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E.B. White on Dogs

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  289 ratings  ·  56 reviews
E. B. White (1899-1985) is best known for his children's books, Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan. Columnist for The New Yorker for over half a century and co-author of Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, White hit his stride as an American literary icon when he began publishing his "One Man's Meat" columns from his saltwater farm on the coa ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published March 25th 2013 by Tilbury House Publishers
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E.B. White, in his lifetime, was a notorious lover of dogs. He wrote columns and essays and letters about dogs (most notably about a particularly high-maintenance dachshund named Fred).

In 2013 his granddaughter, Martha White, decided to compile all of his dog-related writings, and they landed here in this delightful collection.

The letters start off slowly, and I must admit, I lost heart in the beginning, fearing this would be one big yawn. But, before I knew it, I was chuckling and smiling and s

’The Russians, we understand, are planning to send a dog into space. The reason is plain enough: The little moon is incomplete without a dog to bay at it.’

I suppose it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to find out that E.B. White was a dog lover, and wrote frequently about dogs in his columns, or that he had shared his life with several dogs over his years. But I had never read his columns, or knew that he was a dog lover. And I’ve known many people who brought home a dog with no love for t
Jen Hirt
Jul 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I think E.B. White would enjoy the story of how I ended up buying this book:

I'm visiting his grave in Brooklin, Maine when a black SUV rolls into the cemetery and three older people in khakis and blast-shield-esque sunglasses step out. They too have come to see the grave. One of the gentlemen tells me he knew White's son, who built boats in the world-famous boatyards of Brooklin. Since he's from Maine (and I'm not, given the Pennsylvania plates on my car, which is the first thing he comments upo
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: essays
Lovely. White's wry, tolerant observations of his dogs and their vagaries, of the events on his farm and in the world, are amusing and thought-provoking. As the title indicates, this is E.B. White, writing about his dogs (also pigs, children, politicians, etc.), mostly in letters to various people and in pieces for the New Yorker, from 1929 to 1984. What could be better? A few of my favorites are “A Week in November,” “Death of a Pig,” “Letter to the Collector of Internal Revenue, Maine,” “Bedfe ...more
Oct 12, 2018 marked it as to-read
Julie: "E.B. White has 2 SPECTACULAR essays. . . one is called "Death of a Pig," the other is called "A Week in November." If you ever get a chance, I recommend both of them above all other of his non-fiction works. One can be found in E.B. White on Dogs, the other in One Man's Meat. I can not recommend either of them enough." ...more
Mark Desetti
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
I only give the book four stars because the title is misleading. All of the writing in this little book is marvelous. I am firmly of the opinion that E.B. White is one of the best writers of the 20th century and almost certainly THE best essayist.

But this book is titled "E.B. White on Dogs." As an admirer of both White and dogs, I was excited about the book. But in addition to E.B. White ON Dogs there is plenty of E.B. White makes passing mention of a dog and E.B. White drops the word dog in thi
Mar 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: auto-biography
I didn't read any of White's children's book as a child, and my first introduction to them wasn't until I with my wife and boys listened to the audiobook version of Trumpet of the Swan. It was brilliant, and so is this collection of his letters and columns that include some reference, often hilarious but also touching, to his dogs across his lifespan. If you don't laugh while reading through the first time, read through again. If you like dogs, you should read this. If you miss well-written lett ...more
Oct 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One could easily breeze through this collection of essays, letters, and short comments for the New Yorker, since White's prose style and conversational doesn't demand a lot from the reader. Ignore that temptation, please. These pieces should be savored and enjoyed. ...more
Sue Diveley
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Just loved this book. It's got EB White's dry wit and is a collection of letters, columns, and other writings somehow involving dogs. EB was a dog lover and you get to know several of his dogs well. Loving EBW and dogs, this was a perfect book for me.
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Five wagging tails for this one. White's essay, The Death of a Pig, is utterly brilliant - and it was the basis for Charlotte's Web, one of my all-time favorite books. The rest; pieces from The New Yorker's Talk of The Town; letters to family and friends; an essay on how White and Krushchev had everything ing common (not really, but White has fun making the case) fill out this charming collection. ...more
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
These essays are interesting period pieces. Some of what White writes would not be allowed today as we have become so concerned with the feelings of others. White, very simply, said what he had on his mind.
Mary Jo
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“End of nostalgia. There’s no chance of an old acquaintance being forgot as long as my beautiful collie Caesar lives in memory.” The humor and humanity revealed in this last sentence broke my heart open.
Lenny Husen
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this while my sweet little dog lay dying of a brain tumour. My wonderful cousin had sent it to me, not knowing that our dog was sick (she got suddenly deathly ill several days before Christmas).

This book was a comfort to me in a terrible time.

As a child, I disliked Stuart Little (while appreciating certain elements), I liked Charlotte's Web, and loved Trumpet of the Swan.

This book contains White's selected correspondence to friends/familyand New Yorker and Harper's Magazine columns, spa
Mij Woodward
Sep 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: millions-2013
I think it must be impossible to pick up and read something by E. B. White without laughing out loud.

This is a collection of his writings on the subject of dogs, mostly his family's dogs. Columns he wrote for the New Yorker, or letters he wrote to his wife, or his friend James Thurber.

