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What the Dogs Have Taught Me: And Other Amazing Things I've Learned

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  273 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Award-winning comedy writer Merrill Markoe, the slightly warped mind behind Stupid Pet Tricks, is an old hand with dogs. She knows who’s boss (they are) and the myriad ways a loving pet can make you feel guilty twenty-four hours a day. This new edition of Merrill Markoe’s classic collection of humorous essays gives readers the choicest selections along with brand-new mater ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published January 11th 2005 by Villard (first published May 1st 1992)
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(showing 1-30 of 544)
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Jen
Mar 27, 2009 Jen rated it liked it
While definitely interesting and entertaining, the actual parts about the dogs and what they've taught her are few and far between. Are they as funny as what she had to offer in Walking in Circles Before Lying Down? Sure. But I haven't enjoyed this book nearly as much, and I don't feel the need to keep it in my collection. When I stumbled across it in yet another Half Price Books store, I snatched it up, greedily, as I was currently gleefully devouring Walking in Circles.... I'm a bit disappoint ...more
Wren
Apr 12, 2016 Wren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This lady rocks. Like any book of essay-type things there were some real good ones and some sorta "meh" ones. All super topical and most of them are frighteningly still very applicable almost 15 years later.

My favorite was "The Day I Turned Sarcastic" but the wheat thins mention in "Home Alone" hit a little too close to home (as did most of this book).

After reading this I still like Merrill Markoe a lot but I DO blame her for somehow giving my dog the idea to tear up the carpet and eat the pad
...more
Bridget Bailey
Mar 15, 2016 Bridget Bailey rated it it was ok
I thought this book was going to be all about the dogs and how they have taught this author so many valuable lessons, I thought wrong. This book was not at all what I expected and not as funny and humorous as I was led to believe it would be. I get that sometimes in some books portraying the dogs has being able to speak and have a conversation is funny but I did not find it funny at all in this book. She also goes on in some chapters to talk about things she has learned at random seminars and co ...more
Chris
Oct 21, 2008 Chris rated it it was ok
I read this just after reading a Jen Lancaster book, and nothing could have compared to that in the funny department. I found it mildly amusing at best. The really only entertaining stuff was about her dogs. I expected much more humorous stuff.
Paul
Jun 06, 2009 Paul rated it really liked it
Read this while on a cruise. It was perfect reading while poolside or at the beach. Short witty stories that were clever and had me several times laughing into the pages of the books like a fool.
Patty
Aug 03, 2013 Patty rated it liked it
If you want to read funny stories about dogs a better choice would be the book "What Your Dog Does Not Want You To Know", (I forgot the author) which is basically like humorous dog diaries of different types of dogs, loosely woven together. THIS book however, has only a few stories about dogs. The rest of them are what happens when Merrill Markoe decides to date someone, or go to a trendy club, or take some weird class like How To Be A Dominatrix....stuff like that.

A lot of times I will read a
...more
Kristin
Jan 26, 2012 Kristin rated it did not like it
If the contents of this book included only the stories related to the portion of the title that comes before the colon, it may have earned a 4 or 5 star rating. I enjoyed Markoe's stories about her dogs, though I found it a bit disjointed, as the stories appear to be placed randomly, and I'm pretty sure dogs featured in later stories were noted to have died in earlier stories.
What annoyed me about the book were the non-dog stories. I bought the book, with the jumping dog on the cover, because I
...more
Becca
Sep 06, 2011 Becca rated it liked it
Granted, I just don't understand people who love dogs, but that aside, I was pretty underwhelmed by this book. I've been on a humorous-essays-by-women kick lately, and this was one of the less impressive collections I've read lately. (Again, perhaps I would have liked it a lot more if I bonded with the subject matter, so that may be partially my fault.) Although it provided a chuckle or two, overall I didn't feel that her insights into gender differences were very fresh or new, and I kept having ...more
Shannon Bailey
Jun 25, 2014 Shannon Bailey rated it liked it
I found the dog parts to be spot on and hilarious. The social commentaries were good, but I would have liked them more had I read the book when it was published as the political humor would have been au courant. Would be interested in reading a current book to see her thoughts on today's world.
Emillybeth
Jan 24, 2016 Emillybeth rated it it was ok
There are some definitely funny parts, but overall a lot of the humor is dated. The bits about her dogs are timeless as any pet owner can relate, but there is a lot of humor that is only funny for that time in the early 90s. Also, her humor on male/female interaction is overtly stereotypical at best and anti-feminist at worst.

It's funny... Just not that funny. My Pet Myself is the best chapter.
Kaethe
Jul 16, 2014 Kaethe rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I just enjoy Markoe's writing so much, it doesn't matter that I'm largely indifferent to dogs.
Jenn
Jun 20, 2012 Jenn rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012


When a friend offered to lend me this book, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I read the foreword while sitting on a bus during a traffic jam and my hopes remained high. Hey! Dogs! I like dogs! I was looking forward to relating to canine hijinks.

