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It's Just A Dog by [Ryan, Russ]
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It's Just A Dog Kindle Edition

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Length: 191 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


"For dog lovers and lovers of dog stories, it's a winner!" ---Dorri Olds,

From the Author

Read the first chapter of IT'S JUST A DOG for free using the Amazon "Click to LOOK INSIDE" Feature (top left of page, above) or download the PDF at

Product Details

  • File Size: 435 KB
  • Print Length: 191 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: December 15, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,940 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
Russ Ryan doesn't come to this novel without background or credentials: he has written screenplays with the Hollywood producers of AMERICAN PIE, FINAL DESTINATION, and FIREFLIES IN THE GARDEN and his own REPLI-KATE and he has probably absorbed more Hollywood history then most through his sidebar hobby blog that focuses on the art of movie posters going far back in time. From all of this exposure to dealing with dialogue, hearing movie ideas played out in the resource room, and staring at ideas that pop out from the great art of movie posters, he has come up with a very original and very wonderful first novel that should boost his career in the business (someone will doubtless option this book for a movie!) and provide hours of entertainment - and solace - to dog lovers, especially those who have gone through the loss of their `man's best friend. Ryan is a dog widower times two, sadly.

In a very casual conversational manner we meet a young artist who has a history as a child of losing a pet dog Starsky who was euthanized without much explanation. Jump to present time in Malibu, California and after our down and out artist (who goes by the name of Charlie Keefe) is dumped by his live-in girlfriend, he decides to go to the animal shelter and get a dog. And there is Pete - a mutt, but a Jack Russell Terrier who in a very brief time works his way into Charlie's heart and life. Charlie begins to paint dogs (sort of a `Thomas Kinkade knock-off imagery' of his main model Pete) and with Charlie's artist rep Donny's help the business becomes lucrative - The Picasso of Pooch Portraits - and Charlie and Pete become famous globetrotters. But of course Pete ages and while Charlie is on an exhibition trip to Paris, Pete dies and Donny cremates him.
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Format: Paperback
If you're a dog lover, you need to take a deep breath. Relax. You read that book title and began to clench your teeth, right? Well, this book isn't at all what you're thinking.

When my beloved Lucy passed away last year, I felt as though my heart had been ripped out. I was sure that my life would never be the same. After all, not only was Lucy my heart dog and constant companion, she inspired my business, For Love of a Dog.

Lucy is the dog in my business logs and without her I may never have created my business. When Lucy died, a bit of the fire that fanned my muses died as well. Life really was not the same in any way.

Some people just didn't get it. "It's just a dog," they said (or thought to themselves.) Russ Ryan gets it. Oh, dog! He really gets it.

It's Just A Dog is dedicated to Petey Ryan and Charlie Dickens. You guessed it: dogs. Petey, a Jack Russell terrier, was over 14 years old when he died in 2010. Charlie, a
Terrier / Retriever mix and rebound dog, died suddenly right before publication of this book.

Ryan notes: "Being a dog widower has taught me that it doesn't matter if you have a dog ten years or ten months - the pain and hurt is still the same. Fortunately, the good part is that the love never dies!"

Your teeth just unclenched, didn't they? And now you're reaching for a tissue or two, right? Now you're ready to read a great new dog lover book. It's Just a Dog is a hilarious tale with lots of heart and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It's Just A Dog is a story about loss, love and new beginnings, told in a humorous, informal style. I immediately felt as though I was reading about a friend. I'm very cautious about dog books. I'm always afraid something terrible will happen to the dog.
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Format: Paperback
I picked up "It's Just a Dog" on my way out the door as I left for vacation. Three days into my two-week vacation and I need a new book. I wish Mr Ryan understood that vacation books are supposed to last the entire two weeks, not finished in three days. I am not a book "devourer." I usually read about five pages a night before I doze off and am awoken by the book or iPad hitting me on the nose, but I scarfed this one down.

The author performs an amazing balancing act in "It's Just a Dog." It's sarcastic, hilarious and heartfelt (by which I do NOT mean "sappy" -- I hate that) and most of all, authentic.

He tells us a wonderful tale where artist Charlie Keefe moves through the seven stages of dog loss with the addition of the little-known "Spectral Visitation" stage, during which the ghost of Pete, his Jack Russell Terrier, returns to simultaneously torture Charlie and put his life back on track.

I don't think you have to be a dog lover or have suffered dog loss to enjoy the book, but it probably helps. I am and I have, and the author does hit that part square on. Like I said, "authentic." I was amazed to read bits of the book that seemed to be my own thoughts and feelings transferred to the page in front of me.

I loved this book and think it would make a great movie. And now I have eleven days to read it again -- more than once apparently.
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Format: Kindle Edition
When Charlie Keefe's Jack Russell terrier Pete died at the ripe old age of 16 - and a half--Charlie lost more than his "precious pal." He lost his "meal ticket." You see, Charlie is the world famous "painter of dogs" - the "Picasso of the Pooch Portraits." And his most popular subject was, alas, the dear departed Pete. Devastated, Charlie grieves for months, unable to paint or function, like a normal human being, much to the exasperation of his friends and especially his business partner. With the help of Janelle the dog rescuer lady and a cute little spaniel named Brownie, Charlie gradually starts putting his life back together. But he's haunted by the ghost of Pete. One day at the most inopportune moment, Pete's ghost appears and starts shooting off his mouth. From then on Charlie takes a swan dive into the abyss with Pete the wise-cracking, ghost dog by his side.

"It's Just a Dog" is a hilarious sendup of the dogoir genre. Reminiscent of the tongue-in-cheek satire in the film "Best in Show," Ryan captures the nuance of the quirky characters that inhabit the world of dog lovers with blithe affection but never sarcasm. Clearly Ryan is just another delirious dog lover with a highly-developed sense of humor. "It's Just a Dog" is a fun-filled romp through this dog park of life.
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