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The Dog Log: An Accidental Memoir of Yapping Yorkies, Quarreling Neighbors, and the Unlikely Friendships That Saved My Life

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The Dog Log, written as a daily notation to the sheriff’s department, begins as a simple complaint about a barking dog, but it soon becomes a powerful self-exploration and confessional. It's a touching, hilarious, and cleverly sneaky memoir of a man in Los Angeles who inadvertently rediscovers himself through helping his elderly neighbor after she falls, when he reluctantl The Dog Log, written as a daily notation to the sheriff’s department, begins as a simple complaint about a barking dog, but it soon becomes a powerful self-exploration and confessional. It's a touching, hilarious, and cleverly sneaky memoir of a man in Los Angeles who inadvertently rediscovers himself through helping his elderly neighbor after she falls, when he reluctantly tends to her two noisy and badly behaved Yorkshire terriers. What he discovers in her apartment shocks him into a surprising decision, and by addressing their problems, he helps to resolve his own. With humor and honesty, The Dog Log looks into big-city loneliness, heartbreak, and, ultimately, old age, but then—one footstep at a time along the sidewalks of West Hollywood—it climbs into the light. By knocking on his neighbor’s door, one man’s life changes forever. It’s an epic journey of forty feet.


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The Dog Log, written as a daily notation to the sheriff’s department, begins as a simple complaint about a barking dog, but it soon becomes a powerful self-exploration and confessional. It's a touching, hilarious, and cleverly sneaky memoir of a man in Los Angeles who inadvertently rediscovers himself through helping his elderly neighbor after she falls, when he reluctantl The Dog Log, written as a daily notation to the sheriff’s department, begins as a simple complaint about a barking dog, but it soon becomes a powerful self-exploration and confessional. It's a touching, hilarious, and cleverly sneaky memoir of a man in Los Angeles who inadvertently rediscovers himself through helping his elderly neighbor after she falls, when he reluctantly tends to her two noisy and badly behaved Yorkshire terriers. What he discovers in her apartment shocks him into a surprising decision, and by addressing their problems, he helps to resolve his own. With humor and honesty, The Dog Log looks into big-city loneliness, heartbreak, and, ultimately, old age, but then—one footstep at a time along the sidewalks of West Hollywood—it climbs into the light. By knocking on his neighbor’s door, one man’s life changes forever. It’s an epic journey of forty feet.

30 review for The Dog Log: An Accidental Memoir of Yapping Yorkies, Quarreling Neighbors, and the Unlikely Friendships That Saved My Life

  1. 4 out of 5

    Joy

    I really liked this memoir and I’m glad I came across it! As a dog lover myself, I can relate to how Richards life was changed when he started to take care of his elderly neighbor’s dogs. He’s a great writer and I highly recommend this book!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Joe Lynn

    This is the story of a man overcoming a frustrating, maddening situation through an incredibly generous and kind effort, all while coming to grips with his own depression and life's challenges. It is often witty and funny (I especially liked the movie and literary analogies that creep in from time to time, and his description of the lengths he went to safeguard his health had me chuckling), but also dark and sometimes brooding as he works through his problems through detailed self-reflection. A w This is the story of a man overcoming a frustrating, maddening situation through an incredibly generous and kind effort, all while coming to grips with his own depression and life's challenges. It is often witty and funny (I especially liked the movie and literary analogies that creep in from time to time, and his description of the lengths he went to safeguard his health had me chuckling), but also dark and sometimes brooding as he works through his problems through detailed self-reflection. A word of caution: This is not your average "happy dog tale": there are many mature themes and I would not recommend for younger readers without their parent or guardian reading it first. The author brings an interesting community of characters to life with their amusing quirks and occasional sage advice. I found his childhood memories to be heartbreaking, but loved how he weaved them into the perspective of his self-exploration. This was a relatively quick read, and I enjoyed it very much.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Krystle

