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You Had Me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness
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You Had Me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,553 Ratings  ·  577 Reviews

The hilarious and heartfelt chronicle of a woman learning the secrets of love, health, and happiness from some very surprising teachers: her dogs.

MP3 Book, 0 pages
Published October 28th 2010 by Tantor Media, Inc. (first published September 17th 2010)
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Jan 13, 2012 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I wanted to like this book.

I saw the cover, the adorable bug-eyed little dog, and thought "The reviews call it heartwarming and seriously funny! This will be wonderful! I love dogs!" The reviews were not entirely accurate.

The first thing that bugged me was her pacing. Otto was her first doggy love - but he barely lasted until chapter 3. He impacted her life so "strongly" but there aren't many stories about him. The back cover made it sound like Otto was going to lead her through personal discove
Aug 17, 2010 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who has ever loved an animal
Recommended to Susan by: Lydia
If the cover alone doesn't inspire you to read this book, you probably don't belong to that elite and sometimes maligned group of people known collectively as “dog lovers.” If you dip into the first few pages, you'll see what you are missing. This memoir of a dog rescuer who never intended to be one is funny, touching, and ultimately satisfying.

The author, who lives in a Manhattan apartment, stumbled into rescuing Boston terriers and dogs masquerading as Boston terriers. As all who have ever wor
Lady Jane
Sep 05, 2014 Lady Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dogs, memoirs, nonfiction
A delightful, light, humorous memoir of a woman who catapults from being a single dog owner to being a wife, mother and rescue volunteer in Manhattan. Each chapter is centered on an anecdote from Ms. Klam's sometimes uplifting and sometimes heartbreaking dog experiences, then concludes with the life lesson she learned. She credits the dogs she has known for helping her to confront selfishness and open her heart to others, preparing her for marriage and motherhood. She not the first person to who ...more
This book was not at all what I expected. I’m not going to lie - I did buy it because of its cover since I am a Boston terrier lover. How can you resist that face!?

The back cover summarizes Julie as 30, single, and living in NYC and she is a rut and looking for love. Then she dreams about a Boston Terrier named Otto which she takes as sign. So she goes out to get this dog, whom she falls in love with. I thought this book would focus around her life with Otto in it and how he helped her grow, fin
Gary Anderson
Nov 14, 2010 Gary Anderson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up based on recommendations in the media thinking it would be like Marley and Me and My Dog Skip. I like those books, so that would have been fine with me.

But You Had Me at Woof is different. The subtitle indicates that it has some life lessons in it. Those are not heavy-handed, and they arise naturally from the dog situations described in the book. Good stuff.

I laughed out loud in a couple of places, but this book's goal isn't non-stop hilarity. It's more thoughtful than that.

As y
Feb 22, 2012 Stephanie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This book reads like a long email or a Christmas letter, and it's written with about the same amount of skill as an average rendering of the latter. There are quite a few emails copy-and-pasted into the book, in fact. I really can't fathom why Julie Klam was ever hired by the big-name magazines that she's written for, or why people think she's a "funny" writer. Just because you write about funny things doesn't make you a funny writer. Maybe it's just that i prefer a more witty or tongue-in-cheek ...more
I'd like to give this 3.5. It's engaging, funny, heartbreaking, and educational. Anyone involved with rescue, or thinking about getting into rescue should probably read it.

But gosh darn it all, I may just hurl the next book I about "a New Yorker who gets a dog and does all the wrong things but who learns and gets better next time" out the window. Can't you people do some research about basic training and obedience? I started training dogs in junior high through 4-H, so maybe I'm a little more s
Kelly Hager
Oct 24, 2010 Kelly Hager rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is about a woman who rescues Boston terriers. And, more than that, it’s about the special bond people have with their dogs. You might think that it’s a given that I’d like this kind of book, but I usually don’t read “yay, dogs are awesome!” books. I like this book because it’s great and well-written, not because it’s about dogs. :)

