The Digging-est Dog

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The Digging-Est Dog is a children's book authored by Al Perkins and illustrated by Eric Gurney. The book was first published on August 12, 1967 as part of the Dr. Seuss Beginner Books series.

Copyright 1967 By Random House, Inc A Beginner Book Published By Arrangement with Random House Inc, New York, New York First Published In Great Britain 1969 Printed in Great Britain Collins Clear-Type Press: London and Glasgow


A dog sits in a pet store, unpurchased, for a considerable period of time. One afternoon (precisely at 4:30 PM) a young man, Sammy Brown, sees the dog, purchases him, renames him "Duke", and takes him to his farmhouse outside of town.

The next day Sammy introduces Duke to some neighborhood dogs. The dogs begin to dig; however, Duke's long tenure on the "hard stone floor" of the pet store has eroded his skills. Unable to dig, the neighborhood dogs leave in disgust. Even Sammy's attempts to teach him to dig are unsuccessful. All night, Duke worries about his inability to dig and how he is unable to make Sammy happy.

The following day Duke makes one final attempt to dig; this time he is successful. However, Duke is now compelled to dig anything and everything in sight. In his compulsion he digs up the entire town, including "the garden of Mrs. Thwaites", a barbershop along with "Mister Rodney Thayer/sitting in the barber's chair", and "Highway 81". He is stopped at the top of a hill by a now-irate Sammy who has now decided to return Duke to the pet store. Surrounded by Sammy and the neighborhood dogs, Duke escapes by digging straight down, only to end up digging a well and now face drowning. Realizing that his anger frightened Duke, Sammy gets the other dogs (despite their reluctance) to form a "dog chain" to pull Duke out of the well.

Duke spends the rest of the day undoing the damage he caused, and at the end of the story is now on good terms with Sammy and the other dogs, learning to use his skills to plow a garden. [1]


  1. ^ Perkins, A (1967). The Digging-est Dog. Random House.