Books By Ari

’Tis a far better thing to have lived and loved a short dog,

...than never to have loved a tall

-- Sweetie Pie "McPoodles" Levitt 

"A Little Dog's Tale"

(Stories from a Grateful Pooch)

Immerse yourself in a world as seen through the eyes of a small but slightly self-important miniature poodle, and his humorous insights, experiences, and foibles while adopting and training his new owners... all based on a real-life dog and the family he cares for.

CLICK HERE to go to to preview or purchase "A Little Dog's Tale"


      In 2014, my father and his wife, Marian, adopted "Sweetie Pie" - a delightful and very intelligent little miniature poodle whose presence immediately changed the course of their lives, giving them a little friend to dote on, and bringing smiles to their faces and joy to their days.  Sweetie Pie became not only a wonderful companion for them both, but very quickly a wonderful never-ending source of stories for them to share...

     With that as a backdrop, as a surprise for my father's 80'th birthday, I presented him with this book of stories written through the eyes of Sweetie Pie and Sweetie Pie's perspective of having adopted Gil and Marian as his own.  

    While the stories are specific to this particular little dog, I do believe the sentiments and experiences described in his narrative can be considered fairly universal to any dog owner, which is why, at the request of my father and Marian, I am making them available to all here on Amazon.
In addition to Sweetie Pie's stories, you will enjoy a glossary with some other fun inspirations from Sweetie Pie's life, including:

  • A Photo Expose of Sweetie Pie’s Famous Friends
  • (Fictitious) Shakespeare Dog-Quotes
  • (Un)Common Dog Expressions
  • Uncommon (Fictitious) Dog Pedigree Mixes
  • A Glossary of Common Dog & Cat Terms
  • Sweetie Pie's Favorite Catch Phrases ... and MORE!

Below, I am including two excerpts from the book for you to peruse.  If you enjoy these, there are many for you to explore in the book.  Enjoy! 

CLICK HERE to go to to preview or purchase "A Little Dog's Tale"


CHAPTER 1:  “Introduction”

I want to tell you something that I haven’t told anyone else.  

Not yet at least.  

This is just between you and me.  

And it’s this.  

Recently I’ve been experiencing some very vivid, very memorable dreams in which the same recurring theme keeps coming up.  In each of these, I’m being interviewed by a jury of the greatest of my peers — there’s Rin Tin Tin, Lassie, Cujo, Benji, The Shaggy Dog, Petey, Toto, both Lady & the Tramp, and numerous others that may or may not appear, depending on the slightly varying versions of the dream.  

And in each case I’m being asked only one thing.  

Over and over.  

And that is:  what do I think has been the crowning achievement of my relatively short four years of ‘life-of-service’ on this planet?

     In the nightmare scenarios, I never know exactly what to say, and I sit there quietly, dumbly, awkwardly staring at a roomful of blank half-drooping eyes and quasi-curious faces through what seems to be an interminable period of silence — I’m sure you know the kind — everyone patiently waiting for some sort of reply

…. a word, 

…. a nod, 

.… an acknowledgement….  

But there’s nothing for them to hear.  

Nothing, really, except the slow ratchety tick-tick of what must surely be the worlds oldest and most annoying wind-up clock punctuating the silence of that austere mausoleum chamber…  

And this awkwardness keeps going on, and on, and on… 

Until, finally, one of the esteemed quadrupedal panelists becomes suddenly distracted by a squirrel (or a cat, or something equally furry), breaks ranks, and then all sorts of mayhem ensues…. 

…which is usually when I wake up.

     But on those nights when I go to bed fairly well-rested and in a good frame of mind, when I’ve been fed the ‘good’ kibble, when I’ve been taken out early for walks and piddles….  on those nights I know exactly what to say. 

I say this.  

And I say it honestly, and with all the unconditional love my little heart can muster.  

I say that I saved a life.  

Two lives, really.  

And what makes it even more noteworthy is this:  that I did it in the most noble and genial of ways imaginable.   Because the people whose lives I saved, thought they were saving mine…..


CHAPTER 6, Section 14:  “I Bring Them Puppy-Joy”  

I know I’ve said a lot of this before, but I think it’s worth repeating.  I’ve noticed that when I’m around them, my two sweeties smile and babble and coo at me and at each other, and well — there’s no other way to say it — they behave a lot like puppies.   It’s a common medical condition.  Little dogs bring out the inner puppy in their trainees.

