A Book Review: Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story

“Entertaining humans for cheese is a bit daft really, but cheese is cheese!” Wise words from Sam: a smart, talented, handsome, and very entertaining Collie, who, in my opinion, is the spitting image of Lassie.

Author, Sally Cronin writes through the eyes of her beloved Collie, Sam. It is a poignant, funny, and oh so entertaining story about life with Sam.

Sam tells us about his life and what it is like growing up dog. I couldn’t help but fall head over heels in love with Sam! And so will you! 

Sam is very literate, he did narrate this book, after all. Sam’s memoir: Sam: A Shaggy Dog Story, is a truly incredible life story of his life as a Collie. He narrates poignantly about his first memories of being a puppy, his incredible curiosity of the world around him, as well as his travels, mishaps, and friendships, and about his great of love of cheese and sausages.

Yet, most important in his life is his great love for Sally and David, his adopted family. Sam also had a fan club of sorts; he was friendly with cats, such as Henry, an Irish feral ginger and white cat, a Spanish marmalade cat, named Mollie, and let me not forget his very favorite toy, when he was a mere tadpole, a stuffed toy lamb, named Larry.

Sam, the intellectual that he was, studied human behavior extensively. He learned to speak Cat, English, and even a little Spanish. Sam was also quite good at humming a tune or two with Sally and David, on many of their family travels. Quite an accomplishment!  However, there was a certain rationale behind his thinking…cheese and sausages. If he could entertain Sally and David’s friends, by speaking English, he would be given more cheese by their guests. One could say that Sam was an accomplished entrepreneur!

As a reader of Sam’s story I laughed, I sometimes cried, and I fell totally in love with Sam, who was loved, beyond measure, by Sally and David, his adoptive parents. This is a wonderful memoir that will make you smile, laugh, and even shed a tear, but mostly you will feel a sense of great joy for a life well lived. 5 Stars.


Published by

Karen DeMers Dowdall

Karen DeMers Dowdall was born in West Hartford, Connecticut. She has lived in Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, and England. Karen has a PhD, MSN, BSN, RN in Nursing from Florida Atlantic University. “Books of every genre teach us about life, how we think, and view the world." She has written poems and little short stories since she was a child. Karen loves art, she enjoys drawing, painting in oils, pastels, colored pencils, and doing portraiture. She has also taken ballet, Jazz, and modern dance since she was three years old and owned her own dance studio.

46 thoughts on “A Book Review: Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story

    1. Brigid, I can imagine how much you loved you Collies, Lauder and Shane. Dogs can be more human than humans. I was mummy to my tiny Brittany, a beautiful Yorkie, born in England, and Katie Bell, a long haired Dachshund. I loved them both more than I can say. When I wrote this review about Sam, I ended up crying about Sally’s amazing Sam, and the love they had for him. Sally is a wonderful writer, as you are too. I am still learning! Karen 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh, yes…Sam was a ladies man, and quite the gentleman, I might add. It is easy to see the deep understanding of his way of being, just by looking in his eyes. I will never forget Sam. Thank you for writing this beautiful story. Karen 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Annabelle, thank you so much and I must go see The Literate Lurcher! Sally Cronin is a great writer and believe me, if I didn’t know better, I would believe the Sam wrote the book. Sally, wrote it in such a real way…that is is quite amazing. Thank you, Karen 🙂


  1. When I was growing up, we had a beautiful collie. I am 77, and I was likely 9 – 10 then. That was an immensely popular pet then, along with poodles (standard size), cocker spaniels, scotties, doberman pinschers and boxers, to name a few I can think of. It was a different world then and it is interesting how beloved pet types have changed now. This appears to be a fantastic story for all of us dog lovers. We have six senior chihuahuas, all of them with physical challenges, or who suffered abuse before we rescued them, often from being dumped out into the streets. We have one who is deaf and going blind, and who has a collapsing trachea, but he is doing great now. They all sleep with us and eat with us and all are healthy and happy. So yes, I appreciate this very much and wish much success to Sally. Thank you kindly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes…I know. I totally fell in love with Sam and his story. The writer is author Sally Cronin. She is a fantastic writer, author, commentator, and is an expert in many areas, especially for woman’s health issues.
      Thank you for your comment…it matches my own. Karen 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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