I got this book from the library, but now I have to go out and purchase it, so when I feel like having a chuckle or a loud guffaw, I can just go grab my copy of E. B. White on Dogs off the shelves, and sit down wit
Joe Basile
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a delightful little book, especially so for anyone who likes dogs and the writing of E.B. White (and if you don't like either, there is really something wrong with you!). I particularly enjoyed White's many letters and essays that feature dachshunds. ...more
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Some essays will make you smile, others will make you laugh, and at least a couple will at least make you tear up.... and all will make you appreciate the dogs and other creatures that inhabit our worlds
May 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
E.B. White--my main squeeze. This is pure delight. The pictures were the icing on the cake. Mr. White takes his own best advice--write about what you know. He knew and loved dogs.
Jun 01, 2017 rated it liked it
It was kind of a stretch that each of these essays was about dogs--many included just had a brief mention of a dog even if the topic was something altogether different--including politics. Enjoyable nonetheless with a light touch of humor.

Particularly liked the Obituary for Daisy ("She is survived by her mother, Jeannie; a brother, Abner; her father, whom she never knew; and two sisters, whom she never liked." "Her life was full of incident but not accomplishment. Persons who knew her only slig
May 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing

Were I to quote from this book all the witty observations that I loved, I would be in danger of transcribing the entire book.

E.B White is a treasure. He is of course, the author of the beloved children’s books, Charlotte’s Web, and Stuart Little, as well as an award winning poet, humorist, and essayist. His observations about life, politics, and human nature are poignant, charming, humorous, and just as relevant today as they were when he first penned these words.

His granddaughter Martha White
John Pehle
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to John by: Mary Jo
As I stumble from one book to the next, the randomness of the connections (like finding E.B. White by reading John Hodgman) is part of the fun. There is a randomness that runs through "E.B. White on Dogs" as well. If you like dogs, people or quirky observations that border on being non-sequiturs, then you will probably enjoy this collection of White's work. Since there is no real plot line (or is there?), you may be tempted to sample a few or jump around. If that is the case for you, be sure you ...more
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I can't seem to get enough of E. B. White's essays. I just finished re-reading [title:One Man's Meat] and needed more. So I dug around and found a collection of E. B. White's essays that centered around dogs. In truth, these essays and letters touch on dogs, but they are not necessarily about dogs. They are about life and dogs come and go through them. A lot of humor is packed into these essays, and a lot of muted sentiment as well. A few of the essays and letters appeared in other E. B. White c ...more
Dora Carson
Nov 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
This is a light and amusing collection of essays, articles, and letters on dogs, written by E. B. White over the course of his life. One can understand the success of his books through these essays, as they include stories about other animals and clearly show White’s love and understanding of these creatures. I particularly loved those pieces which discussed his own dogs, especially his dachshund(s). I listened to this on audio and would definitely listen to it again.
Sassafras Lowrey
Aug 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
why did i read this book? ugh. i kept waiting for it to get good, or more doggy or something but ..... eh. i ended up forcing myself to finish it because i wanted the "goodreads credit" towards my yearly reading goal (and because by the time i figured out it wasn't getting better i only had about 100 pages left) ...more
This is why I love participating in reading challenges. I would never have thought to pick up this audio book and I am so happy I did. E. B. White was a great lover of dogs, as am I. This audio book is a compilation of letters, thoughts and articles written by him over the years. It was beautiful, poignant and hilarious. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This collection of essays, columns, and letters on the subject of E. B. White's dogs was a delight to read. Many of my favorites were included such as Death of a Pig and Bedfellows. This is a book I will dip into and read over and over again. ...more
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
I couldn't finish it. And I love EB White so not sure why. It just didn't capture what I remember as his subtle, hilarious style of writing. Maybe his granddaughter picked the wrong passages or it was me. But it was the first time I didn't absolutely love something EB White wrote. ...more
Donna Dawson
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book for any dog lover. Add in the fact that White is a great writer and this makes for a wonderful read. Bonus — White spent most of his time in Maine and includes that in his writing.
Decent read...not terrible, not fantastic..enjoyed the dog details.
Jennifer Strabley
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great, humorous read. White narrates his day to day with wry and humble humor.
Zhuo Zhang
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Reading this book just makes me really happy because of all the dogs he mentioned.
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Elwyn Brooks White was a leading American essayist, author, humorist, poet and literary stylist and author of such beloved children's classics as Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan. He graduated from Cornell University in 1921 and, five or six years later, joined the staff of The New Yorker magazine. He authored over seventeen books of prose and poetry and was elected to t ...more

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“There is a book out called Dog Training Made Easy, and it was sent to me the other day by the publisher, who rightly guessed that it would catch my eye. I like to read books on dog training. Being the owner of dachshunds, to me a book on dog discipline becomes a volume of inspired humor. Every sentence is a riot. Some day, if I ever get a chance, I shall write a book, or warning, on the character and temperament of the Dachshund and why he can’t be trained and shouldn’t be. I would rather train a striped zebra to balance an Indian club than induce a dachshund to heed my slightest command. For a number of years past I have been agreeably encumbered by a very large and dissolute dachshund named Fred. Of all the dogs whom I have served I’ve never known one who understood so much of what I say or held it in such deep contempt. When I address Fred I never have to raise either my voice or my hopes. He even disobeys me when I instruct him in something that he wants to do. And when I answer his peremptory scratch at the door and hold the door open for him to walk through, he stops in the middle and lights a cigarette, just to hold me up.” 10 likes
“Some of the published news was distorted, but distortion is inherent in partisan journalism, the same as it is in political rallies.” 4 likes
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