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Watchdog and the Coyotes

Watchdog and the Coyotes

4.2 5
by Bill Wallace, David Slonim (Illustrator)

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Some dogs have a bark bigger than their bite. But Sweetie, The Great Dane, can't afford to bark — or bite.
After three little nips and three masters, the next stop is the pound. So when the burglar comes calling, he waves his tail. When coyotes come prowling, he tries to make peace — as they howl in scorn. They promise they'll return — to eat his


Some dogs have a bark bigger than their bite. But Sweetie, The Great Dane, can't afford to bark — or bite.
After three little nips and three masters, the next stop is the pound. So when the burglar comes calling, he waves his tail. When coyotes come prowling, he tries to make peace — as they howl in scorn. They promise they'll return — to eat his food, his friends, Red the Irish Setter, Poky the Beagle, and Sweetie for dessert!
If Sweetie can't protect them they'll all perish! How can he outfox twelve hungry coyotes?

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Wallace applies his love of animals and sense of humor to yet another successful story. Sweetie, a Great Dane, is on his third owner-his warm-hearted efforts at protection have been misinterpreted by his previous masters. Now he is paranoid about making a mistake for fear of being sent to the pound. Red and Poky, two neighboring dogs, listen to his story with empathy, offering him consolation and bolstering his self-esteem. All seems to be going smoothly until the coyotes arrive from the Arizona desert. They bully the three companions, stealing their food, sleeping in their dog houses, and threatening them with bodily harm. Sweetie takes charge and leads the dogs in training, which culminates in a final victory over the thieving scoundrels. Sweetie, Red, and Poky display their own distinct personalities through their dialogue and actions. The lively scenes depicted in the black-and-white illustrations reflect the upbeat tone of Wallace's writing. Using the popular theme of the weak overcoming the seemingly more powerful, the author has created a fast-paced, descriptive novel suitable for reading aloud or independently. Even reluctant readers will be tempted to finish this book.-Cheryl Cufari, N.A. Walbran Elementary School, Oriskany, NY

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Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.30(d)
600L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 2

I m going straight to the pound," I whined. "This is it. There's nothing else left. I'm a goner."

I paced up and down by the fence along my side yard. I didn't know what the pound was like, but I remember Scotty whining and crying when his master was about to take him there. I remember that I never saw him again. Whatever the pound was, it was bad.

"This is it," I whimpered. "He's gone in to get my collar, and when he comes back out..."

My tail tucked under my belly. My floppy ears drooped so low they almost dragged on the ground.

"What are you whining about?"

I jerked. The growl from the other side of the fence startled me. My droopy ears perked up.

"Who's there?"

"What are you whining about?" the voice repeated. It was Red, the Irish setter who lived in the yard next to mine.

I'd never seen Red because of the wooden fence. In fact, this was the first time he'd ever talked to me in the whole two months since he had moved next door with his family. I'd tried to talk with him before, but he only snarled at me through the cracks between the fence boards.

It was good to hear another voice. Besides, I was in so much trouble that I really needed someone to talk to, even if it was someone who only growled.

I squinted, trying to see through one of the cracks.

"I messed up," I told the fence. "I messed up bad, and I don't even know how it happened."

Red hair and one white eyeball appeared at the crack.

"I saw the cars with the red and blue lights on top last night," Red said. "The men in the blue uniforms kept going in and out of the house, and your master kept yelling. What did you do, get inside and tear the living room up or something?"

"No!" I shook my head so hard my ears flopped against my cheeks. "I'm a watchdog. I don't go inside."

"So what did you do?"

"I did what I was supposed to do." I shrugged both ears. "I watched."

Red growled, "Exactly what did you watch?"

I folded my tail under my bottom and sat down. "Well," I began, staring at the eyeball. "Last night I was watching, just like I'm supposed to. A little while after dark, this man dressed all in black climbed over the back fence. He kept wiggling something at the door, and finally he went inside."

"What did you do?"

"I watched," I answered, wiggling my whiskers. "I watched him bring a big sack out of the house and lift it over the fence."

"Then what?"

"I watched him bring out two more sacks."

Red snorted. "And you watched, right?"

I smiled. "Right."

"That's all you did?"

I twitched my whiskers. "That's what I'm supposed to do. I watched because I'm a watchdog."

"You didn't growl or bark at him?"

"Oh, no. Dogs get in trouble for barking and growling."

"You didn't bite him?"

"Heaven forbid! I never bite. Never!"

There was a strange whoompf from the other side of the fence. I pressed my eye closer to the crack. Red had fallen on his side. He rolled back and forth. He wagged his tail and laughed and laughed and laughed.

"It's not funny," I whined. "I'm in trouble. My master's probably going to take me to...to...the pound."

Red just kept rolling and laughing. Finally he got to his feet and told me to follow him to the back corner of the yard. Once we got there he started digging.

"Dogs shouldn't dig," I warned him. "You'll get in trouble."

Red dug faster.

"No, I won't," he said. "The bushes are thick here. My master won't see the hole or the dirt. Even if he does, he won't get mad. Besides, you need help. You're the most confused, messed-up pup I've ever met."

My ears drooped, and my tail folded under my tummy. "Please don't dig. I had a friend named Scotty. He was a digger. His master took him to the pound. And when you go to the pound...well, no one ever comes back from the...the pound!"

Copyright © by1995 by Bill Wallace

Meet the Author

Bill Wallace grew up in Oklahoma. Along with riding their horses, he and his friends enjoyed campouts and fishing trips. Toasting marshmallows, telling ghost stories to scare one another, and catching fish was always fun.
One of the most memorable trips took place on the far side of Lake Lawtonka, at the base of Mt. Scott. He and his best friend, Gary, spent the day shooting shad with bow and arrows, cutting bank poles, and getting ready to go when their dads got home from work.
Although there was no "monster" in Lake Lawtonka, one night there was a "sneak attack" by a rather large catfish tail. Checking the bank poles was not nearly as fun or "free" after that point, but it was the inspiration for this story.
Bill Wallace has won nineteen children's state awards and been awarded the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award for Children's Literature from the Oklahoma Center for the Book.

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Watchdog and the Coyotes 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is about a dog who will not bite because he got in trouble the last time when he bit somebody in the bottem. when he finds out that he lives by to other dogs that are here to help him come over his fear he cant do it. when coyetes come to thier homes and start eating there food and sleeping in their dog houses something has to be done. but remember watchdog wont bite. if you want to find out what happens read watchdog and the coyotes by bill wallace.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this book is for people who like dogs. This book was about a dog that only has one more chance. If he messes up his yard or barks again, he will be at the dog pound. A burglar gets into the yard and house and coyotes get into his yard. What will he do? It was funny and the dog made the right choice in the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a book for anyone. It's about a Great Dane that has had many owners and has gotten in trouble a lot, mostly for things he didn't do. He doesn't want to bite, but what is this strange person doing around his master's house? And those pesky coyotes!! Find out in this wonderful story!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The huge dog, the Great Dane, you figure he would be the meanest dog ever but those who think that are wrong. Sweetie the Great Dane once helped his masters daughter from a poodle that was biting the daughter but instead of getting thanked for it he got taken to the pound the master thought that Sweetie did it. Now he has two friends that are going to try and help him but they think he will be hopeless. So what does Sweetie do when the coyotes come to take over his friends and his yard, well find out and read this book.