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The Christmas Dog

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  2,235 Ratings  ·  325 Reviews
Betty Kowalski isn't looking forward to the holidays. She just can't seem to find Christmas in her heart. There's church, of course. But who can she bake for these days? And who would care whether or not she pulled out the Christmas decorations? Her new neighbor just adds to the problem. He's doing home improvements that don't appear to be improving much of anything. These ...more
Kindle Edition, 173 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Revell
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Dec 11, 2016 Jean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been on a Christmas story reading binge lately, and Melody Carlson’s The Christmas Dog may be the best I’ve come across this year. It captures the spirit of the Yuletide season without being heavy-handed or preachy.

Betty Kowalski is a widow living alone. She has been happy in her neighborhood until a new neighbor with some dubious home improvement ideas and questionable social skills has her contemplating moving away for good. Still, her minister’s sermon about loving one’s neighbor nags at
Nora St Laurent
Nov 29, 2009 Nora St Laurent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Melody Carlson is such a talented and diversified author, so when the opportunity came to receive a review copy of her new Christmas book, I jumped at the chance to read it! Each of Melody’s books has its own voice and style. That’s what I love about her writing. The Christmas Dog is no exception. Melody writes this book in the point of view of Betty Kowalski, an elderly woman who’s preparing for a 50th Anniversary party for her friends right before Christmas. Out of the blue, her granddaughter, ...more
Lisa Gatts
May 30, 2013 Lisa Gatts rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved,loved,loved this book!!!! I love reading. With that said I also collect Kindle books.I am NEVER reading just 1 book at a time. Usually I have 5-6 books I read at once because I never know what type of mood I'm gonna be in or what will interest me at that moment.Once I started this book thhough it totally held my attention from beginning to end."The Christmas Dog" just couldn't stop reading it. There is nothing not to like about this book.I LOVED LOVED LOVED it!!!(By the way have I told y ...more
♥ Sandi
Aug 31, 2013 ♥ Sandi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-library
Cute book - quick read - during the Christmas season - reminding everyone to have faith and give the benfit of doubt to others. Centered around a Gramma living alone, her family, her neighbors and a stray mutt, that just keeps returning.
Nov 27, 2015 Lesley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book, holiday
awww sweet story with a message! good holiday story that left me with those feel good feelings! I could see this book into a hallmark Christmas movie!
Dec 26, 2011 Kristi rated it really liked it
3.5 stars - I am not frequently a fan of Christian fiction. When it comes to holiday reads I don't mind a bit of it, as long as it isn't too heavy handed. It can be good to be pulled out of all the commercialism of the holiday.

I enjoyed reading this book. It was nice to believe in modern day miracles for a little bit and to witness three people in very different stages of life and grappling with the troubles those entail really transform and hold each other up. Some of the "lessons" were a tad h
Shari Larsen
Dec 07, 2012 Shari Larsen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's almost Christmas, Betty Kowalski is feeling blue. She just cannot find any holiday spirit. She has her church, but who is there to bake for these days? And who would care whether or not she got her Christmas decorations out?

Her new neighbor just adds to her problems, he is doing home improvements that don't seem to be improving much of anything, and when Betty looks out her window into his yard, she sees a beat up truck, piles of junk, and an old pink toilet. She also has a troubled grandda
Apr 05, 2013 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could give this 10 stars I would. I read the whole thing in practically one sitting which is not typical for me. I don't know if it was because the story had a dog in it or the characters or just the story itself but I absolutely loved this book. Definitely my favorite of all Melody Carlson's books so far. I will be sure to be read all of her Christmas books.
Nov 30, 2012 Rayni rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Feel good, Christmas
Recommended to Rayni by: Inspired Reads
I LOVED this book. It's the first Melody Carlson book I've read. I wouldn't be adverse to getting more. It was a feel good book & hard to put down. In fact, I read it in one sitting. I noticed it shelved as "romance." I didn't find it a romance, but it could certainly have turned into one. Loved the message it gave.
This was a cute story.

