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Come Back, Como: Winning the Heart of a Reluctant Dog    by Steven Winn Amazon.com order for
Come Back, Como
by Steven Winn
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Award-winning journalist and fiction writer Steven Winn took on almost more than he could chew when his daughter Phoebe begged for a dog. His wife Sally joined in the quest to find the perfect pooch, haunting SPCAs in the San Francisco area. They wanted to give a dog a home before he would be put down at a shelter.

Collectively, they chose a dog named Ecstasy a 'scraggly, man-hating terrier mix' whom they renamed Como. 'Traumatized, single-minded and clever, Como was bent on breaking Winn's sanity, bankbook and heart.' This book came to fruition because of the articles Winn wrote about Como in the San Francisco Chronicle. Someone suggested he turn the ten articles into book form and Come Back, Como was born.

Como turned out to be a fierce champion of his own desires. No cage could really hold him. An escape artist extraordinaire, he managed to slip outside the house one time while Steve was wearing only boxers and a robe. Winn's recounting of that little adventure is worth the price of the book.

Most people would have given up when facing such a recalcitrant animal and returned him to the SPCA. Steven and Sally keep a close eye on the 90-day return period. Passing that, Winn begins to discover that Como is teaching him a few things as he is trying to teach the dog what makes it possible for a canine and its humans to co-exist. Winn feels that 'loving a dog can somehow make us more human.' I tend to agree.

Como is a plucky dog, a survivor and determined to live his life according to his own tenets. Como makes me want another dog. Haven't had one for more than twenty-five years, but the soft feeling for the ones I did have has never left. Come Back, Como is a good book for anyone who loves dogs. Also a good book for anyone who doesn't like dogs.

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