You Can Have a Dog When I’m Dead


Hamilton Spectator columnist Paul Benedetti’s essays paint a wonderfully funny portrait of family life today.

Paul Benedetti has a good job, a great family, and successful neighbours — but that doesn’t stop him from using it all as grist for a series of funny, real, and touching essays about a world he can’t quite navigate.

Benedetti misses his son, who is travelling in Europe, misplaces his groceries, and forgets to pick up his daughter at school. He endures a colonoscopy and vainly attempts to lower his Body Mass Index — all with mixed results. He loves his long-suffering wife, worries about his aging parents and his three children, who seem to spend a lot of time battling online trolls, having crushes on vampires, and littering their rooms with enough junk to start a landfill.


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Many of the 90 mini-essays in Paul Benedetti’s You Can Have a Dog When I’m Dead are very funny. Others are compassionate, clever, rueful, or tender. Sometimes there’s even an outbreak of wisdom — all of which means that in its swift snapshots, the collection contains plenty of the sweetnesses, sorrows and, not least, the jollities of actual life.

Joan Barfoot, author of Luck and Critical Injuries

Paul Benedetti has an uncanny ability to look at the small things and see the big picture — or the big things and find the small truth. In the spirit of the great Gary Lautens, he introduces you to family, neighbourhood and real life. You will laugh out loud and you will quietly weep. And you will enjoy every word.

Roy MacGregor, author of Home Team: Fathers, Sons and Hockey

This charming and hilarious volume will entertain readers at any stage of their lives.

Hamilton Magazine

Well-written and organized in a short and simple way, You Can Have a Dog When I’m Dead is most certainly a book that was made to take along with you on vacation or even for a weekend at the cottage.

Words of Mystery

About the Author

Paul Benedetti

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014

Paul Benedetti

Paul Benedetti is an award-winning journalist, author, and writer. His essays have appeared in the Globe and Mail, Canadian Living, Reader’s Digest, and regularly in the Hamilton Spectator, where he has a widely read Saturday column. He has won the Ontario Newspaper Award for Humour Writing and Canada’s National Newspaper Award for Best Short Feature, and he teaches journalism at the University of Western Ontario.