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4.3 out of 5 stars49
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 11 July 2013
This book will be adored not only by dog lovers but any animal lover who knows just how much owning a pet can change our lives. For me what sets this book apart from other dog stories is the author's witty light humour that expertly balances out the emotional side of the story, taking away the sadness as you find yourself laughing out loud.

Pete isn't your normal dog, he's a celebrity with his own personal painter/owner in tow, he even has his own Facebook and Twitter accounts and when he's no longer on this planet they have a doggy memorial party for him so his old pals could show their respect, which really did make me giggle. There is just one problem Pete can't move on until he knows that Charlie, his owner, has come to terms with the loss, so Pete has to return, bringing some great fun into the story. Without giving too much away the story introduces Brownie, a loveable King Charles Cavalier, fostered by Charlie from a dog farm owned by a rather clever and beautiful owner.

The writing of the author's true love, happiness and sadness in the story is fully appreciated and you can totally connect with the sheer joy, frustrations and sadness of owning a pet. Describing the loss of Pete, the emotions felt by not only Charlie but Pete himself and all the little things that you start to notice when a pet dies is absolutely spot on. I loved how Charlie tries to battle against how a man should feel yet knowing that he just can't hide from his true emotions.

There are parts of the book that really gave me a huge lump in my throat as it brought back memories of when we lost our first dog, Bess a Border Collie. She sadly fell asleep in the company of hubbie and the vet in her favourite room of our home, what we didn't expect apart from the obvious loss and sadness was just how much my hubbie would be affected by letting her go. We immediately left the house and went for a lonely walk without her and stumbled on a house for sale, which we actually bought and still live in now, the thought of staying in the same home was just too much for him to bear.

A lovely, light, easy read that flows really well that I thoroughly enjoyed. It will have you feeling sad one minute and laughing the next as you follow Charlie's roller-coaster ride of emotions and events after loosing Pete 'the cutest, crankiest Jack Russell Terrier' and his new found love Brownie. A must for a film, I can already hear Pete's gruff voice in it.
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on 3 September 2014
I found this book to be a book of two halves - for all the right reasons. Half is a very sensitively written account of losing a dog which will have you in floods. The other is just bonkers and amusing.

I bought this book days after losing my own Jack Russell (who looked a bit like the dog on the cover) and read it two months afterwards. Taking this into account I can say that this author knows exactly what it is like to lose a dog - and all the complex emotions that goes with that. There were so many times I found myself nodding my head in agreement with what was written.

After that, Pete the Dog comes back as a ghost, which gives way for some genuinely funny moments.

This book is not a guide book on how to cope with the loss of a dog but is a work of fiction. However, even during the comedy moments, the author's pain in relation to dog loss is more than apparent. I enjoyed this and thought it was a good, entertaining spin on a very sad topic. All I can say in conclusion is that I 'got' it.
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on 11 June 2014
I am really enjoying reading this book "It's just a dog". The writing style is perfect. Moments of humour in among the deepest grieving -how does a writer do that? But this writer does it effortlessly, with a flowing natural style which is very easy to read. How could I find myself laughing just moments after I hear Pete has died? But I do.

I know how hard it is to lose a well-loved dog. It's the hardest grieving I've ever had to go through.

But this book is a page-turner. I only bought it an hour ago and can't put it down. It is going dark in this room, and I don't care, can't be bothered to switch a light on, can't see a thing, but it's okay if I can just keep reading "It's just a dog."

And I haven't even got to the 'ghosty-bit' yet....but am sure I'm going to love that just as much.

Thanks for a great well written book, Mr. Ryan.
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on 19 November 2015
I usually buy factual books about dogs to download, but this one was equally enjoyable and rather lovely. From the dogs point of view, and the sentiments expressed that dogs are here to teach us empathy and love seems very fitting. Lovely read, left a warm feeling. It also helps to come to terms with the short life span of our canine family as having lost two Labradors to old age and disease, it always devastates,but it has to be a frame of mind I make myself get used to, that you have at least (generally) a good 10 years with a dog, and that should be counted as a blessing every day, they are very special creatures. My world with my dogs and the books I read would be empty.. Well written sensitive story that I am sure many will identify with.
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on 15 March 2015
How many of us would love the opportunity to see and talk to our deceased pets again? I know I would love the opportunity to do so. This is a very well written book, very descriptive and truly a lovely story.
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on 7 May 2014
I purchased this book after my own dog sadly passed away. I could totally identify with Charlie and his feelings; making me feel far more normal during my process of grief. The story was light as well as tackling a serious issue that all pet owners experience at some point in life. I give this book a huge thumbs up and would recommend it to anyone; loss of a pet or not!
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on 30 March 2014
I lost my 17 year old best friend recently and this is the first doggy book that has made me laugh since that day, a comforting mixture of humour and hope that all dog parents will instantly identify with.
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on 3 February 2014
To say I feel confused is an understatement

I'm not too sure what I just read. Or why ai read it. Or why i bought it...

This book is 177 pages long and in it we meet a canine portrait artist, his dog (pete, who dies as we know), his new dog and his on/off woman. And his partner in art. And a couple other minor characters.

And thats about it. There are a few nice descriptive moments but other than that it reads almost like an essay written for a school project.

Sorry to be blunt. I love reading and I certainly love books about dogs but this one... i cant't bring myself to recommend.
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on 14 June 2014
Wonderful story about loss. In its way very uplifting although disturbing to read. Well worth the effort and congratulations to the author.
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on 15 August 2013
Great little story, told with real feeling. I loved that the book portrayed real sadness and emotion at losing a dog and how one would so wish for their dog to return and speak to them. The light hearted, funny story that ran along side the loss and grief stopped the book from being too overwhelming dour. I read the book quickly mainly because for me it was a bit of a page turner. I was also sorry to read about the author's dogs at the end, especially Charlie....too short a life.
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