Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Last Dog on the Hill: The Extraordinary Life of Lou” as Want to Read:
Last Dog on the Hill: The Extraordinary Life of Lou
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Last Dog on the Hill: The Extraordinary Life of Lou

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  1,674 ratings  ·  169 reviews
The moving story of the author’s adopted Rottweiler mix, Lou, a free-thinking heroic dog who changed his life forever

Born of guard dogs on a secret marijuana farm in Mendicino County, Lou truly was one dog in a million. On the winter day that the ailing, tick-infested feral pup was rescued by Steve Duno, neither dog nor man had a clue as to what they were getting int
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 22nd 2010 by St. Martin's Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Last Dog on the Hill, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Last Dog on the Hill

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,674 ratings  ·  169 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Last Dog on the Hill: The Extraordinary Life of Lou
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books about the love between a four-legged soul and human that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. The bond between Lou and Steve is so beautiful and it's plainly obvious how much this man cherishes his dog Lou. As a massive canine lover this amazing story made me laugh and cry. Crying is probably not descriptive enough, I bawled for days over this book.. It's a story that will remain with me for the rest of my life. It's always good to know that there are others out there t ...more
Jun 07, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I'm such a sucker for these kind of books. A lovely story about a man and his very best friend. ...more
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am really surprised at all the negative comments about this book. I loved it. And I believe that Lou was quite an exceptional dog.
My first dog was a collie who “put down“ any squabbles in the same method as Lou does. Lou seems like an extraordinary dog when it comes to learning. it is obvious that he totally bonded with Duno. We dog lovers know what lengths our dogs will go to to please us. The fact that Lou was just so savvy about other dogs; their attitudes, their fears and what to do in ea
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: made-me-cry
When I picked up Last Dog on the Hill: The Extraordinary Life of Lou I only meant to have a quick look at the pictures and was sidetracked by Steve Duno's charming writing style and his uncommonly sharp perceptive of what it means to genuinely love a dog.

In just a few pages, Steve Duno and Lou surprised a laugh so sudden and sincere that I involuntarily spit all over the pages. My DNA was now blotting the beginning of this book and I had no choice but to buy it- for hygiene's sake.

I was not dis
Paul Pessolano
Jan 28, 2011 rated it liked it
First off, this is a true story and the "dog dies at the end", but this should not keep one from reading a truly marvelous book. Yhere are just too many good things in this book that will awe any animal lover.

Steve Duno and his girl friend were on a short trip in California when they pulled over to the side of the road when they spotted a German Shepherd and her brood. They quickly ran into the woods. Steve whistled and a lone pup came out and went to their side. It was then that they saw the fa
Eva Marie
What do I think? I think I should have reviewed this right away upon finishing instead of waiting until I read another three books.
I think Duno should have ditched the 'extraordinary' angle. It's almost offensive. Lou isn't unique in the sense Duno describes. There are plenty, plenty, plenty, plenty of dogs (and other animals) in this world that, given the right chance, will do just the same thing(s) Lou here did.
Now, I'm not trying to take away from Lou in any way. Lou was indeed a fantastic
Charlotte Villette
 photo 4 star rating - Love book reviews_zps1czym7bm.jpg
Lou is a gorgeous Rottweiler cross dog who is much smarter than the average dog. He knew over 100 words and commands through sign language. Steve Duno is a pet behaviorist, whom along with Lou helped hundreds of dogs be rehabilitated back into society, be it from naughty behaviour or just needed some confidence and stop being shy.
I will say right off the bat, that this isn't a happy ending book, but Lou lived to be a very good age of 16. The whole book revolves around Steve and Lou's life to
Mar 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Just when I think I have heard all of the dog stories there are to tell along comes a gem like this one. The writer lives this story day-to-day and sometimes minute-to-minute.

