A DOG'S WAY HOME by W. Bruce Cameron

A DOG'S WAY HOME

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In Cameron’s (Puppy Tales: A Dog’s Purpose Collection, 2016, etc.) sentimental tale, a stray puppy finds a loving home, loses it after running afoul of anti–pit-bull regulations, and then, after being sent into exile, makes a wilderness trek through the Rocky Mountains home to Denver.

Consider this a reimagining of the hit film Homeward Bound minus one dog, one cat, and one human narrator. Perhaps a mix of a shepherd, mastiff, and Staffordshire but with the appearance of a pit bull, Bella narrates her tale of living under a condemned house, moving into Lucas’ loving home, and then escaping from a temporary shelter into Colorado’s wilderness. Having postponed medical school, Lucas works at a Veterans Administration facility. That gives him time to care for his military veteran mother who's suffering from PTSD. Bella brings love to the pair, but a malevolent animal control officer classifies her as a pit bull and becomes intent on euthanizing her. Reluctantly, Lucas places Bella in a foster home in Durango. Bella escapes and heads for home, sometimes traveling with Big Kitten, an orphaned cougar cub. Then Bella is picked up by a married couple. Another escape, only to be taken in by a street-dwelling, war-traumatized veteran. Then Bella’s on the road again. The narrative makes allusions to VA failures, decries poaching of endangered species, recognizes the tragedy of homelessness, and casts an empathetic eye on gay marriage, all at a brisk pace and while maintaining G-rated blood-and-guts hunting scenes. The settings are mostly defined by weather, especially vivid as the homeless man and Bella shiver through a Gunnison, Colorado, winter. The anthropomorphization of Bella may please some readers; others not so much.

More Disney than drama.

Pub Date: May 9th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-7653-7465-3
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Forge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2017




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