I’m never going to be, either. I do make friends with dogs on an individual basis, mind you–there was Napoleon, a Somoan husky, and Murphy the mutt, and, well, that might be it. I know that dogs have many fine qualities, but I lost 3 or 4 pet cats to the neighborhood dogs’ hunting pack as a child, and I’ve never quite gotten over that. (Most of the time cats can just climb a tree, but not when they’re leading their pursuers away from their hidden kittens.) I was married before the sound of dogs barking at night stopped making me feel sick to my stomach, and I still hate the sound. And yes, I know that not all dogs are killers, but I rather vividly remember my dad shooting one of the pack out of my bedroom window in the middle of the night–although by then it was too late to save the cat.
I really don’t like dogs.
That said, I checked Mountain Dog out of the library because it was by Margarita Engle, whom I love, and I did quite enjoy it. Tony’s SAR dog friend–that’s Search And Rescue–won me over, as did Tony himself, with his incarcerated mother and his “old” great-uncle-foster-father (“nearly fifty!”). I learned some interesting things while rooting for Tony to find a family and a new life. I did find it fascinating, however, to see how different this book felt from her others (most–if not all–of which I’ve read.) They’re all verse novels, but this one’s narrator was an 11-12-year-old boy born in America, and the style reflected that very successfully. I possibly prefer her others, but that’s a personal thing. The fact that I liked such a dog person’s book as much as I did means she did an excellent job with this one.