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The Old Dog

3.11  ·  Rating details ·  38 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Once there was a dog who loved to run and jump and play. She was the best friend Ben -- or any little boy -- could have. But as Ben got older, so did his dog. One morning, Ben's old dog didn't open her eyes or wag her tail. She didn't even move.

New illustrations by James Ransome.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 9th 1995 by HarperCollins (first published 1972)
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Marissa García
Oct 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: pets, dogs, grief
Wow. A tender, warmly illustrated and authentic experience with grief over the loss of a pet takes a dramatic turn when a brand new puppy shows up after less than a day of old dog being dead. Totally insensitive and upsetting. Just when Ben really starts to grapple with his grief, Zolotow denies readers this vital lesson and image of growth. Disappointing.
Apr 03, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: childrens
It skips to the new pet way too fast.
Once there was a dog who loved to run and jump and play. She was the best friend Ben -- or any little boy -- could have. But as Ben got older, so did his dog. One morning, Ben's old dog didn't open her eyes or wag her tail. She didn't even move.

New illustrations by James Ransome.
CH_Emily Scholnik
Recommended in "Children's Books in Children's Hands."
Grade Range K-2
This is a heatbreaking tale of a young boy named Ben who goes to pet his dog one morning and she doesn't wake up for she is old and has passed away. This young boy goes through a sad and confusing day only to come home to realize that his dog really isn't there anymore. The story goes on to portray all of the things Ben and his dog used to do with each other, only Ben is alone and his dog isn't there. Ben just doesn't understan
McKenna Crimmins
The Old Dog was a sad and depressing book but had a happy ending. The pictures were very emotional but predicted what was going to happen next. Losing a dog is hard. They were always by your side to make you feel comforted, play with you, and to even warn you about weird sounds that they hear. But this book taught a lesson, bad things happen, to make room for the new amazing memories you are about to have. To allow the opportunity for someone or something else to live a great life in a great hom ...more
Andrea Salcedo
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
The Old Dog
By: Charlotte Zolotow
Recommended: Preschool- Kindergarten

The Old Dog was about a boy named ben who one morning went to go pet his old dog. His old dog didn't respond to the touch. Worried, he called for his father. His father explained that his dog had passed away. Throughout the rest of the story Ben reminisces about his old dog.

As a huge dog/animal lover, this book was very sad to me. One thing I didn't like about this story was how quickly his dog got replaced.
Briana Deleon
Mar 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book conveys the hardship that a young boy endures as the death of his dog becomes a reality to him. I find this book disheartening, however, I also believe it offers children a way to relate to this experience if they have ever lost a pet. Despite the less peppy tone of the story, the author also offers hope to children after the loss of a furry friend. The brilliant oil-painted illustrations compliment the mood of the story, while making it a great read aloud for kids.
Oct 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
PB 34: This book is really sad. I think you can really relate to it if you have had a dog pass away. I wish the ending was a little bit different though. I really enjoyed the pictures in this book. I loved that I could see the brush strokes and the detail in each picture, but it also made me that much more sad when seeing a close up of the dog!
Rachel Rouleau
Picked this off the shelf without realizing it was about the dog dying. I suppose I should have inferred that from the title. It does a good job of realistically showing the boy being sad for one day, but then his dad comes home with a new puppy and everything is all better. Not sure this is the best story out there about losing a pet.
My dog just died on Tuesday, we had him for 4 years. He had Lymphoma Cancer so from when we found out to when he died was only 3 weeks. I love-d my dog and I always will. This beautiful book portrayed all the feelings my family is having right now.
Rosa Cline
Oct 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids, mine-read
This is a good book to get for your child to help them understand the death of a pet. In the story a little boy can't wake up his old dog. He knows the dog is old but isn't ready for him to die. He misses him; and the things they did together.
Mar 26, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a very sad story about a boy who loses his best friend that is a dog. There are things that the little boy does every day that reminds him about the dog and he starts to miss her more. THis is a good story to teach students about grief and loss and that things will get better with time.
Sep 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents, children and teachers dealing with death of a pet
Lovely illustrations and simple text to help someone deal with the death of their pet. Very sweet.
Oct 09, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ethan-s-books
Not one of our favorites. Probably really great if you've just had a dog die in your family. But, as a bedtime story, this just led to Ethan crying "Inca not dead" and "I miss Inca!"
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture
Beautiful illustrations. Heartbreaking beginning. I felt like the quick introduction to a new puppy was too quick and tidy of an ending.
rated it it was ok
Aug 26, 2007
Doug Boude
rated it it was amazing
Feb 15, 2017
Branden Robinson
rated it really liked it
Nov 30, 2014
Megan Marvel
What an abrupt ending. It doesn't do justice to the subjects of death and grieving.
Rivka Abramowitz
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Dec 01, 2013
Deb Reddy
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Jul 09, 2015
Destinee Sutton
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Feb 22, 2010
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Charlotte Zolotow (born Charlotte Gertrude Shapiro) was an American author, poet, editor, and publisher of many books for children.
She was published by more than 20 different houses (many of which she has outlasted). She was an editor, and later publisher, at Harper & Row, which was called Harper & Brothers when she began to work there and is now known as HarperCollins.
Among the many write
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