The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances by Ellen Cooney
Alaska, snowy mountains, wooden lodges and inns, second chances, sanctuaries, rescues, one 24-year-old short-haired girl, one boy who seems like a hobbit, a strict but soft innkeeper, and dogs.
If someone were to ask me the places I have traveled to, I would answer, “Including the ones in books?”
In this case, I have been to a Sanctuary for rescued abused dogs in Alaska. I have met Evie, Ellen Cooney’s protagonist; Giant George, the friendly and warm staffer from the Sanctuary; and Mrs. Auberchon, the keeper at the inn at the bottom of the mountain where the Sanctuary was located. I have met and played with the many dogs in the story too, dogs which Cooney so brilliantly weaved personalities to of their own.
I just finished reading this book at dusk today. It’s sad that I’ll be saying goodbye to the characters so soon. I will miss Shadow, Josie, Hank, Boomer, Alfie, Dapple, Dora, Tasha, and all the dogs in the story. It feels like I’ve been with them too, thanks to Cooney’s writing and deep take on giving life to these characters. She described a dog’s fur, unique spots and their placements, their temperaments, and breeds… I knew more breeds too from reading this book.
There’s one dog named Boomer who is like a butler in the Sanctuary. He’s an old Golden Retriever, and he mostly reminded me of our Twixie… She passed away last May. And I can still remember her little qualities that make her ‘her.’
I love her descriptions about the Sanctuary as well, because I can imagine so clearly the place that has served as the refuge for both humans and dogs.
This story started out when Evie found a job employment advertisement from a website which just said:
“Would you like to become a dog ?”