Saturday, April 07, 2007
A Dog for Life
Matthews, L.S. 2006. A Dog For Life.
As I mentioned in my review of Grace Lin’s The Year of the Dog, I typically stay as far away as possible from dog books. Particularly books with dogs on the cover. I figure that 90% of those books lead to one thing: the tragic death of a dog. But I was brave. Well, half-brave, the reviews I’d read hadn’t mentioned any tragedy that was dog-related, and it had appeared on several recommended lists, so I chanced it.
Set in England, A Dog For Life is the story of a boy, John Hawkins, and his dog who set out on an adventure together. Since his brother was diagnosed with a serious medical condition, a condition that sometimes proves terminal, the mom had announced that their pet dog, Mouse, must be given away or taken to the shelter or pound. Regardless, she was not to stay there. The boys are naturally upset. But what upsets them most is that Mouse is no usual dog. And their relationship to the dog is most unusual. You see, they are able to telepathically communicate with each other. The bond between these three is not meant to be broken. And if it’s up to John, it won’t be. His plan A: to run away from home with the dog and go to his uncle’s house. The problem, he only has enough money to get their halfway by train. But he’s determined not to let Mouse or his brother, Tom, down. The trip is full of excitement, adventure, and slight traces of danger as a boy and his dog set off on an unforgettable journey.