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Love at First Bark: How Saving a Dog Can Sometimes Help You Save Yourself

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  953 ratings  ·  110 reviews
The bestselling memoirist shows how saving a dog can sometimes help you save yourself. Julie Klam writes about dogs with a rollicking wit and a radiating warmth-as no other writer can. In her bestselling memoir You Had Me at Woof, she shared the secrets of happiness she learned as an occasionally frazzled but always devoted owner of Boston terriers. Now, with the same ench ...more
Hardcover, 170 pages
Published October 18th 2011 by Riverhead Books
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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Meg - A Bookish Affair
Jan 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012, non-fiction
I picked this book up at the library because of the cover. Seriously. I judge books by their covers sometimes. When I looked at the summary on the inside flap, I was intrigued. I'm an animal lover. If it's fluffy, feathery, scaly or furry I probably like it. Julie Klam is a DOG LOVER (with all capitals). She lives in a tiny NYC apartment with her husband and daughter and three naughty dogs and she still rescues dogs. It's nice and there should be people like that in the world but I had a really ...more
Dec 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
For some reason, dog stories are a guilty pleasure of mine. I enjoy reading the because they are always warm and fuzzy. I liked this one. This book was about animal rescue, which I think is a major need in our society. Our shelters are crowded. The author told many different stories of her attempts at animal rescue and the effects it had on her, her family and her marriage. Definitely worth the read. Some of this was funny and plus, she has done so much on behalf of homeless pets.
Tom Mueller
Feb 29, 2012 marked it as to-read
Although there are perhaps getting to be too many 'dog' books, I can't seem to stop myself from reading every one I find.
If you're looking for a mostly feel good, quick read, this will suit you fine. This short book focuses mainly on thr story of a few rescue dogs. One is found by the author and her family tied to a sign and the reader comes along as they attempt to locate someone, anyone, to take this dog since it would surely be euthanized at the local shelter. Then we meet a sweet little dog with neurological issues causing incontinence among other issues. I was happy to see the author's own unruly dogs finally ...more
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm surprised by the number of people who didn't like this book. I definitely did! I was relieved that Love at First Bark didn't rip my heart out, like You Had Me at Woof had. Yes, Love at First Bark was rather disjointed, but the only reason I, personally, didn't rate it higher was because I reeeally wanted to know what happened with Moses's brother.
Lynn Pribus
Mar 31, 2012 rated it it was ok
Since I am a dedicated dog lover and we always get a shelter dog, I'm sorry to give this only 2 stars. But it was, for me, an annoying book. The author/reader is so over-the-top about dog rescue, she came across as pretty kooky to me.

Her pride at having 2 dogs that were not housebroken and then adding a "fecally incontinent" dog (neurological problems) to the mix in a small apartment with her own child and not keeping them in some sort of enclosure was just too much for me. She evidently sent th
Jun 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was a really charming book about dog rescue. I loved Klam's other book about dogs, so when I saw this one I had to get it immediately. I really admire people that will do anything to save a dog's life and the story about the New Orleans rescue organization was particularly inspiring. It's crazy that they are still rescuing Katrina dogs! This is a nice quick read. I read it in one afternoon by the pool. Klam is hilarious and well-written. I highly recommend this book!
May 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: dog
This was a short little book on for the love of dogs one owner shows and shares. It is like those "gift" books that don't have a story, they are more on message then actual content. So it was the perfect library book! And as a newer-ish dog owner, I still really liked it a lot. Plus throw in short stories about dogs in need and I am so there! A quick and easy read for animal lovers.
Nov 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great book about rescued dogs and how one family has taken into their homes these dogs and fostered them until a new family is found and takes them into their families as adoptions.
Tonya Plank
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who love dogs
Recommended to Tonya by: Changing Hands bookstore
From Witty Kitty's Book Blog:

Witty Kitty loved this short, sweet memoir she happened to find at a special sale at her favorite bookstore, Changing Hands. It’s by the very funny Julie Klam, about what her experiences rescuing dogs has taught her about herself.

There are several wonderful stories here about the endearingly-portrayed dogs Klam has found homes for throughout the years. She opens with one about Morris, a sweet pit bull she and her husband, Paul, find tied to a tree outside a museum,
Jul 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
I’m not going to lie, Julie really annoyed me. She comes across as one of those irresponsible pet owners who loves dogs, but should not own more than one. She lets two of her dogs have run of the house, relieving themselves wherever they please. She also knows the same two dogs are bullies, but she takes in fosters anyways, chancing them still being bullies. Not to mention her personal life is a hot mess: she moved to a really bad neighbourhood, is very impulsive, has a young daughter, her marri ...more
Mar 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Julie Klam writes about dogs with much compassion -as no other writer can. In her bestselling memoir You Had Me at Woof she shared the secrets of happiness she learned with other foster dogs but always devoted owner of Boston terriers. Now, with the same exciting feeling of humor that reached the The New York Times and the Today show and won the hearts of readers across the country, she returns with more humorous insight into life with canine companions.

