Buying a country estate in France seemed such a simple thing to accomplish. But when Beth, her irascible husband Jack, and their two fat dogs set off, little did they know that it would become such an extraordinary journey.

Surviving near-death experiences, they drove thousands of kilometres visiting French estates steeped in both history and eccentric owners.

Buying a country estate in France seemed such a simple thing to accomplish. But when Beth, her irascible husband Jack, and their two fat dogs set off, little did they know that it would become such an extraordinary journey.

Surviving near-death experiences, they drove thousands of kilometres visiting French estates steeped in both history and eccentric owners.

Fat Dogs 4 3D Book Cover transp NEW USE

When Beth, her beloved dog, Sam, and grumpy husband, Jack, return to France, disaster strikes. As they battle to restore order to their home, French authorities visit with shocking news.

Obliged to sit examinations in French, coping with furred and feathered babies, and wrangling French tradesmen, there’s no let-up in this action-packed episode of the Haslams’ adventures.

What readers think Fat Dogs and French Estates IV

A moving experience in France

I just finished reading this book and was it ever a joy! I found myself stopping as I read to find out how much I had left to read—and it was never enough! Some of my favorite memoir topics are travel, settling into a new home/location, and French and France so this checked a lot of boxes for me but if you enjoy none of these that much but love humor with a soupcon of pathos (think furry friends) this is the book for you. Dogs, kittens, trees, renovations, what’s not to like?

This is the continuation of the story of Beth’s, Sam’s (the fat dog in the title), and her (grumpy) husband Jack’s move to the French countryside. The descriptions of their village, home, land, and animals, both domestic and wild, is detailed, nuanced, and almost a visual feast as you read (and there are some interesting smells thrown in too). She details their interactions with the local French people (and even Polish foresters) they encounter whether neighbors, artisans, laborers, or shopkeepers and while she finds the humor in some of the misunderstandings that occur due to cultural differences or language struggles, it is always done in a sensitive way. I think my favorite story is that of a “short” trip on the motorway to pick up pheasants that turns into an epic voyage in searing heat without air conditioning (French roads do that to you).

Sue Raymond

You’ll love this book!

Of course, I read the first three books in the series. They contain all the pitfalls of buying a DIY in France and the language barrier. Very funny characters, but they happen to be real people. Beth brings the wildlife and their acreage to life.

Georgia G. Yarnall

Thoroughly enjoyable.

I adore Beth’s delightful writing. Another enlightening book full of wonderful insights into her new life in rural France on a very large estate. She and Jack show such kindness towards the local wildlife, preservation of the woodlands and integrating into the local community.

Phil K. Schroeder

Kind, Energetic, Interesting

Beth is a writer who shares her exotic foreign experiences clearly, with passion and always respectful of the people she is talking about. The continuing adventures of the author and her husband’s attempts to make a part of France their very own is a joy to read and very inspiring. I do wish I had their energy!

Jan Butterfield

Heartwarming

In this 4th book of Beth Haslam’s series, she continues to take us on her journey to purchase a home and set up residence in France with her husband and their beloved dogs. In true Beth fashion, she takes us through the ups and downs that they encounter, the challenges of life in a different country, struggling with a new language, and we get to know their neighbors and workers who are helping to make their dream a reality. Her style is very down to earth and filled with both humor and compassion. Her overwhelming love for nature and the land and animals around her reveal a real commitment to making this world a better place. While this book had me laughing often, it also had me in tears as she faced the loss of beloved pets and the resulting emptiness that left her with.

I would highly recommend this book (and the entire series) to anyone who can appreciate the challenges of tackling a fixer-upper residence, learning new cultural ways, and who has a heart for nature and animals.

Nancy Gomoll

Fat dogs IV was well worth the wait!

I always look forward to the newest installment of the series and Part IV did not disappoint.
Beth’s humorous writing skills about her life in France with her partner Jack and all the animals makes for a real treat.
This time disaster strikes in the way of weather, new animals arrive and renovations abound.
The quirky and loveable French characters that enter Beth and Jack’s life make the read even more fun and adventurous.
My favorite parts are Beth describing Jack at his finest, either it be a conversation with her or one the workers they employ. Always good for laugh out load moments. Especially when Beth brings new animals into their lives.
If you haven’t read any of the Fat Dog adventures, you are truly missing out!

Laurie

Wonderful French Country Living

I continue to be intrigued by the adventures of Beth and Jack as they navigate their way through the French culture. Their willingness to renovate their new country home with a myriad of unique artisans is fascinating and entertaining. Looking forward to part 5 and whatever adventure comes their way.

Ed Grant

“No Rest For The Weary”, How True.

In this on-going fourth installment of the memoire, Beth and Jack are seriously tested by angry Mother Nature and the ubiquitous French bureaucracy while dividing their precious daylight hours between new challenges involving cats, rabbits, quail (quails?) and pheasants. Fortunately, a stream of skilled and sympathetic local tradesmen materialize to tackle the on-going task of renovating, revitalizing and refurbishing their French “estate”. One never knows when the language barrier might pop up, either when dealing with a gaggle of Polish lumberjacks or snooty furniture salesmen. Sadly, the faithful four-footed friend Sam crosses the Rainbow Bridge with help from Dr. Arnaud, adding a period of deep grief to the otherwise charmed life Beth and Jack enjoy. From start to finish, Beth presents an authentic account of everyday crises met with common sense and equanimity.

Jerry Kallman