Summary: Secondhand Dogs
Miss Lottie owns several “secondhand dogs” — dogs to whom she’s given a second chance. There’s Gus, the scraggly insecure pack leader, Tank the protective bulldog, nervous three-legged hunting dog, Roo, and the youngest pack member, Moonpie. She also has a cat named Ghost. When Miss Lottie brings home a new dog who wants to become the center of attention — and the only dog at home for that matter — the peace at home is threatened.
The story is told from each of the dog’s perspectives — in the before (Miss Lottie) and after — as well as Miss Lottie’s and Quinn’s (the tween who cares for the dogs), also in the before and after.
This was so well written and rode the line between serious and comical. The new dog Decker is almost sinister in his desire to change the way things are done in Miss Lottie’s home. He obviously wants to divert her favor and become her only dog, even if it means hurting one of the other dogs. It is heartwarming to see the other dogs stand up for each other throughout the story.
I liked the multiple POVs and also the way the author highlights each character’s past hurts and how it affects their present choices. With Quinn — and even with the dogs, actually — we see a bit of bullying and a desire to belong and find a sense of home.
The best part of this story, for me, though? Hearing the “thoughts” of the animals. I always wonder what animals are thinking and while this is obviously not necessarily real, I still found it very enjoyable. Thankfully, there are no animal deaths in this one (spoiler!), but there are several anxiety-inducing and tear-jerker moments (at least for me).
Overall: Secondhand Dogs
Secondhand Dogs is a sweet, heartwarming story about second chances and finding and protecting your pack — whether human and animal. Addressing serious issues like bullying and hurt cycles, this book is often poignant in its insights. If you love dog stories and stories full of heart that might make you shed a tear, this is one to read.