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Come Back, Como: Winning the Heart of a Reluctant Dog
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Come Back, Como: Winning the Heart of a Reluctant Dog

3.39  ·  Rating Details ·  203 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
Steven Winn and his wife, Sally, held out for as long as they could. When the San Francisco couple finally gave in to their only child Phoebe's pleas for a dog, they adopted a scraggly terrier mutt from a local animal shelter. The new family pet, Como, turned out to hate men—especially the author—and proved to be a cunning escape artist. Traumatized, single-minded, and exc ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Harper (first published January 1st 2009)
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Jul 18, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was ok
I'm a sucker for animal books, but this one just didn't have much to offer. Cute little dog has behavioral problems, and... Snore. Nothing particularly interesting/funny/enlightening happens. The author got on my nerves and was a completely ignorant dog owner. (No wonder Como hated him!)

One thing this book DOES have going for it over Marley & Me, Dewey the Library Cat, Wesley the Owl et al is that at the time of publication, Como was still alive and kicking, which means I didn't have to rea
Aug 31, 2011 Kirsti rated it it was amazing
I have been reading animal books for years, and this is definitely one of my favorite of the genre. Instantly, you feel connected to this poor author, who, after having bad experiences with dogs, is reluctant to get one for his insistent daughter. I know exactly what it's like to get your long awaited furry bundle of joy home, and have him instantly attack the furniture (or in my case, the yard; see giant pot holes)

Como himself is no exemplary dog; this is a story of an average dog, with no spe
Oct 11, 2009 Tracy rated it did not like it
When John Grogan dies and is at the pearly gates, he is going to have to answer for his crime of making "bad dog" books such a phenomenon. (Also for the movie version of his book, but I digress). Some of those books are reasonably good, like his. This one is not.

This is a book about your average neurotic dog that gets hit by a car. The author tries to find a lot of deep meaning in the experience of getting and owning this dog, but there really isn't anything much there.
Dec 31, 2009 Ann rated it it was ok
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I picked this up because the cover photo reminded me of my dearly departed Archie and because I'm a sucker for dog stories. This would have made a terrific short story, but there wasn't enough there to justify 270 pages. Based on the subtitle, I know that the author and the dog eventually find some sort of peace. But when I reached page 165 and was still in the "Oh, woe is me! I have such a bad dog and he doesn't even like me!" phase I lost patience.
Feb 05, 2011 Nancy rated it it was ok
Inside this full-length memoir was a long article struggling to get out.
Apr 03, 2015 Donna rated it liked it
The book is too long for the content.

Much detail can be omitted or shortened while still having us understand the personalities of the family and the dog.

Yes, it is true that the daughter automatically picked out a dog with her personality traits so she understood the dog, and they made good partners.

Yes, it is true that the parents had bad experiences with their own dogs as children and this colored their own understanding and interactions with Como.

Yes, it is true that Como was abused before h
Paula Kramer
Feb 18, 2017 Paula Kramer rated it it was amazing
What a cute book, and what an idea to write a book about. A dog with problems! I really liked this one and it didn't have the usual sad ending that most dog books have. I don't think I could have read it if I knew it had a sad ending. A delightful read.
4fabfelines Cox
Jan 15, 2010 4fabfelines Cox rated it really liked it
Como is a funny tale of a reluctant dog owner. Steven and his wife are hesitant to get a dog, due to traveling and other such things as daily living. Their daughter has always wanted a dog. So they relent and decide a shelter dog will be the one for them. They look at several shelters until they come across a dog named Gandalf.
He is around a year old and is a terrier mix.
When they get him home all hell breaks loose. He hates cages and eats through his first one, He is afraid of men..he is nero
Jul 26, 2009 Brenda rated it really liked it
"Anybody could love an easily lovable dog. It was the hard ones, the thorny, bruised and highly amped dogs who put you to the test of how far you are willing to go, how much of yourself you were able to give up, how much it meant to connect to another flawed being". (pg 148)

I love dogs in the same determined way the author's daughter loves dogs. She campaigned for years until her parents reluctantly adopted a shelter dog (from a no-kill shelter) who seemed to be damaged beyond saving. But with l
Jan 16, 2014 Hannah rated it really liked it
I may be biased because I am a huge fan of Steven Winn as an interviewer at City Arts & Lectures (that man could interview a dead battery and keep me entertained- and I seriously love his soothing voice), and I also love dogs, but this was really a very fun read and well-written, too. I can imagine the same book written by a less skilled journalist, and I can imagine the review I would write, saying that while the story is charming, it would have made a better article or essay than an entire ...more
Jan 11, 2011 Megan rated it it was amazing
Steven and his wife Sally have finally said yes to their daughter Pheobe that they are going to get a dog. They look all around but they just couldn't find the perfect one. Finally Pheobe comes across the perfect dog, Gandalf. The family takes him into a room at the shelter to see if they should adopt him or not. But when they set him down all he does is bolt around the room and hides under a desk. They adopt him and takes him home and they name him Como. But still he just hides under a table. T ...more
Oct 06, 2012 Suzy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dog-books
I spent the entire book feeling sorry for the author, Steven Winn, who was bullied into buying a dog that he didn't want by his over-indulged daughter. The dog hated men, a fear most likely caused by mistreatment of a man in the dogs former life, and it was apparent that the arrangement was traumatic for both Steven and the dog. I spent half the book wanting to indiscipline the spoilt daughter, and the other half admiring Steven for persevering with an impossible situation.

