by Julie Klam
You Had Me at Woof is an amusing, lighthearted and sometimes surprising read. The author admits openly that she does almost nothing to train her dogs, they're completely spoiled. It made me wonder a little how the rescue group gave her dogs to foster, as their behavior problems didn't get much help from her. But then, at least they had a safe roof over their heads while looking for their forever homes. It was really interesting to read about the operations of the rescue group- I didn't really know how they functioned before, and it seems like (at least this one) they are basically just a collection of big-hearted people doing what they can to help dogs in need, without asking anything in return.
Sometimes the writing in the book bothered me a bit. There were certain gaps in the story, regards to the author. For example, she never explained why she can't drive- even though it comes up as an issue a few times. Reasons for events or changes in her life also get glossed over. I didn't mind that so much- I liked that the book was more focused on the dogs, and perhaps she just didn't want to share details about her life. But it was just confusing as a reader to suddenly have an aspect of her situation different, with no explanation at all.
One thing I particularly liked was that the "life lessons" weren't overly obvious, not shoved in your face. Each chapter had a title like "How to Uncover Truths" or "How to Mourn the Loss of a Friend" (yes, some dogs die in the book. It didn't make me overly sad, though- probably because I just didn't get attached to them as characters). Sometimes I would get to the end of a chapter and then look back at its title and think about the contents before I realized that it all summed up that title "lesson". The one I didn't get was called "How to Feel Good About Your Neck." What does that mean? is it some cultural reference I don't get? can someone explain?
rating: 3/5 ........ 226 pages, 2010
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