Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Mountain Dog

When Tony's mother goes to prison for breeding and fighting pit bulls, he has nowhere to go.  Even though life with his mother was violent and scary, it was the only life he knew.

It's a surprise when his social worker tells him she's found a relative to be his foster parent, a great-uncle.  Tio lives in Sierra Nevada mountains and works as a ranger and rescuer with his dog Gabe.  Life with Tio and Gabe in the mountains couldn't be more different than life in inner city LA, but it doesn't take long before the knots in Tony's heart begin to loosen.

He loves the mountains, and he especially loves Gabe.  The chocolate lab is different from the angry and abused pit bulls Tony has always known, and Gabe seems to know how to heal Tony's broken spirit.

The best part of Tony's new life is learning how to help train rescue dogs and survive in the wilderness.  Tony loves being part of a team that can save people from almost certain death.

Life in the mountains may be the best thing that ever happened to Tony, but he still has the lingering fear that all this is temporary.  Tio's cabin is only his foster home.

I loved Margarita Engle's story of heartbreak and healing.  The verse novel is told in alternating chapters from Tony's and Gabe's points of view and is a story any animal lover will instinctively understand.  We may rescue our pets from shelters and bad environments, but in the end they are the ones who rescue us.  Highly recommended!

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