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Clara: The Early Years: The Story of the Pug Who Ruled My Life
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Clara: The Early Years: The Story of the Pug Who Ruled My Life

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  310 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Once a pug owner, always a pug owner -- so thought Margo Kaufman, having shared her home with the lovable snub-faced imps since her college days. But it was not until the 1992 arrival of Clara -- petite, imperious, whip-smart, and seductive -- that Margo found what it meant to be a pug parent: a pug could rule her life, and perhaps the world, as well.Clara, the Early Years ...more
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published September 14th 1998 by Villard
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4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  310 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Eva Leger
Sep 28, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people who do NOT like animals all that much
Recommended to Eva by: yuck..found it myself
And here we have another person trying to make a name for themselves or a quick buck by jumping on the pet memoir bandwagon. Jump off Kaufman- do the world a favor. While you're at it, give whatever animals you own to a good family and do them a favor too.
I didn't finish this. I got to the sentence about how she was looking for another Pug to replace one of the ones she had she both of her Pugs were dying. Nice. Absolutely outstanding. I couldn't have thought of a better way to phrase that one.
Sep 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Wow. Someone read about 5 pages of the book, took it way too personally and disregarded it, having no idea what the book is even really about, and then rated it one star and wrote a scathing review. Honey, why don't you start a blog about how offended you are by people with different opinions/who live their lives differently than you instead of using Goodreads as a platform for your uneducated opinions? By which I mean: read at least 50 pages before you throw a fit and review a book based on ass ...more
Heather Bridson
Sep 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a very cute story of a pug named Clara. I have two pugs of my own, and I was delighted with this story. I saw so much the same with my two as with the dogs in the story. The main difference, I'm not wealthy and my pugs and I live in Michigan instead of California. They don't get pampered to the extreme like Clara, they don't go shopping, go to tv studios, radio stations or any of that. In fact, they get left home often. But, they are loved and the antics are the same. Just a cute story. ...more
Apr 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I read this book when it first came out in 1998. Being a former pug owner and a sucker for a good dog story anyway, I really enjoyed reading this book. Although it's not just about the dog. The author also discusses the details of adopting a child from Russia as well and it's a big part of the book. This is a touching, sweet and humorous story.
Jan 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pug-books
I enjoy Margo Kaufman's writing. I was under the impression it would be more about Clara & her other pugs. The adoption portion, while not my favorite part, was interesting. It is sad knowing just a couple years after the book was written Kaufman succumbed to cancer. She left behind her husband, new son, & pugs.
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Of course I picked this book up because of the ridiculously cute pug on the cover; was delighted to find that halfway into the book it became a story of international adoption! I loved the pug stories intertwined with Margo's life story. Was hoping for more of her books and was saddened to find that after publication she had passed away.
Jul 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: dog lovers
Shelves: dogbooks
This dog has personality! The author tells us a bit about the history and pedigree of pugs. This doggie goes everywhere with her and steals the limelight at every turn. I am not really a dog person, although I do like dogs, but this book made me consider getting a pug one day.
Mari Doroud
Sorry, I can't read a memoir about a person who gets new dogs to "replace" her old ones. Nor can I read a book about someone who talks about a breeder who "lost a few pugs" to a koi pond on his property. People like this are the reason we have so many issues with purebred dogs.
Jul 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor
I really really really really enjoyed this book - possibly because I have two pugs and the actions of the puggies in the book are totally like my babies.

Also, I liked it because the author is witty and the story is just hilarious.

A fun, easy read for anyone - particularly animal lovers.
Jun 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Don't be deceived - this book is more about the author's adoption of a child from Russia than about the dog, although Clara is an important part. Very worthwhile - funny, touching, and intelligently written. Highly recommend!
Mar 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Pug lovers, parents of adopted children
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this book years ago...I think I was about 15yrs old. But I still have in on my shelf and remember the story fondly. Great book for laughs and a few tears.
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pug
As I first started reading this book, it was soooo cute/funny/accurate that I put it down immediately and ran to purchase the book on Amazon for my husband (and the father of my pug) for Christmas. I just couldn’t believe what I was reading: it was exactly as though the author was describing OUR pug! (Please see above: the gorgeous beauty in my profile picture!)

