ISBN: 1596921781
ISBN 13: 9781596921788
By: Michelle Herman

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2006 Amanda Animals Cant Get That Reading Time Back Dog Doggy Love Fiction Furry Companions Need_ebook To Read

About this book

Single, childless, J.T. Rosen?a poet and college professor who has failed to live up to her early promise?has constructed a careful, orderly life around her work and the little house she has lived in alone for many years. Long ago, after a tumultuous youth filled with the ?Sturm und Drang of boys and men, ? she gave up on the possibility of love; she has begun by now, in the Middle Western town she cannot bring herself to think of as home, to give up on the possibility of friendship. When the dog enters her life, almost by accident he takes over her life, as puppies do. But as the days and weeks pass, the relationship that unfolds between dog and woman provides a glimpse for her of the possibilities that life still offers, of goodness that she begins to understand can be ?counted on? in some inexplicable way. Dog is about how a person constructs a life for herself, about the bits and pieces that make up a life as one goes along, and about the possibility of goodness, always, among those pieces?the possibility of love, and grace. "Phil the dog is one of the most admirable and engaging male characters you are likely to encounter between the pages of a book this year. His relations with the woman who has the good fortune to share his life are handled with exemplary insight, delicacy, and humor.? - J M Coetzee

Reader's Thoughts


From a literary standpoint, some lines were very beautifully written. The story line threw me a little. I thought it would be more about the dog. The book is more about a semi-reclusive poetry professor who quite accidentally takes adopts a puppy (I believe she googled "adoption" with the idea of looking at adopting a child). She basically does so many things wrong with raising her puppy that it's surprising that the dog turns out as well as he does. Overall I found the book quite frustrating, and the main character a bit annoying...

Jean Cable

Too sad about her life, except for the addition of Phil

Fred Kohn

This was a delightful little book. I could only give it three stars because I could not relate to the main character very well. I think it would be a very good book for a woman to read, especially a middle aged single woman, to read. There wasn't a whole lot of action; the book was more psychological. This is the kind of book I enjoy; it gives more opportunity for character development.


It was nice and short. The main character did not capture my affection at all, but the dog was sweet.


an innocuous novella about a neurotic woman and the unlikely puppy who humanizes her. simple, sweet.


fun, though i would've liked to have it be more about the dog. there's probably a lot more here than i'm willing to discuss, about women and aging and expectations. it was nice to have more of a loner-ish character who wasn't insane. but the discussions of past lovers and things was really lost of me. maybe i just wasn't in the right mood.


I chose this book off the shelf because of the photograph on the cover and it turned out to be an auspicious choice! I loved this book from poet-turned-novelist Michelle Herman. It is the story of a sad English professor and the turn her life takes with the introduction of Phil the dog. Bizarre and beautiful.

Brett Newmyer

It was pretty cute, but not especially deep, which you should expect going in. I was a little turned off by the supporting cast being so minimal. That was of course to put emphasis on her relationship with her dog, but it still bothered me. Fun little book, but there are better dog books out there

Sarah Brown

This book was truly awesome-I would recommend to any single girl!


This is a cute little story about a single woman named Jill facing the end of her child-bearing years who ends up adopting a dog. While there are aspects that I don't think set a good example for dog ownership - she doesn't think about what's involved in caring for a dog before adopting him, she doesn't properly lead-train him, she doesn't socialize him, she doesn't play with him - there are other aspects that make me happy - she's very conscientious about his house-breaking and his daily walks, and she really does love him and worry about his welfare. Phil is his name, and he's an unusual puppy in that he seems content not to be played with. He's very calm and only seems to act like a puppy on his midnight walks when he alternates between stubbornly investigating every interesting thing for as long as he wants and running pell-mell up the street pulling Jill stumblingly along behind him.And these actions of his bleed over into more of Jill's life than just those midnight walks. She also begins to investigate things thoroughly - her past relationships, whether with lovers, family or friends, and also her current life, with its lack of emotional attachments. By the end, you can imagine a future for Jill with a little experimentation into her own form of running pell-mell once in a while (kind of like she did when deciding to adopt Phil in the first place) and seeing where she ends up because of it.One thing that bothered me significantly was the author's writing style. Lots of long sentences with asides built into the middle of them to further explain or enhance the thought being conveyed. While I tend to do the same thing to an extent - see how I'm doing it now and how I did it in the paragraphs above - I try to stick to one at a time, while this author will use two or three at a time and within each other, causing me to forget the beginning of the sentence by the time I reach the end of it. If not for that, I probably would have given it one more star.

Emily Patterson-Blight

Dog unfolds with such openness, such simplicity, such foursquare tenderness. And yet, this small miracle of a novel is steeped in its protagonist's rich and nuanced observations of self, loneliness, companionship. The concluding, miniature meditation on goodness and happenstance roots this brief but wise novel in the heart's memory.


While the picture on the cover makes you want to take it home, it's the story that makes this book stick with you. I'm not sure that Jill is meant to be a likable character, but how you not like someone who's taken in Philip? It's a great that makes you feel lonely, but that makes you enjoy the loneliness, and appreciate your dog.

Stephanie A.

Despite what other reviews say, my expectations were exceeded when I picked this up in the general fiction section and found it actually focusing on a woman acquiring a puppy. Heavens! There's also a lot of introspection and no truly discernible point or plot, but it's cozy. I feel like I'll appreciate it more when I'm actually the age of the 45-year-old main character, though.


" The dog, the dog , the dog-the dog had taken over her life. But this was not necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps she had needed to have her life taken over. " How can you not be pulled in and want to read on after those first sentences? Anyone who has ever been owned by a dog, or has taken care of another being understands how being responsible for a living creature can take over everything and alter your life. And consequently we relate to these thoughts and wonder how the protagonist will handle the changes.The story is simple, almost simplistic, a running narrative and analysis of thoughts really. But nevertheless compelling and intimate. A fun, short read.


**WARNING: SPOILER**This was a light and fun book about a middle-aged woman getting a puppy completely on the spur of the moment, having never owned a dog before. If you read it superficially, it's a mostly funny, sometimes sad book. However, there's a deeper level because there are many parallels between her journey in life and that of the dog. As she becomes more attached to the dog - Phillip - she gains insight into herself and the reasons she may have problems with both friendships and romantic relationships. All in all, a good read. The only reason I didn't give it a 10 is because I sincerely disapprove of anyone getting a pet without thorough preparation for the lifetime commitment involved.

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