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Uggie--My Story

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Dear Reader:

Wow! Bow wow! It’s been a wild ride—wilder even than learning to water-ski or skateboard. I’m so famous now that The New York Times plugged my autobiography. “Uggie will bark all in a memoir,” it announced. Well, I’ve certainly had a lot to bark about lately.

Even before The Artist stunned us all by hitting the big time and winning five Oscars, inside I knew (as did my wonderful acting coach Omar) that I was an artist. I may have been merely a pound-bound hound when I joined Omar’s troupe, and certain species-ist quarters have contended that I mindlessly do tricks for treats, but it’s not true. I was milking a crowd as a young street performer when my canine companions and I were doing gigs for biscuit money. Yes, I’ve always been a bit of an attention-seeker, but aren’t all great actors?

Expect some real treats. Perhaps not quite as tasty as pizza, but still lip-smackingly good. Not just the stories of how I got into showbiz or why I fell nose over paws in love with my divine Miss W (that’s Reese Witherspoon to the rest of you), but also the dirty doggie truth about Cat-Gate. And, well, a few more youthful misdemeanors . . .such as Zebra-Gate and Cockatoo-Gate and the truly shameful Binge-Gate.

I’m fond of a good romp, and this candid canine tell-all zips along with revealing tales of celebrity encounters and how I cope with fame. Of course there’s some sad stuff too, including the health problems that forced me into early retirement. I’ve given my all in this honest-to-dog Hollywood memoir, because that’s what I always do. I hope you’ll gobble up every word, just like I wolf down sausages.

Love and licks,


240 pages, Hardcover

First published October 1, 2012

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5 stars
55 (31%)
4 stars
69 (39%)
3 stars
37 (21%)
2 stars
8 (4%)
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5 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 45 reviews
Profile Image for Debbie Zapata.
1,759 reviews29 followers
May 18, 2019
My mom found this at a book sale a few years ago and passed it on to me when she was through with it. I picked it up this morning after I did my garden chores, and skimmed it.

Skimmed it because it is written in 'first dog-person' style and tries way too hard to be cute. I could not stomach too much of that, but I did enjoy reading the training techniques used to make Uggie a canine film star. And the pictures were nice.

Not a keeper, though.
Profile Image for Jami.
1,630 reviews7 followers
March 17, 2014
I absolutely adored this book, which was surprising to me as I have not seen The Artist and had no idea who Uggie was. It was told from Uggie's perspective and it was humorous; there were plenty of parts where I just had to laugh out loud! I was also happy that they got plugs in for their rescue group work, which is always a plus. This was a fast read and the pictures are adorable.

I felt like I really got to know Uggie's unique personality and the information about how the film was made was fascinating. I mean, who knew that to get a dog to lick another dog's butt in a movie, they smear baby food over the dog's butt?!? I also remember Uggie's commercial where he pushes cookies out for Santa and then falls asleep and Santa leaves him a bone as a present; I didn't realize it was Uggie that made that commercial until I read the book.

It was nice to read a book about a dog where the dog is still alive. The ending paragraph was great, albeit bittersweet: "My only hope is that long after my paws no longer trod this earth, I will still be remembered as a little artist with a big heart." (p. 225). Awwwww........
Profile Image for Claudia.
1,199 reviews35 followers
July 15, 2018
Biography? Dogography? Autodogography with translator?

Whatever you want to call it, it's a tale of a Jack Russell named Uggie who went from nearly a pound puppy straight into Omar von Muller's arms. With steady training, Omar took a high-energy canine and thru discipline, care and treats, focused Uggie into a TV and film star. Although he was in several films and many commercials, his break-out role was in The Artist.

Uggie willing admits his adoration of Reese Witherspoon, his love of skateboarding, waterskiiing and of course, sausages. The hard work that he, his human family and the other dogs (and one cat) do as actors as well as supporting rescue groups in North and South America.

He also admits his faults - the so-called Cat-Gate, Goat-Gate and Zebra-Gate and his occasional lapses into pure instinct especially with squirrels and those p-grams he commemorates various locations.

The sad part is that even as Uggie was becoming a beloved international screen star, his age was catching up with him as well as some medical problems and sheer age. But that didn't seem to slow this bundle of energy down as he joined into the award season with his castmates.

