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The Puppy That Came for Christmas: How a Dog Brought One Family the Gift of Joy

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  554 Ratings  ·  91 Reviews
Marley, Oogy, Huck-and now, Traffy, the "forever dog" that changed one couple's life.

All Megan Rix ever wanted was a baby. Yet, month after month, Megan's dreams were dashed. Would her life ever feel complete?

Megan and her husband, Ian, found a surprising answer when they began training golden retriever pups to become service dogs for people with disabilities. But opening
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ebook, 256 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Plume Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kim
Dec 20, 2015 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this story.

I would just like to clear up a few things I felt weren't completely corrected about foster care. I've been fostering for 12 years and have had 21 foster children between the ages of 4 days up to age 7. We take them on all our vacations and many outings. We generally foster only one at a time but right now have two children age 3 and 4. This month alone we've been to the Zoo's festival of lights, conservatory's train display, two Christmas parties and many other plac
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Ashly Lynn
Dec 23, 2015 Ashly Lynn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Wouldn't.
Recommended to Ashly by: Found at thrifts store.
Shelves: did-not-finish
I really tried to read this book; I really did. But, I found myself bored out of my mind. Rix's writing is tedious, uneventful, and repetitive. I gave up on page 68. This is a short book with large print that I should have been able to finish in 2 days – 3 tops. It's been almost two weeks. I found myself not wanting to pick this book up and actually read 1 other book 3 comic compilations, and a graphic novel in between. I never found myself wanting to go back to this book, so it was time to give ...more
Melissa Messmer
An annoying, tedious read. Sounded like it would be good, but I was disappointed.
Lori Wagner
Being a dog lover, I thought I would really enjoy this book, but I found it just plain boring.
LORI CASWELL
Oct 30, 2011 LORI CASWELL rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All Megan Rix ever wanted was a baby. Yet, month after month, Megan’s dreams were dashed. Would her life ever feel complete?

Megan and her husband, Ian, found a surprising answer when they began training golden retriever pups to become service dogs for people with disabilities. But opening their homes and hearts up to Emma, and then Freddy-only to have each move on after six months-eventually took its own toll. Megan and Ian didn’t know if they could continue. They needed to decide where they liv
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UKDana
Nov 12, 2011 UKDana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having finally met the man of her dreams writer Megan Rix is ready to start a family. Unfortunately Megan is the wrong side of 40 and nature is doing everything possible to thwart Megan’s plans. To take their mind off things Megan and husband Ian look into the possibility of fostering puppies for the working dog charity “Helper Dogs”.


Just before Christmas the phone call arrives telling Megan and Ian that they will be getting their fist puppy, Emma. Over the next 6 months we hear all about Emma’

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Nancy Brady
A woman and her husband want a baby desperately, but unfortunately so far it hasn't happened. Her biological clock is ticking louder with each day. Then Megan and Ian decide to foster puppies.

Into this story comes a eight-week-old puppy, Emma, who is to be a Helper Dog. Six months of training with Megan and Ian, and back she goes for more training. Heartbreak ensues as Emma is missed terribly, but along comes Freddy, the next puppy Megan and Ian train to become a helper dog. Again, six months of
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Eve Muratore
Dec 11, 2014 Eve Muratore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was really heartwarming and cute. It made me want to smile all the time. Great book to read before Christmas time!
Kaylee
Jan 10, 2017 Kaylee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Where can I sign up?!
Kingfan30
Dec 27, 2016 Kingfan30 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-stories
This is a book of two halves really. Firstly about the puppies and secondly about the couples struggle to have children.

