Title: You Had Me At Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness
Author: Julie Klam
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover (October 28, 2010)
With no career and no boyfriend, I had the feeling that I was waiting for my life to start, and I needed something special to show me how to make it happen.
One of the must reads of fall is YOU HAD ME AT WOOF: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness by the witty Julie Klam. Many of us have felt like Klam did years ago: on the verge of something but not quite sure what; feeling stalled in her career; and perhaps a bit wayward. We look for guidance from others, our experiences, reading and within ourselves but it’s challenging to pull oneself out of a deep rut. Klam adopts a Boston terrier named Otto [It took time, but my relationship with Otto made me realize that if you love someone, you’re more than willing to compromise to meet their needs . . .]. People love their pets because they usually find this unconditional love and also that the pet relies on them for their basic needs. If you have that, it’s hard to ignore it.
In YOU HAD ME AT WOOF, Klam candidly describes her experience with rescuing Boston terriers. She picked them up and delivered them to foster homes and she also took in a few memorable dogs to her own apartment. She and her family hosted the challenging Hank and the mysterious Chip. Then there’s Beatrice and Moses that she and her family decide to adopt. She fosters Dahlia who ends up being pregnant and Klam and her husband and daughter Violet decide to keep two of the puppies—Wisteria and Fiorello. They also keep Dahlia, the unsuspecting pregnant terrier. Throughout her Boston terrier rescue experiences, Klam meets all types of people, sometimes in the most bizarre and sad settings. She also takes in dogs that have been hurt in the past and are coping through their animal nature. Klam learns patience and tolerance with the different dogs. She also learns how to be perhaps less judgmental with people.
YOU HAD ME AT WOOF is heartwarming, amusing and sometimes intense. It reveals that what we see in ourselves in taking care of animals is a direct reflection of our own humanity. It shows our ability to nurture and befriend and love.