Harry the Dirty Dog
By Gene Zion. Illustrations by Margaret Bloy Graham

Originally posted on Storyline Online

Harry is a white dog with black spots who loves everything…except baths. So one day before bath time, Harry runs away.

Harry the Dirty Dog
Read by Betty White

Welcome to Storyline Online, brought to you by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation. I'm Betty White, and I think we're going to have a good time today! At least I know I am.

I'm going to be reading you a book. Okay? I love animals, all animals, but maybe dogs in particular. So, today, I'm going to be reading you a story about Harry the Dirty Dog. It's by Gene Zion, pictures by Margaret Bloy Graham.

Harry was a white dog with black spots who liked everything, except... getting a bath. So, one day, when he heard the water running in the tub, he took the scrubbing brush... and buried it in the backyard. Then he ran away from home.

He played where they were fixing the street and got very dirty. He played at the railroad and got even dirtier. He played tag with other dogs and became dirtier still. He slid down a coal chute and got the dirtiest of all. In fact, he changed from a white dog with black spots to a black dog with white spots.

Although there were many other things to do, Harry began to wonder if his family thought that he had really run away. He felt tired and hungry too, so without stopping on the way he ran back home.

When Harry got to his house, he crawled through the fence and sat looking at the back door. One of the family looked out and said, "There's a strange dog in the backyard... By the way, has anyone see Harry?"

When Harry heard this, he tried very hard to show them he was Harry. He started to do all his old, clever tricks. He flip-flopped and he flop-flipped. He rolled over and played dead. He danced and he sang. He did these tricks over and over again, but everyone shook their heads and said, "Oh no, it couldn't be Harry."

Harry gave up and walked slowly toward the gate, but suddenly he stopped. He ran to a corner of the garden and started to dig furiously. Soon he jumped away from the hole barking short, happy barks.

He'd found the scrubbing brush! And carrying it in his mouth, he ran into the house. Up the stairs he dashed, with the family following close behind. He jumped into the bathtub and set up begging, with the scrubbing brush in his mouth, a trick he certainly had never done before.

"This little doggy wants a bath!" cried the little girl, and her father said, "Why don't you and your brother give hime one?"

Harry's bath was the soapiest one he'd ever had. It worked like magic. As soon as the children started to scrub, they began shouting, "Mummy! Daddy! Look, look! Come quick! It's Harry! It's Harry!" They cried.

Harry wagged his tail and was very, very happy. His family combed and brushed him lovingly, and he became once again a white dog with black spots. It was wonderful to be home.

After dinner, Harry fell asleep in his favorite place, happily dreaming of how much fun it had been getting dirty.

He slept so soundly, he didn't even feel the scrubbing brush he'd hidden under his pillow.


Did you like that? Well, you're going to like this even better. This is my friend Ringo. I just met him, but he's a shelter puppy who found a wonderful forever home, so he has a happy ending just as Harry the Dirty Dog had a happy ending. Thank you.


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Lesson Plans and Teaching Resources


  • particular: used to emphasize that you are referring to one individual person, thing or type of thing and not others
  • scrubbing brush: a stiff brush for cleaning floors and other surfaces
  • bury: to hide something in the ground
  • backyard: the whole area behind and belonging to a house, including an area of grass and the garden
  • tag: a children’s game in which one child chases the others and tries to touch one of them
  • chute: a tube or passage down which people or things can slide
  • spot: a small round area that has a different colour or feels different from the surface it is on
  • crawl: to move forward on your hands and knees, with your body close to the ground
  • clever: quick at learning and understanding things
  • trick: a clever action that somebody/something performs as a way of entertaining people
  • roll over: to change the position of your body when you are lying down
  • play dead: to pretend that you are dead
  • shake: to move back and forth or up and down with quick motions
  • give up: to stop trying to do something
  • gate: a barrier like a door that is used to close an opening in a fence or a wall outside a building
  • furiously: in an extremely angry way.
  • beg: dog sits on its back legs with its front legs in the air, waiting to be given something
  • magic: the secret power of appearing to make impossible things happen
  • soundly: sleep very well and very deeply
  • hidden: object or place is not easy to find
  • shelter: a building that provides a place to stay for animals who have been badly treated

  • particular: тодорхой
  • scrub brush: бутлаг сойз
  • buried: оршуулсан
  • backyard: арын хашаа
  • tag: шошго тоглоом
  • chute:
  • spot: спот
  • crawled: мөлхөж байсан
  • clever: ухаантай
  • trick: трик
  • rolled over: цувруулсан
  • played dead: үхсэн
  • shook: сэгсрэв
  • gave up: бууж өгсөн
  • gate: хаалга
  • furiously: аймшигтай
  • begging: гуйлга гуйх
  • magic: ид шид
  • soundly: дуу чимээтэй
  • hidden: далд байна
  • shelter: хамгаалах байр

Source: Translate.Google.com

  • particular: конкретный
  • scrub brush: щетка
  • buried: похороненный
  • backyard: задний двор
  • tag: игра с тегами
  • chute: скат
  • spot: место
  • crawled: подполз
  • clever: умная
  • trick: трюк
  • rolled over: перевернулся
  • played dead: играл мертвым
  • shook: встряхнул
  • gave up: сдаться
  • gate: Ворота
  • furiously: бешено
  • begging: нищенство
  • magic: магия
  • soundly: обоснованно
  • hidden: скрытый
  • shelter: укрытие

Source: Translate.Google.com

  • particular: нақты айтқанда
  • scrub brush: скраб щеткасы
  • buried: жерленген
  • backyard: аула
  • tag: ойын ойыны
  • chute: шұңқыр
  • spot: орын
  • crawled: тексерілді
  • clever: ақылды
  • trick: қиянат
  • rolled over: айналды
  • played dead: өлді
  • shook: сілкінді
  • gave up: бас тартты
  • gate: Қақпа
  • furiously: қызықтырды
  • begging: тілегі
  • magic: магия
  • soundly: мықты
  • hidden: жасырын
  • shelter: баспана

Source: Translate.Google.com

  • particular: โดยเฉพาะ
  • scrubbing brush: แปรงขัดถู
  • buried: ฝังอยู่
  • backyard: สนามหลังบ้าน
  • tag: เกมแท็ก
  • chute: ราง
  • spot: จุด
  • crawled: การรวบรวมข้อมูล
  • clever: ฉลาด
  • trick: เคล็ดลับ
  • rolled over: รีดขึ้น
  • played dead: เล่นตาย
  • shook: ส่าย
  • gave up: ยอมแพ้
  • gate: ประตู
  • furiously: คึก
  • begging: การขอทาน
  • magic: มายากล
  • soundly: อุตุ
  • hidden: ซ่อนเร้น
  • shelter: ที่พักอาศัย

Source: Translate.Google.com