Klam focuses here on dog rescue, and its
Mar 23, 2019 rated it liked it
It was definitely a quick read! While I enjoyed reading about the different dogs being recused and given another chance, I felt that the author jumped around quite a bit with each story, inserting useless descriptions of things completely unrelated. I do appreciate the sentiment of the book though. I just wasn’t as thoroughly impressed as I thought I would be.
This is a book I wanted to love, but I didn’t. This is comprised of three short stories that are unrelated, which I didn’t realize at first. This made the book seem to skip around a bit. I loved the second story about Clementine but didn’t engage with the other two. I also wish their were pictures of the dogs.
Kelsey Bertels
May 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Quick, easy read that did keep my attention. However, the title is misleading as there are no life lessons in this all? They aren’t implied, nor discussed.

I enjoy Klam’s humor as I did in “You Had Me At Woof”, and I do enjoy how she story-tells, however, this book felt like a reach.
I enjoyed the Jarhead chase story and loved how all the stories that gave us humor and pathos. This book compliments Ms Klam’s ‘You Had Me At Woof!’ quite well. 3 1/2 waggly tails.
Donna Lewis
Nov 02, 2017 rated it liked it
A short book with three interesting dog rescue stories. Not too in-depth, but a humorous take on living in Manhattan and raising a child and 3, 4 and sometimes 5 dogs, while longing to rescue more.
Dana Buglak
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's no surprise that I am giving another 5-star rating to Julie Klam! A short and easy to read novel that reminds us why we adore our pets.
Sherri Denora
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fun, but rambling stories. A quick two-day, feel good read. I prefer cats.
Midge Thorn
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you love dogs and have ever volunteered in rescue and fostering, this is a book for you!
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Super cute, a little choppy.
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great quick read

Loved it! Nothing better than knowing you not only changed their life, but yours as well. Everyone deserves to be loved!

Myshelle DeSpain
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
So far I am loving this book. The writing is clever and funny. I have laughed and cried all in the span of the first chapter.
Over too soon. I wanted more. ;(
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love at First Bark - Julie Klam has been a dog owner for a long time. She has advocated for dogs. Growing up in New York, Klam has written for numerous publications and a television show on VH-1 for which she won an Emmy nomination. But for me, it is her books on dogs and her life with them that make her a favored author. In Love at First Bark, she details with care, love, and humor stories of rescuing dogs. From a pit bull to a special needs' terrier and so on, Klam's discovery is simple - life ...more
Oct 19, 2011 rated it liked it
I must admit, the adorable puppy on the cover of this book drew me to reading the story. And, like the cover, the memoir is just as cute. Julie Klam has a warmth to her writing that is friendly and inviting which engaged me from the beginning; a good thing since there is not much talk of dog rescue in the first two stories.

The book is for people looking to read about the life of a dog rescuer in New York City, with appearances of dog rescues. We learn about family, marriage, and the struggles th
Paul Pessolano
Aug 04, 2011 rated it liked it
“Love at First Bark” by Julie Klam, published by Riverhead Books.

Category – Animals/Dogs

Julie Klem is a dog lover. Well there are dog lovers and then there are dog lovers, but Julie Klem goes way beyond just loving dogs.

Julie, her husband, and young daughter live in New York in an apartment building. They have three dogs, two of which are not housebroken. Julie must follow them around with paper towels and disinfectant. Julie loves dogs. In fact, she loves dogs so much that even though they hav
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Yep, I love dogs. I have two of them, Wizzer and Ziggy. Wizzer is the fat half Lab half Golden Retriever, who at this time of the year, (deer hunting season) finds deer legs and eats it whole. Last year he found six, we know that there are two more out there. Then, there is Ziggy, the Springers Spaniel who has a butt load of energy. I have a sliding glass window in my house and she knows what time I get up and she waits for me at the sliding glass window to open the door, give her a treat (cat f ...more
May 29, 2012 rated it liked it
This was an okay book, but I kept waiting for the author to tell me something earthshaking that I did not know about rescue. Nothing was new to me, as I am a rescue person for more than 10 years,but I hoped the author could give me some insight.

Yes, all rescuers struggle with deciding if a dog is adoptable enough for rescue; we all struggle with giving them up when they are adopted. We never want to say "no" when requested to take another foster animal, but somethimes you do. If you didn't sa
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
I'm a sucker for a book with a dog on the cover, and once again the cover was the best part. I started this book a long time ago but wanted to finish it to clear my currently reading shelf. I read one story and I'm giving up for good this time. I had such high hopes for this book as I'm a fellow foster mom, but this rescuer was for the most part annoying and at times irresponsible. I believe the well being of your own furry crew should be your primary concern even more so when you foster. A stab ...more
Sep 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Love at First Bark picks up soon after You Had Me at Woof. Julie and her husband with their daughter Violet and their dogs Beatrice, Wisteria, and Fiorello in a small one bedroom apartment in Manhattan's Washington Heights area. Money's tight and their landlord raised their rent. Julie looks for a new neighborhood and home and carries on with her vocation of rescuing dogs.

As she tells it, the dogs come to her almost by chance. She walks around aware of abandoned dogs and with an open heart. So a
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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,” "The Washington Post" 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

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