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The Dog Who Danced

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,905 Ratings  ·  363 Reviews
From the New York Times bestselling author of One Good Dog comes a novel about a woman's cross-country journey to find her lost dog, and discover herself.

"My name is Justine Meade and in my forty-three years there have only been a handful of people that I have loved. No, that's an exaggeration. Two. Two that I lost because of stupidity and selfishness. One was my son. The
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by St. Martin's Press (first published March 1st 2012)
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Until Tuesday by Luis Carlos MontalvánA Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce CameronMarley and Me by John GroganThe Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth SteinThe Call of the Wild by Jack London
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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As Justine Meade and trucker Artie made their way down the highway with Justine’s gray-and-black Sheltie, Mack between them, her thoughts were turned inward. The reason for this long and uncomfortable trip was to go home to her father – he was dying and though it was twenty years since she’d seen her childhood home, she had forced herself to make the journey. Hitching a ride across the country to Boston was the only way she could afford to get there…

But when Artie drove off from a rest stop and
Lynn Pribus
Aug 05, 2012 Lynn Pribus rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this one, but the narrator was such a self-interested, self-pitying woman who seemed to make all her own problems as well as huge problems for her son, I found her very annoying. The reason she "loses" her dog is that, although she is riding with a trucker who is intent on making a deadline at his destination so he won't lose his job, she not only lingers for an extra five minutes over a meal, she actually goes to take a shower for 10-15 minutes although he has said he will wait ...more
Tara Chevrestt
Jan 02, 2012 Tara Chevrestt rated it liked it
Shelves: dogs, arc, 2012-release, vine
They say some people handle grief in bad ways...I think this couple does. First, let me say this is a good story, not so much about a dog, but about handling grief and loss and a how a dog can help people heal.

Justine's dog is dog napped, basically and then abandoned. While she struggles with bitter feelings with her step family and her father dying AND searches for her dog, an older couple picks her dog up and replaces their lost daughter with the dog. The dog brings them together again. No lon
Sep 08, 2015 Donna rated it really liked it
This was a feel good kind of book. It was the perfect book for me today, since I've been sick for too long. Even though the title suggests that this is a book about a dog who dances, that wasn't actually the main focus of the story. This book was more about loss and the process of learning to move on. I appreciated that message.

The dog sounded pretty darn cute. I liked that the author told his side of the story from his own perspective. That was fun.
Aug 05, 2012 Diane rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book, but don't agree it was an "emotional wringer" and didn't think it was as good as most GoodReads readers did, nor as good as One Good Dog. It is the story of Justine (her emotional past and family history and the man she meets along the way as she searches for her dog Mack. Mack is inadvertently dognapped, then abandoned by the dognapper and found by a couple who adopt him. The plot was a bit contrived, but the characters are appealing and its worth a read. A good beach book.
Mar 14, 2012 Debbie rated it it was amazing
An unexpected call has Justine Meade grateful for a shotgun seat on a semi heading towards a home she hasn’t seen since she left at seventeen because it means that her dog Mack is with her. Mack has been her salvation and made her look at life in a better way than the defeatist, betrayed way she used to when all she could think of was the loss of her childhood then later the loss of her son. The dog who learned to dance with her has been much more than a mere pet which is why she’s overwrought a ...more
Dec 10, 2011 Carol rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011, dog-cat-bird
I usually cry when reading a book about a dog. This time, tears were cascading down my face. Those were tears of happiness instead of sorrow. I don’t know how Susan Wilson did it, but she created the perfect ending!

In ‘The Dog Who Danced’, the dog, Mack has his share of telling the story but it is as the author could get inside the dog and know he perceives the world. Most importantly through the sense of smell and without the benefit of some abilities like place orientation, Susan Wilson excels
Jun 03, 2012 Brenda rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
This is another rating that I have rounded up. The book was okay but it did make me cry at little at the end even though I wasn't heavily invested in or very sympathetic towards any of the characters. The characters were made up of a middle-aged woman trying to get to the east coast before her estranged father dies but she can't afford to fly and if she could she wouldn't be able to take her dog with her. The trucker who frequents the bar where she works who offers to take her and the dog. He th ...more
Apr 02, 2012 Donna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, shelties
I've had Shelties since 1979, so I'll admit up front that I'm the target audience for "The Dog Who Danced" by Susan Wilson. It's about a Sheltie named Mack who becomes separated from his owner, Justine Meade. While she frantically searches for him across several states, he's found and taken in by a retired couple, Ed and Alice Parmalee.
Wilson captures the delightful personalities of Shetland sheepdogs perfectly. To call them intelligent is an understatement. She describes Mack as having not just
Feb 28, 2012 Cheryl rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
My emotions. They are all over the place. I laughed. I cried, and not just at the end. All throughout the book. It was not pretty. I want to adopt another dog. I am one of the biggest dog lovers in the world, so I knew I would enjoy this book. They are men's best friends! Ahhh.

