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Puppies, Dogs, and Blue Northers

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  430 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
Minnesota author and dog musher Gary Paulsen reflects on the growth of his sled dogs as he and his animals discover the world around them.
Paperback, 96 pages
Published January 12th 1998 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published 1996)
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Jan 20, 2014 Dniemuth04 rated it really liked it
This book was a good story on a team of sled dogs that race in the Iditarod Trial. On this team is a vast array of smart dogs all lead by an alpha female named Cookie. She has been leading the team for many years and provides great young puppies that are bred to be leaders. Cookie is very valuable and has saved Paulsen’s life on several separate occasions. The skilled litter that Cookie produces plays a vital role in how the other sled team members can train the young pups. The pups are wild an ...more
Jake Handrich
Dec 22, 2015 Jake Handrich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Personal Response: I liked the book Puppies, Dogs and Blue Northerners because it was a book about the outdoors. It had many different adventures in it from Canada to Alaska. The guy raised and raced dogs at his house in Canada. He had one favorite dog that had been through everything with him. Her name was Cookie. Cookie was the lead dog that has been through the races and all the training with the young pups.

Plot: The plot of the story was when Cookie, “the main female dog” had her puppies. S
Oct 24, 2014 Joey rated it really liked it
I thought "Puppies Dogs and Blue Northers was a really good book. I don't normally like to read books, but this one wasn't bad for me. This book was interesting because of all the events that took place. It was cool to learn more about sled dogs.

There was a lot of snow there and you had to get from place to place somehow. Gary didn't like to use snowmobiles, so he had a team of sled dogs. They can get going pretty fast if you don't have a lot of weight on the sled. He thought using his sled dogs
Nasir Lomax
Jan 18, 2017 Nasir Lomax rated it really liked it
The summary of Puppies, Dogs, and Blue Northers a man named Gary Paulsen has a sled dog named Cookie that has had five amazing litters. Never less that eight and twice she has had 12 but altogether over 40 puppies. During the time of the story, Cookie has had her last a best litter of puppies. If you read you will learn about the many different adventures and an unbreakable bond between a man and his dogs. Throughout the story, you will learn about Cookie and her litters Iditarod racing in the ...more
Jan 15, 2017 David rated it really liked it
If not for chapter one and the line, "Listening to God making puppies," I would rate this book five stars. Animal voyeurism aside this is a beautiful book. Gary Paulson is simply brilliant.
Caitlin Dunican
Dec 30, 2016 Caitlin Dunican rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished
This book was amazing.I loved it.
Jan 23, 2015 Jacob rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed "Puppies, Dogs, and Blue Northers" by Gary Paulsen, because it was a story about his life. In the book Paulsen shows the true outdoors. He explains that he lives in northern Minnesota in a small house with his wife, Ruth and son, Jim. They have electricity but they do not have a television. In their small house the only heat source they have is a woodstove. Paulsen explains, that he is usually the first one to wake up and is consequently the person who has to get the morning fir ...more
Mar 20, 2015 JON MORGAN rated it it was amazing
Puppies, Dogs, and Blue Northers by Gary Paulsen
I thought the book was really good and I hate reading. This is one of the first books that I have actually been able to get into and want to keep reading. There has only been like 3 books ever that I really liked, and this was one of them. I would definitely recommend people to read this book It is kind of sad though.
One thing I didn’t like though is that cookie got arthritis and had to stop running. Also cookies master had a heart problem and had
Sheriden Haase
Jan 14, 2015 Sheriden Haase is currently reading it
This book is very easy to read. The story is highlighted by Gary's lead dog Cookie paving the bumpy way to the Iditarod. I did not connect to his book much because I do not have sled dogs. This book will show harsh of the living with 40 crazy dogs and feet of snow.

The plot is about Gary Paulsen living his dream in Minnesota caring for his sled dog team. Gary loves being at home with his animals and his wife. Gary travels to the Iditrod with his team to race against many other sled teams. Gary l
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Bri P. for

A dog is man's best friend, right? He is when it comes to Cookie, and Gary Paulsen reflects on the wonderful friendship they shared.

Cookie is the lead dog on Gary's team of sled dogs and has been for a very long time. Gary and Cookie have traveled a lot of trails together. They have even competed in the Iditarod. Cookie has given birth to many puppies but always goes back to work. You might call Cookie a working mother.

