by Diana G. Gallagher
Illustrated by Adriana Isabel Juárez Puǵlisi
Picture Window Books 2014
Age 7 to 9 89 pages
“When Kyle and Mia come across a dog with no collar or tags, they’re not sure what to do. The dog seems to miss his owner, but no one has reported him missing. Kyle and Mia don’t know where to start. Will they ever track down the doggone dog’s real home?”
“As he did most afternoons after school, Kyle Blake headed to the neighborhood dog park with his best friend and next-door neighbor, Mia Perez, and Rex, his yellow Labrador retriever.”
While at the dog park, Kyle and Mia lost track of Kyle’s dog, Rex. Kyle turned his head too talk to Mia and POOF! Rex was gone. They jumped up to look for Rex and saw the golden retriever walking towards them followed by a small scruffy-looking dog. The little dog was not wearing a dog collar. The kids look through the park for someone missing their dog. They see a man sitting on a park bench reading the paper. He could easily lose his dog, so they asked him if the little dog was his. He said, “I don’t like dogs.” He does not like dogs, yet was sitting in the dog park reading his paper. Odd, but unimportant.
The little dog followed Rex around without fail. Mia, who named the little dog Scruffy, and Kyle took the dogs to his mother, a veterinarian. Dr. Blake told the kids to take the dog to the Humane Society, as this is where most people look and call when their dog goes missing. The kids wanted to find the owner themselves, having grown to like the little dog. Dr. Blake gave them until Monday—two days—to find Scruffy’s owner. In the meantime, Scruffy causes a few problems. One includes a garbage can and a clean kitchen floor. Another a nice shirt, a mouth full of sharp teeth, and too much down time. Kyle and Mia check “Lost Dog” section of the local paper, put up flyers around the neighborhood, and Dr. Blake calls the Humane Society. No one claims Scruffy. What will the kids do with mischievous little Scruffy?
The Doggone Dog, a ten-chapter early reader, is the latest edition of the Pet Friends Forever series. The story is one that happens a lot. Dogs go missing and need found. The kids did a great job looking for the owner and one of their posters pays off. An older man calls and identifies Scruffy, whose real name is . . . a spoiler, sorry.
I like that Kyle and Mia immediately have questions about the caller. “How come Scruffy ran away in the first place” Unhappy dogs can often find a way to leave home. “And why didn’t his owner put up flyers or an ad or call the Humane Society about him?” That is a good question. Those who love their pet will try to find it should it go missing. Kyle and Mia are concerned for Scruffy. Dr. Blake and the kids take Scruffy to his owner and the little dog runs as soon as the car door opens.
I like the story because Kyle and Mia are responsible for their own pets and take this role seriously. When they find a lost dog, their responsibility opens to include the lost dog. The Doggone Dog, in addition to a story young readers will enjoy, it shows kids how to help a lost pet. For his part, Scruffy shows what can happen when you leave a dog alone too long, especially if you do not know the dog well. Scruffy adds much humor to the story.
I liked The Doggone Dog because the characters are easy to like and root for their victory. Scruffy is animated and adorable. It easy to see why Scruffy going home would make Kyle and Mia a little sad and protective. But there is a twist, thanks to a school chum.
SPOILER Scruffy’s owner is older and arthritic. He finds it hard to play with . . . um, “Scruffy.” He thinks the little dog gets bored tied up to backyard post. He is afraid his dog will get bored and run again. Kyle and Mia talk about Scruffy at school, on Monday, and their friend makes a great suggestion. If Dr. Blake approves and Scruffy’s owner agrees, a wonderful plan will help the older man, the kids, and the little scruffy doggone dog. Young readers will enjoy this twist and may come up with it sooner than the characters.
Reluctant readers might also like The Doggone Dog. The story has ten short chapters, full-page illustrations, and easy words. The frequent dialogue helps the story move along faster. The illustrations are colorful and enhance the story. The Doggone Dog, and the other editions in the Pet Friends Forever series, will entertain young readers as they begin their reading life. The story also as makes a great bedtime story.
Learn more about The Doggone Dog and other Pet Friends Forever stories HERE.
Learn more about the illustrator, Adriana Isabel Juárez Puǵlisi
Picture Window Books is an imprint of Capstone Books. website
PET FRIEND FOREVER: THE DOGGONE DOG. Text copyright © 2014 by Diana G. Gallagher. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Adriana Isabel Juárez Puǵlisi. Reproduce by permission of the publisher, Capstone Books, North Mankato, MN.
Also in the PET FRIENDS FOREVER series.