The lesson learned was not to judge people just on appearance, we need to look deeper, get to know a person before branding them.
Dec 13, 2011 Christy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the 2nd book I have read by Ms Carlson in the last week. This is a quick and delightful read that anyone would enjoy. A charming holiday story about how life changes over the passage of time.

One the main characters is Betty Kowalski. It is Christmas and she is getting older, things are changing in her life, her husband passed away decades ago and her children and grandchildren are grown up. So she feels lonely. To add to her feelings of loneliness is her new neighbor, Jack Jones. He mov
Nov 25, 2009 Cindy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Melody Carlson

Reviewed by Cindy Loven

Betty Kowalski is getting older, times are changing, her children and grandchildren are all grown. And she has a crazy new neighbor, Jack Jones. He is living in the Spencer's house, but no one seems to know who he is. Only that he is not friendly and is up at all hours of the night.

In the middle of Betty's holidays her grand daughter Avery appears after being missing for a few months. Happy to see her safe and sound, Betty is en
May 10, 2013 Leah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
Betty was planning on spending Christmas alone, but then she received two uninvited guests. One was a dog whom she thought belonged to her backyard neighbor, someone she did not get along with. The other was her stepgranddaughter running away from home. She did not want a dog and she did not want her stepgranddaughter to be in the middle of a fight with her mother. The dog and the granddaughter teach Betty some valuable lessons on judging others before she truly meets them.

I give the story five
Nov 28, 2009 Peggy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Betty Kowalski, a senior citizen, is not so sure she wants to celebrate the holidays this year. She has outlived her husband, her children are grown and have lives of their own, all her favorite neighbors have died or moved away. She isn't even sure if she wants to bake cookies for her neighbors, especially the grubby guy who moved in next door and is totally demolishing the insides of the home and leaving the junk strewn across the lawn.

When a tny brown dog turns up on her doorstep, she is sur
Christy Lockstein
Nov 09, 2009 Christy Lockstein rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Christmas Dog by Melody Carlson is a heart-warming story of the unexpected ways love can come into our lives. Betty Kowalski isn't looking forward to the holidays this year. Widowed for many years with her children living far away, she can't even muster up the desire to put up decorations. Her interactions with the cranky next-door neighbor Jack certainly haven't helped. When a dirty, skinny dog runs from his yard into hers, she assumes that it belongs to Jack and tries to return it, only to ...more
Dec 02, 2009 Tarissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teens, adults
This is a fun Christmas book, with plenty of lively characters to go 'round. It's the story of what happens when a little mixed-breed pup lands on Betty's doorstep during the blustery days of December.

At first, she is sure that she doesn't want to keep the dog. After all, she's a grandmother who lives by herself. How would she keep up with a spunky dog running about the house? She has too many other troubles anyways, namely her disturbing neighbor, Jack. He plays loud music by day, and runs his
Jerry Newhouse
May 07, 2013 Jerry Newhouse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants a good short Christmas story
It's a good short Christmas story about the troubles an old woman is having adjusting to life's changes. She is at a turning point in her life. She must decide whether to face and adjust to her new circumstances, or stay the same and run away.

The story is pretty straight forward and nothing out of the ordinary for this genre. There is one truly amazing aspect of this story that makes it stand out from the rest: the excellent, detailed development of the main character, Betty. If you have ever ha
Dec 23, 2012 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't resist this little Christmas Kindle freebie. And I'm glad that I read it. There are a couple of things about the neighbor Jack that I found completely implausible (his about face in character is a little too unbelievable) but overall this is a heartwarming little tale with a small dog as the hero. Who wouldn't like that at Christmas time? And the book carries a good message about being kind to others and thinking of others before yourself. I liked it and recommend it for a nice read b ...more
Nov 26, 2009 Renee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a dog person so I was uncertain if I would enjoy The Christmas Dog; I am happy to report this book was enjoyable. Betty is alone and becoming a grumpy ole woman until three unexpected gifts come into her life: a new neighbor, an unexpected guest and a stray dog. I enjoyed the way that Melody Carlson brought all the characters into the plot and connected their lives. A delightful read even outside of the Christmas season.
Nov 30, 2012 Bobbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little bit of a spin on the Christmas Visitor story. A nice Christian story without any preaching.

