Book Review: “What the Dog Ate” A Novel by Jackie Bouchard

Last week I was lucky enough to have a heart-to-heart chat with a new friend. We chatted over wine in typical girls-night-out-fashion. We bared our souls, shared our secrets, trashed men, we cried and laughed until our sides hurt.

My new “friend” is Maggie Baxter the lead character in the delightful novel What the Dog Ate by Jackie Bouchard.

While Maggie wasn’t with me in the literal sense, she was with me in every other way, because if you are a woman, we all have a little Maggie in us, or we know someone like Maggie.

That is just part of what makes this book so easy to relate to. If you are a woman, you “get it!”

Maggie Baxter’s world was completely changed the day she brought her beloved chocolate lab, Kona to the vet and was told he had an obstruction. After surgery, Maggie was handed a specimen bag with the object that caused the obstruction laying inside. It wasn’t a bone, a toy, nothing THAT easy to cure. It was a pair of “size-tiny lavender thong panties” that had been extracted from Kona. The problem was. They were NOT Maggie’s.

Imagine how you would feel with the Victoria’s Secret realization thrust in your face that your husband of 17 years was cheating on you.

It’s hard enough under normal circumstances, but when you are clearly a “Type A” Accountant with your life meticulously planned, it becomes almost unfathomable to have to come up with Plan B.

But come up with Plan B Maggie does. Or does she? Was Plan B in place all along, or did Maggie have to experience and learn different things, smell different scents to realize that? You will have to embark on this delicious journey to find out!

Maggie decides  she needs to live her life more like her “the-world-is-my-smorgasbord chocolate Lab, Kona.” Her mantra became “What would Kona do?”

From What the Dog Ate some great “Maggie-isms”

“Ok, maybe I won’t act a LOT like Kona, but, you know, try to go with the flow more. Don’t over-think everything….Kona’s always up for some fun. In fact, with the exception of going to the vet, he sees potential for fun in every situation. And he never worries about the consequences.”

“On the way home, she fantasized about how much better it would be if finding a new man was like getting a dog. You could go online and research the type you wanted. Would you prefer one who’ll be a couch-potato with you? Or one that would fit into an active life-style? Toy or worker? Purebred or mutt? More influenced by scent or sight? Guard or companion?…with her spec’s nailed down, she’d go to the HUMAN Society website and search for an appealing picture. She’d go meet him and if they hit it off, bring him home. And he’d be grateful and love her for saving him from a life spent alone in a cage. And he’d be loyal and never stray.”

“What the Dog Ate” is a funny, tender story of mending a broken heart and finding love and a new life right under your nose, with woman’s best friend at your side.”

Maggie’s “metaphor for love”: “Real love isn’t one way-it goes back and forth. And it’s involuntary. Maybe…like…a tornado. No, that’s no good. Too destructive. That’s wrong. No, it’s like…a dog’s tail. That’s it! True love goes back and forth and you can’t control it. You find that person you’re in love with, and it’s gonna wag. And there’s no stopping it.”

So often in life we become too focused on our destination instead of just relaxing and enjoying the journey. Maggie learns as many of us have to, to learn from our dogs. They never care about the destination, they are focused on the here-and-now. The journey. They enjoy every minute of it.  They don’t obsess about what might be, they focus on what IS.

We should all take a lesson from Maggie and Kona, do you have doubts about something? “does it make your tail wag?” If your answer is: “Holy crap; YES.” go for it.

While you’re at it, make sure you pick up a copy of this engrossing, fast-moving, visit with a trusted friend. You can count on it making YOUR tail wag!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jackie was born in Southern California and lived there until she and a friend got the crazy idea to move to Bermuda. It turned out to not be such a crazy idea after all since she met her husband there. Jackie used to be trapped in the hamster wheel of corporate America, but after being bitten by the writing bug, she ultimately managed to escape. Now, Jackie puts her undergraduate degree in Accounting and Masters in Library and Information Sciences (two fields based on hard facts) to excellent use writing humorous fiction. Learn more at





WHAT THE DOG ATE e-book available at:

AmazoniTunesBarnes & Noble and Smashwords
Also in paperback at Amazon & CreateSpace


A portion of the print sales will be donated to Best Friends Animal Society


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41 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. HAHA! That was some obstruction. Still, I think I might actually prefer that to a fish hook in Ms Pea’s tummy. I’m thrilled to read that JB took a leap of faith and moved to Bermuda 🙂

    • Georgia…it wouldn’t be funny if it were your husband who was cheating! 🙂 Love, “Mom”

    • Georgia – moving to Bermuda was probably the scariest and, ultimately, the best thing I ever did! 🙂 (Will have to remember that when I come up against other “scary” prospects!)