Perhaps it was the line “snorting, wheezing, sneezing muffinheads"!?

Sadly, the book took a turn for the worst about half-way in, when f
Mar 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Who couldn't love that face on the front cover? A book about a pug has to be good, and for the most part it was. Kaufman is a humor writer who released a couple books before this one, a long-time pug mother, and mother to a new baby at the writing of the book, all of which contribute to this book. Clara is actually not Kaufman's only pug, as she also has Sophie, another black pug, close in age to Clara, but the book truly begins when Kaufman picks up Clara in New York during a book tour. I actua ...more
Amy Beck
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable, amusing to LOL animal tale (tail) with one section toward the end that had me fast-forwarding. The couple's sojourn in Russia, started out funny but became tiresome to the point where I skipped pages. I rarely do that.
Tara Chevrestt
Oct 06, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir, dogs
Being a pug mom myself, I could not wait to get my hands on this book once I found it on here and the first half had me laughing out loud quite a few times. I enjoyed reading about Clara and her orneriness and funny habits and what other people said about pugs. I also appreciated the author's sense of humor and witty remarks. However, once it hit the last half of the book, I started getting thrown off. There got to be a bit too much detail about her trying to adopt a girl from China. Maybe it is ...more
Jan 17, 2009 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Juli Kinrich
Apr 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
First, I should disclose that I have three pugs.

I picked up this book at a pet shop I love because of the highly engaging shot of a bug-eyed, round-bellied black pug on the cover. A cute read. Kaufman is skilled at humor and hyperbole. The book contains one of my favorite lines about living with pugs: "If you put a pug in an empty room with three socks, they will push the three socks together to form a cushion to lay on." Thank you, Ms. Kaufman!
Sandy Chan Margoles
Oct 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a great book, especially if you are into pugs. Even if you are not, it is still a very entertaining and informational book. I never realized how alike some pugs are. Also, amazing how she can write about every day things and make it interesting. I think everyone can relate to this book at some point. Enjoy!
Jul 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
I was very disappointed in this book. It was more about the authors life than about Clara. The first half wasn't to bad but the second half was about the author and her husbands process to adopt a child.
Kelli George
Feb 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
I loved this cute little book about an adorable dog. It was a very good read except for the erroneous part where she claimed that William of Orange was saved from assassins by a Pug. In actuality, William of Orange was saved when his Kooikerhondje barked and saved him.
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
A lovely book for pug lovers alike. I laughed hysterically on a few parts of the book because my own two pugs have similar characteristics of Clara. A good book for pug and all dog lovers, and for anyone who'd enjoy reading about a particularly pampered pug.
Jenna Gardner
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
I love Kaufman's style of sardonic humor. This book makes you laugh and is also touching as she and her husband begin their quest to adopt a child from Russia. Her assertion that no effort done in love is wasted touched me.
Dec 08, 2010 is currently reading it
I've wanted to read this one for a long time, now that I have my own one-eyed pug, I couldn't help myself. So much illumination.
May 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who has a pug or wants a pug.
I bet I bought this book because of the cover. This book made me absolutely pug crazy. Margo Kaufman was an amazing story teller.
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read this book years ago when it first came out and loved it. I later got my first pug. I'm sending the book on now.
Apr 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
What can I say....if you have a Pug you MUST read this book.
May 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Prepping for a hopefully summer adoption of a Pug to our family.
Nov 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story of a lady. He pug. And getting older. With pugs.
Mar 21, 2013 rated it liked it
A sweet read that made me realize my pooches aren't that spoilt after all.
Aug 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook-purchased, 2013
Very funny even if you don't own a pug :)
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