If you’re not a dog person, read this anyway. It’s not weird and all “dogs are better than people.*” It’s smart and funny and when I was a few chapters in**, I we
Aug 21, 2011 Meredith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up at a closing Borders, and figured, it's about dogs and the title is "You Had Me At Woof", how could I not like this? I barely had time to scan the back and didn't see the author bio. I lazily picked it up at home, and suddenly it was 3AM and I was halfway through. I looked at the author bio and found Klam was a writer for many respected publications. Through reading her book I had discovered that she had been 30 and at a job she hated (part time insurance clerk) and felt she had ...more
Dec 04, 2013 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been wanting to read this book since it came out. When I saw the audiobook on my library's website, I jumped on it, said MINE!, and downloaded it. I don't listen to audiobooks very often anymore, but I figured I would listen to this one while I was cleaning or something.
I have two Boston Terriers (well one and a half) who I love so very much. I really related to Dahlia's story because about two years ago, I was given a pregnant, neglected, and malnourished Boston Terrier (knocked up by a
Anita Dalton
I loved reading Klam’s experiences with pet psychics and her attempts to determine if she could become a psychic herself. It was a thing of humorous beauty, but I admit I approached pet psychics after a rescue. You see, we couldn’t determine if Patchwork Sally’s kittens were still alive out in the nasty field where we found her (she was lactating when we grabbed her). The pet psychics all assured us they were dead but we found them all alive and that was when we really wished we could communicat ...more
Everyone thinks they know the best way. The best way to raise children, the best way to raise pets, the best way to do everything. I've heard a lot of dog owners very pompously tell me, for example, that they only give their dogs raw food because dogs don't have kibble in the wild. People also have very strong opinions on child rearing. Everything from breastfeeding to spanking to letting your child sleep in bed with you seems to be controversial, and many parents have absolutely no qualms about ...more
Dec 03, 2010 Tyson rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio, read-in-2010
I good book but not a great book. The author lost a bit of credibility with me when she stated in an early chapter that she paid to become a pet psychic. Perhaps it is an east coast USA thing, but after that chapter I started to wonder just who the heck she was spinning this tale for. It seemed like she found a niche and decided to use it to her advantage. "I have a dog lets tell a short story and then tack on a deep thought at the end that ties it all up into a bow."

I am a dog lover and my fami
Nov 20, 2014 Jokoloyo rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I make this review by read up to a third of the book. and up to this stage, I don't want to finish reading this book.

The first chapter is strong and I rate a four star. But for next chapters,I can't understand what is the connection between chapter title with the content. Even for seeking fun read, I don't find the book hilarious.

Maybe I am a pure fiction reader, and I was expecting a plot/connection for main character. But I believe I am not the only that annoyed with the role of the first dog
This is a memoir much in the ilk of Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World in that the book is really about the author, with pets playing a secondary role. In both cases the pets offer support, but the issues really are about the people. I liked this book much more than Dewey because Klam has a sense of humor and is a more positive person. I felt the section reading entire e-mails of correspondence between the rescue workers was cheesy. It seemed like a lazy substitute for writi ...more
Jan 20, 2011 Erica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Being a dog-lover, I love a good dog story. But this book and some of the decisions made by the author in it irritated me. She discussed several instances where her dogs bit/attacked one another and her young child, as well as instances in which she refused to find new homes for dogs she felt were too hard to care for. The book never got to the purpose of it's title, which was to tell how dogs taught her happiness....she never really got to the point. As well, the book ended on an odd note, she ...more
Jun 18, 2016 Kathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While not what I expected it to be, I enjoyed this book. I always wish it was more about the animal than the person, but that never seems to work. The book is about different dogs the woman has owned, or fostered and her work with the Boston Bull Terrier rescue group. much as she may love her dogs, she doesn't seem (from her own descriptions) to have any control over them. They pee and poop on her floors all the time. They bite not only visitors, but also family members. If she was h
Jennifer Li
Jan 20, 2016 Jennifer Li rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a recently inducted "dog person"(we adopted our beloved Theo one year ago, on Jan 1st, 2015) this book was the ideal lighthearted read for traveling during the holidays. The plot follows Ms. Klam as she expends much time, money, effort, and emotion to rescue Boston Terriers in need. It felt good to commune with author Julie Klam on the unique love and bond between human and pet dog. As other pet owners will know, there is always the fear of outsiders not understanding the deep feelings that i ...more
I just can't do any more. This is DNF!
Jan 21, 2011 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had the flu this week, and did not feel like reading anything for a few days. I watched movies, slept, blew my nose til it bled, and descended into an unplanned and most definitely un-curative marathon of Dr. Drew's Celebrity Rehab. I blame my fever. Anyway, Art bought me this book for Christmas, a book I mentioned wanting mainly because of the cover, however suspect that motive. Not looking for anything deep, I dug in this week, and I'm pretty sure it took about 10 minutes to read.

The cover'
Feb 24, 2011 Darla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Look at that cover. How could I resist that face? This just came in yesterday...I started reading immediately, read a bit at lunch and then finished last night. Obviously, a quick read. You don't have to be one of those people that cannot leave a dog alone to appreciate this one, but it helps. Julie opens the book with chapters about Otto, her first dog as a single person. Because of Otto's rewarding presence in her life, she decides to become a foster parent for Boston terriers, joining a Manha ...more
Nina Sankovitch
Jan 22, 2011 Nina Sankovitch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: great-books
Even if you are not a dog person, you will be a Julie Klam person. Reading about her life through the lens of her relationships with the Boston Terriers she has rescued over the years, I became Klam's fan, then grew to feel as if she were an old friend, and by the end of her memoir, You Had Me at Woof, she had become an inspiration. Her often funny and always fresh and honest stories about herself, her dogs, her friends, and her family, are at turns easy-going and deeply moving. By the end of ea ...more
Aug 12, 2013 Skye rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You Had me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness, by Julie Klam (228 pp, 2010, $24.95, Riverhead Books [Penguin])

