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Sad, the Dog

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  264 ratings  ·  63 reviews
An ode to finding the one who brings out the best in you—and makes you feel as special as you are.

A clever little dog christens himself "Sad" when his humans fail to give him a name. Although they feed him and wash him, they don’t appreciate his many gifts, like his love of singing ("stop that yapping!"). When the people move away and leave Sad behind, Sad is heartbroken.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 13th 2015 by Candlewick Press (first published October 1st 2015)
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Average rating 4.24  · 
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 ·  264 ratings  ·  63 reviews

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Actual rating 4.5

Sad, the dog is a story for dog lovers.

It’s about how sad and lonely dogs feel if you don’t give them the love and attention they deserve, and about how to introduce yourself to a dog who has been mistreated, how not to push them and let them come to you.

The rest of this review can be found here!

Beautiful, beautiful, BEAUTIFUL book.

Review to come.
Oh, my gosh! I read this at work and began WEEPING. Such a beautiful little story! I want to read it to the kids in a Feelings-themed storytime I have planned, but I'm afraid I'll burst out crying. It's just too lovely not to share!!! Sorry for all the exclamation points!! But that's how good it is. !!
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
hell no I didn't start crying at work when I read this on my break

This is honestly such a good reminder to 1) not give animals as gifts, 2) treat animals like they have feelings (because they do), and 3) NOT GIVE ANIMALS AS GIFTS, like unless a responsible person with the time and means to care for them specifically requests a pet as a gift, don't do that????
Ok, thanks for coming to my TED Talk.
A lonely, unloved dog receives basic care from his family but not a lot of love. They don't even give him a name, and he ends up christening himself Sad because that's how he feels. All he hears all day are people yelling and scolding him. When the Cripps move, they leave him behind, and he becomes even sadder. But a new family with a friendly boy befriends him, and eventually he learns to trust again. Jack and his parents seem to understand how a dog feels and acts, and Jack and his new dog, ...more
Stef Rozitis
Apr 01, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a very simple book and has a somewhat predictable movement to the narrative, but that I think is the point! It shows very clearly that our identity is affected by how we are treated. It simply shows how love and acceptance helps a puppy through the trauma of having been rejected and abandoned. It offers hope and resilience from the puppy's perspective and an ethical framework from the point of view of the powerful boy- his love and acceptance are the transformative power in the book.

Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sweetest little story of a sad dog who is neglected until the right people come along. Loved the message and the illustrations.
Laura Harrison
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
The beginning of this book is extremely sad and upsetting. I can see some children possible crying over the very poor treatment of this dog. He is ultimately abandoned by his awful first owners. He does find a loving forever family but I was pretty bummed out before that happened. The illustrations are glorious and filled with emotion.
Poor Sad. He was an unwanted present, and his owners didn't want him! I feel like this is a good example of why you shouldn't give pets as gifts without talking to the person first! Then the pets will be Sad with a capital S!
Dec 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: charlotte-s-web
I read this in a bookstore yesterday, while I was Christmas shopping. It was really sweet, and moving with a very important message behind it.
Sandy Brehl
Writing a "Sad" story isn't easy, but this one does it with depth and in a child-accessible way. The great news is the happy ending. Back to that in a moment.
Children identify with animals in stories, and there are far too many kids who will see themselves in this story, perhaps more safely that through a direct discussion of child neglect/abuse or foster care. It can encourage in them the possibility of hope and trust and peace of mind in a better future.
Now I will add some downer notes to
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book can be read alone, but would also be a great ‘cuddle up on my lap’ or ‘sit close beside me’ story as it starts off with the sad tale of a dog who is given all the basics in life by his owners but is not loved – he is an unwanted present!

After being yelled and screamed at the dog gives himself the name of Sad.

“Hey you!” Mrs Cripps called. “Dog!” Mr Cripps bellowed

Things reach a climax when Sad is left behind by the owners when they move house. Thankfully the story has a warm, fuzzy
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is one of those picture books that may polarise readers because it is about a sad topic. Literally. In the beginning, the dog is treated so poorly and is so sad that it actually names itself Sad. Haven't you ever felt so sad that you felt your life was defined by that sadness? Sadness can take over your life until you manage to move on from it. Should children be allowed to become aware of such things? My opinion is absolutely. Like it or not, some will already be aware of it. Life is not ...more
Sarah Gerard
Jun 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Such a sad but lovely story. Used in school as a starter to a lesson all about thinking about the school values. Focused particularly on responsibility and the book was inspiration for a story the class wrote together about responsibility. The children then compared this story with 'Giraffe's Can't Dance'. The main message behind the lesson was that all stories have messages and morals. Just like in Giraffe's can't dance, where it starts sad but ends positively, this book also very much follows ...more
Catherine Austen
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A beautiful story that gives a happy ending to an unloved dog. Very tender and sweet, about the need for connection, not just food and shelter. It's very sad at the beginning--the dog's face when he's in trouble is just heart-breaking--but it all works out in the end. And I think it's important to have stories even for the very young where sad lives turn into happy lives and loneliness doesn't last forever. The illustrations are as tender as the story and it's a pleasure to read aloud with a ...more
Jessica Brown
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is one of few picture books that have ever made me cry...and I think kids might, too. The beginning of the book is incredibly sad because the dog is treated so poorly and is unwanted. I'm pretty sure kids will pick up on that and be upset. The ending is obviously much better and brighter, and I really did love the book, but I don't know that it's for kids.
Don't be like my gramma and get mad when 6 year-old Jessica cries her eyes out in the movie theatre at "My Dog Skip", because it's a sad
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When a dog's cruel owners abandon him when they move away, the new family that moves into the house takes him in as theirs. A sweet, heartfelt story about how pets sometimes find us instead of the other way around.
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
My friend gave me this book.

