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The Christmas Dog

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  2,951 ratings  ·  434 reviews
Betty Kowalski isn't looking forward to the holidays. She just can't seem to find Christmas in her heart. There's church, of course. But who can she bake for these days? And who would care whether or not she pulled out the Christmas decorations? Her new neighbor just adds to the problem. He's doing home improvements that don't appear to be improving much of anything. These ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Revell
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Elyse Today the e-book is 79 cents on Amazon in the US.

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,951 ratings  ·  434 reviews


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Nat K
Dec 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone wanting to bring a bit of Xmas joy into their life
Recommended to Nat by: Linda Klager

"Love had come scratching at Betty's door in the form of a little brown dog, and she had completely missed it..."

What's not to love about a book that has a cute doggie on the cover. Aww...

A short and sweet Xmas tale that brings home what the Christmas Season is about. Betty Kowalski is a pensioner who's saddened by the changes in her neighbourhood. A bit on the lonely side, she's feeling a bit blue with Christmas coming up, and life isn't helped by the feud she's having with her neighbour, the
...more
Jean
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I’ve been on a Christmas story reading binge lately, and Melody Carlson’s The Christmas Dog may be the best I’ve come across this year. It captures the spirit of the Yuletide season without being heavy-handed or preachy.

Betty Kowalski is a widow living alone. She has been happy in her neighborhood until a new neighbor with some dubious home improvement ideas and questionable social skills has her contemplating moving away for good. Still, her minister’s sermon about loving one’s neighbor nags at
...more
Kathleen
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
A heartwarming tale of a stranger, a grandmother, a granddaughter, and a loving dog. Enjoyable Christmas read! I love Melody Carlson books they always make me feel warm and fuzzy inside!
Hannah
4.5 stars
While a lot of the story was still predictable, I loved watching a little dog's presence be the catalyst for the characters to wake up and start treating each other better. If you're looking for a good cozy Christmas story, pick this one up! No romance, either.
Laura
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018, christmas
3.5
Sweet little Christmas read. I liked how the main character was a grandma with a fixed income who grew to recognize the God given blessings in her life. Also, just for the record, I loved how Betty made oatmeal, toast, and canned peaches for dinner.
...more
Sarita
This was a cute story.

The lesson learned was not to judge people just on appearance, we need to look deeper, get to know a person before branding them.
Staci
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
Sweet Christmas story in which a dog brings together two family members and two neighbors.
Mayda
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dogs, christmas
It might take a whole village to raise a child, but it only takes one small dog to bring peace and understanding to a neighborhood. Betty and her neighbors distrust and fear their new neighbor, and Betty considers moving, just to avoid him. But her pastor tells his congregation that they should love their neighbors and so Betty tries. But is it not until a small and very dirty stray dog appears that real communication begins. This delightful Christmas story is a quick read and happy tale. There ...more
Linda Klager
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A delightful book! I love Christmas stories! An older woman named Betty was feeling low. She lived by herself and was getting irritated with a new neighbor and a dog that showed up. Betty and another neighbor both had bad thoughts about this new neighbor and their dislike for him. This led to much ill will between the 3 neighbors.