The book ends with Omar letting his aging star slow down. This book was published in 2012 with numerous pictures of this adorable actor. A quick and enjoyable read
247 reviews1 follower
April 14, 2014
I hadn't wanted to see The Artist until someone told me there was a cute doggie featured prominently in it, and then I was astounded by how the clever antics of a Jack Russel terrier pulled me into a charming and moving story about Hollywood's Golden Age. I really love dogs, especially small dogs. I was worried this book would be a little too pandering, the kind of cutesy phoned-in work that plays well to your grandma but makes your English teacher reach for the suicide hotline. Good news! Your grandma will love it, but the author uses cute dog stories to flesh out a variety of great observations about the history of animal actors and the life and training of a modern working dog. I literally laughed (at some of the anecdotes and especially when one caption read, "Behind those puppy dog eyes lurked a killer") AND cried (no, Uggie is not dead, but reading about how he's aging summons unpleasant thoughts, and some of the moving words the humans in Uggie's life have about him are heart-swelling) at this book. The last book I'd read was the macabre Night Film, and this joyful scamper of a book was a perfect palate-cleanser.
Profile Image for Leah K.
662 reviews2 followers
September 29, 2013
Uggie: My Story by Wendy Holden
225 pages


Uggie is a terrier that is famous for being in movies such as Water for Elephants and The Artist (neither of which I’ve seen as of yet) and also many commercials and ads. He goes on to “write” this memoir with the help of Wendy Holden. It was cute, it really was. I would like to think that dogs think as written in the book, but alas they don’t. So I found myself annoyed that this dog thought in such a humanistic manner – of course how interesting would the book have been if was truly written in the thoughts of a dog? So all is forgiven. It goes through his life from puppyhood to when he is 10ish, his adoption, his training, his interaction within movies and the such. Quite a successful pup who started out as a rescue dog. So it’s a cute and quick read but it goes without saying that it’s not to be taken seriously. Just a fun read from the perspective of a dog…sort of.
Profile Image for Sharon Huether.
1,459 reviews10 followers
February 27, 2014
Uggie-- My Story..By Wendy Holden.. Uggie is telling his own story. He was rescued by a man that saw his potentical. He plays in movies. Omar taught him to act, in front of people and the camera. He played in the movie Water For Elephants and The Artist. He was born to act.In his home he has to get along with some cats. His favorite human is Omars daughter. He loves to water ski, be pampered by the ladies and enjoy kissing them. Such a ladies man.
Profile Image for Cheryl.
962 reviews100 followers
December 15, 2012
Uggie the Jack Russell terrier who starred in the academy award winning movie, The Artist, "barks" his life story to the author, Wendy Holden. Uggie was rescued from an animal shelter by his current owner who cared for him and trained him. Uggie's memoir traces his rise from skateboarding pup to international stardom. Lots of Hollywood gossip is included in this lighthearted tale.
Profile Image for Dawn.
37 reviews28 followers
March 20, 2013
I loved this book! Such a cute story about a dog who went from rags to riches with the help of his dad; his trainer and coach. This guy is so cute and the pictures show his personality and leave you with no doubt about why he is so popular.
Profile Image for Sue-Lynn Voigt.
220 reviews1 follower
August 7, 2017
Well being a life long lover of JRTs, this book resonated with me. Now sharing our lives with the 4th JRT, I so relate to cat-gate, goat-gate and the personality of these ruff and tumble dogs, small in stature and big of heart. I miss everyone of our JRTs, they have such personality, but I have a special place in my heart for one. I am sure this is how Omar feels. Although he loves all his animals, Uggie was special. Great book for dog lovers!
Profile Image for Grace.
123 reviews1 follower
January 31, 2022
I picked this up at a library sale at my sister’s library in Kentucky a few years ago. Of course I did, I love Uggie, how could I not? I decided to finally read it because my StoryGraph made it very obvious that I have read no non-fiction.

Overall I loved it because I love and miss Uggie. I did not, however, enjoy the Robert Pattinson slander! It was incredibly jarring having mentions of Harvey Weinstein and a picture of Uggie with Kevin Spacey.
Profile Image for Kirsty Farmer.
103 reviews
January 29, 2022
I loved this book! I own a Jack Russell and that was the reason this book was bought for me. I have never heard of Uggie, but I now want to see the film The Artist, to see this charismatic JR in action! It is a well written book from the point of view of Uggie, the only reason it didn’t get the full 5 stars is because I have never heard of him!
Profile Image for Skye.
61 reviews3 followers
August 13, 2013
Uggie: My Story by Uggie and Wendy Holden (Gallery Books, 231 pages, 2012, $14.99)

Another “You can’t tell a book by its cover” book is Uggie. A strikingly adorably-classy cover shot of a Jack Russell Terrier (JRT or 'Jack' or even 'Russell') - sporting a $60,000 18-carat gold bone charm with his name inscribed and a black bow-tie collar - will have you looking at this book twice at your favorite neighborhood independent bookstore. I looked twice and finally bought it but found the book took too long to read.

Written from the point of view of a dog, which I normally simply eat up, Uggie simply took too long to read.

