Review: You Had Me at Woof

Posted on January 10, 2011

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You Had Me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness
By Julie Klam
Riverhead Books
October 2010
240 pages

The title of this book is somewhat misleading. I expected a dogoir about the trials and tribulations of raising Boston terriers. But this book is so much more than that. It does begin with the story of Klam’s first Boston terrier, Otto. Then it gets really interesting. This is actually the story of Klam’s work with the Northeast Boston Terrier Rescue (NBTR), a tireless group of dedicated volunteers who rescue Boston terriers young and old – even if they look more like Chihuahuas. They heal the sick ones, foster them all, and find them forever homes. Sounds simple enough. But as Klam described it, there was nothing simple about it. From unbelievably irresponsible dog owners to astronomical vet bills to a relay race across the northeast with a homeless dog as the baton, these are at once heartbreaking and fascinating stories about dog rescue.

Klam writes honestly about the people she encountered and the dogs she fostered. But she is not brutal. She is warm, funny, and compassionate. This book should be required reading for all dog lovers. Then if they happen to recognize themselves in the parade of characters that surrendered their dogs or had them taken away, maybe they’ll change their ways. You Had Me at Woof is an education in dog ownership and dog rescue. Klam shows readers that dog rescuers truly are angels – and not everyone deserves a dog’s love.

Copyright (c) 2011 by Peggy Tibbetts

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