The couple decide to become foster puppy parents for a charity that provides helper dogs to people with disabilities, and this was a great shout out for the charity and any associated charites along a similar line. Megan has two dogs over the period of the book that then go on to be fully fledged helper dogs and you can see how much these dogs can change the life of their owner
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Danielle
Dec 28, 2011 Danielle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finding love and having a family was something that Megan Rix had all but given up on, but when she met Ian suddenly one night during her early forties that all changed. When complications arose from the struggles of trying to have children shortly after their quick marriage they found they could never replace their want of a child, but could certainly fill the void by helping others. As Megan and Ian embark on a effort to help train service dogs though they quickly learn that what they’d really ...more
Ashley
This book just truly irritated me. Instead of even writing a meaningful book about a dog, or how that dog changed their life, the ire family, e.t.c, all this lady seems to want to write about is her annoying life and all her troubles.
She fosters dogs, gives them up, jabbers on and on and on about her whole personal life and things that just annoyed me beyond words. The cover is truly misleading, and the dogs are only in her story to gain some publicity, or to sell her a few copies.
This book is
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Gmr
Nov 19, 2011 Gmr rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: older teens through adults
What starts as a heartfelt desire to share their lives with a family turns into a furry affair that would benefit not only themselves but others in need. Megan and Ian were two that wished to be more but fate doesn't always take into account what we want when it weaves its tapestry and as their hopes of adding a little one to their home dwindled with time, so did their aspirations. However, all of that changed one sunny day on the opposite side of the world when a puppy named Goro opened their e ...more
Carol
Nov 04, 2011 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, dog-cat-bird
Megan and Ian Rix wanted a baby so much. Time was running out, Megan was already forty three. She had only met Ian two years before. They had always felt that their family was incomplete. Ian had had an awful childhood being in foster homes on and off because of his parents fighting. It was such a bad experience that he blocked everything about it in his memory. That fact would become important later in the book. Both of them wanted to have a baby to give it a much better childhood than Ian’s an ...more
Paul Pessolano
“The Puppy that came for Christmas” by Megan Rix, published by Plume.

Category – Dogs/Memoir

Megan Rix is in her forties and knows her biological clock is ticking, and she desperately wants a baby. She has tried just about everything and she is still not pregnant.

Her husband, Ian, and Megan decide to be foster parents for dogs that are being groomed for “Helper Dogs”, the equivalent to our “Service Dogs”. They keep the dogs for about 6 months and then are returned to the agency for further trainin
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Kelsie
Oct 28, 2011 Kelsie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this exceptional story, Megan Rix takes readers on her journey of becoming a puppy parent for a Helper Dogs organization. I was simply amazed to read about the things these service dogs are trained to do for the disabled! Dogs can do laundry? Really?! And that's just one of the amazing things these dogs can do. While I was reading this book I had taken a break to do some shopping and actually saw a helper dog in the department store. My mind was immediately on this story. I now have such an a ...more
Rebecca
Feb 15, 2012 Rebecca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chicklit, dog
Seriously, how could I not pick up a book with this title?! And you should see the cover. So eff'ing adorable. Thankfully, the title doesn't fully describe the (true) story of this book, just more of the timeline. An older couple UK wants to have a baby but can't, so they decide to adopt and train "helper" dogs. Of course, since they have never had a dog before, they get super attached, which I have to say now is the most annoying thing about this story. It's like surrogacy, they really want wom ...more
Nicole
Megan and Ian Rix have desperately been trying to have a baby. Megan feels as though a baby would finally complete their family. Throughout the numerous failed attempts, the couple has kept their struggles quiet. Along the way, they find a group called Helper Dogs. This group trains puppies to assist humans with disabilities. Megan and Ian get to experience all the joys and heartache of fostering two little puppies over the course of a year, until they finally get their forever dog.

The Puppy tha
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Sharon Huether
Oct 26, 2011 Sharon Huether rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book.I won this book through Goodreads. While Meg& Ian were living in Japan they rented a dog from a business that did dog renting. When that got back home to England they wanted a dog of their own, not sure of the breed,they investigated Helper Dogs an organization that places dogs with handicapped people. Their first pup was Emma a beautiful cream lab. They would care for the pup untill she passed all her training classes. It as so difficult to let her go to the next plase of ...more
Fiona
Dec 29, 2013 Fiona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-reads
Megan and Ian are desperate to start a family but are having difficulty conceiving. Megan is undergoing investigations and fertility treatment and her hopes are crushed each month. In an effort to help take her mind of it she embarks in helping with a charity that matches Helping Dogs to individuals that require assistance in their daily life. Megan's role is to be a puppy parent to the new puppies that will hopefully achieve their goal. She keeps the puppies for 6 months teaching them the basic ...more
Karen
Dec 20, 2014 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas-books
I'll admit that I purchased this book because of the cute puppy on the cover-- I wanted a "mindless Christmas read" and since we've just added a Golden Retriever puppy into our family, this book looked perfect! It wasn't until I started reading it that I realized it was a true story and a very interesting one at that!