“Who is Uggie?” you may be asking yourself, as did I. He lived with Colombian-born Omar, a balanced trainer, and an entourage of dogs. Uggie is the dog in the YouTube Christmas short of a JRT in his backyard setting out a plate of cookies and a glass of milk for Santa before looking into the sky for the man, beseeching him for a gift-bone, before turning around and going into his dog house for a good night’s sleep. And, lo and behold, Santa does come and deliver a huge bone wrapped with a red ribbon. Heartwarming, this short is so cute I have watched it time and time again, even sending it to friends (which I hardly do since I assume their inbox is filled to the brim like mine).

Uggie starred as the dog in the black-and-white silent The Artist, winner of 5 Oscars and numerous other awards worldwide including Cannes, where Uggie won the coveted ‘Palm Dog’ award. Uggie is also the recipient of the American Humane Association’s (AHA’s) Pawscar and Dog News Daily’s Golden Collar. Uggie’s pawprints are even immortalized in cement in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

“Why did Uggie take too long to read?” is another question you may be asking yourself - the answer is that it is too contrived. I was exhausted reading all the repartees that just weren’t all that funny. Too many slightly humorous incidents were written with too much craft and cleverness – so much so that it showed, and took away from any smidgeons of style left. This reviewer certainly didn’t feel like she lived the book. Long sentences and big words do not an enticing book make.

However, if you love the now-classic Christmas short or saw The Artist or have a JRT or remember all the old movie greats (like Pickford, Rinty or Lassie), I might recommend Uggie, if only for the photos here and there throughout. Another saving grace is the short chapter starting on page 191 about Uggie raising money for shelters (and PETA). However the best part may (or may not) be Uggie’s pining for a certain blonde movie star he worked with in Water for Elephants: the pining lasted throughout the book as did my unfulfilled hope that it would get better.
471 reviews7 followers
January 16, 2014

At last the true and inspiring story of how a Jack Russell terrier rose from a lost dog in a pound to sniffing the rich and famous on the red carpet at the Oscars. Uggie, the true star of The Artist, is the narrator of his own biography and enthusiastically reveals the secrets of training dogs – apparently it’s something to do with sausages, his days on the street or at the circus performing tricks with his handler, Omar and his undying love for Reese Witherspoon.
It’s a real rags to riches as who could have known that a non-speaking role in such a successful film could lead to Uggie leaving his pawprints on Sunset Boulevard for posterity ? Along the way we are introduced to Omar, his new Wife, Mrs Omar and they growing family as well as Uggie’s canine friends and companions.
Although retired now, Uggie’s getting on in dog years as he’s 15, he can reflect back on a life less ordinary.
I bought this as a Christmas present for a friend and I do like to read a book before wrapping it out of force of habit. Also it would be a light, frothy read which it is. But it also sheds like on performing animals whether on film, TV and on the streets. Do they suffer, are they ‘made’ to perform, is there any cruelty involved and Uggie meets other animal handlers along the way as their charges, and he, audition for parts etc. As a life long cat fancier I did think whilst reading it ‘You would never get a cat to do any of this’. They’re too busy posing and thinking ‘You’re looking at me really not George Clooney’.
I fear that Uggie’s time in the sun may be short but how many other rescue dogs have an Oscar above their kennel?
Profile Image for Cynthia.
2 reviews
December 27, 2012
Loved this book, for anyone who needs to be uplifted and read something light, this is the book for you. Filled with humor and love, this autobiography is written by a New York Times writer and is exceptionally entertaining for dog lovers, people interested in film production and those looking for a cute tale and a good story. Uggie, is the terrier in the films "The Artist" and "Water for Elephants"; he tells his story of almost becoming a pound dog but being rescued by an animal trainer in California and how he becomes the trainer's most talented star. He tells his rise to fame, what it is like since his movie won Best Picture honors, his awards and his love for Reese Witherspoon. Uggie will steal your heart, he did mine!
Profile Image for Shazza Maddog.
1,012 reviews3 followers
May 1, 2013
Uggie: My Story is a tail told by a very famous little dog. It doesn't gloss over bad habits, or lack of training. It actually says, "Doing this takes time" often enough to maybe get through to people that dogs don't immediately learn the tricks you see in movies or on t.v.

Whether Uggie's direct personality comes through the book is up to the reader, I guess. I enjoyed it. I was looking for something a little light-hearted, and at least, I knew the dog didn't die at the end of the story. The humor is light, there are some serious scenes (specifically when Jumpy, the Border Collie, was being held in a Mexican warehouse), and there are some cute bits, like Uggie's fascination with Reese Witherspoon.

A very cute book.
Profile Image for Rebecca Holland.
Author 13 books4 followers
March 22, 2013
Uggie is a star dog. He was in the five-time Oscar winning movie, "The Artist." And this tale, as told to Wendy Holden, produced by Simon and Schuster, is just further proof that America is a dog nation.

