A family inherits a dog and gets more than it bargained for.
Upon receiving word of her uncle’s death, Hannah Jenkins also learns that, as his only living relative, she has inherited his modest belongings, including his dog. Since her family is in a difficult financial situation caused by the closing of the local shipyard, she thinks a pet might be a welcome distraction for the three children. Indeed, upon his arrival in Florida, Bodo captivates the whole family, serving not only as a playful friend for the children, but also as a connection to Hannah’s German heritage. The family soon discovers that Bodo is no ordinary dog, but the last product of the lifetime her uncle devoted to the breeding and training of champion German boxers. Recognizing the dog’s abilities, Hannah’s husband, Rodger, and her son, AJ, begin taking training classes with Bodo in the German sport of Schutzhund, a series of rigorous trials that test a dog’s tracking and protection skills. After Bodo finds a lost bracelet, AJ gets the idea to help his family overcome their financial woes by teaching Bodo how to find gold on the beach. The two spend the summer combing the local beaches and finding lost jewelry, until their prospecting leads them into a run-in with the town bully that lands AJ in trouble and Bodo in jail. But readers need not fear an Old Yeller ending to this tale. Though most of the plot twists are formulaic, the authors’ passion for the subject matter infuses the tale with genuine sweetness.
A heartwarming family story appropriate for readers of all ages, especially dog-lovers.