It’s true.  Cute little canine coaches like ‘moi’ have a kind of transference affect on their trainees.

And this is really nice to see.

This transference ability — this effect, this gift — is definitely not a quality you’d expect to find in all dog breeds (least of all the big dogs.  Definitely not Great Danes), just the small, cute, little poodle dogs like me.   I can’t help it.  It just happens.  I don’t even try.

What we’re talking about is….   well, it’s a little hard to pin down.  

  It’s something that typically starts in your dog, and slowly emigrates to you.   But you have to be open to letting it in.  You have to be able to let those small shards of unconditional canine love 

…and trust 

…and faith 

…and unbridled joy 

…the things that you see through your dogs eyes… you have to let all of that get under your skin just a little bit — like a tiny, little, living, breathing splinter of happy, carefree joy — and stay there for a while, growing and multiplying, until these little shards of bliss mature into a regular daily part of who you are.  

And they change you.  Necessarily.

They change how you see the world.  

They change how you live your life.  

And you become happier …and more carefree.  Like your dog.

And this marriage of sorts, this marriage of the who you once were long before your dog arrived, and of the bliss of puppyhood that you’ve slowly accumulated through your dog to become the who you are now, 

if balanced and maintained, 

if cherished and cultivated,

      if nurtured, and grown,

    if taken out for walks and enjoyed just a little bit each day,

… all of this will blossom into a very special kind of joy.    

 Again, it’s little hard to describe.  I don’t know if I can do it justice.   

It’s not the proud chest-swelling joy that comes with great acts of accomplishment or privilege;  

It’s not the somber right-of-passage joy that comes with ceremony — a wedding, a graduation, a bar-mitzvah;  

It’s not the adrenalin-rushing joy of thrill that comes with skiing the black diamond, or mountain biking the Alps, or bungee jumping the Royal Gorge.  

This is a joy that is uniquely shared by dog and human.  It’s a joy that comes through an invisible bond, a connection between two sacred beings — beings of different shape and form, genus and species, but beings who also both know, that without this connection, their world, their lives, and the meaning of their daily rituals would be that much the less.  

This is a joy that marinates, not pops.  

It comes over time, it comes from proximity, 

and it comes from trust. 


It’s a crack in the firmament — a release from the mundane and serious concerns of adulthood that have through the years, slowly, indolently, scabbed, calloused, and blanketed over the romping, giggling, carefree puppyhood of our earliest, most primitive selves.  

  It’s the phenomenon of the dog-man bond.  And it’s something dogs and humans have known about for a long long time.   In fact, Shakespeare even referred to it in the original draft of his play “Julius Caesar”, when he wrote: 


“You may cry ‘Havoc!’ and let slip the dogs of war!

       … but if you cry ‘Sweetie Pie’ and go straight to the petting, you may as well forget the war, 

‘cause it’s gonna be cuddles and smooches all the way down…” 

— Julius Caesar  [Act III, Scene I]


…I think the last part of that might have been edited out later, I can’t be sure, but no matter.  The important thing is that, even though Shakespeare himself never owned a ‘real’ dog (just a corgi), what he says about poodles is so true!  It’s as true today as it was in Shakespeare’s time, and I really believe it!  If there were more cute little poodles like me in the world, I think there would be a lot less wars, a lot less strife, a lot less anxiety … and, lets face it, a lot cleaner noses.

And the reason is this, simple and plain.  It’s because only in those brief moments of intimate interaction with your dog — where play and cuddles and licking and tickling and silliness abound — can the burdens of all our yesteryears dissolve, can our adultish cares and worries be momentarily cast aside, can the weight of the world be forgotten and the levity of peace & joy effuse and abide, and can we once again become the children we forgot we once were and rediscover a kind of joy that we forgot we once had.

This is the kind of joy I’m talking about.  And it’s this kind of innocent childhood joy that I’ve seen bubbling up again and again in my two sweeties.

I call this particular brand of pooch-inspired joy “puppy-joy”.  

And without me — the cutest, the sweetest, the cuddliest little critter in their corner of the kennel, licking their noses and doing my happy dance — I doubt that there would be much puppy-joy in their lives at all.

And without them, there would definitely be little in mine.