24 August 2017

by Janice Howden
Reviewed by Michelle Shaw
$13.95 ISBN 978192757031-9

Rescued is a deceptively simple book that works on many levels. On the surface, it’s a story about Hawkeye and his brother Freddie, two abandoned Tibetan Terriers, and their search to find a “Forever Home”. Underlying the story is the true account of author Janice Howden’s adoption of her rescue dog Rahj from the Saskatoon SPCA.

Janice has been a long-time supporter of the Saskatchewan SPCA. For many years her husband Lloyd worked as an animal protection officer for the organization and she’s heard lots of stories over the years, both good and bad. So when she decided to adopt a dog it wasn’t a spur of the moment decision. She first drew up a checklist to make sure she chose a dog that would suit their family. For one thing, she knew she wanted a dog that didn’t require long runs at dawn. “Not my lifestyle,” she says firmly. “I wanted a smaller dog, one with whom I could enjoy cuddles on the sofa while I watched TV or read.”

After months of checking the SPCA website, Janice found two Tibetan Terriers who were about six months old and were up for adoption. Janice was told that they were probably brothers and had been caught as strays in the city park. She ended up taking one of the puppies. “I fell in love with this bundle of energy as soon as I saw him”. The other puppy was adopted shortly afterwards.

The narrative of the book is told from two perspectives. Most of the story is told from the perspective of Hawkeye, one of the puppies who, together with his brother Freddie, is part of “a place where dogs are bred and sold for profit in what is commonly referred to as a puppy mill”. They are abandoned and forced to live on the streets before finally being rescued by the SPCA. Hawkeye’s story is told very simply and, in many ways, it’s up to the reader to read between the lines as to his difficult experiences. Janice’s perspective is interspersed with Hawkeye’s and it’s amusing to see their differing perspectives of the same event.

Rescued recently received a Five-Star rating in the Readers’ Favorite Book Review and Awards Contest. It also received an Honourable Mention in the Animal/Pets category of the 2017 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards which recognizes excellence in children’s literature.

A donation from the sale of the books will be made to animal welfare organizations.


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