“[Where the Dogs Go] is about eternal love, friendship, and the powerful human-canine bond …” – Kirkus Reviews
We have all heard about the “Rainbow Bridge,” but often wonder what it is like.
Do animals just sit and wait for their earthly families? Do they run and play together until we get there? Is there perhaps something more to their lives in the next universe while they hope to see us again? Do they reconnect with animals they have known on earth? These are some of the many questions we ponder when one of our beautiful fur friends leaves this world and moves on to the next.
Where the Dogs Go brings a new take on this age-old question and lets us not only explore how animals bond with us here on earth, but provides an entertaining concept of what they may do in the next realm. In a loving, beautiful and sometimes heart-breaking tale, we can see from a dog’s perspective how they feel about their earthly owners/friends and what they might go through while questioning the mysteries of the universe and how all of us, humans and animals, are connected through strong and loving bonds.
Growing up on a farm in rural Canada, author Janell Martin could have never imagined she would live her adult life in Los Angeles. When the first grade teacher fell in love with an American, her life took a turn south— literally—when she followed her heart and relocated to The United States. Her sneakers had barely crossed the US border when she found herself dumped, and alone, in a strange new world. Strange became surreal when she fell into Hollywood, changing her profession and building a career as a personal assistant to celebrities. Along the way she gained a new family of friends, the most important being a little dog named Canoli, who found his way into her heart and changed her life forever. Canoli became the muse for her first novel, Where the Dogs Go, a heartfelt love story written as a tribute to him.
|Publisher:||Dog Ear Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)|
Read an Excerpt
As Luck Would Have It
I must have fallen asleep, as the next thing I remember was waking up in a cage with the barking of many dogs around me. I opened my eyes and this mean-looking little dog was staring right at me. "Hey you, move your furry butt," he said in a gruff little voice. "You're hogging up over half the space in this crap hole of a cage." I stirred, stretched, and for the first time had a look at my new home. There were rows of cages beside me, below me and above me. I could only see what was beside me, as the ceiling and floor were solid, but the cages to the left and right of me were composed of tiny metal bars that crisscrossed, allowing me to see what was next to me. From my first glance, I saw many little dogs in cages on both sides of me, and could hear the cries and barks from those above and below me.
The dogs all looked totally unlike me; Ginger and Luke looked so much like me. However, these dogs were different sizes, had different colors, and even their barks had different sounds. "Hey buddy, I told you once to move your furry butt, and I am not going to tell you again," growled my cage mate. I slunk over, pushed my fur up against the corner of the cage and started to cry. Cry and cry. "Look guys, they've put me in a cage with a crybaby," giggled my cage mate.
"Hey fluffy, first night in the pet center is it?" cooed a sweet little voice. I turned my head toward the sweet comforting voice, and through the crisscrossed metal I saw a pretty, very tiny, curly-haired, jet-black dog looking straight at me with her big brown eyes. "Don't let that nasty little pug get to you; he is always in a lousy mood. I really hope someone comes into this pet rescue center and takes him out of here. My name is Charlotte. What's yours?"
"Lucky," I sniffed. "And what is a pet rescue center anyway? I think I am in the wrong place because I was supposed to go to an adoption agency. At least that is what my mom, Ginger, told me."
"Well," continued Charlotte, "a pet rescue center is one of the names that humans use for the place where puppies go to get adopted, so don't worry, you are in the right place. I have been here for five nights and I pretty much know how things go around here.
"Hey Walter, stop being such a grumpy little pug and come over here and PROPERLY meet Lucky," implored Charlotte. Walter came over, muffled out a somewhat audible hello, and then smugly strolled back to his side of the cage.
"So Charlotte, how do things go around here?" I asked, choking back the tears.
"Oh, nothing too complicated. You sleep, you eat, you go on walks, but when a human comes around, try to look your cutest, and run around so that they think you're happy and healthy, and if you get a chance, look into their eyes and try to get someone to fall in love with you." I remembered what Ginger had told me, and it pretty much echoed what Charlotte was telling me. I knew if anyone could look cute, that umm, it was going to be me. After all, I was aware of how I looked to the world from my frequent trips to the mirror back in my home with Ginger and Luke, so I knew that when it came to the 'cute' category, I was a shooin.
The day passed quite quickly, and many humans came around and remarked how cute all of us puppies were. And as I was now twice told, I smiled, ran around, and tried my best to get their attention. Walter and Charlotte even got picked out of the cage on different occasions by different humans and got to play and cuddle. I could not figure out why no one was taking me out of the cage.
As the day wandered to a close, Walter looked at me and said in the loudest, gruffest voice that a puppy his size could muster, "Hey Lucky, it looks like you did not get lucky today, huh buddy?! Say, maybe you'd have better luck if you could keep that pink tongue of yours inside of your mouth instead of letting it hang out like a mud-flap on a semi-truck." I really wasn't sure what he meant, as my tongue had always hung out. In fact, I had a hard time keeping it in.
"Oh Walter, leave poor little Lucky alone. It has been a hard enough day for him as it is. He can't help it if he is deformed," scolded Charlotte. DEFORMED? The word rang in my ears. Ginger had never told me I was deformed, but now that I think about it, neither Ginger nor Luke had tongues that hung out of their mouths like mine. I guessed I was deformed, or at least I had a deformed tongue, and since I had not met or seen with my own two eyes any other dog with the same horrible deformation that I had going on, I figured that my chances of finding a human to love me was maybe going to be a little trickier than I thought.