When I wake up in the morning I never know where my day will take me beyond the required tasks at hand but along comes life and it shakes up your well planned day. This is how this story begins - a chance encounter when Steve Duno happened to be at the right time and the right place when he found Lou. Or is it that Lou was
May 09, 2011 rated it liked it
There's not a whole lot to this book. 250 pages that could have been summarized as, "Who's a good dog? YOU'RE a good dog!" Lou was a good dog, no doubt about it. And it was a nice little story, but not a whole lot to get worked up about. The author's obvious enthusiasm for his subject is infectious, though, and was just enough to carry me through to the end. If you've read the author's other books (I'm not familiar with them), you might find this more interesting, as Lou is the reason he became ...more
Aug 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
If you love dogs, if you rescue dogs, read this book! You will laugh, you will cry, you will be amazed. This was a feral pup of six months who came out of the hills of California and adopted a man who happened to be passing by. His girlfriend talked him into adopting the flea ridden, tick infested guy, (the dog, not the man) and it changed his life in just about everyway possible. You will not be disappointed.
Scottsdale Public Library
When I say “I wish I had known Lou,” I really mean it. The way Steve Duno describes his friendship with the adventurous Lou, many people have said the same thing. The intelligence, character, wisdom, and humor of his dog, Lou, really shine in this tribute, “The Last Dog on the Hill.” How he found Lou, their adventures and the lives they touched, make up the story. If you don't currently have a dog - you'll start wishing for one like this in your life.
-Margaret Abbott-
Oct 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: animals, memoir
I can never go too long without getting my fix of heart-warming animal books. Things I particularly liked about this book were its inside look at serious dog-training and the fact that Lou was like Rin-Tin-Tin -- only better! He chased down REAL bad guys! The inevitable end was heart-wrenching (no one stops Father Time) but a fitting tribute to the depth of the human-animal bond.
Jan 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
I really had to push myself to finish this book, and while I wish I could be one of those people who just leaves a book halfway through to move on to another one, I am not. I have a grotesque compulsion to read each and every book, otherwise I feel I'm cheating myself. I'm absolutely a sucker for books about the relationships between dogs and their humans, and though I am about as obsessed with my dog as they come, even I found this book to be a tad heavy-handed. I get the man loved his dog, but ...more
Dee Toomey
Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
O my! What a story...and what makes it doubly wonderful is the fact that it is a true story.

Written with a sense of humor and great heart, you get to really "know" Lou in this book. You grow to understand that Lou was no ordinary dog, but one of those rare animals that are more like a human in an animal coat. And you grow to love this dog as if he were in your very own home.

Kleenix warning: keep a box close at hand when you come to the end of the book.

As I read I was thinking of all the people I
Chris Porter
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've read many books about dogs both fiction and nonfiction. This is one that I will always remember. From page one, you know Lou will pass on, but throughout the book, this wonderful being makes you want to beg God to make him immortal. Steve Duno lays his heart and soul, along with Lou's, on every page. I pondered, laughed, cried, I put off finishing the book for a day as if I could keep Lou alive. Mostly, I thought about my Lou. His name was Kalay. We had to help him leave the pain behind aft ...more
Feb 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
What can I say I am a sucker for real-life animal stories and this one really kept me interested.

Steve is fresh out of college and moving down to Los Angeles. The one thing he has wanted all his life is a dog and during the drive to LA his girlfriend spots some stray dogs by the side of the road on a hill. Steve stops and the one dog who stays becomes Steve's new best friend Lou. After a good cleaning Lou becomes the talk of West Hollywood, befriending even the likes of Jonathan Harris (TV's Los
Judy Obrien
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this story of the connection between a man and a dog. Yes, I knew it would end with the dog's passing, but it was such a beautiful love story that I could not stop reading. Steve Duno definitely wrote from his heart.
Thank you Steve for sharing a wonderful experience with an amazing dog. I can dare say this tops my list of great reads and I will never forget the love you and Lou felt for one another. I did not cry at the end because your words described such a wonderful bond that goes bey
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
I think this is the first book, ever, that had me not only in tears, but actually sobbing. I feel privileged to have known Lou, even if it was only through someone else's words. Anyone seeking proof positive that animals have souls need only read it.
I wasn't crazy about bits of the writing style, and the endless, endless foreshadowing, but these are kind of just nitpicks, in the end.
Rest in peace, Lou, beautiful soul.
Allen Vincent
Feb 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. When I brought it home, my wife said "it'll break your heart!" She was right, of course.

But the tale is worth reading, even if you know going in that the ending will have you blubbing like a baby!

Lou sounds like he was an extraordinary dog and reading this book even gave me some tips on training my puppy, as well as my older dog.