Tara Piña
Jul 16, 2014 Tara Piña rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, 2013
Gary Paulsen reflects on his favorite sled dog Cookie. He tells stories of her and her last litter of puppies. As he shares these stories, he comes to the conclusion that the dogs were like people too; and most importantly, they taught him more than he taught them.

I liked the conclusions that Paulsen came to. As an animal lover, it was a good reminder of special pets are in our lives. I would have liked to see some of the reflecting and insight that he expressed in the middle of the book restat
Summer Lane
Aug 06, 2016 Summer Lane rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most beautiful accounts of a relationship between a man and a dog that I have read since White Fang. Gary Paulsen is brilliant in his description of the mind of a dog, and the world of ice and sled-running that he lived in. The main wolf, Cookie, is as beautiful as she is intelligent and fierce. I cried as I read the final few pages, so moved was I by Cookie's life and story.

Gary Paulsen is amazingly respectable because he never treats dogs like they are simply animals - they
Laura Verret
Gary Paulsen is defined by the wilderness, hard times, and his dogs. It is with his dogs that Puppies, Dogs, and Blue Northers is concerned. In this we read primarily of his beautiful lead dog Cookie and her many pups, races, and quirks.

It is an endearing story, highlighted by Cookie’s own intelligent character and enlivened by the darling shenanigans of her litters. Puppies, Dogs, and Blue Northers is a testament to the affection that Paulsen felt towards his dogs – love and amusement oozes out
Sep 19, 2012 Frances rated it really liked it
Engaging, with great insight into the non-racing side (kennel life) of raising sled dogs. The first chapter opens with Gary witnessing two of his dogs mating while out on the trail-- may be an off-putter for some people, but the emotions in the book are raw and true. We learn about the habits of the 40+ dogs, how they interact and train their puppies and work with Gary. He describes one litter of puppies that they let in the house every morning, with disastrous and hilarious consequences. Some o ...more
Oct 21, 2010 Luann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another autobiographical dog book by Gary Paulsen that will make you both laugh and cry. This one is all about Cookie, the dog he dedicated My Life in Dog Years to. I think I didn't initially connect as much with this book because I don't know much about sled dogs. In fact, nearly everything I know about sled dogs, I've learned from Gary Paulsen's books. But once he started telling stories about Cookie's puppies, I was hooked. 4.5 stars.
This is vintage Paulsen. The story seems to narrate itself (sign of an outstanding author!), revealing as much about the author as about the beloved Iditarod dogs he writes about. There are unforgettable events and insights in the lives of the dog pack that Gary and his family raise to run in the famous Iditarod ice race. Cookie is one such unforgettable dog who we see born, raised, becoming an incredible pack leader, an amazing mother and devoted companion above and beyond the call of duty. Rut ...more
Jun 27, 2012 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dog lovers, nature lovers
This is only 67 pages long and since it is written by Gary Paulsen, I thought it was definitely a children's book but I was wrong. Reading this, I thought at times that Paulsen loved his leader sled dog, Cookie, more than any members of his family, including his wife. Certainly in Cookie's last years they spent more time together, virtually every minute. Paulsen writes with sincerity, humor, admiration and compassion about his sled dogs and especially Cookie. It took him years to realize that he ...more
Jul 16, 2011 Brittany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children who like dogs and adventure
Shelves: childrens-books
In general, I really like Paulsen's survival stories - Hatchet, Brian's Return, Brian's Winter...and so on. This was a fun look at raising puppies and maintaining a kennel of sled dogs used to running in extremely harsh winters. It's about Paulsen and his dogs (most importantly Cookie) after the first Iditarod but before he knew he couldn't do a second. It's very short, and one of the recountings in particular is worth reading the whole thing for. Plus, if you're an animal lover, it's a win-win ...more
Dec 09, 2010 Emily rated it liked it
Puppies, Dogs, and Blue Northers by Gary Paulsen
Genre: Nonfiction
Paulsen describes life in Minnesota and his love of the Iditarod. It also stars his lead dog, Cookie, who has a big personality. He talks about the pups also and how they learn, and act. Has some touching moments and some hilarious moments, but it is, afterall, nonfiction.
Not the most engaging nonfiction I have ever read, but definitely a top pick for animal/dog lovers. I would recommend to ages 10 and up.
Dayna Smith
Paulsen is the author of Hatchet and the other "Brian" books. This is a nonfiction tale of his experiences with his sled dogs. He relates his memories of Cookie, his long time friend and lead dog. We hear of his love and care for Cookie and watch her last litter of puppies become experienced sled dogs. Paulsen is an experienced Iditarod racer and this book is every bit as enjoyable as his fictional works.
Feb 05, 2012 Andrea rated it it was amazing
So good! It is a good book for kids, and for adults it is a terrific addition/appendix to Paulsen's book Winterdance. In Winderdance, Paulsen talks about beginning to get serious about dogsledding, and then about running his first Iditarod. His lead dog through all that was Cookie, and this small book is all about her - about her last litter of puppies, and their relationship after the sledding was over. Paulsen is just great at observing details, and is very funny.
Anthony Herrera27812
Mar 08, 2015 Anthony Herrera27812 rated it it was amazing
For an 81 paged book, it was really good. In fact, it is probably one of the best books I've read. The Author did a really good job at making this book fun and even emotional. The writing is very detailed about his life with sled dogs. The ending was the most emotional part, but besides that the book was excellent. I like how the author makes the dogs have a human side to them. Simply an amazing book.
Jul 15, 2016 Jessica rated it liked it
I've always liked what Gary Paulsen has written. It was a dog book so I should have known it was somehow going to be a cry book. It always hits my heart so hard. I love you, Cookie. The sketches are fabulous!