I was let down, however, about a quarter of the way in when I realized that this book was less "what the dogs have taught me" and much more "and other things." The parts about her dogs were funny, you can keep the rest.
Jenice
Aug 05, 2008 Jenice rated it it was ok
Contrary to what the title would have you believe very few of the essays in this book have any thing to do with dogs. Merrill Markoe was a writer for the David Letterman show (stupid pet tricks), Sex and the City and has written several other books of humorous essays. I found some entertaining and some so-so, I did love the one where she recounts her dogs' chats with animal communicators. It's a nice break to read an essay or two while reading other more serious books.
Jo
Apr 03, 2010 Jo rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Misleading title. It had it's moments - The rants vary in quality and humor and can feel a bit dated because of all the au courant references, but still there were some chuckles. At times it felt like a Saturday Night Live sketch --- not knowing when to end it. I can see her being successful as a Letterman writer. This book can be read in short spurts a chapter at a time which is probably the best way to work your way through it.
Garfield
Apr 24, 2008 Garfield rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone that likes a laugh and loves dogs
Recommended to Garfield by: I liked her previous book so ordered this one
I learned that I am not the only dog nut out there. Miss Markoe has some hilarious stories in this little book, most of them involving her pack of dogs. As a petlover and dogowner myself, it doesn't get much better then this. She has a great sense of humor and had me laugh out loud plenty of times. This is the second book of hers I've read after really liking the previous one.
Bethe
Jun 11, 2012 Bethe rated it liked it
Bookaday #10. Seems like I have read some of these bits before in this fast, humorous read. Had to chuckle at the chapter about Medieval Times - anyone else been there to celebrate their birthday wearing a blue princess hat? My skinned knees can testify to the truth of the chapter Zen and the Art of Multiple Dog Walking. Needs more dog chapters!!
Karren Bennett
Mar 23, 2013 Karren Bennett rated it really liked it
I received this book as a gift. I really looked forward to reading it since I love dog stories. I was disappointed that not all the stories (or even half of the stories) were about her beloved pets. But, nonetheless, I enjoyed reading it (even the non-dog stories) and will read more of her work.
Liz
Apr 21, 2012 Liz rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, comedy
This title is so misleading. I expected a collection of humorous essays and stories about dogs, and while there were some laugh out loud anecdotes in this book they were outweighed by non-dog stories. Meh.
Beth
Aug 17, 2008 Beth rated it it was amazing
Just a wonderful collection of humorous essays - some even written from the POV of the author's dogs. Literally had me laughing out loud. Great for dog owners, or anyone who just needs a smile.
Sandy
Sep 29, 2008 Sandy rated it it was ok
If I hadn't been trapped in a hotel room on a rainy weekend without anything else to read, this would have made it to my abandoned shelf. any of her other books are better than this one
Alison
Apr 19, 2008 Alison rated it liked it
The dog parts, very funny. Other parts, just plain funny. If you are a guest at my house, this is on the bedside table in the guest room. Good to pick up and put down.
Deborah Coates
Her brillance includes advancing the theory that no one ever gets out of eighth grade (you know it's true! Think how well it explains our current national discourse)
Jinnie
Feb 25, 2013 Jinnie rated it it was ok
The dog essays were AWESOME!! All other essays (at least 85% of the book) were not: rote, unfunny moanings from a middle-aged single woman about dating and fashion.
Lain
Dec 27, 2007 Lain rated it really liked it
A former writer for David Letterman (and his former flame!), Markoe is pithy, witty, and fun. This was a terrific, quick read. Lots of good stuff here.
Paige
Apr 11, 2010 Paige rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of the chapters (What she learned) were better than others but overall I really liked it! (Of course, the chapters with her dogs were the best.)
Cynthia
Jan 22, 2008 Cynthia rated it really liked it
Funny book by a funny writer. I love dogs. She loves dogs. She used to be David Letterman's girlfriend. How could she go wrong?
Melody Hesse
Mar 21, 2010 Melody Hesse rated it it was amazing
Possibly the funniest book I've ever read. A must read for dog lovers.
Albehm
Mar 08, 2010 Albehm rated it really liked it
Easy reading book to read. I enjoyed reading her ideas on life.
Laura Lee
May 09, 2012 Laura Lee rated it it was ok
Collection of articles, some of them involving dogs. Just so so.
Suzanne
Nov 25, 2008 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
This book was incredibly funny and was a quick, easy read.
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An author, a television writer and a sometime standup comedienne.
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“You just never know when it might be cookie time. And, that is what the dogs have taught me.” 2 likes
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