This is a must read for any dog lover but have the hankies ready throughout. You'll need them!
May 14, 2010 rated it liked it
I really wanted to like this book more than I actually did. I found the author going to great lenghts at times to describe the methods he used to train Lou. This was interesting to a point but I felt he really dragged it out. Skimming ahead to the actual stories of Lou's adventures was much better reading. ...more
Feb 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. Pretty much any book about a dog is high on my list, but this was a particularly good one. Lou, the pup of a couple of wild dogs, came off a hill to inspect the young man who stopped to watch the litter playing. Lou went home with Steve, which undoubtedly saved Lou's life, and brought him and Steve a life of unusual experiences and love. highly recommended. ...more
Mar 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites-2014
Duno stops by the side of the road when he spots a feral dog family. He whistles and off they all run, but one puppy- a tick and flea infested boy with an infected cut comes running. An improbably start to a beautiful friendship, Lou's adventures are chronicled in this delightful story. Five hanky ending but if you're a dog lover, you know how that happens. ...more
Oct 31, 2010 added it
Didn't finish...Couldn't get into it. ...more
Karen & Gerard
Dec 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animals
This book tells the true story of Steve Duno who befriends a dog named Lou. What a great bond they had. Steve really trained Lou well and Lou taught Steve a few things as well. A Good read!
Margaret Antill
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Surprise surprise I cried again during the reading of this book haha. It's a great book, well written. Lou really does seem like an amazing dog. ...more
Ashley Hembree
Sep 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you are a dog lover, this is a great story...fair warning I sobbed at the end
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lou, the wonderful dog is a gentleman when going to kindergarten classes; an inspiration to those learning sign language- as Steve, the owner/pal/writer gave non verbal commands. Lou defends Steve when gang members come nearby, when encountering crooks robbing a store with guns, when a neighbor is attacked in her own apartment, or when a coyote comes into his neighborhood. At those times Lou becomes a wild animal and seems almost ferocious. Other times he seems like a model dog, helping to train ...more
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dang these lovely books about amazing dogs. Almost all of them end with the dog, who has led an amazing life, taking his last trip to the vet. I don't know how else you'd end the book. These charming magical dogs who give so much.....ah, just kind of makes you blubber a little bit. You just never know what "Superman" personality is hiding in a "Clark Kent"dog suit. If you like dog books, you'll love this one. Sniff. ...more
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Couldn't finish this one. It wasn't horrible, but, as some other reviews have mentioned, this is THE best dog in the world. The fastest, the smartest, etc, etc. It is a little tiresome to constantly hear how no other dog can compare to his. I get that he adored his dog, but it is a bit much. ...more
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a book! What an author! But most of all what a dog! This ranks right up there with the best of the best! Just as Lou will stay with Steve forever this book will be with me forever! Last chapter was a bit rough but you can't read the whole book and not read the last chapter. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Lord Hornblower
  • Commodore Hornblower
  • Ship of the Line
  • Hornblower During the Crisis
  • Flying Colours
  • Lieutenant Hornblower
  • Beat to Quarters
  • Hornblower and the Atropos
  • Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
  • Hornblower and the Hotspur
  • Flight of Eagles (Dougal Munro and Jack Carter, #3)
  • The Golden Rendezvous
  • The Afghan
  • Shadow Prey (Lucas Davenport, #2)
  • A Small Furry Prayer: Dog Rescue and the Meaning of Life
  • The Lady and the Unicorn
  • Love Is the Best Medicine: What Two Dogs Taught One Veterinarian about Hope, Humility, and Everyday Miracles
  • The Meryl Streep Movie Club
See similar books…
Veteran pet behaviorist/​author Steve Duno has to date authored eighteen books and scores of magazine and web articles. He has covered a wide variety of subject matter on both dogs and cats, including basic training, aggression, environmental enrichment, behavior modification, breed profiling, trick training, and pet health care. His career in dog training began in 1989 when he rescued Lou, a fera ...more

Related Articles

“I'm in a weird place because the book is about to come out. So I'm basically just walking around like a raw nerve and I'm not sure that I...
43 likes · 9 comments
“But sometimes unexpected things happen that can rouse an old memory, something seminal, a past event so momentous and strong that, like a rare old book, it dare not be touched too often for fear of tearing its brittle pages. Shelved and dusty, only its resonance remains, until something special comes along to yank it down from its ledge, open it to the proper page, and wrest the reader back to that exact moment in time, to the experience that, like a bolt of lightning, singed the reader’s heart forever. For” 0 likes
“The doggy demolition began slowly. Clothes, hairbrushes, dishes, pens, wristwatch, toothbrush (yes, he’d reached it somehow)—anything I came in contact with became an object to chew, maul, consume. Toys, dog chews, or rawhides were scoffed at while he was alone; it had to be something of mine. He ate two remote controls, binoculars, a cherished baseball from high school, two belts, a computer mouse and keyboard, Ray-Ban sunglasses, and too many shoes to count. Even the shifter knob and window cranks in my Civic fell victim to Lou’s teeth. Anything I handled eventually became dog food.” 0 likes
More quotes…