Dog devotees are certain to appreciate the strange-but-true episodes collected in What the Dog Did: Tales from a Formerly Reluctant Dog Owner by Emily Yoffe. A regular contributor to Slate.com who has also written for Newsweek and Esquire, Yoffe starts out as a staunch cat owner, with no intention of having a dog. But one day, in answer to her daughter's demands, she brings home a rescued beagle the nervous, sensitive Sasha. With this high-maintenance pet on her hands, there's no looking back for the author who ready or not enters the rocky terrain of canine ownership. Then, quicker than a twitch of Sasha's tail, the incredible occurs: Yoffe becomes a dog person. Writing with affection, insight and humor, Yoffe chronicles this classic conversion experience. Her initiation into the canine world is both comic and poignant, filled with unforgettable incidents, as she studies to become a pet psychic (in order to telepathically communicate with her animals), trains the poorly socialized Sasha to work as a therapy dog and cares for a succession of needy beagles. Best of all is Sasha's miraculous metamorphosis from a hopelessly phobic rescue case to a happily adjusted member of the Yoffe household. The perfect ending. Julie Hale's dog, Howdy, who was rescued from a shelter, is still working on the basics of sit and stay.

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