Why did you have to put the dogs mating chapter in your face first, Gary Paulsen? Most kids will not understand this scene as you described it and now the book will be dropped from many kids libraries because of it. A good book describing the joys of puppy life.
Tony Petry
Aug 26, 2015 Tony Petry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gary Paulsen does an amazing job with the novella. Paulsen at his best from beginning to end, it is a real tear jerker when you finish it. Gary Paulsen makes you smile, laugh, and cry all in the book. It's amazing the love a dog can have for a person, and the love a person can have for a dog. Highly recommended to dog lovers.
Mar 30, 2009 George rated it it was amazing
This is technically a book for "young adults." I must still be young, for this short, beautiful read is more adult than most of our so-called entertainments. This book is a gorgeous mediation on the power of the animal world and what it's like to be "raised" by a pack of dogs in a domestic setting.
Jul 18, 2016 DilanAc rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very short personal essay about the author's life with sled dogs, in particular one loyal dog named Cookie. I don't often read non-fiction but I really liked this. It was funny and very touching. The author had remarkable restraint and stayed on topic even though it must have been tempting to discuss his heart disease, his marriage, his Iditarod race.
Apr 26, 2010 Melanie rated it it was ok
If I were more of a dog person, I might have liked this better. It is a sweet story based on the authors experiences with his most beloved sled dog. The first two chapters talk about mating, conception, and birth of a liter of puppies. If you read it with young children, be ready to answer all kinds of questions. :)
The Reading Countess
Apr 11, 2010 The Reading Countess rated it it was amazing
This is a poignant tale of one man's love for a dog told as no one other than the great Paulsen can. Brilliantly detailing the last years of his beloved race dog, Cookie's life with him, Gary Paulsen describes in the most minute detail how it is to live in synchronisty with nature. A reverance for all creatures great and small oozes in this brief 80-page tear jerker. I loved it.
Jan 19, 2009 Janelle rated it really liked it
he has a wonderful way of showing that extra special relationship you sometimes have with that one special soul-mate "heart dog" and I re-read the part where he sys goodbye to Cookie whenever I miss mine.
Joan Stelter
Jun 17, 2009 Joan Stelter rated it really liked it
Shelves: auto-biography
Gary Paulsen's autobiography is like his books full of interest and well written. I never knew that he raised sled dogs and participated in several Iditarods. It makes me wonder how he had time to write so many books.
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BYU-Adolescent Li...: Puppies, Dogs, and Blue Northers 1 3 Jun 14, 2013 10:09PM  
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Although he was never a dedicated student, Paulsen developed a passion for reading at an early age. After a librarian gave him a book to read--along with his own library card--he was hooked. He began spending hours alone in the basement of his apartment building, reading one book after another.

Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adve
More about Gary Paulsen...

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