Abandoned Puppy

Overview

Find out what goes on behind the scenes in an animal emergency room — and get to know the dedicated kids who help save the lives of animals!

Nine-year-old Stella Sullivan loves animals, from cuddly kittens to the wild inhabitants of Gateway National Park near her home in Montana. Luckily, her aunt's a veterinarian who can help when Stella finds an abandoned puppy that might die without her. Meanwhile, Stella's helping save a desperately ill horse, a chocking dog, and a paralyzed...

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Overview

Find out what goes on behind the scenes in an animal emergency room — and get to know the dedicated kids who help save the lives of animals!

Nine-year-old Stella Sullivan loves animals, from cuddly kittens to the wild inhabitants of Gateway National Park near her home in Montana. Luckily, her aunt's a veterinarian who can help when Stella finds an abandoned puppy that might die without her. Meanwhile, Stella's helping save a desperately ill horse, a chocking dog, and a paralyzed bald eagle. She's also organizing kids who want to bring wolves back to the park. But it's the puppy she cares about — will round-the-clock feedings be enough to save its life?

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ru Story-Huffman
Stella is a girl who loves animals, and she considers herself lucky because her aunt is a veterinarian. Then Stella finds an abandoned puppy and realizes the puppy may die without her help. Stella is a bit of an activist, as she organizes a group of children who want to return wolves to a local national park. Parts of this book seem a bit unrealistic as Stella performs feats beyond her teenage years. Children reading this book may receive a misguided impression of the ability of their older peers. On the other hand, the readers will be exposed to viable efforts on behalf of animals, that can be achieved with hard work, determination and effort.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380797530
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Series: Animal Emergency Series , #1
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Emily Costello is a journalist and the author of many books for young readers, including books in the Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley Twins, and Sweet Valley Kids series, as well as her own series on ballet school and girls soccer. She writes about science for Scholastic's classroom publications. She lives in Boston, MA.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

"How about Ralph?" asked Stella Sullivan. She pedaled her bike past a rough wooden fence which enclosed a hilly pasture. Beyond the pasture, mountains covered in a carpet of fir trees jutted up against the cloudless sky.

Josie Russell, Stella's best friend, pulled even with her. Few cars traveled the blacktop road this early on Saturday morning, so there was plenty of room to ride.

"No way," Josie said. "That name reminds me of throwing up."

"Good point," Stella said with a giggle. She wiped her hand across her sweaty forehead. The early spring sunshine was hot -- and so was she.

"How about Max?" Stella suggested.

"That's my grandfather's name," Josie said. "You can't name your dog that."

My dog, Stella said to herself. She could hardly believe she was getting a puppy that day.

"Atlas, Stella said. "That's a good name for a really big dog."

"Sounds like school," Josie said.

"Rambo?"

"Are you serious?"

"I guess not," Stella admitted. "I think the heat is frying my brain."

"Don't worry," Josie said. "The breeder's house is about an hour away. We can think more on the way there."

A little more than an hour -- and I'll have a puppy! Stella thought. She felt a jolt of excitement in her stomach. She'd been waiting to get a dog for almost an entire month -- ever since her. Aunt Anya had given her "the puppy of her choice" for her ninthbirthday.

Stella had been so excited she'd wanted to get a dog that very afternoon. But Anya had convinced her that picking out a dog was a big decision. Big decisions shouldn't be rushed, Anya said.

So Stella had read every book she could find on dog breeds, and talked to everyone she knewabout their dogs. Finally, she decided on an Irish wolfhound.

Stella's family was thrilled. Anya said wolfhounds were intelligent, and calm. Stella's mom, her dad, and her fourteen-year-old sister, Cora, liked wolfhounds because they were huge.

A full-grown wolfhound stood about three-and-a-half feet high and weighed around 125 pounds. Before long, Stella and her puppy would be seeing eye-to-eye.

"Maybe Aunt Anya will help us pick a name," Stella told Josie.

"Yeah!" Josie said. "She knows the name of every dog in town."

Stella's Aunt Anya was the one and only veterinarian in Gateway, Montana. She cared for dogs, cats, gerbils, and other pets. She helped the ranchers keep their livestock healthy. Occasionally she even doctored a wild critter.

Anya was always busy. And that meant she was always happy to have Stella's and Josie's help at her animal clinic.

"Hey, Stella -- who's that?" Josie asked.

"Don't know."

The girls had just turned a bend in the road. They could see the animal clinic. A gangly man dressed in dusty jeans and a cowboy hat was standing on the clinic's concrete porch. The girlsstarted to pedal faster when they realized he was kicking the clinic door. Hard.

"I bet he's a burglar!" Josie exclaimed.

"We've got to stop him!" Stella stood up on her pedals and started to ride faster. Seeing the cowboy attacking the clinic made her angry.

As Stella dropped her bike on the clinic's sidewalk, the cowboy pounded the door with his fists. "Vet!" he was hollering. "I know you're in there. Now come on out!"

Vet? Stella thought. What would a burglar want with Aunt Anya?

That's when Stella noticed a dog lying on the grass in front of the clinic. Stella's heart started jackhammering. The tan-and-white Welsh corgi looked very sick -- maybe even dead. She wasn't moving.

"What's wrong with your dog?" Stella shouted above the sound of the cowboy's pounding.

The cowboy turned away from the door, clenching and unclenching his fists, and approached the girls. "She's dying!" he shouted. "And all because the stupid vet won't answer the door."

Stella glanced toward the street. Anya's big green truck was nowhere to be seen. That wasn't too surprising since the animal clinic was closed on Saturdays. If the cowboy had been calm enough to look, he would have seen a wooden sign next to the door explaining how to get in touch with Anya after hours. That usually wasn't too difficult since Anya lived right upstairs.

"I'm sure Anya will be back soon," Josie said. "She must be out on an emergency."

"Well, ain't this an emergency?" the cowboy wailed. "Amber's dying, I tell you."

Stella had already dropped to her knees next to the dog and was looking into its foxlike face. "What happened to her?" she asked.

The cowboy took off his hat and threw it to the ground. "I don't know. If I knew, you think I'd be here?"

Stella ran her hand over the corgi's head, feeling the dog's smooth fur under her fingers. Amber's eyes were closed. Her jaw hung open slightly, revealing a row of even, white teeth. She had a clean, dry smell. Stella guessed that the dog was only a year or two old. She looked healthy.

Josie crept closer. "Maybe it's the heat," she suggested. The past few days had been unusually hot for early April. People were walking around in shorts and T-shirts.

Stella turned to the cowboy. "Did you have Amber outside? Running around?"

"No." The cowboy ran his hands through his damp hair. His forehead was creased from his hatband. "We were. inside watching TV. I've got an air conditioner. And I put plenty of water in Amber's bowl. She was fine."

Animal Emergency #1: Abandoned Puppy. Copyright © by Emily Costello. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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