What started as an ode to Quindlen's aging black Labrador in her Newsweek column has become a life-affirming short book about happiness, in the tradition of A Short Guide To A Happy Life and Being Perfect . In this wise little book, Anna Quindlen writes: The life of a good dog is like the life of a good person, only shorter, more compressed. Quindlen continues, with her trademark wonderful writing, sound wisdom and humor, to explain how her life has unfolded in tandem with Beau, and how she's learned how to enjoy life, in the simplest of ways, by watching him. She writes, When I was a mixed-breed puppy, I could never have imagined how simple and basic contentment could be. And that's what I've learned from watching Beau: to roll with the punches, to take things as they come, to measure myself not in terms of the past or the future but of the present, to raise my nose in the air from time to time and, at least metaphorically, holler, I smell bacon!