Danielle's Reviews > Katie Up and Down the Hall: The True Story of How One Dog Turned Five Neighbors into a Family

Katie Up and Down the Hall by Glenn Plaskin
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's review
Jul 31, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: chicklit, for-review, books-i-own

Are you an animal lover? More specifically, do you love dogs? If you answered yes to either or both of these questions then you will want to read this fantastic new memoir. Glenn Plaskin has been a dog lover his whole life and despite his (and his grandfather’s) most eager attempts to secure one early in life, he fails. As a child his mother couldn’t bring herself to allow another “child” into the home that needed to be cared for in addition to her already booming family. So, after waiting and seeking many years Glenn finally finds Katie, a beautiful golden Cocker Spaniel puppy, and by so doing brings with her a host of new family and friends. This is the story of how one animal can change and alter the lives of many, for good, for years and years to come.

I’m definitely an animal person. From the time I was quite young I can remember having a pet of some sort in our home. From fish to birds and of course cats, we were never without a furry (or non-furry) companion to brighten our day. Unfortunately for Glenn, though his mother loved animals, she couldn’t bring herself to add a dog into the mix of toddlers and small children in the home. Something I can definitely relate to currently. It’s often hard enough trying to care for the kiddos in your life without adding all that goes into properly caring for an animal.

Because of his mother’s trepidation and an early “scary” experience with a larger dog, Glenn waits many years before he finally decides to add to his “family”. And Katie’s arrival is not one he ventures into lightly. It’s this planning and preparing that really began to catch my interest in the book and then the subsequent concern for Katie and the very “child-like” behavoirs she exhibited early on. It was delightful and quite fun to see how his experiences with Katie often mirrored some of the little quirky things that young children do as well as the love he quickly felt for her.

Not only did Glenn fall in love with Katie, but everyone else did as well. For those unaware, Glenn Paskin is actually a celebrity journalist and much of the memoir covers the time when he was interviewing many of them. Oddly enough, he felt comfortable bringing her with him to interviews with the likes of Katherine Hepburn, Ivana Trump and Calvin Klein. Katie even made the articles of Page Six, a celebrity gossip column! Everyone she seemed to come in contact with was almost immediately at ease with her, with very few exceptions, and she had a way of bringing people who would otherwise keep a distance, together. This is truly the beauty of the book.

If I had any qualms with the book it would be that with the exception of the last 30 pages or so, I felt just “pretty good” about reading the book. It was a fun and quick read, with excellent writing and strong characters. Quite honestly, I read it in an afternoon. But it’s not until the last few pages of the book that the questions arise, the connection with Katie and Granny firmly implant themselves in your heart. Those last pages make every bit of the book worth reading. You will find yourself wondering if his journey was worth it? Was it the right thing for him to have added Katie to his family to begin with? Where would he be without her, as well as the others he met along the way?

Relationships that were formed as a result of Katie’s arrival and the subsequent partings were what brought heart to this memoir. Glenn Plaskin’s Katie Up and Down the Hall is one animal lovers and especially dog lovers, will fall in love with easily. You will relate on so many levels and find yourself looking back at fond memories of your own. This is definitely a book I’d recommend and would highly suggest waiting until you finish the very last page before deciding exactly how you feel about Katie and Glenn’s story. A story of heart that will teach you that some of the most important things in life are often the people we pass in the “hallways” each day.

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