Or a nation gone to dogs.

It is a cute epistle of the Jack Russell Terrier's adventures in Hollywood, or Hollyweird, as Phil from Duck Dynasty calls it.

And it is actually kind of fun to read - a book that you can pick up and take with you to the doctor's office when you want to pass the time away without doing a lot of thinking and it will make you smile.

After all, Uggie is a cute dog.

ISBN 978-1-4767-0016-8, Simon and Schuster
Profile Image for Debra Daniels-Zeller.
Author 2 books9 followers
November 23, 2012
This is paws-down the best celebrity memoir ever. This upbeat story is a rags to riches story with an engaging likeable leading man Uggie, a Jack Russel Terrier who can skateboard and surf in addition to acting. His tell-all memoir dishes on Robert Pattenson, Graham Norton, Katy Perry and especially Reese Witherspoon. All in good fun of couse. I loved his slightly snarky one liners throughout the narrative. This was a howl-out-loud funny story with lots of insight about canine and animal actors.
Profile Image for Lori.
1,390 reviews
November 17, 2012
I am a big dog lover and enjoy reading books about dogs. this was a fun one to read. Uggie is a dog performer who has appeared in the movies Water For elephants and The Artist. it is told through his eyes.with the help of his owner Omar. a very quick read. I rather enjoyed reading about Uggies life and his experiences in the movies. he is an adorable and talented dog. I saw him in both the mentioned movies. he was a joy to watch. and this was a joy to read.he is ten years old now and retired. wish him a restful happy retirement.
Profile Image for Amanda.
Author 11 books10 followers
December 28, 2012
I absoutely loved this book and I love Uggie!!! :D He was just amazing and adorable in "The Artist" and so good in "Water for Elephants" too that I had to get this. :) I loved how the book was written from his POV and telling his life story, that of his human family, his love for Reese Witherspoon, and all the things that have happened to him as he got famous. A great book and Uggie will always be one of my favorite actor dogs!!! :D
Profile Image for Jan Polep.
695 reviews4 followers
November 14, 2012
A coming-of-age, behind the scenes look at a legend in our time, Uggie. Star of "Like Water for Elephants" and "The Artist", who knew he could write a hysterical autobiography. If you like the Chet and Bernie mystery series told from a dog's point of view, you'll enjoy this tell-all that includes candid photos of milestone events. My heart still belongs to my bichonaranian, Jack the Wonder Dog but Uggie is one cool dude. Check out his FB page...and LIKE it!
Profile Image for Julie.
220 reviews1 follower
February 28, 2013
Oh Uggie. You've stolen my heart!

This book, written from Uggie's perspective, was much better than I expected. I knew I was going to read cute anecdotes, but I didn't realize I was going to learn a little something about animals in the entertainment industry. This book was an easy read. I think animal lovers and kids would enjoy it!
Profile Image for Sharon Smith.
197 reviews27 followers
January 30, 2013
I probably should have waited until after I watched The Artist to read this (thar be spoilers, matey) but I'm sure I'll love it anyway. And Uggie is a hilarious little pooch! This totally reads like a Hollywood confessional, but with a dog's wry wit. I already *really* want a dog ; now I want a Jack Russel just like Uggie.
Profile Image for Barbara.
14 reviews
October 12, 2013
It's a quick, cute read with lots of great pictures. Nice behind the scenes stuff (no gossip, just appreciative peeks into the process and the terrific people involved), and a non-preachy example of how a 'rescue' dog (which Uggie is, as well as most of his 'brothers and sisters') can become beloved family members and occasionally, award-winning stars!
Profile Image for CindySR.
483 reviews
March 4, 2014
I'm a dog lover, especially JRTs so this was a real treat. From naughty pup to the Oscar ceremony this dog Uggie was meticulously trained and loved by his trainer and it showed. If you haven't seen the movie The Artist yet, make it soon.

The writer behind the dog, Wendy Holden, was very funny. She did a great job of giving Uggie a voice.
Profile Image for Mary.
49 reviews
March 17, 2013
Very enjoyable and easy to read. Many times I find books like this ("autobiographies" by animals) are either very dry or way too schmaltzy for my taste. This one got the tone just right for my taste.
Profile Image for Pillo Peebee.
2 reviews
August 25, 2013
Funny and very sweet biography of a great CAAAANO (dog in Italian). My mom and I really appreciated it. And we discovered all other short commercials and apperances on tv of Uggie. Long Live Uggie and his brothers and sisters too.
Profile Image for Nancy Evans.
367 reviews2 followers
October 25, 2012
Another "doggie" story and I loved it. And told from Uggie's point of view. Very heartwarming and lots of fun.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 45 reviews

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