Being partial to animals I got the book for my Kindle Fire without even bothering to read the description. It had Dog in the title and as a bonus Christmas too, so it was definitely on my "to read" list.

I wish it had gone longer. I didn't want to give up the characters yet. I wanted to know them longer and that was the only dissapointment in this book; it ended too soon.
Very touching story involving a widow, her granddaughter, a "grumpy" neighbor and a stray dog. You just never know how someone or something will walk into your life, changing how you feel or making you realize there just might be something missing from your life (and you never knew it!). A great feel-good story for this Holiday season.

**Can easily be read in a day or weekend!**
Patricia Amundson
Such a heart-warming story about a mutt who brought neighbors together through the remarkable gift of love. It literally made me cry as I read this beautiful story and how dogs are those mysterious messengers from God who show people how to have love and compassion for each other. This book is definitely a keeper!
Dec 22, 2012 Loraine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again Melody Carlson has delivered a delightful Christmas read. Stray Christmas dog "Ralphie" has wandered into the lives of 3 lonely, problem filled people. Ralphie's job is to help them find their Christmas spirit, friendship and second chances in life.
Sep 08, 2013 ✿Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a quick and easy read but a good reminder that we need to sometimes stop and think about what others might be going through. It's also about how a K9 friend can make a big difference in people's lives!
Rebecca "Rebaka" Lewis
Very quick read. Wonderful story of three people in different stages of life and how the grieving process is so close to each other. And how a cute little dog brings happiness to all. This is the first story I have read by Melody Carlson and it wont be the last.
Dec 20, 2015 Markie rated it it was amazing
Barb Wittwer
Dec 10, 2012 Barb Wittwer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this light hearted story of an older lady jumping to conclusions! It was a beautiful story easy to read and left you feeling good. Cute shot story to read together as a family.
Nov 24, 2009 Lori rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: friends, family, Christian fiction fans, Christmas stories fans
This was only my second Christmas story for 2009...I'm so far behind! I've usually read at least a handful by now. I like to start in November, but I have been busier than usual this holiday season.

At first I didn't think I was going to enjoy The Christmas Dog; it just didn't grab my attention at the beginning. I had to "force" myself to keep reading, but I eventually got into the story. However, even though it carries a touching message, the story seemed really rushed and sporadic to me. I woul
Beth Cutwright
Jul 06, 2014 Beth Cutwright rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a truly heart warming Christmas story, told from first person point of view of Betty Kowalski. Betty was alone at Christmas. Her grown children were far away and involved with plans of their own leaving poor Betty quite alone for the holidays. No one was around to decorate for, to bake for, or to share the holidays with.

Not in the holiday spirit, she was further distressed by the neighbor behind her doing his remodeling and junking the yard with the innards of the remodeled home. His di
Jul 19, 2015 Kristi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-kindle-books
I loved the cover of this book at first sight and just had to have it. I must say the inside of the book is just as sweet as the cover. Well written and under 200 pages this is the perfect book to sit down and destress with during the busy holiday time.

The characters in the book are everyday people with everyday problems. If written well (and this one was) books like this appeal to me because I like books about regular people who have problems. I don't always want to read about people with tons
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great get well book 3 10 Jan 15, 2013 11:41AM  
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Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books, several of them Christmas novellas from Revell, including her much-loved and bestselling book, The Christmas Bus.

She also writes many teen books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series.

Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspi
More about Melody Carlson...

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“We are no different today, friends. We get caught up in the season, busily making preparations for Christmas. We decorate, bake cookies, shop, and wrap presents, and yet we aren't truly ready. We aren't waiting with great expectations. Our hearts aren't prepared to receive this holy guest, this heavenly visitor.” 0 likes
“we're not always ready to receive God's love. And we're not prepared to accept that it comes in a variety of ways. Often when we least expect it, God's love can show up in the form of something or someone we aren't happy to see-something or someone we want to push away or even run from. And, let me tell you, God's love can make us downright uncomfortable at times.” 0 likes
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