Lyon (A Day at Damp Camp, 1996, etc.) piles detail upon detail about friendship, first between the first-person narrator, a girl, and Ada, ""a black mop-without-a-handle"" dog; then between Ada and Troublesome, a big, yellow ""knock-the-mail-carrier-down"" dog; and finally between Ada and Pal, the ""golden pup"" from the shelter. The upshot is that ""a dog's best friend is a dog."" Much is sensitively said about intraspecies relationships, but it is the caring narrator who knows the cure for Ada's mysterious sickness when Troublesome dies. In her first picture book, Casparian's soft-edged, lifelike illustrations make the most of the impressionistic narrative's approach, sometimes offering separate panels on a single page to represent a series of phrases, sometimes showing motion by using duplications of the dogs romping over a spread. It's a lively approach, but occasionally disrupts the smooth flow of text and draws attention to its own adult sophistication. Young readers who have loved and lost dogs may be more interested in the original thought, particularly in early readings.