Buddy's Tail by K. Anne Russell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received from author to review
Age Recommendation: Middle Grade
Description from Goodreads: Buddy Boutonniere, a big-hearted Standard Poodle, subsists in the bare backyard of a tract home in the desert city of Yucca Dunes. MacKenzie, a Border Collie, and Javier, a Chihuahua, provide Buddy with scraps when his neglectful owners forget. When Buddy's owners decide to move, Buddy meets a wonderful lady who visits his house with prospective buyers. The poodle's humans try to sell him and Buddy goes through a series of unsuitable situations. The final family returns Buddy not realizing his owners are out of town. His only lifeline, MacKenzie, is killed by an evil Hummer driver. Javier tries to support Buddy with the aid of Dumb Derek, a brain-damaged Rottweiler. The two are unable to help. Buddy dies, but is brought back to life by Sonny, the Good Shepherd. Sonny grants Buddy's wish to live with the lady, in return for his promise to go with Sonny when he comes back for him. Buddy has a happy life with the lady and her dog, Skootch. Together they rescue abandoned Leroy and abused Roxanne. Years later, during Skootch's fifteenth birthday party, Sonny comes for Buddy. Sonny takes Buddy to Haven, canine paradise, where he is reunited with MacKenzie. Sonny explains the rules; dogs acquire free will and give up caring for humans. Their only responsibility is to help guide other dogs to Haven. Buddy excels at guiding, but on a mission to bring back a bomb dog from Afghanistan, Buddy helps a human, the dog's Marine partner. The residents of Haven are furious and Buddy is exiled to the perimeter of paradise. There he meets a girl who has died of cancer and befriends her, another infraction. He is dragged before the communal tribunal, where MacKenzie defends him. With the help of the marine and the girl, she convinces the judges that Buddy is not an offender, but a hero.
My thoughts: Buddy is a standard poodle. He grew to be bigger than his owners thought, he is neglected and unloved. He has several dog friends who pull him through the hard times. They bring him food when his owners leave him without food for several days and they cheer up his day.
Buddy's Tail is not a completely sad tale of an abused and neglected dog. There is a ray of sunshine for him. As he is given a second chance, he begins to pay it forward and help out other dogs in need.
A good portion of this book takes place in "Haven". Haven is the place where dogs go after fulfilling their mission on earth to help humans. It is in Haven that Buddy's friend. MacKenzie, watches over him and gives him as much help as she can.
I was describing the story to my children at the dinner table today and they are very interested to see what happens with Buddy and possibly read it themselves. While some of the subject manner is sad, I think that it was handled well. I have no objection to letting my kids read it.
Honestly, my dog had been outside for two hours and I felt guilty and brought him in to give him some love and attention. This book will definitely tug at your heart strings and give you a moment to consider how you are treating your animal friends.
This book is currently being offered in a giveaway at goodreads. Five copies are being offered and it closes on September 30th. Click on the title at the beginning of the post to be taken to the page.
I received a copy of the book to review through Bostick Communications. I am not paid to review it. I have honestly expressed my thoughts of this book.