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A Dog's Life: The Autobiography of a Stray

Review

A Dog's Life: The Autobiography of a Stray

Squirrel, the puppy, is born in an old shed. She doesn't have any humans to take care of her, but her mother loves her very much, feeds her and keeps her warm. Squirrel spends her first summer playing with her brother, Bone, learning to hunt, getting to know her neighbors (like the orange barn cat), and snoozing in the sun. She also learns that humans are only good for one thing --- their garbage. Squirrel finds some yummy things to eat in what humans throw out.

One day, Squirrel's mother doesn't return to the shed. Bone and Squirrel wait for her, but she is gone. Though they miss her dreadfully, Bone decides to do some exploring and Squirrel tags along. They attempt to cross a busy highway and narrowly miss getting hit. Two people stop and pick up the puppies, but their help is short-lived. After only one night of accidents, howling and trash diving, the puppies get tossed out in a mall parking lot. A shopper decides to take Bone home, but leaves Squirrel, who is now alone.

Squirrel learns to survive. She must discover food to fill her empty belly and find shelter from the drenching rain and frigid cold. She continually must be on watch for the starving dog packs and other aggressive animals, and is always wary of people and their cars. Every now and then, she finds a kind human --- like the boy who feeds her chicken, the women who leave out plates of food in the parking lot, and the gentle vet who sets her broken leg. But will Squirrel ever find a human to love, one who needs Squirrel just as much as Squirrel needs her and is willing to give Squirrel a good home?

Prepare to shed some tears as you read Squirrel's story. This heart-touching tale really brings to light the serious problem of homeless animals. By giving readers a firsthand look through a stray's eyes and heart, A DOG'S LIFE will inspire all to work together to eliminate this desperately tragic way of life that so many animals must suffer. Ann M. Martin herself volunteers for an animal rescue, and she has successfully brought her true-life observations onto the pages of this amazing book. A must-read for everyone!

Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on October 1, 2005

A Dog's Life: The Autobiography of a Stray
by Ann M. Martin

  • Publication Date: October 1, 2005
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
  • ISBN-10: 0439715598
  • ISBN-13: 9780439715591