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A Three Dog Life
A Three Dog Life
Author: Abigail Thomas
When Abigail Thomas’s husband, Rich, was hit by a car, his brain shattered. Subject to rages, terrors, and hallucinations, he must live the rest of his life in an institu?tion. He has no memory of what he did the hour, the day, the year before. This tragedy is the ground on which Abigail had to build a new life. How she built that life is a...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780156033237
ISBN-10: 0156033232
Publication Date: 9/15/2007
Pages: 192
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.

3.7 stars, based on 187 ratings
Publisher: Harvest Books
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed A Three Dog Life on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 21
Half-way through the memoir I flipped back to the beginning of the book to read the entry from Wikipedia which states: "Australian Aborigines slept with their dogs for warmth on cold nights, the coldest being a 'three dog night'." Then I understood the meaning of the title. It wasn't about the lives of Abigail's three dogs, it was the warmth, comfort, and security she gathered from them during the coldest season of her life. The journey her life took after her husband's accident was riddled with moments of depression, internal enlightenment, more depression, sadness, unanswered questions, and finally acceptance. But, through it all, her constants remained those warm, reassuring canine bodies that pressed themselves against her while she slept.
esjro avatar reviewed A Three Dog Life on + 916 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 16
This memoir is of few words but is very touching. The first half of the book is extremely depressing, as the author tries to come to terms with what is essentially the loss of her husband (who because of a brain injury is essentially a different person.) With the help of her dogs, friends, and family, including her husband, she eventually overcomes her loneliness and finds small comforts and joy in her single life.

Although the title would imply otherwise, this is not a Marley and Me type pet memoir. The dogs are the focus of one or two chapters and make appearances in many of the others, but this is essentially a book about how one woman transforms her life in the face of grief.
short-angry14 avatar reviewed A Three Dog Life on + 79 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
I have fallen so in love with this book that I am having a hard time reposting it. Abigail Thomas writes with her heart, about a life that some would find depressing. I didn't find this book depressing at all, but rather, a testament to what the human spirit can endure and overcome. She expresses her thoughts, feelings and emotions so vividly through her writing, that the reader has no choice but to come along for the ride and is left feeling all these things with her. An absolutely wonderful book!
Kmarie avatar reviewed A Three Dog Life on + 529 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
This small book evokes so many different emotions for me. At first, I thought it would be too painful to read, too raw. However, it captured my heart and I wanted to read it. It is lyrical in its prose and I so very much enjoyed the phrases and words that this author chose to describe her life. It is utterly heartbreaking at times and yet so life-affirming, powerful and so true. I loved this book. I am so sorry the author had to experience this painful, horrifying, life-changing event but it has most certainly brought forth a beautiful book. I cannot recommend this book enough. It may be small but it is gloriously mighty in emotion and thought.
Shervivor avatar reviewed A Three Dog Life on + 97 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This is a very quick read. The basis of this memoir is that the husband of the author has a life changing accident. The book is well written and delves into how the author copes with the changes in her life, her husband's injuries, her age and how her three dogs help her to be comforted. If you appreciate the love a dog can bring into your life you will enjoy this book. The author has a way of making mundane routine compelling. After reading this book you will appreciate the people and pets in your life that give you their love.
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reviewed A Three Dog Life on + 25 more book reviews
A sort of stream of consciousness report of a woman whose husband, Rich, had a car accident and became another person. She could not take care of him any longer, and eventually put him into a specialized nursing facility. She gets three dogs, over time, and lives her life with them, chronicling daily life and her musings about life.
bookfan59 avatar reviewed A Three Dog Life on + 27 more book reviews
Excellent book that gives an honest look at how TBI affects the person and their family....shows love goes far and does much.
reviewed A Three Dog Life on
This is the second book I've read about traumatic brain injury. (The first was Cathy Crimmin's Where is the Mango Princess? - which I also highly recommend.) The combination of reading the two totally brings out the distressing fact that after a brain injury, the loved one is really transformed into a new person with some remnants of the old, and surprising new aspects of personality. It really is as if her husband has died and been replaced by a very odd stranger. It also is similar to Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, in the insistence that "...everything changes in the instant." Thomas ends up living alone in the country with three dogs in a lovely old house.
This book is a gentle story about an horrific event, and the changes it brings to Thomas's life and marriage. Reading A Three Dog Life will remind anyone that needs reminding, of the precariousness of good times and relationships, and to cherish those we love.
reviewed A Three Dog Life on
I enjoyed this book.
turnip avatar reviewed A Three Dog Life on + 6 more book reviews
I wanted to love this book. I really, really wanted to, but I found it too sparely written. I wanted to know more about what she did and why, I wanted to know more details about her husband. It was a little too ethereal for me.
reviewed A Three Dog Life on + 38 more book reviews
Very touching, funny, introspective memoir. Abigail Thomas ISA gentle spirit who has a beautiful way with words.
slrinvt avatar reviewed A Three Dog Life on + 8 more book reviews
Being a dog-lover and owner myself, I was thinking that there would be more of a role for the dogs in this book. However, she hardly mentions them. This is a memoir; there is no climax; it is just " a day in the life" book.
reviewed A Three Dog Life on + 4 more book reviews
Love this book. I got 3 copies so I could share with friends and they loved it too.