Susan Wilson knows how to write a great book. The book switching back and forth between the human and canine stories. I love multiple narrators and points of view. I eat it up. The chapters flow and are connected, so it's
Jun 01, 2013 Hannah rated it liked it
The reason I gave this book 3 stars was because it was about a sheltie. Susan Wilson did an excellent job describing Mack. Every bit of personality she gave him was spot on. As far as the rest of the was just alright. Take away the ridiculous amount of grammatical errors and you're still left with a rather unlikeable main character and a string of awkward events (i.e. the run in with Artie at the service shop). I didn't cry, or laugh at this book, I just trudged through it waiting for ...more
Mar 21, 2012 Chaos rated it it was amazing
My first time with this author--and it won't be my last! Loved this book from the first page and then found myself slowing down toward the end so I didn't have to leave these characters.

Told from several different points of view, this novel captured my imagination and emotions from beginning to end.

When I worry about the characters, when away from the book, I know I have a winner on my hands.

Thanks Goodreads! I appreciate the opportunity to get the sneak peek on this one!!
Apr 13, 2012 Jami rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this very much. I have been waiting for her next book ever since I read One Good Dog, and I was not disappointed. My only problem is that I was very tempted to take a peek at the end to see what happens....I had to use all my willpower not to do that! I love her writing style, particularly the way she alternates voices of the humans and the dog. Excellent read!
Apr 09, 2012 Alice rated it it was amazing
I was attracted to this book because I have a Sheltie. However it was the accounts of people who face difficulties in their lives and how they work through them that made this a special book. The unconditional love of the dog for his owner(s) and the bond of the owner(s) for the dog was the icing on the cake for me.
Sep 20, 2012 Teresa rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I you love a sheltie, you must read this book. The sheltie who is the main character is spot on with sheltie character and personality. This is a touching story. Highly recommended to anyone, but sheltie lovers in particular.
Aug 18, 2012 Melissapalmer404 rated it it was amazing
Book #56 Read in 2012
The Dog Who Danced by Susan Wilson

Justine is heading cross country to visit her dying father. She has hooked up a ride with a trucker. Her baggage is just a few bags and her Sheltie, Mack. The truck driver ends up leaving Justine at a truck stop and he does not know at first that Mack is still in the back of his truck. He eventually figures that out and drops Mack off on the side of a major interstate. Mack is found by Alice and Ed, an older couple who have suffered a great
Feb 29, 2012 Heather rated it it was amazing
I won this book through a Goodreads first-reads giveaway.

I was so excited to win this book as anything dog-related is a huge plus for me. I just loved this story. It was about a 40-something drifter, Justine Meade whose only real companion, Mack, her Blue merle Shetland Sheepdog, was taken unknowingly from her during a cross-country trip from Seattle to Massachusetts. When she received a call from her stepmother, letting her know that her father was dying, Justine took a ride with a tractor trai
Aug 18, 2012 Joyce rated it really liked it
For anyone who loves dogs, the novel The Dog Who Danced by Susan Wilson is a sure winner! The story revolves around a Sheltie collie named Mack and 3 people all badly hurting emotionally who are involved with this dog who dances. Justine Meade has grown up believing her father didn't love her and betrayed her and has carried around a baggage of bitterness and hurt ever since he remarried when she was a teenager after her mother's death. The only being she has ever genuinely loved since then is h ...more
Mar 05, 2012 Frank rated it it was amazing
Anyone who loves dogs or even "a" dog must read this one. This is written from both the dog's POV and the owner's POV and was done well. It is a story of Justine who has had a really tough life and she shares much of that life with the reader in bits and peaces. And Mack a dog who has only known Justine. Justine's Dad is dying, and although he was the real reason she left home at 17 (plus the typical ugly stepmother) she attempts to cross the country with an 18 wheeler rig to be there for him at ...more
Feb 27, 2012 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, first-reads
This story is about a woman desperately searching for her lost dog. And, even more so, it is about the various decisions she has made and how they have affected her life. The story also follows the couple that has found the dog and how he helps them cope with past tragedies that have left them wandering through life in a daze. The author effectively tells the story through the perspective of the dog's owner, the couple, and the dog himself.