Whoever said that you can’t tell a book by its cover was right! I passed right by Woof many times in my local bookstore and, frankly, just wasn’t interested after seeing the cover – wrong breed and a little dog at that. I am not a BostonTerrier person (like the cover dog): I’m a Golden Retriever and Lab person, a big dog person.
Fortunately for me, my local library has
Feb 17, 2013 Simone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of those happy/painful reads. I loved Klam's experiences with her dogs, but they reminded me of the pain that goes along with losing one. Having gone through that one year ago, this book was a sharp reminder that it sometimes takes longer than expected to heal, and only solidified my longing for another four-legged friend. I loved that she identified true "dog people" (not all dog owners are such), and reminds us of the awesome responsibility that comes with owning a dog (as in the ...more
Dec 13, 2010 Annthelibrarian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, animals
Julie Klam is young and single in Manhattan and not liking her life very much. One night she has a dream that she owns a Boston terrier dog named Otto. She talks to her mom (she and her mother both are big believers in “signs”). Her mother tells her that a man she works with has a Boston terrier. He puts Julie in touch with a breeder who says there are no puppies right now, but that they are involved in Boston terrier rescue (which Julie really has no idea about), and there is a young rescue dog ...more
Sue Burke
Dec 10, 2010 Sue Burke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book as a potential Christmas gift for a family member who loves dogs, and thought I'd just try it out to make sure she would like it. Half a day later, I'd read the entire book, laughed in so many places and felt sad in others. Julie Klam's writing is a treat .... she makes it effortless to follow her adventures as a member of a rescue group for Boston Terriers, and brings each of the dogs who come into her life come alive for us. She had me loving even the less lovable dogs, and ...more
Feb 10, 2014 Kris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dog lovers everywhere, Kim, Julie, & Kambire in 10 yrs
Shelves: audio-books
This book was the perfect mix of humor & sarcasm. It had me smiling at a time when a good laugh was hard to come by. This was a well told story of a woman who was in love with her dog(s) & how her experiences with a local rescue group helped her find balance that she didn't know she needed.
Kellyann Zuzulo
Nov 14, 2010 Kellyann Zuzulo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another funny, touching and insightful book from Julie Klam (author of PLEASE EXCUSE MY DAUGHTER).
While YOU HAD ME AT WOOF is a beautifully written chronicle of the bond between canines and humans, it's also a recipe for how we find life's rewards in the everyday, as long as we're committed, willing, and don't mind picking up some poop along the way. This book had me laughing out loud and wiping tears from my cheek. Julie Klam's writing is lyrical and clear and makes you feel like she's speaking
Mar 22, 2016 Ali rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Vapid. Maybe it's the audiobook but this woman is terrible. The lessons of life don't even make sense. It's like being trapped at a dinner party next to someone really boring who will not shut up. Gross stories were not funny or endearing. Just gross. Endless dog transit stories that don't really go anywhere. Didn't make it to the end.
Many of us have felt like Klam did years ago: on the verge of something but not quite sure what; feeling stalled in her career; and perhaps a bit wayward. We look for guidance from others, our experiences, reading and within ourselves but it’s challenging to pull oneself out of a deep rut. Klam adopts a Boston terrier named Otto [It took time, but my relationship with Otto made me realize that if you love someone, you’re more than willing to compromise to meet their needs . . .]. People love th ...more
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Live Video Chat with Julie Klam: Wednesday, 11/10/10, 2 pm ET/11 am PT 39 33 Nov 10, 2010 11:47AM  
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Julie Klam grew up in Bedford, NY. She has been a freelance writer since 1991, writing for such publications as “O, The Oprah Magazine,” “Rolling Stone,” “Harper’s Bazaar,” “Glamour,” and “The New York Times Magazine”.
A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, she was a writer for VH1’s Pop-Up Video, where she earned an Emmy nomination for Special Class Writing.
A New York Times Bestseller, she
More about Julie Klam...

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“A very wise dog woman once told me that dogs find owners, not the other way around. They pick you and they choose to stay with you. In that way, they are also giving you the end of their life. The deeper the bond, the harder it is to say good-bye. I know I’d rather have any amount of time with a dog I love and suffer the mourning than not have the time at all.” 19 likes
“Puppies are constantly inventing new ways to be bad. It's fascinating. You come into a room they've been in and see pieces of debris and try to figure out what you had that was made from wicker or what had been stuffed with fluff.” 6 likes
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