Love at First Bark – Book Review

It was always nice to get a great little dog who was easy to adopt out, but the special ones – the old ones, the sick ones, the blind and deaf ones the pregnant ones – they really needed someone to help them. – from Love at First Bark –

Julie Klam is a sucker for dogs. But not just any dogs. She is drawn to the abandoned, the needy, the unruly and the incontinent. In short, she loves the dogs who need her the most. In her second memoir about her life with dogs, Klam offers up several true to life adventures about dog rescue.

Love at First Bark is a slim, very funny look at what it means to foster and adopt fur children. I used to foster German Shepherds for GSD Rescue of Northern California – and much of what Klam writes had me nodding my head in agreement because dogs who find their way into rescue are often the most difficult and the most loveable. But between the lines which made me chuckle, there are some poignant moments: the pit bull who is found tied to a lamp post with cigarette burns to the tops of his feet, the abandoned and starving dogs left behind in Katrina’s wake, and the young pup who suffered for days with a jar on his head because of the cruelty of some kids.

What Klam does so well is to lace her book with humor while still revealing the tragedy of abandoned and unwanted animals. She also reveals what dogs bring to our lives – the chance to mend a broken relationship, the opening of our hearts for someone less fortunate than ourselves, and unconditional love (and kisses) just for being there.

I read this book in just a few short hours and enjoyed it. Readers who love animals (especially dogs) will see themselves in Klam’s book.


FTC Disclosure: Many thanks to the publisher who provided me with a review copy of this book.

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  1. I know animal cruelty exists, but I can’t bring myself to read about the heartbreaking mistreatment of a dog (or any animal, for that matter). It sounds like Klam balances the joy of pet-ownership with the realities of these poor dogs, but I’m not sure I can read it. I love my Annie-Dog so dearly and know in my heart that she arrived in our lives at just the right moment, helping us heal from our loss…as if a special angel sent her to us…

  2. I have such a hard time reading these types of books. My heart just aches for abandoned and abused animals. Maybe with Klam’s humor, this is one book I might be able to get through. I’m so thankful for those who take unwanted animals in and find a loving home for them!

    • Kailana on October 26, 2011 at 05:09

    This is the sort of book I would probably like. Good review!

    • zibilee on October 26, 2011 at 06:15

    I have both this book, and her first book, but haven’t read them yet. My husband read and really liked her first book, but I am worried that the instances of animal cruelty will bother me and make me uncomfortable. I guess the only way to know is to try! Great review today!

    • Wendy on October 26, 2011 at 07:45

    Les: It is amazing, isn’t it, when animals find their way to us and we just know it was meant to be? Although Klam shows us the sadness of some of the dogs’ lives, she also shows us the joy when they are saved and find their perfect forever home. I would say that the smiles and joy in this book outweigh the sadness…you might want to give it a try. I hate reading about animal abuse myself, but I didn’t have a problem with this particular book because the emphasis was on the rescues.

    Beth: Read what I wrote in response to Les’s comment above. This is a lighthearted book.

    Kailana: Hope you’ll get a chance to read it!

    Heather: As I told Beth and Les, this is a book which I think even the soft-hearted amongst us will be okay with…Klam HAS to show us where the dogs come from, but she spends most of her time showing us the joy they are bringing into the lives of the people who save them.

  3. I’m sure I’ll love this one!

    • Jeane on October 26, 2011 at 08:47

    Adding it to my list!

  4. I think you’ve convinced me, Wendy. I may get a copy for myself, as well as one for the good friend who told us about Annie. Thanks for the gentle nudge. 🙂

    • Alyce on October 28, 2011 at 09:59

    The cruelty parts are bound to break my heart, but I do have this one on my shelf, so I’m sure I will read it at some point.

    • Wendy on October 30, 2011 at 08:28

    Kathy: I hope so!

    Jeane: I’ll look forward to reading your thoughts!

    Les: You’re welcome – I think you’ll appreciate this one 🙂

    Alyce: I hope this is a book you will enjoy!

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