Friday, October 28, 2005

A Dog's Life: the Autobiography of a Stray

Ann M. Martin is the author of this short novel.

Squirrel and her brother Bone begin their lives in a garden shed behind a summer house. They live in an old wheel barrow feeling safe and content as their mother teaches them how to survive as stray dogs. They become aware of the other inhabitants of the shed, cats, birds, and mice. They are learning to hunt but are not really ready for the day when Mother is suddenly taken from them. She doesn't return from searching for food and leaves the puppies orphans, not quite old enough to be ready to take care of themselves. These puppies find out that the world is a cold, cruel place and that people can be mean and brutal as well as kind and caring. Squirrel and Bone become separated. The reader follows Squirrel on her trek -- her name is changed several times. She meets two wonderful friends who change her, Moon and Rachel. Moon, another stray, teaches her never to give up and to look forward to the days when things will get better.

There were parts of this book that brought me to tears and parts that made me feel joy and happiness for Squirrel.

You can read an excerpt.

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