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Humans can learn lesson from the book ‘A Dog’s Way Home’

February 8, 2018 GMT

Although Bruce Cameron has written several books about dogs, “A Dog’s Way Home” is the first one I have read. If you are a dog lover or just like a good story, this book is a must read. Cameron has written “The Dog Master,” “A Dog’s Purpose” and “A Dog’s Journey” among others. “A Dog’s Purpose” has been made into a major motion picture.

“A Dog’s Way Home” is a classic story of incredible devotion and a riveting journey of the heart. Lucas Ray lives with his mother, a disabled veteran, in a subsidized apartment. He feeds the feral cats that live in an abandoned building close to their apartment. When the developer gets rid of the cats, the mother dog, Bella, and her puppies, survive and find their way to Lucas. Bella is drawn to Lucas, and he becomes her human. Lucas works at the VA Hospital, and, although dogs are not allowed in, Lucas takes Bella and she finds her niche as a therapy dog. The veterans love her, and she understands and responds to them as well. When Lucas’s mother has a seizure, Bella knows and tries to warn her human that something is wrong.

Unfortunately in the city where they live, some of the dog wardens are not very dog friendly, and one of them takes a dislike to Bella. He labels her as a pit bull, and that breed is not allowed in the city. Lucas trains Bella to “Go Home” on command, and she follows his instructions well. However, the dog warden takes Bella to the pound, and, although Lucas is successful in getting her released, the dog warden picks her up again the very next day.

Lucas rescues her and she is sent to a foster family until other arrangements can be made. All this takes time, and to Bella it is an eternity. She escapes the foster home and starts her 400 mile journey to “Go Home.” On her journey she makes friends with a homeless veteran and a wild cougar among others.

I found this book very entertaining, and it made me wish that I owned a dog. It also reminded me of and made me appreciate the therapy dogs that come to the library for Read to A Dog program. Bella’s journey to “Go Home” takes her about two years, but she never wavers in her intent no matter how difficult the circumstances. A good lesson for us humans.

Judy K. Rule is director of the Cabell County Public Library.