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Good Dog. Stay.
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Good Dog. Stay.

3.3 30
by Anna Quindlen

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“The life of a good dog is like the life of a good person, only shorter and more compressed,” writes Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anna Quindlen about her beloved black Labrador retriever, Beau. With her trademark wisdom and humor, Quindlen reflects on how her life has unfolded in tandem with Beau’s, and on the lessons she’s learned by watching


“The life of a good dog is like the life of a good person, only shorter and more compressed,” writes Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anna Quindlen about her beloved black Labrador retriever, Beau. With her trademark wisdom and humor, Quindlen reflects on how her life has unfolded in tandem with Beau’s, and on the lessons she’s learned by watching him: to roll with the punches, to take things as they come, to measure herself not in terms of the past or the future but of the present, to raise her nose in the air from time to time and, at least metaphorically, holler, “I smell bacon!”

Of the dog that once possessed a catcher’s mitt of a mouth, Quindlen reminisces, “there came a time when a scrap thrown in his direction usually bounced unseen off his head. Yet put a pork roast in the oven, and the guy still breathed as audibly as an obscene caller. The eyes and ears may have gone, but the nose was eternal. And the tail. The tail still wagged, albeit at half-staff. When it stops, I thought more than once, then we’ll know.”

Heartening and bittersweet, Good Dog. Stay. honors the life of a cherished and loyal friend and offers us a valuable lesson on our four-legged family members: Sometimes an old dog can teach us new tricks.

Editorial Reviews

"The life of a good dog is like the life of a good person, only shorter, more compressed. Beau started off wild and crazy. My most enduring memory of his youth is of him galloping around the yard, purloined needlepoint yarn streaming from his mouth. One summer he was skunked three times and spent weeks studded with spines after indulging his taste for advanced decomposition by rolling on a dead porcupine. He did not learn to swim until he realized it was the only way to keep geese off the pond." If you ever loved a dog, you will adore Anna Quindlen's heartwarming memoir of her black Labrador Beau. If you like Quindlen's writings, you will cherish it even more.
Publishers Weekly

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and novelist Quindlen has recently met with tremendous success in the realm of short nonfiction with an inspirational and motivational bent. Recounting the life and death of her beloved Labrador retriever, Beau, she follows the same pattern. Quindlen masters a calm, thoughtful radio-essay style of delivery that nicely fits the introspective nature of her material, which includes some powerful ruminations on aging and mortality. Yet as a 45-minute stand-alone offering, the recording lacks the weight of a dramatic center, since Quindlen devotes such a large chunk of the fleeting allotment of time to setting the stage on the front end and offering reflection in conclusion. Somehow, it seems as though a two-for-one arrangement similar to the 2005 audiobook release pairing Quindlen's Being Perfectand A Short Guide to a Happy Lifemight have allowed for a broader and more fully realized sense of her unique gift for deeply personalized narrative. Simultaneous release with the Random House hardcover. (Nov.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
8.16(w) x 5.80(h) x 0.56(d)

Meet the Author

ANNA QUINDLEN  is the author of five bestselling novels (Rise and Shine, Blessings, Object Lessons, One True Thing, Black and Blue), and six nonfiction books (Being Perfect, Loud & Clear, A Short Guide to a Happy Life, Living Out Loud, Thinking Out Loud, How Reading Changed My Life). She has also written two children's books (The Tree That Came to Stay, Happily Ever After). Her New York Times column "Public and Private" won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992. Her column now appears every other week in Newsweek.

Brief Biography

New York, New York
Date of Birth:
July 8, 1952
Place of Birth:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
B.A., Barnard College, 1974

