Subtitle: An Autobiography
Author: Marshall Saunders
About Beautiful Joe: The true story of an abused dog which became an international bestseller and was the first Canadian book to sell over a million copies.
As a children's book, Beautiful Joe is quite violent by today's standards. It's also sentimental and preachy. Still, much of the story is timeless and it's easy to see why it was so popular.
- Callie, Critturs.com
- “...a wonderful tool for conscience-building and demonstrating the cause and effect relationship between loving discipline and a positive result...”
- gr4c5, LunaSea
- “It has touched the hearts, and remained in the memory of many.”
- Selkie @ LibraryThing
- “...a somewhat long pamphlet on animal rights...”
In telling my story, I think I had better begin at the first and come right on to the end. I was born in a stable on the outskirts of a small town in Maine called Fairport. The first thing I remember was lying close to my mother and being very snug and warm. The next thing I remember was being always hungry. I had a number of brothers and sisters—six in all—and my mother never had enough milk for us. She was always half starved herself, so she could not feed us properly.
I am very unwilling to say much about my early life, I have lived so long in a family where there is never a harsh word spoken, and where no one thinks of ill-treating anybody or anything, that it seems almost wrong even to think or speak of such a matter as hurting a poor dumb beast.
The man that owned my mother was a milkman. He kept one horse and three cows, and he had a shaky old cart that he used to put his milk cans in. I don't think there can be a worse man in the world than that milkman. It makes me shudder now to think of him. His name was Jenkins, and I am glad to think that he is getting punished now for his cruelty to poor dumb animals and to human beings. If you think it is wrong that I am glad, you must remember that I am only a dog.
Read the rest of Beautiful Joe.
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Added 28 May 2007.
Updated 29 March 2013.