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Beautiful Joe

Marshall Saunders

Book Overview: 

Beautiful Joe is a real dog, and “Beautiful Joe” is his real name. He belonged during the first part of his life to a cruel master, who mutilated him in the manner described in the story. He was rescued from him, and is now living in a happy home with pleasant surroundings, and enjoys a wide local celebrity.

The character of Laura is drawn from life, and to the smallest detail is truthfully depicted. The Morris family has its counterparts in real life, and nearly all of the incidents of the story are founded on fact.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Miss Laura went in to buy some ribbons. She said to me, "Stay out," but Billy she took in with her. I watched them through the glass door, and saw her go to a counter and sit down. Billy stood behind her till she said, "Lie down." Then he curled himself at her feet.

He lay quietly, even when she left him and went to another counter. But he eyed her very anxiously till she came back and said, "Up," to him. Then he sprang up and followed her out to the street.

She stood in the shop door, and looked lovingly down on us as we fawned on her. "Good dogs," she said, softly; "you shall have a present." We went behind her again, and she took us to a shop where we both lay beside the counter. When we heard her ask the clerk for solid rubber balls, we could scarcely keep still. We both knew what "ball" meant.

Taking the parcel in her hand, she came out into the street. She did not do any more shopping, but turned her face toward the sea. She was goi. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I can't believe this book had no readers on Goodreads. This is a book written in the same manner as Black Beauty to raise awareness of animal cruelty. An influential book in my life.

This was one of my favorite books when I was a youngster. It tells the story of a dog who is owned by a cruel master (he cuts his ears and tail off) before being rescued by a kind family. Told from the dog's perspective, it is a compelling and poignant read that is both joyful and tear producing...more

"My name is Beautiful Joe, and I am a brown dog of medium size."

Beautiful Joe: The Autobiography of a Dog was written in 1893 by Margaret Marshall Saunders. The author used a male pen name because she feared she would not be taken seriously as a woman writer. I picked up a copy at a used book sal...more

This is an old favorite. From "Beautiful Joes" point of view. It was an amazing book! Inspiring, simple, touching.The rough start at life for Joe really makes you think. How your life is, how his was.How it would be like for an animal.What they possibly think, would feel.I am quite fond with all...more

At the age of one, Beautiful Joe lost his mother who died of heartache after their owner killed his siblings by smashing their heads against a wall. For some reason, Joe was spared. For months, his mother's health declined. After she died, his owner punished him by lopping off both ears and tail....more

This is one of my favorite books. . .I love it!! :) I want to read this one again sometime. I would highly recommend this book to any and everyone. What makes this book so special is because it focuses on taking care of all kinds of animals, and making sure that none of them are abused or mistrea...more

My mom introduced me this story when I was only about 8 years old, as I was an animal empath all of my life. Keeping with the tradition of Black Beauty, one has to understamd that this book was written more for simple people who didn't understand in the late 1800's and early 1900's that animals h...more

So, wow. Remember Black Beauty? How it was all from the point of view of the horse? Well, in 1894, Margaret Marshall Saunders wanted to do for dogs what Black Beauty did for abused cab horses in 1877. She knew of a real-life story of a horribly mutilated dog in Canada -- he'd had his ears and tai...more

Depicts the story of a dog from his perspective. From abused to kindly cared for, this book is quite remarkable and inspirational. I had to stop and ponder: do I treat mice, snakes, and other creatures that cannot communicate understandably to humans with kindness? I do fail and fall short. May G...more

Poor Joe is sort of the Dolores Claiborne of the canine world; this book tells of the terrible abuse he suffered, but also of his salvation when finally he learns to trust people again.

It was a beautiful but depressing little book, but it's eye-opening because unfortunately even in today's modern...more

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