I received this book for free through Good Reads First R
May 05, 2014 Kathy rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Justine and her dog Mack are making a cross country trip in a friends semi, going back to Massachusetts to see her dying father. The driver gets mad at her, taking off and leaving her at a truck stop, not knowing the dog is in the sleeper. When he discovers Mack, he throws him out on the highway. What things happen to Mack and Justine as they try to find their way to each other once more?
Pauline Tilbe
Mar 18, 2012 Pauline Tilbe rated it it was amazing
Susan Wilson is brilliant!
We have all grieved through losses in our life. Justine seems to bring on some of this grief herself. The Parmalees are broken, going through their day to day existence. Mack is the common denominator.

Wilson is honest in revealing the faults of the characters in The Dog Who Danced. Like all of us, Justine is not perfect, she struggles with life decisions. She does what she thinks is best and yet it never is. Mack is anchor in her life. No story spoilers here though, I'l
Kevin McAllister
Jun 01, 2015 Kevin McAllister rated it it was amazing
I've always felt that it would be a better world if humans were more like dogs. They are the most devoted and loyal beings on the planet and The Dog Who Danced shows clearly shows why this is the case. A beautiful story about an amazing dog !
Jun 15, 2012 Kathy rated it really liked it
I just happened to be in the mood for a dog story and I found this in the new books at my library. For the third time in a year, I have discovered a wonderful author. Her story caught me on the first page and I was hooked. It's the story of a lost dog, but also of a lost person, a person on a quest but not sure what for. I confess I was a little disappointed at the ending, although you can imagine in your own thoughts what happened, and it can turn out just as you wish. I loved the intertwining ...more
Mar 21, 2012 Jen rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Saturday's Child
A friend lent me a copy of this novel as she knows that I enjoy stories about dogs. Mack/Buddy made me smile but it was Ed and Alice and their story that moved me.
Nov 29, 2014 Beth rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book! I picked it up at Lollypop Farm, the Monroe County Humane Society. I had read One Goo Dog and remembered liking it, but mostly bought the book to support the animals. We were there to pick up Autumn's birthday present- a black Guinea Pig, now called MOO. The friendliest little rodent ever. Anyway, back to the book. I was hooked right away. The story is about a single woman who has been on her own since graduating from High School and has had no success with her personal or pro ...more
Kristin Gonterman
Jul 04, 2014 Kristin Gonterman rated it really liked it
Just to be clear, I'm overestimating a little on my rating. I'd give it a 3.5/5 if I could give out half-stars.

Why, you might ask? Because although I love flawed characters, the people in this story were simply TOO flawed. Their bad characteristics almost outweighed the good with everyone, and that's never a good thing in a story. The only likeable character in the end was Buddy/Mack, the sheltie who finds himself lost at the beginning of the book due to animal cruelty that's completely unrelate
Teena in Toronto
Aug 07, 2015 Teena in Toronto rated it really liked it
Justine didn't have a very good childhood. Her mother had died when she was young and her father married their neighbour, Adele, soon after. They moved into Adele's house and Justine could do nothing right. She got married, had a baby and became a single mom while in her early twenties. Now in her forties, all Justine has is her dog named Mack. When her stepmother calls her to come home because her father is dying, she can't afford a flight so hitches a ride with a cranky trucker named Artie. He ...more
May 26, 2016 Zoe rated it liked it
Before I even began reading this book, I really wanted to like it. I love books where the dog is the main player. I mean it is hard not to like books where everything is centered around a four-legged furry friend. I have a big heart and books with dogs in them, always manage to tear at my heartstrings. Unfortunately and most to my disappointment, I could barely get through some parts of this book. It is using very intellectual words and is overall well written, but it is boring. I had to push my ...more
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Born in Providence, RI, raised in Middlefield (Rockfall) Connecticut. Post High School Education, Middlesex Community College, Middletown, CT and Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, CT.
Married, two grown daughters and a granddaughter and grandson.
Lives in Oak Bluffs, MA, on Martha's Vineyard.

Those are the stats. I am a novelist, seven published, one in progress, and a occasional co
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“Favorite quote from the dog: "Humans have this nee to express themselves through their mouths, and he supposes that this is because they are so poor with their noses." LOL(less) from the dog who danced” 2 likes
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