‘The Good Dog’


Ever wondered what goes on in the mind of a dog?

The Good Dog by Avi is a book about the life of a dog, McKinley, who lives in a house with Jack, a young teenager, and his parents. McKinley is the lead dog of all the other dogs that live in his town.

At the beginning of the book, Duchess, a dog owned by the notoriously mean Mr. Pycraft, runs away. Redburn, a dignified, perfectly groomed setter is being used by humans to track down Duchess.

McKinley, who finds Duchess before Redburn and his human handlers do, learns that a female wolf, called Lupin, is trying to recruit dogs to join her wolf pack. Redburn then tracks down Duchess, McKinley, and Lupin, which results in a melee where Duchess is re-captured, Lupin is shot by Pycraft’s gun, and McKinley is captured and forced into Mr. Pycraft’s tiny doghouse.

McKinley’s friend, a golden retriever named Aspen, finds McKinley trapped in the doghouse and gets Jack to help free McKinley from the doghouse.

A few days later, McKinley tracks Lupin down and finds that she is very seriously injured by the shot. McKinley then steals meat from his owners in order to help Lupin survive. Lupin eventually regains her health and retreats to the wilderness with Duchess, who escapes her owner again.

However, the next day Redburn confronts the entire dog clan, stating how he should be the lead dog because McKinley was aiding a dangerous, vicious wolf.

Will McKinley lose his position to the dogcatcher, traitor Redburn?

One must read The Good Dog by Avi in order to find out.

Personally, I enjoyed this book a lot. I have always wondered what my pets think, or what they do when I’m not watching them. This book satisfied my curiosity, and gave an emotional release from all the worries high school students have.

This book was easy-going, carefree, but instilled the moral that one must stand up for what is right, even if it means disobeying their rulers.

Obviously, students who don’t have pets will not enjoy this book. Also, students who are looking for an intellectual, analytical book will have to keep looking, as this book uses elementary school vocabulary and analysis at best.

The Good Dog by Avi is a 243 page read about the life of a good dog.

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