I've never heard my dog bark before, she never barks. But she just did as I picked up this book to review it :)
Rebecca Caufman
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Gulp. This book will pull at your heart strings and make you sad until...
Terrific title. How can you not love poor Sad the dog and want to rescue him?
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful written story where the illustrations bring the words to life.

I would love to have this puppy as part of the family. Who wouldn’t?
Stacey Aisquith
This little picture book packs a wallop. The story of a dog named Sad will hit you in all of the feels. It's an emotional roller coaster with a satisfying ending for all to enjoy.
Mar 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Really sad, then much better, then sudden mehh, but not sad, ending.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the book Olivia-Grace picked out from the library yesterday when we were there. Read this tonight to all three of the girls. Lily wasn't in the mood to be read to, but by the third page she was into it. All three girls loved it (Olivia-Grace had already read it in the library, but loved hearing it again). Mara absolutely loved it, giving me and the book hugs afterwards.

Beautiful pictures on each page with little 'easter eggs' on each page. And the story is really cute, heart-warming,
Amanda Osborne
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
This is a book to be read to children by an adult or with an adult present. Because it most certainly is going to make a child cry. It made ME cry.

Sad the dog is a nameless dog that is given to a couple as an unwanted present. They give him the most basic of care, but don't name him, don't pet him, hug him...he's just there. And when they move...they leave him there. No food, no water, in the cold.


Maybe it's just because I adopted a dog that had been neglected, but this book made me tear up
Christine Turner
An ode to finding the one who brings out the best in you, and makes you feel as special as you are.
A clever little dog christens himself "Sad" when his humans fail to give him a name. Although they feed him and wash him, they don't appreciate his many gifts, like his love of singing ("stop that yapping!"). When the people move away and leave Sad behind, Sad is heartbroken. But then a new family with a young boy arrives at Sad's house in a big truck. Although Sad is initially frightened, it soon
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, 2016
This is a difficult book to review as I don't know that it would work for all audiences. Dog lovers, and those who have adopted and/or are looking to adopt their forever dog, will certainly want to share this story with their little ones. Sad the dog names himself for the family he's given to doesn't want him, neglects him & eventually abandons him - see, this is not for the faint of heart, nor for the very young. When a family moves in, though, his luck changes for they open their arms, ...more
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Sad, the dog, lives with Mr. and Mrs. Cripps who give him minimal care. But when they move away and a new owner arrives with a young boy who showers affection on Sad, the dog goes from being “Sad” to being called “Lucky”.
This is a heart-warming tale about how love and caring can turn an unwanted dog into a happy-go-lucky pet. The story is simply told and the watercolor illustrations convey the tone of the story accurately as the background transitions from tan to light blue. The expressions
Juliana Lee
Sad was a little dog who was given to a cranky old couple who didn’t want him. They didn’t even name him, so he called himself Sad. They yelled and shouted when Sad dug in the garden, barked, and tore up newspapers. Then one day they moved away leaving Sad behind. The next day a family with a little boy moved into the house. The boy loved Sad. He fed him and named him Lucky. No one yelled or shouted when they dug in the garden, barked, or chased paper airplanes. Lucky knew he’d never be Sad ...more
Kristina Jean Lareau
Sad's owners did not like him and left him behind. When the new family arrives at the old house, will they treat him the same?

This a picturebook that has excellent design--from the front endpapers to the back papers. The watercolor illustrations reflect Sad's emotions and feelings of abandonment as well as creating a distinctly engaging atmosphere. Skillfully rendered, these watercolor exude detail and dynamism.

I would give this book 5 stars if the text was slimmed down, spread out and better
White House Public Library
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Because a family dog has not been given a name by his owners, one sweet little pup names himself “Sad”. He has so many talents but unfortunately his owners do not see the value of his place in the family. Life takes a turn for Sad the pup and he becomes… READ THE BOOK!!!

This book helps young one to understand that kindness and love are needed by everyone. When we take on responsibility of animals it’s for their lifetime. Each day they say I love you in so many ways and the powerful impact they
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Sandy Fussell lives south of Sydney with her husband and two sons. She studied mathematics at university, is intensely interested in history and now works in IT. From the moment she could read, Sandy loved books and always wanted to be a writer. In school, she wrote what she refers to as “booklets” and “terrible plays that the teacher made the class perform”. After school, Sandy forgot about ...more
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