Having said all that,
Stephanie A.
Nov 25, 2013 Stephanie A. rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like it because the cover is adorable, but the fact of the matter is that no one in this book is very likeable, including the dog, and nothing profound or interesting happens.

That, and I was immediately turned off at the beginning by the author refusing his daughter's first choice in dogs because it's predicted to grow to the ungodly and unmanageable size of..."30 to 40 pounds." That makes so little sense to me I can't even come up with a way to respond to it, and when you im
Aug 11, 2009 manatee rated it liked it
Even crazy terriers can be tamed.

I enjoyed this light easy Marley and Me rip-off.
I read it while my beloved doggie BEAN was curled at the foot of my bead.
Winn is talented when it comes to describing the panic-stricken dog chases that we owners must undertake.

You can read this book about the spoiled and neurotic little dog in one hour.The dog lives at the end!!!

San Francisco must be so different from my hometown of SA.
We have so many well-behaved dogs for the adopting. In SF,these dogs were stran
Hayley W.
May 27, 2013 Hayley W. rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Steven Winn wanted a laid-back, friendly dog. But when his 12-year-old daughter chooses Como, a previously abused, frightened dog to adopt, things in the Winn household get interesting. Como seems to detest men, especially Steven. Como always manages to make Steven look foolish or destroy something at just the wrong moment, which can end catastrophically in some cases.

Can Como overcome his fear of men to become a pleasurable family dog? Will Steven and Como ever find common ground? Find out in S
 Gigi Ann
Oct 07, 2011 Gigi Ann rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who are pet lovers.
I always enjoy a good book about pets and their owners. This was a fun book to read. It kind of reminded me a little of Marley and Me, except this one ended on a happy note. It is about a dog, Como, that they rescued from an animal shelter. After they got it home they found out it had some serious problems, especially around men, or at least around the man of the house. He was a bit destructive, to say the least. I don't know if I could have dealt with his nasty behavior, but, the family did wit ...more
Jennifer Molleson
Nov 06, 2009 Jennifer Molleson rated it liked it
This was a good book, easy to read. I couldn't stop comparing it to Marley and Me though. Although this was good, it just wasn't as good as Marley and Me. Its a book to sip hot cocoa to while under a blanket on a rainy day or night.
Jan 21, 2010 Susy rated it liked it
Another tender story and how a dog wraps its heart around a family, and this time it ends happily. I liked that it was set in the neighborhood where my cousin used to live - 10th & Lawton so I could visualize the walks and the chase. A good quick read for any dog lover.
Nov 17, 2009 Laura rated it liked it
It's an animal book, of course I liked it.
In the vein of Marley and Me, an out of control dog is eventually accepted as an integral part of its' family. In the meantime, trials and tribulations ensue, testing the authors' resolve and patience.
Apr 22, 2012 Jeannie rated it it was ok
Shelves: i-own
I love a good dog story and love it even more if the dog isn't dead by the end of the this one pleased me in that manner but other than that it was just so so for me. Funny quite often but boring in parts. I did enjoy the Aussie vet description...hilarious! Como himself is a doll!
Jul 07, 2013 Flsunluvr rated it liked it
Liked the book and I'll give the author credit, he certainly went above and beyond w/his pet ownership!
Oct 30, 2014 Cheryl rated it liked it
Shelves: biography-memior
This is a sweet story about a family adopting a shelter dog.
Mar 17, 2012 Kaycee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really didn't enjoy the narrator of this book. I didn't much care for the book either to tell the truth. Too much of me me me by the author.
The wonderful story of a shelter dog who wins the hearts of an urban family. This terrier mix is very much like my own shelter dog terrier mix. Recommend to dog lovers.
Kate Litaker
Dec 29, 2013 Kate Litaker rated it liked it
Easy read. The story was okay to read but it wasn't very interesting or informative. Heartwarming beach read.
Jun 17, 2014 Maggi rated it it was amazing
Most people who've ever had a dog can relate to this story. I loved it.
Oct 25, 2009 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Loved this book! A wonderful, heart-warming story about a small family who adopts a 1 yr old terrier mutt from the SPCA and their journey of acclimating him to their loving home.
Connie Gunderson
I got this as my first Amazon Vine offering (I get free stuff and then review it). Mostly sucked compared to the other offerings in this genre.
Gretchen Rings
Nov 23, 2009 Gretchen Rings rated it liked it
An unpredictable dog teaches a family in San Francisco life lessons about disappointment, resilience, and love.
T. Lynn
Sep 08, 2013 T. Lynn rated it did not like it
A light weight, knock off of Marley and me. There's better dog books out there.
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