Customer Reviews

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Good Dog. Stay. 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Jackie-in-Wisconsin More than 1 year ago
While I have not read this book as of yet (it was recommended from an animal rescue group I participate it and that's how I ended up at B&N), it disturbs me greatly that someone would actually post a review saying the book was "mostly pictures...and pictures of very ugly dogs". Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. To criticize someones literary material is one thing (lack of plot, not engaging, slow moving, boring characters, etc) but to criticize how their dog looks? That lacks class. It takes a special person to want to actually read a book devoted to the life of an animal, and since "Anonymous" read it, one would assume they like animals. Any true animal lover would not make negative or derogatory comments about the looks of someone's deceased dog! Think of how the author must feel reading that comment?
Trishacl More than 1 year ago
I purchased this "book" and when I found it was 22 pages (minus credits, acknowledgments) I went back to find more information on the product details. Funny how they didn't specify the page numbers. This is a very short essay that should be free in the newspaper and I feel that it was a fraud to list it as a book. Don't purchase!!!!!
bobbismom More than 1 year ago
I truly enjoyed this book! If you have raised a couple kids and a few dogs this book will speak to your heart! It's so interesting the way our lives are measured and told. This one is through the life a beloved family pet, the same way so many of us are!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was very short but it was good.
ProfCurmudgeon More than 1 year ago
Don't be fooled by the fact that B&N has this listed as a "book." It is not. It is 21 pages long -- at least of 7 of which are photos of various dogs -- and B&N charges you $9 plus for it! At best it is a NY Times op-ed piece. I was treated very poorly by the 800-number guy I spoke to about it and was basically told: tough break. I'm done with this company. Anybody want to buy a Nook?
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoy Anna Quindlen¿s writing and have read several of her books including Blessings and Black and Blue. Each story took me on a journey to a wonderful place, where characters came to life and events were vividly described. So I was pleasantly surprised to see that she had written a story about her dog Beau. The topic was quite different from the others she has chosen to write about. It was obvious from first glance that the book was really more of an essay rather than a story. To say that it was light reading would be an understatement. I read this 'book' slowly and it still only took me 20 minutes to complete. There are lots of pictures of adorable dogs, as many pictures, I think, as there are pages of text. Although I enjoyed the photography, I would have preferred more writing and less pictures. These photos seemed to be there for filler, especially since none of the dogs were identified. The essay itself was a pleasant read, although it got off to a rough start. It seemed as though Quindlen was unable to pinpoint what she wanted to say, and the story wandered, a jumble of disjointed thoughts and experiences with her dog Beau. At the halfway mark, Quindlen settled down and wrote about what her dog gave to her, her family, and how his wonderful outlook on life was something to be cherished. For that, Good Dog, Stay is worth reading. One final comment, something that really bothered me: Quindlen frequently mentioned how Beau would run loose around their country home, getting lost, or finding neighbors' trash cans and destroying their contents, as though this habit was something to be encouraged in her dog. It seemed like something she seemed proud to share with the reader. I kept wondering what her neighbors thought about the mess Quindlen¿s dog created, and how they must have hated having a loose dog in the neighborhood. Twice she told of how Beau disliked horses, and also how he liked to 'try to drive a horse from his stretch of the road.' Quindlen may think this is cute, but very few horses enjoy being chased by dogs. It is extremely dangerous and I personally know somebody who wound up in a hospital because the dog's owner thought this trait in their dog was cute. Please, Ms. Quindlen, be a responsible dog owner and keep your future dogs on leashes! Quill say: A good book as long as you don¿t mind paying $14.95 for a 96 page book with a lot of pictures.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love a good dog book but this one was such a let down. It was filled with too many dog pictures (though fun to look at) and quadruple spaced! It took me 28 minutes to read it from cover to cover. It was really just a long eulogy and not at all deep.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There are much better animal books than this one. Try Merle's Door, The Voice of Bugle Ann, Marley and Me, Chosen By A Horse or Golden Days instead.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is indeed a VERY quick read. I finished it in about 1/2 hour and found that the best couple of quotes were the ones printed on the jacket cover. There is not much pithy, witty, or deeply meaningful material in this superficial story of how Anna acquired or lost her dogs. I was hoping for a book I could share with others who had lost their beloved four legged friend and give them some comfort...but it falls severly short.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a sweet yet sad short story this was! If you've ever loved a pet, this is a must-read!
corkyANDme More than 1 year ago
A lovely story for anyone who's life has been accompanied by a dog. That span of time of a dogs life and a family
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cecilma More than 1 year ago
I might not have purchased this book if I had known how short it was but I'm so glad I did. Actually, I had to. The picture on the cover could be a picture of my black lab who is just under 15 years old. Anna Quindlen's experiences and feelings are so much like my own, and she has a wonderful way of putting it into words. I'm sure I'll be reading this book again, and again, and again....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Short book but great
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Like her other writing, just concerned with all the bad reviews about this book. I like dog books. Can't decide if I should spend the money. Encourage others we may not have liked this book to read her fiction. She is an excellent writer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the biggest waste of good money. I was so looking forward to reading this. This book is 50 cents a page, Give me break. BN customer service was difficult to manage and rude . But they wished me a good day!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book about a dog's life. There is good parts and there is also bad parts. I reccomend this book to anyone who loves dogs. Also, to anyone who wants to hear a story from a dog's point of view.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a 45 minute short story about Anna¿s dog, Beau. I am not a fan of animal stories as they usually either end up getting hurt or dying. The same is true in this one. It is the life story of Beau and as all life stories, the end is death. That brings tears to me which is why I don¿t like these types of stories. I believe Anna wrote this as a way to heal from her lost of Beau more than trying to tell a readable story. This is not to say the story doesn¿t make sense. It does. I just hear in Anna¿s own words how much she and her family cared for Beau and how much his loss meant to them. As with all stories, there are the good times and the ¿bad dog¿ times, laughs and tears and general day-to-day life. If you want to hear about a good dog¿s life, this CD will provide that.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Read this book at the book store. It took maybe 30 minutes to read from cover to cover.I was disappointed that there wasn't much about the dogs life and I felt like,as a previous reviewer had mentioned , in that it was a euology. Don't get me wrong, it makes you want to hug and kiss your dog, which I did, and appreciate the human / dog relationship. I guess I was looking more for a story along the lines of Marley & Me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book in about 45 minutes just before work one morning. I won't be the same for the rest of the day.I then read the reviews and was totally perplexed by the negative ones. I can understand if it was the writing itself that troubled you, but that is not the case here. Anyone who has a relationship with one or more dogs(I have 2 bassets and a beagle)and didn't find this simply the most touching, heathwarming and deeply affecting missive, then they don't have a relationship with one or more dogs. They simply own dogs and they are sad people who are missing so much, and, quite frankly, the dogs they own would probably be better off with someone who truly loves them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author is a gifted writer and she touched my heart with this fine little book. Let me add, for full disclosure, that I have a black Lab, blind like the one in the book, who is approaching 14 years old, so I've been thinking about how her life might end. Is this book deep and analytical? No. But it's a light and quick book to read, beautifully written.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the perfect book - about life, a beloved dog and what can be learned every day by those who love us as no one else can - our dogs. The pictures brought many smiles to my face and the ending, many tears. In fact, I am crying as I type this. It's about life.