Though Mom is afraid of dogs, she has finally agreed that Abby, Sam, and Dad may have one--as long as they don't leave her alone with it. Since it's summer, the kids don't expect problems till school opens; they're hardly daunted when it turns out that Benson (a Scottie) is not welcome at the pool, the library, or the movie theater. Before things get really difficult, however, Mom--as expected--does make friends with Benson, rather dramatically: he scares off a huge dog that comes bounding toward her during a family picnic. Porte (Harry's Dog) again tells a comfortable story with good realistic detail, wit, and a discerning ear. McCully sets it in an attractive interracial neighborhood where kids are free to walk past stores to the library or park. Just right for brand-new easy-reader graduates.