While nursing a broken heart, Josh Michaels is outraged when a neighbor abandons his very pregnant dog, Lucy, at Josh's Colorado home. But Josh can't resist Lucy's soulful brown eyes, and though he's never had a dog before, he's determined to do the best he can for Lucy - and her soon-to-arrive, bound-to-be-adorable puppies. Soon in over his head, Josh calls the local animal shelter for help, and meets Kerri, a beautiful woman with a quick wit and a fierce love for animals. As Kerri teaches Josh how to care for Lucy's tiny puppies and gets them ready to be adopted through the shelter's "Dogs of Christmas" program, Josh surprises himself by falling for her. But he's fallen even harder for his new furry family, which has brought incredible joy into Josh's life.
He barely has time to sit down, between chasing after adventurous Sophie and brave Oliver, but when he does, his lap is quickly filled by the affectionate Lola. And Rufus and Cody's strong bond makes Josh wonder about his own relationships with his family. With Christmas and the adoption date looming, Josh finds himself wondering if he can separate himself from his beloved puppies. At odds with Kerri, Josh isn't willing to lose her, but doesn't know how to set things right. Can a surprise litter of Christmas puppies really change one man's life? W. Bruce Cameron's The Dogs of Christmas is a charming and heartwarming holiday tale that explores the power of love, trust, and a basket full of puppies.
©2013 W. Bruce Cameron (P)2013 Tantor
No, I would not recommend this book.I found the characterization quite superficial. Josh is 28 years old, going on 15. His first sight of Kerri, the shelter worker, is google-eyed facination...not even a hint of depth in character building here. The dogs of the title are really just an excuse, a vehicle, to what is essentially a story about boy loses girl, boy finds new girl, boy overcomes obstacles to new relationship. My emphasis is on boy, not man.And this boy, the main character, is a bit of a jerk.
A more mature 28 year old, making decisions more consistent with adulthood would have made a more interesting character. And his friends....do all young people of that age refer to each other as "dude"? Josh and his friends become caricatures, not characters.
Perhaps, but not likely.
Certainly I could. It is superficial enough for TV.
Artist & Journeyman Composter
A friend's son was in the hospital whom she visited daily. The day I called her, she had started reading this story to him. Caught by the title - yes, as an animal lover who is always interested in how deeply we are connected to them - I asked her a bit about the story. She got as far as the hero, Josh, had just had a pregnant dog dumped on him by
a neighbor whose brother was in jail in Paris whom he HAD to rescue so he had no choice but to give Luce to Josh to take care of until he returned and "Honest!" he would call him as soon as he, the neighbor got back (!) leaving Josh yelling after him as he screeched out of Josh's driveway speeding away hollering he didn't know ANYTHING about dogs, when I knew this was a must-read book. My friend, said she would be willing to lend it in a few days when she finished reading it to her son. Welllll, I bought the audio version almost as soon as we hung up.
The author must know the setting, Colorado (Evergreen, SW of Denver) well, as he described the weather changes and the natural beauty well and simply but very effectively. The hero is a computer geek, and a good program (?) designer who is able to work at home. He loves a sense of place, and tradition, but, as the story opens, is,
due to family trauma, clinging to them a little bit too strongly, and is in danger of wrapping himself up in memories of the good times to not deal with the pain of their loss, and keep himself away from new and stretching experiences. Of course, enter stage left, a strong wake-up call: an irresponsible neighbor dramatically creates a situation where Josh HAS to take care of something which he knows nothing about: a beautiful,
loving, but very pregnant dog. As soon as he accepts the situation, you find out how caring and careful he is in a difficult situation: he talks to her, the dog, tries to find out what she needs, and care for her properly. Soon, you love him because you realize he is trying to do his best, and is a very caring person. He meets the vet, and then Carrie from the nearby animal shelter, and gets grooved in pretty quickly. In a very funny scene, he is on a conference call, when Luce starts exhibiting the symptoms the vet said indicate imminent delivery of the pups. "I've got an emergency!" he yells and drops the call, even though it might have poor consequences for his project, scoops up Lucy/Luce and is off to the vet.
The balance of the story was a roller coaster ride for me, laughing, crying, groaning at some of his mistakes, getting tense (uh oh, here's trouble) when he is very attracted to Carrie, from the animal shelter, and feeling deeply understood as this author describes
how dogs look, act and feel as they interact with humans. It is not wimpy or boring; Josh has his whole outlook and emotional needs challenged in a very short period of time,
and that's the goodness of it - how he does come through them, whether family, helpful friends, his old girlfriend who just left him 6 months ago, and whom he is still grieving,
dealing with the agonies of a new and demanding relationship,and going from dog and puppy caretaker to dog and puppy adopter when he realizes how healing their acceptance and unconditional love means to his well being.
The author manages to neatly wrap up all these challenges, when you might be despairing that Josh will not learn from them in time. He does, and, it's a Merry Christmas!
By the way, I found the narrator very good. He got all the intonations of the women right,
and seamlessly went from one person to the next to narration again. I thought he really understood the people and the situations in which they found themselves.
I would recommend this book to dog lovers, those who never have owned a dog and virtually everyone everywhere. Dogs teach us about what really matters in life. A dog's love bypasses the everyday minutiae and gets down to what really matters. Past relationships that didn't work out, those who left us before it was time and those who we can still let know we really love them unconditionally. Anyone who has ever owned a dog will know I am not spoiling the book. My Sheltie, Maggie, was taken from me 2 years ago and I am just now at the point where I know I need a dog in my life again. I am ready to give all the love that is spilling out of the seams of my heart in need of a dog to love forever how long that may be. Dogs don't talk in words but innately know how to express their feelings in many ways and this book expresses life with a dog who is also the best thing that ever happened in your life.
This dog seems similar to "Good Dog - The story of Orson - the dog who changed my life" by Jon Katz. And yet they are expressed in a very different manner, so you don't say haven't I read this story before? I didn't think that until this question was asked.
The narrator does any excellent job expressing the many emotions the main character goes through without revealing the end.
I have never been a big fan of books made into movies. The casting is so important, This book would be marketed as a story for everyone regardless of age, gender or present or past circumstances in life.
I have not read any other books by W. Bruce Cameron. I think I have met an author who knows how to speak to my emotions and intellect.
Bruce Cameron has done it again! He got me with A dogs purpose and a dogs journey. This one isn't written from the dogs point of view but it is amazing, especially if you are a dog lover. It made me laugh, warmed my heart, made my eyes get watery. When it was over with I was sad and i wanted more of this type of book!
Probably not. . The first 'read' was enough. Cried and laughed in all the right places.
Lucy. . .she sounds very much like my dog, accepting what comes her way and delirously happy when I return home.
While this is not Shakespeare --- it was a very nice pre-Christmas story to listen to while I sew! Plot might seem implausible to some but it isn't implausibe to any one who has experienced loses/trauma.Happy Holidays!!
Everything...the story and a great performance by Kirby Heyborne.
The warmth of him discovering the unconditional love from dogs...his love of his dogs...
Can't say without spoiling the story for someone else....but many special scenes!
Yes, and I will listen to it again...maybe this year or next around the holidays...perfect feel good book for Christmas.
Just that it was one of the best books I've listened to this year!!! I very seldom write reviews of books but just felt I had too for this one. Highly recommend for everyone!
yes, a totally believable story with a wonderful ending
I loved the dogs
yes a masterful job
I don't like admitting this but it did make me do both
If you like dogs this is a perfect book for the season
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