Animals can be as difficult to place as children. In his book Going Home, Cliff McNish introduces us to a group of hard-to-rehome dogs, some of which have spent years at the Happy Paws Rescue Centre.
As I keep saying, I’m not a pet sort of witch, but these dogs are lovely. They have intelligent conversations with each other and the main character Ralph, has some very mature thoughts on all kinds of things to offer. (For a dog. Actually, not only for a dog.) I didn’t know dogs could be like this, but there is no reason why not.
We learn why Ralph and his best friends Bessie, Mitch, Fred and Thor are at the centre, and why people consider them No-Hopers. Not the staff in their kennel, however. They are fiercely loyal and loving towards these dogs. Even the resident cat is actually not too bad once you get to know her.
People are all different, and so are dogs. They each need someone who is just right, and there has to be someone out there for all five dogs. Surely?
It’s heart-breaking the way the dogs try their best whenever people come to look at them. But their labels are there for a reason. Not all dogs are good in the same way.
This is such a lovely story, and there is scope for much sniffling along the way, and mega tears at the end. But I just knew it had to be all right, somehow. Like Vicky, who is in charge of kennel five, I wanted to take them all home with me. I mean, these dogs can even read. What’s not to love?