I am really trying to NOT buy books right now (Note to Son #1: Your mother loves you and is trying to make sure there are adequate funds to keep you supplied with Inn-n-Out burgers for the year). Toward that end, I have been making weekly, or twice weekly trips to the library all summer. My first stop is always the "New Books" shelf. Yesterday I came across LITTLE DOG, LOST. And because it was a dog story, I had to check it out. And then I had to come right home and sit down and read it.
LITTLE DOG, LOST is a novel in verse. There is a boy, Mark, who is probably about ten. Mark lives with his mother, who is the postmaster and the mayor, in the small town of Erthly. And Mark really, really wants a dog.
Mark had wanted a dogAnd of course there is a dog in the story.
for as long as he could remember.
He had asked for a dog.
He had begged for a dog.
He had pleaded and prayed and whined for a dog.
Once he had even tried barking for a dog.
All to no avail.
His mother always said, "No!"
Little dog,There is also an old man, the caretaker of a giant mansion in the middle of town.
Little black dog with brown paws
and a brown mask
and a sweet ruffle of brown fur on her bum
just beneath her black whip of a tail.
Ears like airplane wings
just at the tips.
She used to be called Buddy
until no one called her anything at all.
…Charles Larue?Mark finally decides that if he can't have a dog, he will campaign for a dog park for his town, so that he will at least have a place to play with other people's dogs. And it's at that point that the lives of Mark, Buddy, and Mr. Larue intersect.
knew a single thing
They didn't know
what he might long for
and peanut butter
and baked beans
and a large Milky Way candy bar.
They didn't know
that he had served his lady
with quiet joy
for nearly fifty years.
And they certainly ddin't know
that he had once been in love
with the redheaded waitress
in the Erthly Café
who'd served him coffee and pie
on his afternoon off.
So much longing.LITTLE DOG, LOST is probably a little bit predictable, but it's a really sweet story. That I might use in a study of novels in verse. Or characters. That I would definitely hand to the dog lovers in my class. Or I might hand to one of my best intermediate grade readers because it's just a really nice, and pretty quick, read. Or to one of my most tentative readers because it's not too hard and there are illustrations to support the text.
So many lives filled with longing
It's what stories--
All our stories--
are made of.
And what is longing
And a warning: This book made me cry.