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Pure Joy
Cover of Pure Joy
Pure Joy
The Dogs We Love

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In this moving memoir, Danielle Steel tells the story of how she met a dog the size of a mouse with a personality that could light up an entire room. From Minnie's arrival at home in San Francisco to clothes-shopping jaunts in Paris, her adventures provide the perfect backdrop for a heartfelt look at the magic that dogs bring to our lives, and how they become part of the family, making indelible memories.

We meet Steel's childhood pug, James; and Elmer, the basset hound who was steadfastly at her side in her struggling days as a young writer; Sweet Pea--unveiled in a Tiffany box for a dog-loving husband--and all those lucky dogs who shared a household of nine children, other canines, and one potbellied pig. As she reflects on the beloved pets who have brought joy, and sometimes chaos, to her home through the years, Steel also shares her thoughts on the trials and tribulations of bringing a new dog into a household, the challenges of housebreaking and compatibility, the losses we feel forever.

Filled with colorful characters (human and otherwise), delightful photographs, practical wisdom drawn from long experience, and brimming with warmth and insight on every page, Pure Joy is a love letter to this special relationship--and one of the most charming books yet from the incomparable Danielle Steel.

Praise for Pure Joy

"The mega-selling [Danielle Steel] shares happy memories of her numerous dogs. . . . Steel brings readers into her life, recounting delightful moments with her many dogs, the dogs her children have owned, and her newest friend, Minnie, her tiny Chihuahua. . . . Plainly told with honesty and affection, these stories are an affirmation of the timeless connection between humans and their canine companions."--Kirkus Reviews

"Steel doesn't just love to write blockbusters; she loves dogs. Here's her valentine to all the dogs she's raised (looking to be mostly of the small sort), with lots of black-and-white photos throughout. A heady commercial combo."--Library Journal

From the Hardcover edition.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In this moving memoir, Danielle Steel tells the story of how she met a dog the size of a mouse with a personality that could light up an entire room. From Minnie's arrival at home in San Francisco to clothes-shopping jaunts in Paris, her adventures provide the perfect backdrop for a heartfelt look at the magic that dogs bring to our lives, and how they become part of the family, making indelible memories.

We meet Steel's childhood pug, James; and Elmer, the basset hound who was steadfastly at her side in her struggling days as a young writer; Sweet Pea--unveiled in a Tiffany box for a dog-loving husband--and all those lucky dogs who shared a household of nine children, other canines, and one potbellied pig. As she reflects on the beloved pets who have brought joy, and sometimes chaos, to her home through the years, Steel also shares her thoughts on the trials and tribulations of bringing a new dog into a household, the challenges of housebreaking and compatibility, the losses we feel forever.

Filled with colorful characters (human and otherwise), delightful photographs, practical wisdom drawn from long experience, and brimming with warmth and insight on every page, Pure Joy is a love letter to this special relationship--and one of the most charming books yet from the incomparable Danielle Steel.

Praise for Pure Joy

"The mega-selling [Danielle Steel] shares happy memories of her numerous dogs. . . . Steel brings readers into her life, recounting delightful moments with her many dogs, the dogs her children have owned, and her newest friend, Minnie, her tiny Chihuahua. . . . Plainly told with honesty and affection, these stories are an affirmation of the timeless connection between humans and their canine companions."--Kirkus Reviews

"Steel doesn't just love to write blockbusters; she loves dogs. Here's her valentine to all the dogs she's raised (looking to be mostly of the small sort), with lots of black-and-white photos throughout. A heady commercial combo."--Library Journal

From the Hardcover edition.

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Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    The Dog(s) and I

    In the classic sense, I have never considered myself a "dog person," in that extreme way that some people are "dog" people, or "cat" people, or "horse" people, where they go to horse or dog shows, are obsessively dedicated to their animals, and know everything about the breeds. On the other hand, I'm definitely not a cat person, because I'm severely allergic to cats. When I was a child, about five or six years old, I used to visit the next-door neighbor's cats, and my eyes would swell until they almost closed, as tears streamed down my cheeks, my nose ran, and I couldn't breathe. If I stayed long enough, I had an asthma attack, and then I would go home wheezing and coughing and barely able to see, and my mother would say, "You went to visit the neighbor's cat again, didn't you?" Immediate look of innocence from me between wheezes: "Me? The cat? No . . . why?"

