Sometimes life is hard. Bad things happen to good people. People they love hurt them. This story is about a puppy who is born to a wonderful mother dog. He has puppy brothers and sisters and he hears all about how he will one day be adopted by the boy or girl who is out there waiting to be the perfect person for him to belong to.
Back then his name was just Dog. He had a mean puppy brother named Biter who liked to bite his brothers and sisters and even some of the people who came to see the puppies. Dog figured out how to protect himself from his brother. Then the day came when Dog was chosen by a family. They took him home to be a Christmas gift for their little boy. Dog was looking forward to the great times ahead with his boy.
But his boy was not a nice boy. His boy expected Dog to sit on command even though he had never taught Dog what "sit" meant. His boy held Dog by his tail and twirled him around. It made Dog very dizzy and it hurt. Eventually the boy's father drove Dog away from the house and abandoned him.
That's when Dog lost his bark. That's when Dog stopped trusting people. That's when Dog stopped expecting the perfect person to show up to claim him.
This book is a brilliant story for any child who has suffered through trauma, child abuse, violence. This book could be amazingly therapeutic for any human being who has given up trusting.
Dog ends up in an animal shelter waiting to be adopted again. The man who runs the shelter, Zane, does not encourage anyone to adopt Dog because he tells them Dog needs time to learn to trust. But one boy sees Dog and knows that is the one he wants to take home. Zane gives the boy a list of things to do to help Dog heal. He has to say Dog's name 100 times a day.
The beginning chapters of this book are about darkness and cruelty. They could be a tough read especially for a sensitive child. But if you have a child who has experienced cruelty and is on the path to healing, the story of Dog could be a way for that child to see that trust is real and that a creature, human or canine, who has been deeply, can learn to trust again. That's a gift from Eoin Colfer and P.J. Lynch.
Keywords: animal cruelty, animal abuse, animal rescue, healing, dog, trust, family, grandfather, divorce, feelings, emotions, emotional intelligence, communication, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old, 9 year old, music
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com
A warm, uplifting story about a boy, his dog, and the healing power of music marks a first-time collaboration between two former Irish Children's Laureates, Eoin Colfer and P.J. Lynch.
Patrick has been desperate for a dog of his own for as long as he can remember, and this summer, with his father away, he longs for a canine friend more than ever. Meanwhile, in his short doggy life, Oz has suffered at the hands of bad people. Somewhere out there, he believes, is an awesome boy - his boy. And maybe, when they find each other, Oz will learn to bark again. Illustrated in light charcoal by two-time Kate Greenaway Medalist P.J. Lynch, this heartwarming story by Eoin Colfer, internationally best-selling author of the Artemis Fowl series, is certain to enchant.---from the publisher
Editor's note: This story is painful to read.