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Old 02-23-2008, 12:03 AM   #1

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I love this book! A Dog's Life by Ann. M. Martain, is truly a worth-reading book.

A Dog's Life is an autobigrapghy of a stray named Squirrel.

Summary:A Dog's Life begins with a dog mother who gives birth to five puppies. The only two in her litter that survive are Squirrel & Bone. Their mother teaches them all she knows about living as a stray. One day, she leaves Bone and Squirrel to fend for themselves. The two puppies stay at their location for a while - the Merrion estate - and befriend one of the Merrion children, Matthias. Bone soon becomes restless, and leaves. Squirrel follows and leaves the only home she's ever known.

Bone and Squirrel travel through the surrounding woods for some time, until they reach a highway. They are drawn to the other side of it by the scent of chicken, and make a dash across, only to be nearly hit by oncoming cars. All the cars stop, and a couple from one of the cars gets out and takes Bone and Squirrel home with them.

Being inexperienced owners, the couple - George and Marcy - have absolutely no idea about taking care of strays, and puppies at that. They are extremely cruel, and can only keep Squirrel and her brother for a day. The day after the puppies arrive, the out, and Squirrel breaks her front shoulder. The two puppies wait for a time, until two women exit the shopping mall and see the two puppies. One woman takes Bone, saying that she's "always wanted a puppy." The other woman asks what they are to do with Squirrel, but the woman who took Bone says that Squirrel is an ugly dog, and that someone will come and find her eventually. Once the two women walk away with Bone, Squirrel begins to howl with grief. She waits for Bone to come back, but she never sees him again.

After a day of sleeping at the shopping mall, Squirrel finally decides that it's time to move on. She finds a garbage dump outside of the mall, but is driven away from it when she hears a growl. She makes her way to road outside of the mall, and crosses it to reach the forest on the other side. While traveling through the forest, Squirrel finds a neighborhood on the other side. She eats the garbage from the houses for most of the winter and part of the spring, until she meets another dog named Moon. The two dogs become inseparable.

Moon and Squirrel travel from town to town and highway to highway for around two years. Moon and Squirrel find a resting stop along the highway, and start to eat the remains of someone's sack-lunch. They are attacked by a pack of starving strays, and both dogs receive a few injuries in the process. They retreat from the resting stop and into the surrounding woods. Moon and Squirrel heal from their injuries, and attempt to cross the highway several days later.

When crossing the highway, Moon spots a log with two unsuspecting chipmunks eating nuts on the other side, so both Moon and Squirrel bolt across. They do not see the truck speeding down the road, and the two puppies get hit. The family in the truck take Moon and Squirrel to the vet, where Moon is pronounced dead. The vet states that Moon died instantly, and that Squirrel was in little harm. The vet fixes Squirrel's injuries, and the family that hit her decides to adopt her. They take her home, but slowly forget about her. When they leave after the summer to go back to the city, they forget they had Squirrel and left her there. After waiting a few days, she decides to move on.

When Squirrel is an old dog, around 9 or 10, she is wandering down and old country road. One of her eyes is dilated, she is starving, and she appears to be suffering from arthritis. She comes across the house of an old lady named Susan McGrath. Susan notices Squirrel, and eventually coaxes the dog to come inside her house over the period of two days. Susan keeps Squirrel overnight and calls the vet for an appointment the next morning. Over that time, Susan and Squirrel become companions. Susan eventually takes in Squirrel as her own, and names Squirrel 'Addie.' The story ends with Susan 'adopting' Addie and keeping her for the rest of her happy life, and right now she thinks it's the happiest she has ever been since mother had left.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:39 PM   #2
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Location: North Ga
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I own that book. It is good, but also sad. I have always had a soft spot for stray dogs ( and they know it ), so that is what caused me to buy the book. I think all dog owners should read it.
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