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Can I Be Your Dog?

(Can I Be Your Dog? #1)

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  2,077 ratings  ·  450 reviews
A dog adoption story told through letters--from the dog, himself!

Arfy, a homeless mutt lives in a box in an alley. Arfy writes to every person on Butternut Street about what a great pet he'd make. His letters to prospective owners share that he's house broken! He has his own squeaky bone! He can learn to live with cats! But, no one wants him. Won't anyone open their heart-
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 13th 2018 by Random House Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.45  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,077 ratings  ·  450 reviews

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Deacon Tom F
Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really love this book on so many levels.

It’s a story about a dog who is homeless and goes to different places to see if they want to take him in. It makes the reader aware of homelessness in animals. Therefore, it is especially important for the very young people to whom this book is targeted.

But regardless of the age the message does tug on one’s heart. As a lifelong dog owner this was right in my sweet spot.

I highly recommend this book. It is the perfect book for my 500th of the year
Nancy Kotkin
Epistolary style picture book about a homeless dog trying to find a home for himself. Wonderful example of a surprising but inevitable ending. Also a very effective example of narrative structure. The deeply felt all-is-lost moment paves the way for a powerfully gratifying triumph at the end.
Kate Willis
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well, this was absolutely DARLING! I loved the aesthetic of the book, and I'm sure little ones will love the detailed pictures. (I'm already planning to share this with my nephews.) I sympathized with the little dog's plight, and I couldn't be happier with the surprise ending. <3 ...more
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animals, children-s
Arfy is a lovable and smart homeless dog. He begins a letter writing campaign in an attempt to find his “forever home”. Will he ever find someone to love and care for him?

I loved Troy Cummings’ heartwarming story about pet adoption! There are so many wonderful animals who desperately need loving homes, and this cleverly written children’s book brings this issue to the forefront.
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Grades K-3
This book is very, very sweet. A dog writes letters to many local folks in hopes they will adopt him into their family/home. Nice twist at the end. It would be a good book to teach persuasive writing as well as letter writing. Illustrations are very colorful and cute. Kids will love it. Highly recommended for Grades K-3.
Hákon Gunnarsson
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Arfy is a homeless dog who takes matters into his own hands and start to send out letter to find a new home.

Simply put, a wonderful children’s book. It’s funny, it’s cute, and it manages to address the difficult subject of homeless dogs, and what can be done about them in a very nice, but serious way.
Aug 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Cute story.
Mid-Continent Public Library
Arfy is a homeless dog who lives in a box in an alley. He spends his time writing letters to every person on the street about what a great pet he would make and always reminding them that he is in fact house broken! Do you think anybody will open their heart and their home to this sweet mutt? Read to find out and spend some time talking to your little one about the importance of pet adoption and taking care of loved ones. Enjoy this one now by checking out a copy on or searching for i ...more
Steff Fox
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
| Read on Reader Fox |

I have my own squeaky bone.

Honestly, the first time you really look at Can I Be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings, you think cute. It makes sense, right? There's this adorable dog on the cover with a letter and a happy querying look on his face. And your heart just straight up melts. I know mine did. What you don't expect is for this book to end up nearly ripping your heart into pieces.

Those Puppy Eyes

Can I Be Your Dog? is a story about Arfy, a lovable yet lonely pup looking
Jul 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Young Dog Lovers / Readers Looking for New Stories to be Used in Humane Education
A homeless puppy named Arfy just wants a human family and a place to belong in this poignant picture-book from author/illustrator Troy Cummings. Writing a letter to every house and establishment on Butternut Street, our canine hero presents all of his good qualities, only to be met with rejection at every turn. Fortunately, someone has been watching the whole process unfold, and is looking for a companion just like Arfy...

Although best known for his Notebook of Doom chapter-book series, Troy
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book, dogs
I laughed. I might have shed a tear... or two... or three. Such a wonderful book with the perfect HEA ending. I really appreciate too that the author included some shorts tips for kids and parents looking for ways to make a difference in a stray animal's life. ...more
Ms. Yingling
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Library copy

Oh, Arfy, you can come live with me and Sylvie! A very cute book about a dog who writes letters to all of the people on Butternut Street and is rejected but ultimately finds a forever home. Sylvie seemed to enjoy it. Yes, I read to my dog!
Ok a) this title makes me hear Iggy Pop in my head, so that's good right there. And b) TWIST HAPPY ENDING! Bonus lots of visual jokes. ...more
Castle Spooktacular (Cassandra Woods)
I really loved it (and so did Ghoul). It's a story about a dog who writes letters and finds what he is looking for in the end. A loving home. I teared up a little, haha! ...more
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful pictures and a great story about a dog looking for a home. A good story to use for persuasive writing. :)
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Arfy is a dog looking for a home, so he writes to each house and business on Butternut Street. One by one though, they each say no. The Honeywells have a cat that’s allergic to dogs. The butcher thinks Arfy might steal too many meatballs. The fire station already has a dog. The junkyard just sends a nasty note back. And no one is living in the abandoned house. But as she delivered each of Arfy’s notes, the letter carrier made her own decision. The book ends with tips on how children can help ani ...more
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 big WOOF WOOFS for this one. Adorable illustrations and a lovely story. And the cherry on top of this cake? The last page that gives you a list on how to help a homeless animal. Well done Mr. Cummings. NEVER buy (pet store or breeder), ALWAYS adopt.
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I gotta be honest- I needed a book for a reading challenge last week that was told from a non human perspective, so I looked for a children's book from a dog view instead and was not disappointed- it was adorable! ...more
The Library Lady
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I am a cat person, but I might make an exception for Arfy. Sweet without saccharine, and isn't it nice to see a positive mail carrier/dog relationship? ...more
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
So fun love the epistolary format and has a fun message the illustration add to the tone and characterization
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Okay, so this is adorable. I hope it wins the Beehive Award.
Bridget Neace
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Awww, this one was sweet. I definitely enjoyed it--and shout-out to my son who predicted how it would end!
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very heartwarming picture book told through an exchange of letters between a hopeful dog and his potential humans. I really loved this book and will definitely be using it in story times!
Rod Brown
A stray dog sends letters to everyone who lives on Butternut Street, hoping someone will be willing to adopt him. Funny, heartbreaking and sweet. Nicely done!
Dee Dee G
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was super cute.
Feb 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all kids and interested adults!
This is a sweet story about a dog looking for a home. It has a great story, with nice illustrations, and is positive toward written communications (letters)!
Joy Smith
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor, dogs
Arfy is a street dog looking for a home; he "writes" cute and hopeful letters to the people on Butternut Street. I enjoyed his letters--and the fun responses--but eventually he comes to the last house on the street; it's abandoned so he gets a Return to Sender letter. You'd say "AROOOOOO!!" too. What happens next?! Satisfying ending. The illustrations fit the story well, and the beginning end papers are a lot of different stamps. And the cover illo has a Forever stamp on the envelope. Very fitti ...more
Mrs. Mazzola
What is there not to love about this book?? I mean, look at the adorable face of that dog on the cover? I was already in love before I started, and the genuinely heartwarming story of a dog looking for his forever family, only made my love grow. Perfect to share aloud and I know my kiddos will love it!
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
So sweet!
Bianca Orellana
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1-000-bbk
This one warmed my little heart. My son loved the pictures, and the story is a good moral and emotional lesson for little ones.
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