Sashi, the formerly shy sheltie, returns in this third illustrated adventure, tackling the issue of puppy mills.
In Greiner (Sashi Adopts a Brother, 2015) and Spicer’s latest installment, Sashi is one of two dogs living permanently with a family—a mother and daughter—that fosters Shetland sheepdogs until they finally can be adopted. Sashi welcomes the arrival of new dogs, but when Cinnamon appears, she knows this canine is different. Burdened by a dirty and unkempt coat, the poor dog exhibits fright and suspicion. As Sashi’s humans explain, Cinnamon came from a puppy mill, where she was never given enough food and water and never showered with affection. Cinnamon lived in a cage, making puppies rather than serving as a beloved pet. Her new caretakers are determined to help Cinnamon heal, and Sashi likes the small dog right away. Sashi’s brother Buddy also forges a friendship with Cinnamon quickly, and the two dogs teach their new pal how to behave in a family, while the humans offer her treats, care, and comfort. Cinnamon learns to love cavorting outdoors—something she’s never experienced before—and after some time in her new home, she starts to play with Sashi and Buddy. The two family shelties show Cinnamon how to receive goodies from their humans, and she learns that the caretakers will give her delicious food as well as attention (including petting). The humans and family shelties help train Cinnamon until another clan with dogs comes to visit. After several meetings, the new family welcomes Cinnamon into its home, where she can be loved forever. Though the idea of puppy mills can be a scary, threatening concept for young readers, Greiner and Spicer present that dark place with just the right amount of tension, not dwelling on it but not shying away from the reasons Cinnamon has trouble trusting people. As usual, Spicer captures the personality of the dogs in her charming illustrations beautifully, and readers are likely to fall in love with the dogs as much as the human characters do. Greiner’s notes about choosing the right kind of dog for a household are important for parents discussing pets with children.
A sweet tale in Sashi’s series that should appeal to dog lovers.