  2. That looks a great book.. A tiny I think I will definately be getting that one.I love it when you can relate to a book, and it looks hillarious.
    Thanks for sharing it with us xx00xx

    • OMD Mollie it is!!! I soooo could relate! I couldn’t put this book down! So happy you will be getting it! Love, “Mom”

  3. Great review. Have a really lovely Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

    • thanks Molly! You have a lovely Monday too!!! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  4. Thanks for sharing Dakota, sounds like the ultimate book for me… would this book make my tail wagging? “holy crap, YES”

    • Easy you are welcome! I am tellin’ ya, it WILL! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  5. Wow, that was an awesome review! This sounds like a great book to curl up with the winter! I only know Jackie through her blog, and she seems like a wonderful person, and Kona seems like my kind of dog!

  6. That sounds great, I have read Jackies books before, very entertaining.

    • Ohhh Roxy then you know just how wonderful she writes! I could NOT put this book down! Love, “Mom”

    • Thanks, Roxy, for the endorsement! 🙂

  7. Sounds like a great book. Might have to try that one soon. Great review. Have a great day.

    • Oh Marg it is! There are so many parts that are just hilarious too! Thanks so much for your kind words and you have a great day too! Love, “Mom”

  8. Wow. What a smart dog, busting one of the peoples in such a creative manner. Sounds like a great book!

    • you know what Donna and toby? You are a genius! I never thought of it that way (Kona being “smart” to bust the cheating husband that way) but you are BRILLIANT! The book IS fantastic! Love, “Mom”

    • That’s funny… I wrote the book, and I never considered either that maybe Kona did it on purpose! You know, I think you’re right. After all, Maggie does say that Kona is her knight in sheddable armor. I think I’ll write a scene from Kona’s perspective about what went on!

  9. Thanks so much Caren for the wonderful review! It’s a little nerve wracking to put “your baby” out into the world, so it’s always wonderful to hear that someone loves the book!


    • Jackie you are most welcome! I couldn’t have loved it more and for those that really know me, that isn’t always the case! lol. It was SUPERB! Thank you so much for visiting us! Love, “Mom” and Dakota

  10. Next to Shelties (who are #1, of course), labs are my (2nd) favourites! We used to have a yellow lab (along with a few Shelties & a Border Collie-Coydog). Excellent review! I wondered about this one. Thank you! ~xo~

    • McGuffyAnn THANK YOU! We LOVE labs and think they are brilliant and loving dogs. They can be sooo funny too! I wish I had a huge yard I would love to have a lab as well. Thanks so much! Love, “Mom”

    • Labs are definitely a fun breed. I’ve never had one myself, but we’ve had family members who had Labs. They were both such big sweethearts!

  11. It sounds like a fantastic book! I’ll have to look and see if I can get it on the Nook. It would be a lot easier if we could choose people from the Human shelter, and not just for romance, but for friendships, too!

    The Skyline cruise is sort of an unofficial annual event. If you’d like to go next year, I’ll try to give you a heads up!

    • OMG it IS a fantastic book! I loved it!! We agree with you about choosing friendships from the Human shelter as well lol. I am doubting I could make the cruise next year (Dakota doesn’t care for cars) but yes please let me know because you never know! Thank you!! Love, “Mom”

    • It is available on the Nook! Yes, choosing friendships from the shelter would work well too! 🙂

  12. What a terrific review! That certainly got MY tail wagging…and I shared your review with the book lovers over on the Dorothy-L list, too.

    • Amy THANK YOU!!! I am deeply touched! That was beyond kind of you and it is greatly appreciated!!! Now…get YOUR book to me 🙂 Love, “Mom”

      • Hey “Mom,” My editor says she’s uploading the LOST AND FOUND book this week, woot! So it’ll be a-coming atcha very soon. I can’t wait, either. *s*

      • YAY!!!!!!!!!!! She is sending me a hard copy right? I have a “thing” about ebooks and Kindles and such…I need to TOUCH A BOOK! 🙂 Love, “Mom”

    • Yes, Amy, let me second that THANK YOU!! My tail’s wagging now too! Let all the tails wag!! 🙂

  13. Sounds like a great book…I think I will have to read it!

    • It is and you should! 🙂 Love, “Mom”

  14. Looks pretty good. Thank you for the review. Moving to Bermuda must have been quite an adventure
    Benny & Lily

    • thanks Benny & Lily! It was great! Yeah…moving to Bermuda is something I will never be able to add to my bio! lol Love, “Mom”

  15. This sounds like a great book!

    Nubbin wiggles,

    • Hi Oskar! It most certainly is! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  16. Hi Dakota, it sounds like a girl’s book. May be my mom can do some light reading when she is free.


    • Hi Eva! Yep it is mostly a “girl’s” book for sure! Speaking of books…Mom is hoping to get yours mailed by the end of this week. Keep your paws crossed! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  17. Yay, Yay, Yay!! So happy you enjoyed the book!! I told my Mum she was NOT allowed to tell you the ending, she nearly did!! 🙂

    My Mum thought it was one of the best books she’s read in ages 🙂

    I hope you’re having a fun day,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

    • Hi Snoopy!!!! YEP!!!! As you can see my Mom LOVED the book! She could hardly put it down!! Oh poop! I forgot to write that your mum referred Jackie to me! I hope your Mum isn’t upset!! My Mom thought it was one of the best books that she has read in ages too!!! Please thank your Mum! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

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