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Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts

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  • Posted February 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A more introspective and fully formed narrative than the average chick lit/pet story

    Ah, angst. When women are stressed out and dealing with emotional life changing events, they tend to worry themselves to no end. For a book with dogs in the title and two canines gracing the cover, this comes as a bit of a surprise to those expecting a warm and fuzzy read. With the introduction to an American audience of her UK release "Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts," author Lucy Dillon is hoping to connect with readers who fell in love with uber-successful, pet-themed novels like "Marley & Me" and "Dewey the Library Cat." However, what sets this story apart is not its four-legged characters, but rather the well-rounded, realistic depictions of three women facing the day-to-day struggles of ordinary life.

    Rachel, Zoe and Natalie are not superwomen, but neither are they one-dimensional puppets used to advance the plot. Their inner motivations and thought processes ring true. They say things they shouldn't and behave in ways that are inappropriate. But that's what makes them real. They have problems and issues that they are doing their best to deal with. What helps them through the hardships and frustrations are their dogs who remain steadfast amidst the psychological tumult.

    Rachel is the super chic, London career woman. At 39, she leaves her married lover and her prestigious job to run her deceased aunt's boarding kennel/dog rescue. She also inherits her Border Collie, Gem, who serves as a guide helping her negotiate the path from getting her hair cut in a posh salon to cleaning cages on her hands and knees. Add to the mix George, the town veterinarian, who the local women whisper looks just like Daniel Craig. Just when Rachel thinks she might be able to adjust to her new life in the country, an unexpected revelation and a visitor from her past threaten to disrupt her new-found serenity.

    Zoe is the newly divorced mom of two young boys. When her husband cheated on her and ran off with a younger woman, she was left holding the bag. Struggling to make ends meet on a hairdresser's salary and battling for alimony and child support, her ex selfishly dumps Toffee, a new Labrador puppy, in her lap in order to buy his sons' affections. At her wits end trying to keep things together, she turns to Rachel for help. They agree to a weekday doggy daycare arrangement with Zoe agreeing to walk the kennel dogs on Saturday mornings as a part of a volunteer group. Little does she realize that this set-up will lead her right into the arms of the handsome Dr. Bill. Finding herself more and more attracted to the charming physician, she must steel herself against his anti-children proclamation especially since she never worked up the courage to tell him that she's a mother.

    Natalie is on the fast track to promotion as a marketing executive when her company unexpectedly lays her off. With ample time on her hands, she decides along with her husband, Johnny that they can now focus on starting a family. However, their plans go awry when Natalie fails to conceive. As the stress starts to mount regarding infertility treatments and doctor visits, they decide to serve as foster parents to a Basset Hound named Bertie from Rachel's kennel. As they start to drift apart and blame each other for their conception troubles, Bertie becomes a vital link in helping them remember what's most important in life.

    Overall, this is a more introspective and fully formed narrative than the average chick lit/pet story.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2015

    FireIce's Journey Chapter 3

    Author' s Note~In the previous chapter, l put SnowStar as OakStar. The name is SnowStar. And enjoy! <p> Six moons had passed sonce that fateful day. Solarclan was thrinving during greenleaf. And it was time for three kits to become apprentices! Snowstar climbed up onto a large sturdy branch tat belonged to an oak tree, the Oak Branch. "All cats who are old enough to catch their own prey gther beneath the Oak Branch!" She yowled. Cats began to congergate below. "Today is an impprtant day for three younf kits." As she said this, FireKit, SpottedKit, and Blazekit squealed with excitement. "Yayayayayay!" FireKit mewed. "We're gonna be 'prenties!" BlazeKit said excitedly. "Finally!" "BlazeKit." SnowStar meowed. He stepped forwards. "Do you agree to uphold and follow the warrior code?" "I do!" "Then fron this day fowards, until you have earned your warrior name, you shall be known as BlazePaw. PetalShade will be your mentor. May she pass on her wisdom and skill." BlazePaw touched noses with PetalShade eagerly. "SpottedKit." She padded forwards nervously. "Do you agree to uphold and protect the warrior code?" "Y-yes." She replied. "Then you shall be known as SpottedPaw until you have earned your warrior name. FoxTail will be your mentor. May he pass on all that he has learned." A red tom stepped forwards and touched noses with SpottedPaw, his green eyes shining th pride. "FireKit." She stepped forwards. "Do you promise to uphold and follow the warrior cade?" "I do." "Then until you earm your warrior name, you shall be known as FirePaw. I will be you mentor." FirePaw touched noses with SnowStar, her eyes shining with awe. "BLAZEPAW! SPOTTEDPAW! FIREPAW!" The clan cheered, loud and proud. FirePaw looked around. She was an apprentice. One step closer to being a warrior. "Hi." Whitepaw padded over to her. "Congratulations on becoming and apprentice." He said shyly. WhitePaw amd CloverPaw had become apprentice earlier that week. "Thanks. Now that we'r both apprentives, we can go on patrols and go hunting together!" Whitepaw purred. "Ok. See you later." "In the apprentives' den!" She replied cheerfully. She padded over to SnowStar. "When can we start training?" "Tomorrow young one. I have soe business to attend to and it is getting late." The sun had just begin to set. "Ok! I' ll go check out the 'prentuces' den." She walked over to the base of the tree. Roots created the entrance for the den was underneath the tree. She padded in and looked around. There were neatly arrged beds of moss. "Wanna sleep by me?" A voice asked from behind her. She spun around and saw WhitePaw standing there. "Sure!" "Great! That's my bed." He led her over to the other side of the den. She carefully arraned moss around into a bed and then floped down. WhitePaw layed down next to her. She slowly drifted off to sleep as the three other apprentices made thier way in. By the time they jad made their beds in layed down, she and WhitePaw were in a deep slumber. <p> Running out of characters! Please appehs!!! I am going to have a gathering come up soon d I need many more cats. Thanks.~ Shadow

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2011

    Great read

    This was a heartwarming story.

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