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You Tell Your Dog First Paperback – November 6, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Alison Pace's You Tell Your Dog First is a collection of heartwarming, soul-filling, funny and eerily relatable pooch inspired essays. This book is a great gift for dog lovers and those that want to understand them better. I loved this book."
-Julie Klam, New York Times bestselling author of You Had Me at Woof


"Alison Pace's You Tell Your Dog First is a collection of heartwarming, soul-filling, funny and eerily relatable pooch inspired essays. This book is a great gift for dog lovers and those that want to understand them better. I loved this book."

-Julie Klam, New York Times bestselling author of You Had Me at Woof

"A remarkably sweet and affecting tale of inner growth."

(Kirkus Reviews on PUG HILL )

"Smart and witty."

(Library Journal on PUG HILL )

"Endearing...craftily portraying the balancing act between work and play, family (be it four-legged or two) and
friends, and food and fasting."

(Publishers Weekly on THROUGH THICK AND THIN )

About the Author

Alison Pace is the author of five novels including If Andy Warhol Had A Girlfriend and Pug Hill. Her essays have appeared in several anthologies including Howl: A Collection Of The Best Contemporary Dog Wit. She lives in New York City where she is at work on another book.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; 1 edition (November 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425255875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425255872
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,798,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Megan VINE VOICE on November 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
In a world of cat people and dog people, Alison Pace is firmly in the dog camp.

Well, actually . . . that's sort of underselling it. Pace, author of novels like PUG HILL and A PUG'S TALE, is a serious dog person. In YOU TELL YOUR DOG FIRST, a serious of canine-related essays, Pace recounts her fur-filled childhood, creation of a life in New York City, writing career and -- eventually, quite happily -- the adoption her own West Highland White Terrier, Carlie. It's heartwarming non-fiction with chew toys, cute guys and dogs roaming free in Central Park.

I'll be the first to admit I'm also in the dog camp. I grew up with dogs, love dogs, get excited at the prospect of visiting a friend with a dog. When others coo over adorable babies, I'm reaching for the squirmy mutt at their feet. If my boyfriend had a dollar for every time I squealed, "Oh my God, look at that dog," he could retire quite happily, get a bunch of cats and leave my dog-hair-covered self in the dust.

So for someone like me? Someone who, as Pace's title suggests, tells her dog the big news first? I was all about Pace's funny, cute look at life with canines. I loved her descriptions of growing up with a literal pack at the homestead and could relate to her feelings of being a dog person without a dog. Living in New York City, Pace's options regarding pet-friendly rental buildings are complicated. And when Carlie, a former show dog, comes into her life? Well, Pace will move mountains to find a good living situation for them both.

If you're not nutso for pets, I can see readers rolling their eyes at some of the antics -- but the charming thing about Pace is that she never takes herself too seriously.
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Format: Paperback
A dog person without a dog, Alison Pace set about to change the texture of her life to include one. She had grown up with numerous dogs, but in her first NY apartment, dogs were not allowed.

Told in an anecdotal style that leads the reader through the various tales of her life, You Tell Your Dog First is a funny, poignant, and inspirational read that hooked me immediately.

The first dog in the author's adult life is like a touchstone, telling her a lot about potential friends, dates, and even activities. As a writer, she had a lot more flexibility to her days until that time when she decided to work in an office three days a week. Then we watch as she diligently searches for just the right daytime companionship for her Westie named Carlie.

I have enjoyed several of the dog stories from this author, like Pug Hill and A Pug's Tale. I'll be watching for the next novel from this extremely engaging author. Five stars
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Format: Paperback
Throughout her career, Alison Pace's stories have been graced with the moniker of "dog lit". But for Alison, many of the years spent writing novels about dogs, and essays about dogs, and book reviews about books about dogs were years spent without a dog of her own. Growing up in a house with no less than four dogs at a time, Alison is a lifelong lover of the animal with a wealth of memories for all the dogs she's known. Living in New York City, though, has its dog-related difficulties, and pursuing the presence of dogs in her adult life found a way of becoming a lingering dream. In her new memoir, You Tell Your Dog First, Alison recounts, among other things, her decision to finally get a dog of her own: including the hunt for the perfect dog-friendly apartment, the extensive search for the appropriate breed, and the many adventures that come with dog-ownership. The dog at the center of the book, and at the center of Alison's delight, is Carlie, a West Highland white terrier.

There are so many things to love about You Tell Your Dog First, most especially from the perspective of a dog person. Whether you own a dog or fawn over the ones your friends and family have, there comes a time when your love of the animal borders a bit on eccentricity (or so people tell you) and reading Alison's essays evokes the feeling of camaraderie that alights between dog people: the sense that we understand each other, that we "get it". In that way, You Tell Your Dog First is like sitting down with another ardent dog lover to talk about our shared passions; our dogs. Alison's charming and witty narrative conjures a cozy environment that allows the reader to spend some time in a happy place, hearing her stories about Carlie and the adventures (or misadventures) they find together in the city and the country.
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I just finished reading You Tell Your Dog First, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am dog-centric myself and don't understand why other people aren't! (I have 2 beagles who help me through life's rough patches.) I enjoy reading contemporary female authors and found my way to Alison's books a few years ago. This book is a compilation of essays but is not disjointed as many such books are. It is entertaining and insightful.

I visit NYC a few times a year and always see city dogs ( all breeds and sizes) and have wondered how they live. Pretty much like my suburban pups, it seems, except Central Park is a much cooler playground. I loved reading about the Pace family's history of dogs - we often talk about all of the dogs we've had and their antics - and I think it would be fun knowing her parents. Dog lovers will love this book, but really anyone who has empathy with animals will enjoy reading about Carlie and Alison. I can't wait to read Alison's next book!
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