In the end Betty found the love of Christ and her Christmas became the best one ever. Oh, how I loved to hear this!
Rachel
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Even though this novel was chosen as December's book of the month for Christian Fiction Devourers, the Goodreads group I'm the most active in, I had originally planned to skip this one because I just don't read a lot of books whose main plot point is that it's Christmas, and besides, even the title sounds cheesy. However, because Melody Carlson was also the featured author of the month and my library has more of her Christmas novels than her other types of novels, I ended up checking it out ...more
Nora St Laurent
Nov 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Melody Carlson is such a talented and diversified author, so when the opportunity came to receive a review copy of her new Christmas book, I jumped at the chance to read it! Each of Melody’s books has its own voice and style. That’s what I love about her writing. The Christmas Dog is no exception. Melody writes this book in the point of view of Betty Kowalski, an elderly woman who’s preparing for a 50th Anniversary party for her friends right before Christmas. Out of the blue, her granddaughter, ...more
Lisa Gatts
May 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved,loved,loved this book!!!! I love reading. With that said I also collect Kindle books.I am NEVER reading just 1 book at a time. Usually I have 5-6 books I read at once because I never know what type of mood I'm gonna be in or what will interest me at that moment.Once I started this book thhough it totally held my attention from beginning to end."The Christmas Dog" just couldn't stop reading it. There is nothing not to like about this book.I LOVED LOVED LOVED it!!!(By the way have I told ...more
Kristi
3.5 stars - I am not frequently a fan of Christian fiction. When it comes to holiday reads I don't mind a bit of it, as long as it isn't too heavy handed. It can be good to be pulled out of all the commercialism of the holiday.

I enjoyed reading this book. It was nice to believe in modern day miracles for a little bit and to witness three people in very different stages of life and grappling with the troubles those entail really transform and hold each other up. Some of the "lessons" were a tad
...more
Rebekah Morris
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas
I so enjoyed this story! It was full of characters who were real and I expected I could drive over and meet them. Betty's imaginings of her neighbor reminded me of my own imaginings of people and things, (though I don't believe what I imagine and she did. Well, sort of.) and it made me chuckle. I loved the grandma-granddaughter relationship. And the dog!
There was so much in this story. It's the kind of Christmas story I like.

I expect to read this book again.
♥ Sandi ❣
Aug 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: library
Cute book - quick read - during the Christmas season - reminding everyone to have faith and give the benfit of doubt to others. Centered around a Gramma living alone, her family, her neighbors and a stray mutt, that just keeps returning.
Lesley
Nov 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-book, holiday
awww sweet story with a message! good holiday story that left me with those feel good feelings! I could see this book into a hallmark Christmas movie!
Lady Delacour
Holiday Story for All.
Time brought change.
Can a friendly Dog help?
Listened with TTS.
100% Clean.
Beth
This sweet story, while nothing spectacular, was fun to read. I love that the main character was frugal and mindful of her income, yet still enjoyed certain things. I also love that while she fretted, she had a big heart and was willing to rearrange her finances to help others. It is so caring and gave me food for thought for the new year. Something about the dialogue never quite rang true for me, sometimes it just didn't feel realistic. The granddaughter seemed way immature for her age, but I ...more
Jerry Newhouse
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants a good short Christmas story
It's a good short Christmas story about the troubles an old woman is having adjusting to life's changes. She is at a turning point in her life. She must decide whether to face and adjust to her new circumstances, or stay the same and run away.

The story is pretty straight forward and nothing out of the ordinary for this genre. There is one truly amazing aspect of this story that makes it stand out from the rest: the excellent, detailed development of the main character, Betty. If you have ever
...more
Shari Larsen
Dec 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It's almost Christmas, Betty Kowalski is feeling blue. She just cannot find any holiday spirit. She has her church, but who is there to bake for these days? And who would care whether or not she got her Christmas decorations out?

Her new neighbor just adds to her problems, he is doing home improvements that don't seem to be improving much of anything, and when Betty looks out her window into his yard, she sees a beat up truck, piles of junk, and an old pink toilet. She also has a troubled
...more
Jen
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If I could give this 10 stars I would. I read the whole thing in practically one sitting which is not typical for me. I don't know if it was because the story had a dog in it or the characters or just the story itself but I absolutely loved this book. Definitely my favorite of all Melody Carlson's books so far. I will be sure to be read all of her Christmas books.
Rayni
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Feel good, Christmas
Recommended to Rayni by: Inspired Reads
I LOVED this book. It's the first Melody Carlson book I've read. I wouldn't be adverse to getting more. It was a feel good book & hard to put down. In fact, I read it in one sitting. I noticed it shelved as "romance." I didn't find it a romance, but it could certainly have turned into one. Loved the message it gave.
Margie
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a sweet Christmas story. Only 172 pages, but you won't want to put it down till you finish the story. Yes, there is a dog that is a big part of the book. I have found a new author and definitely will be reading more of her books.
Grace
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a sweet story for the Christmas season, like watching a Hallmark movie! I loved it!
Christy
Dec 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the 2nd book I have read by Ms Carlson in the last week. This is a quick and delightful read that anyone would enjoy. A charming holiday story about how life changes over the passage of time.