    I finally stopped visiting the neighbor's cat, and my allergy has prevented me from really getting to know cats, so all the delightful things cat lovers say about them are unknown to me. And probably my most noteworthy cat encounter was at the home of Elizabeth Taylor. She contacted me years ago, to discuss writing a screen treatment for her. I was incredibly impressed and even more so when she invited me to her home. Nothing would have kept me from the opportunity to visit her. I was dying to meet the legend and see where she lived. I showed up for the meeting, and she was very nice. I was in awe of her, and we talked about some ideas, and as we did, a cat sauntered into the room, and I thought, "Oh no, this is not going to be good." Imagined or real, my eyes and nose began to itch instantly, and I said nothing and went on talking to her, just as another cat walked in. And within a few minutes, there were four or five cats wandering around the room. I started choking and knew I would have an asthma attack any minute.

    I then made one of those major life decisions: was I going to admit to my frailties and run out the door, or stick it out so as not to lose this opportunity with an icon whom I had wanted to meet for years? I decided that even if I died in her living room, I didn't care. I stuck it out for as long as I could, eyes running, sneezing, and choking. I figured the meeting would end when she called 911, and I died of an asthma attack in her living room. By the time the meeting reached its conclusion, I could hardly breathe. The project went nowhere, but I got to spend an hour with a Hollywood legend. That was my last serious cat encounter. Since then, when I'm invited to someone's home, I ask if they have a cat. It makes me sound hopelessly neurotic but spares them the annoyance of having to call 911 half an hour after I get there. So cats just aren't part of the landscape for me.

    Actually, I'm more of a "kid person," as witnessed by the fact that I have nine children. I can never resist a child, especially my own.

    But dogs have been part of my life ever since I was a child. Some have been better than others and more memorable. Until recently, I never had a dog with a real nose. We had pugs when I was a child. My first dog was a fawn pug named James, and I adored him. Unfortunately, he died the same year my mother left, when I was six, which must have traumatized me, in both cases, because although I had other dogs after that, I never got seriously attached to another dog for many years, until I was an adult, even though there were always dogs in my life. And in a sense, I suppose I am a dog person because I like them. There are statues of dogs by assorted contemporary artists, in a multitude of colors, all over my Paris apartment.

    My father continued to...

About the Author-
  • Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world's most popular authors, with over 600 million copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsellers include Winners, First Sight, Until the End of Time, The Sins of the Mother, Friends Forever, Betrayal, and other highly acclaimed novels. She is also the author of His Bright Light, the story of her son Nick Traina's life and death, and A Gift of Hope, a memoir of her work with the homeless.

Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    October 1, 2013
    The mega-selling novelist shares happy memories of her numerous dogs. Steel (First Sight, 2013, etc.) brings readers into her life, recounting delightful moments with her many dogs, the dogs her children have owned, and her newest friend, Minnie, her tiny Chihuahua. Minnie dominates the scene as Steel describes the moment she fell in love with this little bundle of joy and the many ups and downs of life with such a tiny dog. "It is absolutely absurd that anything so small should own my heart, but she does," writes the author. "[O]wning a puppy, or a dog you love, is pure joy...that's what Minnie is for me!!!" In addition to the numerous recollections of the miniature Brussels griffons, Rhodesian ridgeback, basset hounds, and Chihuahuas that Steel and her family have owned, the author sprinkles throughout the book helpful hints on how to take care of a dog. Although not everyone will have the sufficient funds to treat his or her dog as Steel does, anyone who is a pet lover will understand the desire to provide the very best for their animal. The author discusses the pros and cons of traveling with a dog (small dogs like Minnie fare better on airplanes than large dogs, who must be placed in cargo); how to find a vet who will listen to your concerns; how to know when to let a dog die; how to return a dog or place it with someone else when the needed bond between human and dog just doesn't exist. Plainly told with honesty and affection, these stories are an affirmation of the timeless connection between humans and their canine companions. Featherweight, loving moments of one woman and her many dogs. For Steel's fans and die-hard dog lovers.

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    "The mega-selling [Danielle Steel] shares happy memories of her numerous dogs. . . . Steel brings readers into her life, recounting delightful moments with her many dogs, the dogs her children have owned, and her newest friend, Minnie, her tiny Chihuahua. . . . Plainly told with honesty and affection, these stories are an affirmation of the timeless connection between humans and their canine companions."--Kirkus Reviews "Steel doesn't just love to write blockbusters; she loves dogs. Here's her valentine to all the dogs she's raised (looking to be mostly of the small sort), with lots of black-and-white photos throughout. A heady commercial combo."

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