You Had Me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness is a memoir that follows the life of Julie Klam and her dogs. The memoir opens with Klam’s depiction of her unfulfilling life – single, less than ideal job, seemingly directionless life – when she has a dream about a boston terrier. Bam! She’s swept into a new life filled with dogs, life changes, and happiness lessons.
I have to admit – I couldn’t get into this book! I’m a dog dog lover devoted to leading a happy and content life, but for some reason, the book didn’t hook me. I will admit the writing style was quirky, funny, and cute, but despite this I could not get invested in the plot.
Despite my general boredom, I did get two main things out of this book.
1) A huge happiness lesson
Sometimes, you need a gut-wrenching life change to get your life back on track.
Sometimes all it takes is a gut feeling that you’re meant to make this life change, and your life begins to fall back into place.
2) The power of giving back
As positive psychology has continually demonstrated, some of the happiest people are the world’s most devoted volunteers – when you step outside of yourself and help someone or something else, your own happiness increases. In the book, Klam volunteers at dog shelters (fostering dogs, finding dogs fostered homes). This act not only gave her life more meaning and passion, but also got her outside of herself contributing to something greater than herself.
Overall, 3 out of 5 stars.