One the main characters is Betty Kowalski. It is Christmas and she is getting older, things are changing in her life, her husband passed away decades ago and her children and grandchildren are grown up. So she feels lonely. To add to her feelings of loneliness is her new neighbor, Jack Jones. He
...more
Cindy
Nov 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Melody Carlson
2009
Revell
Fiction/Contemporary

Reviewed by Cindy Loven

Betty Kowalski is getting older, times are changing, her children and grandchildren are all grown. And she has a crazy new neighbor, Jack Jones. He is living in the Spencer's house, but no one seems to know who he is. Only that he is not friendly and is up at all hours of the night.

In the middle of Betty's holidays her grand daughter Avery appears after being missing for a few months. Happy to see her safe and sound, Betty is
...more
Leah
May 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-books
Betty was planning on spending Christmas alone, but then she received two uninvited guests. One was a dog whom she thought belonged to her backyard neighbor, someone she did not get along with. The other was her stepgranddaughter running away from home. She did not want a dog and she did not want her stepgranddaughter to be in the middle of a fight with her mother. The dog and the granddaughter teach Betty some valuable lessons on judging others before she truly meets them.

I give the story five
...more
Peggy
Nov 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Betty Kowalski, a senior citizen, is not so sure she wants to celebrate the holidays this year. She has outlived her husband, her children are grown and have lives of their own, all her favorite neighbors have died or moved away. She isn't even sure if she wants to bake cookies for her neighbors, especially the grubby guy who moved in next door and is totally demolishing the insides of the home and leaving the junk strewn across the lawn.

When a tny brown dog turns up on her doorstep, she is
...more
Tarissa
Dec 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teens, adults
This is a fun Christmas book, with plenty of lively characters to go 'round. It's the story of what happens when a little mixed-breed pup lands on Betty's doorstep during the blustery days of December.

At first, she is sure that she doesn't want to keep the dog. After all, she's a grandmother who lives by herself. How would she keep up with a spunky dog running about the house? She has too many other troubles anyways, namely her disturbing neighbor, Jack. He plays loud music by day, and runs his
...more
Christy Lockstein
Nov 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
The Christmas Dog by Melody Carlson is a heart-warming story of the unexpected ways love can come into our lives. Betty Kowalski isn't looking forward to the holidays this year. Widowed for many years with her children living far away, she can't even muster up the desire to put up decorations. Her interactions with the cranky next-door neighbor Jack certainly haven't helped. When a dirty, skinny dog runs from his yard into hers, she assumes that it belongs to Jack and tries to return it, only to ...more
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great get well book 3 11 Jan 15, 2013 11:41AM  

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1,967 followers
Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books, several of them Christmas novellas from Revell, including her much-loved and bestselling book, The Christmas Bus.

She also writes many teen books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series.

Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the
...more
“we're not always ready to receive God's love. And we're not prepared to accept that it comes in a variety of ways. Often when we least expect it, God's love can show up in the form of something or someone we aren't happy to see-something or someone we want to push away or even run from. And, let me tell you, God's love can make us downright uncomfortable at times.” 1 likes
“We are no different today, friends. We get caught up in the season, busily making preparations for Christmas. We decorate, bake cookies, shop, and wrap presents, and yet we aren't truly ready. We aren't waiting with great expectations. Our hearts aren't prepared to receive this holy guest, this heavenly visitor.” 0 likes
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