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3.1  ·  Rating Details ·  143 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
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 th ...more
Hardcover, 191 pages
Published March 22nd 2005 by MacAdam/Cage Publishing (first published 2005)
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(showing 1-30)
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Emily Patterson
Mar 30, 2012 Emily Patterson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 29, 2007 Willa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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, ...more
Despite the title, the book is not really focused on a dog. Rather it is about a middle aged, single college English professor who is looking for some way to reconnect with the world. While surfing for adoptions, she comes across a dog rescue. As she learns to take care of her puppy, she begins to reflect on her life and relationships and starts to develop a bond with him and grows to depend on his unwavering love and devotion. She realizes the emptiness in her life and inches towards change. Wh ...more

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 roma
Jul 25, 2016 Mommooshka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pleasant, short book. It was relaxing and interesting to read, but then the closing pages really brought it all together into a philosophical realization about life, being optimistic, and believing there can be good ahead of you in your life. All brought about by an impulse adoption of a rescue puppy and the close bound that developed between the narrator, Jill (who had never been a dog-person) and her dog, Phil.

Anyone who loves animals and has had a special pet of any type will proba
Oct 07, 2012 Deschka rated it liked it
" 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 han
May 10, 2012 Julia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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, a ...more
May 07, 2010 Lara rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
Dig this:
"Stars were strewn across it (the night sky) as if they'd just been shaken and cast and any minute now the way they'd landed would be read aloud to her in a hushed, thrilling voice."

I really love that.

And I loved the way she describes the transformative power of a dog in the house. As a person who has recently become a first-time dog owner, I found myself nodding along with the narrartive. I also could relate, many of us academic-type ladies might, to how utterly she lives in her own
I read this for a book discussion group that reads books about animals; however, this one ended up focusing more on the main character. I kept waiting for the moment - predictable, yet engaging - when the dog starts to make the main character's strictly confined life a little larger and more generous, but it never arrived. Instead, she drinks wine, mulls over past boyfriends, and dwells some more on past boyfriends. She arranges her life with the dog in such a manner that she continues to minimi ...more
Feb 15, 2016 Kathy rated it did not like it
I didn't really like it and was disappointed not to. There wasn't enough dog in it and too much going on in the main character's head. And I found her truly unlikable, she was an intellectual snob and altho she "sorta comes around," she didn't nearly enough for my liking. And I didn't like the portrayal of the dog (!). I know! How is that possible, I'm such a dog person! He was too much like her, kind of aloof. Altho I know there are plenty of dogs like that, I've never had one, thank god.
Jan 09, 2016 Sharen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A jewel. The undercurrents are deep and thoughtful, prompting reflection about the choices we make in life, and how we deal with the people closest to us. In Jill's case, this includes her mother in particular, but also her brother, her lovers, her students and colleagues. Absorbing "Phil", formerly known as "Dog", into her life brings on the kind of wistful self-examination that accompanies mid-life as well as a new mindfulness, sense of humour included. Michelle Herman writes beautifully.
Dec 03, 2010 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 28, 2008 Az rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
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.
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.
May 28, 2008 Anika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
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
Aug 05, 2012 Maggie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Technically a 3.5-star rating.
Very sweet and much more well-written than Marley & Me, although not much happens at all, beyond the getting-of-the-dog, which has technically already happened when the book begins.
Sep 26, 2015 Michal added it
I picked up this book on a whim while at the library. It's a quick read - more stream-of-consciousness than plot, but the characters are well-designed, the story flows well and there's food for thought in it.
I was disappointed. This wasn't about the dog, it was barely about her relationship with the dog, it was all about her.

I found this to be tedious, a chore to read. Honestly, I did not like the writing style at all. It was like reading one long run-on sentence.
Mar 02, 2010 Kris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Dog is the story of a lonely, single, middle aged college professor who adopts a puppy. She is so anti-social that she decides to walk the dog at midnight to avoid chats with other dog walkers. She finds the company of the dog to be enough to satisfy her. Written by an OSU professor.
May 04, 2007 Susie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-commented
an innocuous novella about a neurotic woman and the unlikely puppy who humanizes her. simple, sweet.
Aug 15, 2008 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was nice and short. The main character did not capture my affection at all, but the dog was sweet.
Sue Kozlowski
I thought this story would be better. Jill, from NY, lives alone in Iowa. she is a poetry prof, middle-aged. She adopts a dog. Walks him in the middle of the night.
May 24, 2016 Chris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't care for this in fact found myself skimming through parts that were repetitious in story line. Thought it would be a cute story but ended up with me thinking I'd missed the point
Aug 09, 2008 Aharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So it's about a woman who adopts a dog. So? Sudenly I can't like a book that's about that?
Read this book and you too will become defensive.
Laura Hall
This was a wandering train of thought book that goes absolutely nowhere and irritated me because it was just like being back in college examining literature.
Apr 20, 2009 Heidi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quiet story of a woman coming to understand her own loneliness. The main character’s run with Phil the dog down an empty neighborhood street will linger with you.
Jul 28, 2007 Judith added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any single person
quiet and reflective - I think the author was a bit hard on the dog rescue fellow, but she portrays how a dog can make a life a bit more worth living.
Feb 20, 2011 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this charmingly simple story of a college professor/poet, her new dog, and what he brings to her life.
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Look for Michelle Herman‘s newest book, Like A Song, on shelves (and electronica) March 9, 2015. Also forthcoming: the "guide to life" she wrote by request for her (then eight-year-old) daughter, Grace, who has turned out very well (the book does not, however, come with a guarantee).

While you wait for A Girl's Guide to Life and Like A Song, there are two collections of essays you can read (Like A
More about Michelle Herman...

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“She had not made a decision to give up sex, only the clamor of romance, because it was exhausting her, doing her no good and too much harm...” 113 likes
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