Bad Dog by Martin Kihn

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(A true story.)
Meet Hola. She’s a nightmare, but it’s not her fault if she tackles strangers and chews on furniture, or if she runs after buses and fried chicken containers and drug dealers. No one ever told her not to. Worse yet, she scares her family. Hola may be the most beautiful Bernese mountain dog in the world, but she’s never been trained. At least not by anyone who knew what he was doing.
Hola’s supposed master, Marty, is a high-functioning alcoholic. A TV writer turned management consultant, Marty’s in debt and out of shape; he’s about to lose his job, and one day he emerges from a haze of peach-flavored vodka to find he’s on the verge of losing his wife, Gloria, too, if he can’t get his life—and his dog—under control.
Desperately trying to save his marriage, Marty throws himself headlong into the world of competitive dog training. Unfortunately, he knows even less than Hola, the only dog ever to be expelled from her puppy preschool twice. Somehow, together, they need to get through the American Kennel Club’s rigorous Canine Good Citizen test. Of course, Hola first needs to learn how to sit.
It won’t be easy. It certainly won’t be pretty. But maybe, just maybe, there will be cheesecake.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Martin Kihn

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Martin Kihn is an Emmy Award-nominated former writer for MTV's Pop-Up Video and the author of House of Lies and A$$hole. He has worked at Spy, Forbes, and New York, and his articles have appeared in The New York Times, GQ, Details, and Cosmopolitan. He lives in Minneapolis.
Published April 5, 2011 by Vintage. 225 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The author painfully describes life at the bottom of his downward spiral in striking detail: desperately chugging whole bottles of mouthwash while hiding in sidewalk telephone booths, sneaking shots of vodka in the bathroom at the break of dawn and passing out on the floor while Hola tried to rou...

Apr 05 2011 | Read Full Review of Bad Dog

Publishers Weekly

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Kihn, a television writer turned management consultant, recovering alcoholic, and dog lover, shows how healing can come from the most unlikely of sources.

Apr 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Bad Dog

Book Reporter

Hola is a heavyweight (literally) in the dog world.

Apr 25 2011 | Read Full Review of Bad Dog

Christian Science Monitor

A recovering alcoholic tries to win his wife back by taming their out-of-control dog.

May 06 2011 | Read Full Review of Bad Dog


Here’s a description of the austere rural obedience camp he and Hola attend: “Big dog events tend to be held in places humans abandoned in the 1950s—out-of-the-way, downscale locations with no heat, no cellular reception, no TVs in the room, no Internet, no tiki bar or hot tubs or robes or room s...

Jul 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Bad Dog

Portland Book Review

Martin Kihn’s new endearing book details his struggles with alcohol and how his canine menace to society, a Bernese Mountain dog known as “Hola,” helped him become sober.

Oct 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Bad Dog

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