her story of serving these lovable (sometimes unlovable Boston Terriers), is that you learn more about Julie then if she would have just written about the birth of her daughter Violet, her marriage, her career, and her friends, while briefly mentioning these heartwarming dogs on the side. I think since Marley and Me came out that there is a new generation of authors that want to write that sort of book, but really just ends up writing more about themselves than their relationship with the pets they are suppose to write about.

Julie really has a heart for these dogs. You don't see her complaining about the constant pee and poop (I am sure vomit is there somewhere even though she doesn't mention it) in her apartment. SHe loves these dogs and the details she writes about each of them does each dog justice. I applaud all her fellow rescue workers in this book.
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