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Last Dog on the Hill: The Extraordinary Life of Lou [Hardcover]

Steve Duno

RRP: 14.74
Price: 12.83 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Last Dog on the Hill Born of guard dogs on a secret marijuana farm in Mendicino County, Lou truly was one dog in a million. On the winter day that the ailing, tick-infested feral pup was rescued by Steve Duno, neither dog nor man had a clue as to what they were getting into, or where the relationship would lead. "Last Dog on the Hill" tells the story of an indigent young Rottweiler mix who, after abandoning his pack a... Full description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  113 reviews
98 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In Memory of a Star: "Last Dog on the Hill" 24 Jun 2010
By Karen Biehl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Lou was found on top of a hill in Mendocino County, with his family, a pack of wild dogs born from guards dogs on a nearby marijuana grow. He was covered in fleas and ticks, had an infected gash on his neck and a limp. But in his eyes, Steve Duno saw his new best friend.

He took Lou to a nearby vet who treated his injury, removed half a cup full of ticks, vaccinated and de-wormed him. The vet warned Steve that his bowel movements would be interesting, and was right: during their first day together, Lou eliminated a squirrel skull, sock string, foil, pebbles and a gum wrapper.

This was the beginning of their friendship, as told by Steve at his book signing for "Last Dog on the Hill" at Barnes & Noble last night. I attended assuming it would be the usual book signing, i.e. "buy my book" with little talk of the book itself. Instead, I left feeling transformed by the bond of love between Steve and one very special Rottweiler/Shepherd mix.

After a childhood of hunting for road kill and trash, Lou was not used to being confined to a house. The first time Steve left him alone for a five minute trip to the store, he returned to find the carpet ripped from the floor, a door unhinged, and the kitchen window shattered. On this day, Lou taught Steve his first lesson - that he needed to become a dog trainer. Since then, Steve has trained 8000 dogs and become an expert behaviorist and author. During his 16 year life, Lou also helped teach deaf children sign language and helped train other wild dogs how to behave in society, saving hundreds from euthanasia.

Steve was an in-house tutor for celebrity children, including Allysa Milano and Sidney Poitier's children, but the real star was Lou, whom he compared to Antonio Banderas and Al Pacino. A real Rin Tin Tin, Lou saved Steve's life twice, prevented a rape, foiled a robbery, survived cancer, comforted war veterans and sick patients during their last days, acted in a Washington State Lottery Commercial, graced the cover of a book, and knew over 200 words and commands. Even some of his friends were celebrities, like Jonathan Harris, Mr. Smith in "Lost in Space", who befriended him while tethered outside Steve's health club.

In the opening paragraph of the book, Steve relates how he could invoke the presence of the departed Lou from the smell in the carpet, his furs in the floor. I felt this way at the book signing, as if I had met Lou. His spirit lives forever through the memories of his owner, which are now being expressed in book signings across the US. In the words of Lou, "Arugula" (the sound of his bark).

"Last Dog on the Hill" is a wonderful tribute to a dog with a very powerful soul, the tale of the purest of love between dog and man and their mission together. You may want to include a box of tissues in your order. My eyes welled up three times in reading just a few pages.
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dog's Life, Yet So Much More 7 July 2010
By A. Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"Last Dog on the Hill" goes beyond the bounds of a typical dog story. This book touches on more ethereal concepts of fate, love, kinship, life mission, and the eternal bonding of linked-souls. I bought this book anticipating a canine adventure. What I experienced was much greater, deeper, more spiritual.

First, Steve Duno is a wonderfully warm, yet sharp-witted writer. Throughout the book, I found my self pausing to muse over an observation or comment that required a double-take of reflection. Throughout Duno's pithy and light-hearted prose is a scattering of deeply emotional gems - life issues succinctly phrased in just such a way as to give the reader an experience of shared epiphany.

Second, the life of Lou is extraordinary, not just because of the amazing work that this heroic canine accomplished throughout his long and well-loved life, but because of the amazing bond that this brave and empathic pooch forged with with his uniquely quirky, ethical and devoted human partner. This is not a linear, 'Dog as Hero' saga. On the contrary, throughout the book I cringed, laughed, whooped and cried. Lou starts off like an angelic flea-bag foundling, reveals himself as an uber-Marley and then, with his master's limitless patience and determination transforms into the well-trained, thinking, master-redeemer of death-row dogs. One of the big questions that one might later debate is whether Steve Duno rescued Lou or whether it was Lou who rescued Steve Duno.

Of course dog-lovers will find inspiration for raising the bars on their relationships to their canine companions, in terms of training, approach and appreciation. Readers will also delight in the various colorful human and canine personalities who appear like special treats within each chapter. However, these goodies are secondary to the much greater depth of this book.

Yes, "Last Dog on the Hill" is a dog book; but it is so very much more.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and heartwarming 22 Jun 2010
By Heidi Lang - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I loved this book! It's a story about a very special dog but also about much more: love, friendship, loyalty, redemption... It is extremely well-written and the author's sense of humor comes through loud and clear. An easy, engaging read after which you wish you could have met Lou the wonder-dog yourself.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, Funny, Poignant... an EXCELLENT Read 22 July 2010
By Patrick Santinello - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I couldn't put this book down. The humor is what first struck me but, soon after, the compelling nature of the relationship between man and dog as well as the heroic exploits of Lou had grabbed hold of me. There are so many of us that can relate to that bond between canine and human, "Last Dog" takes that bond and shines a light on it. Can it be true love? Of course. Maybe not the kind one might think of when mentioning the words "true love" but, no truer love could there be.

Aside from the subject matter, the book is so well written. Duno is a master story-teller with a flair for both suspense and humor. I looked forward to each page and, as with all great books, was both sad and exhilarated as I read the last words. I loved this book.

Patrick S.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect "Tail" 28 July 2010
By MJinNJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Emotion, suspense, good cast of characters, wit and precision writing. These are the elements of a great read. And each of those elements is vividly present in Last Dog on the Hill. Steve Duno had a special relationship with a very special dog, Lou. His loss of his beloved pet is our gain as he chose to honor this amazing animal by immortalizing him with this beautifully written memoir. A must read for anyone because it transcends the "dog person" story and touches on the bonds between people as well as the bonds between humans and their pets and is filled with remarkable insight. A story that will bring its reader smiles, a few out-loud laughs, thought provoking moments and yes, more than a couple of tears. Who could ask for more in a book?
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