Friday, May 14, 2010

Warning: Audio Book Ahead!

A Dog on His Own, by Mary Jane Auch--I downloaded this book from the library's website ( It's not very long, and I listened to it over the course of three hours in the car today. The narrator is lively without being annoying, and it was a very pleasant accompaniment to my errands.

K-10 (so named by his mother, who believed he was "a step above other dogs") is a stray who likes to think he enjoys being on his own. His life experiences have led him to believe that humans cannot be trusted, they will always leave you in one way or another. The action kicks off as he is being brought to yet another shelter from which he hopes to either escape or be adopted so he can then escape from the new family. As he waits to be noticed by adoptive families, he coaches another dog on how to get attention, and that dog is placed. K-10 finds that for the first time in his life, he is spending a second night in a shelter. The next day, he meets Pearl and Peppy. The new friends plot their escape.

Once out in the open, K-10 slowly comes to realize that he has never been entirely on his own for any real length of time, and he is unsure how to proceed. Through the help of Pearl and even tiny Peppy, he figures out his place in the world.

The story is very engaging, but do be prepared for a certain amount of gore. There are descriptions of roadkill and a pair of dog bullies take down a rabbit and eat it. Otherwise, it is appropriate (and even of interest) to elementary and younger middle-school students.

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