Friday, November 18, 2011

Love At First Bark - Julie Klam

My first instinct when I see a cute dog on the front cover of any book is to run like heck in the opposite direction.  I really have too much baggage to handle a dying animal, which is usually what happens in these books.  But I was reassured that this was a collection of stories that offered hope, so I tentatively poked my nose in. 

I'd heard of Julie Klam through many reviews of her first book "You Had Me At Woof", which features an adorable, googy-eyed Boston Terrier on the front cover.  In this book, Julie learns many life lessons, including the pursuit of happiness, from her dogs.  I never got around to reading this book, but I can totally back her up on this theme.

So what is Julie up to now?  All kinds of good.

Synopsis:  Now married with a daughter and an apartment full of dogs, Julie shares three personal stories of dog rescue. 

In the first story, Julie and her husband find a home for a pit bull that had been left chained to a light pole.  In the process of their unified mission, they rediscover each other after years of going in opposite directions.

In My Darling Clementine, Julie agrees to foster a dog with an uncontrollable poopy problem, but with a sweet temperament.  She learns that sometimes the ones that nobody else wants are the best pets, and that unconditional love goes both ways.

In the last story, There is a Dog House in New Orleans, Julie and her husband get involved in the rescue of a feral dog that had gotten a jar stuck on its head while they were there on vacation. 

My thoughts:  I am pleased to inform you I didn't cry once while reading this book!  While Julie offers heart-breaking stories about dogs that have been abused or neglected, which is hard to stomach, she also negates the ugliness with all the kind souls that care for the unwanted (including herself).

Julie reminds us that there are lessons in every overwhelming challenge, hidden blessings waiting to help you see the bigger picture.  Whether we are talking about animals, children, spouses, or life in general, opening your heart and giving of yourself can save your soul.     

I also liked Julie's literary voice, which is very down-to-earth and casual.  You can easily envision her as your next door neighbor or colleague at work (one with a huge heart of gold).  Plus, she isn't some crazy dog lady (she might admit to that though!)...she is gorgeous, she is honest, and is even hip to using social media like Twitter and Facebook to get the word about about dogs in need.  The world could use more Julie Klams.

Now I want a dog.  Again.

4 out of 5 stars         

17 comments:

Julie P. said...

It's unusual to find a dog book that doesn't bring a tear or two to my eye.

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

this has my name written all over it :)

farmlanebooks said...

She sounds like exactly the sort of next door neighbour I'd like - although I think my husband would object to all the extra dogs I'd end up fostering/adopting!

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

I usually avoid animal books because they make me cry. Glad to hear this is one I can read without tears! Julie sounds like a wonderful person!

caite said...

lol...I have the exact same reaction when I see a dog on a cover. I can read gruesome murder books, but let a sweet doggie be in danger and I am a puddle.

bermudaonion said...

I'm so glad to know this didn't make you cry! I hope to get to it soon.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I run at animal books too! Even if they don't make me cry, they make me want a dog, and I can't deal with either reaction at the moment!

Zibilee said...

I have the first book, if you want to borrow it. I got it for my husband because he is a Boston terrier nut (we have 2 of them). I had also balked a little at reading this book, because I was afraid of animal death, which always makes me very unhappy and weepy, but knowing that there is none of that in this book makes me want to get to it sooner. I love animals, and if I had the room, my house would be filled with them. Who am I kidding? My house is already filled with them! Very wonderful review today! Glad you loved the book!

Jenners said...

Oh … this sounds awesome! ANd having just gotten a puppy, I can tell you that having a dog brightens your life in a way that I didn't fully expect. He is a delight, a constant amusement and devoted to me beyond reason.

Alyce said...

I have this one on my shelf so I'm very glad to hear that it's not one of those tearjerkers - I was afraid it would be.

Marie said...

nice. I'm glad you enjoyed this. I tend to avoid pet books but I'm glad this one worked well for you.

Jeane said...

I just borrowed You Had me at Woof from the library, and I'm looking forward to reading this one as well, when I can get my hands on it!

Heather @ Book Addiction said...

I normally shy away from books about animals because they always end up making me too sad. But this one sounds really positive! Maybe I will give it a try. :)

heidenkind said...

Oh gosh. Just the emotional memories this drags up are too much.

Kathleen said...

I can't read dog books that make me sad but this one seems like I could handle it.

Alice Teh said...

What a great use of social media for a good cause! I will definitely get a copy of this book if I see it in the bookstores.

Susan Bennett said...

I couldn't agree more with the sentiment of running the other way. Marley and Me was a huge disappointment to me. This one sounds refreshing.