I learned a lot about Helper Dogs and all the good they can do. I have a son with special needs so any cause that is out there to help out those with differences and disabilities a
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Kim
Oct 31, 2011 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-read
Meg and Ian are going through some changes in their lives. They are struggling to have a child and not sure how to create a family. They start small with a dog. They become puppy parents to some future Helper Dogs. Meg finds a home with the Helper Dogs organization. These pups are trained to assist people with a variety physical disabilities. Each set of puppy parents nurture and train their dog so they can continue on to becoming a full fledged helper dog. Meg and Ian take the lovable Emma into ...more
Kami Danaei
Nov 02, 2015 Kami Danaei rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Puppy That Came for Christmas is a great book about a women, Megan who is married to her best friend, Ian. Megan had always wanted a baby but was always turned down. She later decided to train golden retriever puppies to become service dogs, after six months with the puppies she became so close to, she had to give them to people with disabilities. The first puppy she took care of was named Emma, she became very close with Emma but had to give her up. The next puppy she had was Freddy and als ...more
Sheree
3.5 stars

I'm a sucker for dogs on covers and seriously who could resist this adorable puppy! The Puppy that Came For Christmas is a sweet, feel-good read even though the heartbreak of infertility is pivotal to Megan and Ian's story.

I'm grateful that Clomid then IVF gave me two beautiful boys but I understand the anguish that infertility brings. When infertility forces Megan and Ian to consider all possibilities for having a baby they find joy being puppy parents for Helper Dogs, an organisation
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Ashley
May 09, 2012 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
All Megan Rix ever wanted was a baby. Yet, month after month, her dreams were dashed. Would her life ever feel complete?
Megan and her husband, Ian, found a surprising answer when they began training golden retriever pups to become service dogs for people with disabilities. Their lives were transformed as they joyfully threw themselves into being puppy parents. They would teach the dogs to do everything from fetching clothing to anticipating seizures in children. But opening their homes and hear
...more
Donna
Mar 29, 2014 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such an easy read because the subject matter was sweet & uncomplicated. This selection follows the baby steps of the author & her husband who foster puppies for specialized training as service dogs. There is also a side story of the couples infertility, which, unfortunately, I find uninteresting & unnecessary. It does, however, explain the couples segue into the puppy scene. Too bad it couldn't have been addressed in 2-3 paragraphs, at best.

This stirred a lot of emotions for
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Oonagh
Dec 23, 2013 Oonagh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This started off as a lovely story. Clearly the author enjoyed raising Emma. She explains the whole process involved in fostering a puppy and training it to be a helper dog. I enjoyed reading about her experiences with Emma. I was amazed at the work helper dogs are trained to do. As I have fostered kittens in the past I could closely relate to the difficulty Megan felt giving Emma back. My heart was tearing to pieces. This much of the story would have been enough for me but then she went on to d ...more
Paul Lunger
Nov 05, 2013 Paul Lunger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Megan Rix's "The Puppy That Came for Christmas: How a Dog Brought One Family the Gift of Joy" is the true story of what she went through across the course of 1 year in an attempt to get pregnant & the joy that 3 very special dogs brought into her life. With an emotion that's not hard to get caught up in with the very personal events of her own life Rix tells a story that is heartwarming, funny & sad at the same time as she & her husband go through an emotional roller coaster ride. Ea ...more
Rebecca
May 15, 2013 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book, tough read. I loved how the author described how she and her husband raised puppies for a Service Dog group in Europe, called Helper Dogs, and hated hearing about their struggles having children of their own. Not to sound callous, but I've had 3 children of my own and are unable to raise them myself.





***SPOILER ALERT***



However, by the end of the book, the author and her husband are unable to have children either. Rather then being negative about it, though, they look at it in a posit
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Kelly
Dec 08, 2011 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really cute story of a couple's search for the perfect family, and the trials and heartache it took for them to find their happiness. While it was a nice and sort of "feel good" type story, there was nothing particular that grabbed me and make me hold on to the story so that I couldn't wait to pick it up again. I love dogs, and hearing the stories of the cute fuzzy puppies warmed my heart, but as far as a captivating story goes, the book didn't quite have it for me. Would definitely r ...more
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