    Full disclosure here, I’m a cat person. So, when someone recommended I read and review The Dog Log, I thought “This might not go so well.” I should also disclose that when I read or watch stories about animals I’m terrified that they’re going to die some horrible death and I’ll be devastated, so I broke the most sacred rule of book lovers and I read the end first just to prepare myself. Go ahead and judge me, I accept full responsibility. I also won’t spoil it for you, because I’m going to recom Full disclosure here, I’m a cat person. So, when someone recommended I read and review The Dog Log, I thought “This might not go so well.” I should also disclose that when I read or watch stories about animals I’m terrified that they’re going to die some horrible death and I’ll be devastated, so I broke the most sacred rule of book lovers and I read the end first just to prepare myself. Go ahead and judge me, I accept full responsibility. I also won’t spoil it for you, because I’m going to recommend you read this yourself. Perhaps, because I find most dogs (especially the bark-y ones) annoying, I got into this story quickly. This poor man! What torture to be held captive by a tiny barking hellhound! You see, the dogs belong to his elderly neighbor, so no one seems to share his misery. Who can begrudge an old woman some companionship? What begins on the surface as a daily log of dog harassment for the sheriff’s office, quickly becomes a close up look into Richard’s life. He begins to acknowledge the circumstances that have landed him in this apartment, single, not a rockstar, not a teacher, not happy. Maybe the dogs aren’t the real problem here. His neighbor is suddenly hospitalized after an accident, and he is faced with a choice: care for the banes of his existence next door, or…just don’t. The choice was made, and Richard, Nelson, and Lauren all started their journeys of personal growth together. It was funny, it was awkward, it was gross, it was totally honest in that way that’s almost uncomfortable. I’m so used to people putting their best foot forward, but Richard wrote a brutally honest vignette of this part of his life. He ends the book by thanking the reader, and I found myself wanting to say “No, thank you for being so honest.” So, I’m recommending this book to you. I told my sister it was a very intelligent book, the way he throws Steinbeck and Nietzsche references in so casually is impressive. If you like non-fiction, memoirs, or just heartwarming stories involving pets, you should give this one a shot!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    I really love this book! The Dog Log is incredibly funny...I laughed and laughed until it broke my heart and the tears started...and then I laughed again, often through my tears. It’s a true “who rescued who” memoir and dog story featuring a yappy little dog, her oblivious senior citizen owner, and Richard, their fed-up-to-here neighbor. But, it’s really about finding a path out of that 50-feet below rock bottom place from which many don’t escape. Richard’s journey through loneliness, indecision I really love this book! The Dog Log is incredibly funny...I laughed and laughed until it broke my heart and the tears started...and then I laughed again, often through my tears. It’s a true “who rescued who” memoir and dog story featuring a yappy little dog, her oblivious senior citizen owner, and Richard, their fed-up-to-here neighbor. But, it’s really about finding a path out of that 50-feet below rock bottom place from which many don’t escape. Richard’s journey through loneliness, indecision, and failure, as told to the West Hollywood sheriff in a barking dog log, is very personal and poignant. He doesn’t shy away from painful or awkward childhood memories. Nor does he use them as excuses. Instead, he draws on those experiences and lessons learned to help him gain perspective as an adult. It’s a sophisticated, literary, dark comedy with a stark view on old age, very entertaining escapades in dog training, a group of quirky neighbors, a no-holds-barred, honest look at the challenges of a man living with depression and anxiety, and in the end, a love story...but not the kind you think. It’ll make you think. It’ll make you feel. It’ll make you laugh. Read it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Margaret J. Frizzell

    Yorkies are irresistible I read this book because Yorkies are special to me! I was glad to see the ones featured in this book came to happy endings. The format of the book was entertaining and well written, but for me had way too much detail about the personal problems of Richard, the main character (and author of the book). Toward the end of the book I found myself skipping over paragraphs because the pity party was getting to be weary. Loved the Yorkies, however!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kayo

    Super cute book. Loved it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth R

    Awwww, Arf Arf, Reading again , Heart warming and humorous.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tamara Rondestvedt

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ann

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  11. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Keener

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jolie Zinn

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anita

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  17. 4 out of 5

    Karen A.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Markus

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kim

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jamie S

  22. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mary Mc-flores

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joan

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tina Lageson

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michael Villacrusis

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jaime

  28. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Beukema

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nana

  30. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

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