I’m always incredibly weary of books involving dogs. It’s not that I don’t love dogs, but that I do. For the better part of my life I’ve had a dog, and I understand the deep sense of loss you feel when losing them.
Because of this, I’m always hesitant to read any story where one of the main characters is a canine. But this one is something else.
The Dog I Loved is told in alternating points of view from the two main characters – Rosie and Meghan. Rosie is a twenty-nine year old inmate at a correctional facility in Connecticut, serving twenty years for accidentally running over her fiancé. While serving her time, she becomes part of a program where inmates train puppies to be service dogs. Meghan is a wounded veteran and paraplegic who has recently returned to civilian life and is struggling to have independence. The two meet when Meghan applies for a dog from the program and is matched with Shark, Rosie’s first puppy. The two become unlikely friends. A few years later Rosie is unexpectedly released from prison, through the help of a mysterious foundation, and given a job rehabilitating a historic home in Dogtown, an abandoned village on the edge of Gloucester, MA.
I was immediately interested in this novel for a few reasons, probably the biggest one being the location in the second part of the story, Gloucester MA. I spent the better part of my summers throughout my childhood in Cape Ann and nostalgia got the better of me when I was looking for my next read.
That being said, this is a fantastic book. It is a beautiful tale of the power of dogs to make us feel less alone and help us in ways that humans cannot. But it also is a gorgeous tale of female friendship and kindness. It’s an incredibly emotional story from start to finish, and any who has ever loved a dog should read it!
Thank you to @netgalley and @stmartinspress for my review copy!