The next morning I woke up with a plan; a plan to disguise my ever-so-adoption-stopping deformity of a tongue. I decided to curl it up and bite it between my teeth so that it would be hidden for no one to see. So, for the next few days I bit down on my tongue whenever some prospective human would stop by. Unfortunately, the tongue biting kept me from smiling and barking, as basically I had to concentrate so hard on keeping my tongue in place that I did not look cute, cuddly and adorable. I think, looking back on things, I probably looked like a constipated little pup desperately seeking a place to have a great big ... well, you get the picture.
By the fourth day, Charlotte had gone to a loving home. She was adopted by a family who had a little girl who could not stop staring at her and cuddling her. Charlotte waived her paw good-bye to me and blew me a kiss, and as sad as I was that my new friend was leaving, I was happy for her, as she looked as happy as she could be. Walter, as well, had someone who was interested in him; a man and his little boy had put down a deposit on Walter saying that they would be back in two days to pick him up.
That night I felt alone again. I could no longer press my fur up against Charlotte, as her cage was now empty. And Walter, knowing he was going to be leaving soon, could not stop from taunting me. "Hey Lucky, do you know the words to the song 'How Much is that Doggie in the Window'?" A lump came into my throat, and I had a feeling that this song was not going to be anything I wanted to hear coming out of Walter's raspy, mean-spirited mouth, so I sheepishly spoke up and said that although I did not know the words, I was NOT in the mood for music. "Oh, come on Lucky, let me teach you something new," at which point he broke out into his loudest singing voice, belting out the following:
"How much is that doggie in the window,
The tears were welling up in my eyes as Walter continued to sing the song over and over and over again. I turned my back, laid down, and tried to close my eyes and sleep. I could not wait until the man and his little boy came back and put down the rest of the money to buy Walter. I tried to think of Ginger and Luke, and imagined how it was to be curled up to the two of them, and started to envision a life for myself living as royalty, the way it should be, the way the universe intended it to be, and dreamt myself into a lovely sleep.
Day five ... I had been here for four sleeps and was now starting day five of another day in which I was positive would end in disappointment. I was certain that things would continue to get worse, as they had each day. I did not pay much attention to the comings and goings that day. Instead, I was caught up in my own thoughts and doing my best to ignore Walter when, out of the corner of the room, I saw her: a young woman with long blonde hair, big blue eyes and a warm smile. She was looking at all the puppies and was holding the hand of a handsome brown-haired man.
"Oh John," she said to the man, "all of these little puppies are so cute. I can't imagine how I could pick one; I would like to take them all home with me." She stopped at every cage and talked to all of the dogs; she smiled and cracked her fingers on the glass of the cages in a very playful and loving way. When she got to our cage she looked at Walter and said out loud, "My, this puppy sure has, well, almost a grumpy look on his face," at which point I broke out into an uncontrollable fit of hysterical laughter, giggling and running around, looking at a now injured, somewhat ego-deflated, Walter. My exhibition of glee must have caught her attention, as when I looked up; the lovely young woman was staring at ME!
And then, all of a sudden, everything Ginger had told me came true. Our eyes locked and my heart filled with a fullness that it had never known before. I smiled at her, hoping that she was going to be my human, my very own human momma. Then, the most incredible words came out of her mouth, words that no dog could ever forget, as they were so delicious and lovely that my mind has them permanently etched forever and a day. "Oh, look how cute this little puppy is. He is smiling at me. I feel as if his eyes are looking right into my heart. And that tongue! Look at how his cute little pink tongue hangs out. I must pick him up." Hmmm ... at first I thought I had heard her wrong. Did she say CUTE LITTLE PINK TONGUE? In my glee at hearing the 'grumpy puppy Walter' comment, I had completely forgotten to hold in my tongue. I looked over at Walter, who now was not only in shock from being referred to as a grumpy looking dog, but had to deal with the fact that someone actually thought my 'deformity' was CUTE.
Then, the most amazing thing happened. The beautiful girl summoned one of the caregivers that worked every day in the pet center, to please come and open up the cage, as she wanted to see ME. My heart started to beat so fast; I could hardly wait to be held and cuddled. I was almost too afraid to hope that this lovely woman would want me to be her very own baby dog. As soon as she reached her hands in to pick me up, I felt a comfort that I had never felt before from any human. Her warm smile, her smell, and the gentle way she held me, made me realize that Ginger was right.
"Oh John," she said to the man, "this little puppy has the cutest face I have ever seen. When he looks up at me, it's as if his eyes are smiling right at me. I feel like I already know that he has a sweet little soul. What kind of a dog is he anyway?" The caregiver told her that I was a Lhasa Apso, a purebred, he pointed out. I wanted to scream out to him to tell her about the fact that I was sacred royalty and hopefully sweeten the pot a little, so to speak. But before I could make a fuss, the beautiful girl pulled me in close and I felt the beating of her warm heart. The feeling was so magical that I was instantly silenced with a sense of peace and safety.
She soon sat me down and I ran in circles around her, jumping up on her legs and smiling with glee the entire time, and that was all it took. "This is the puppy for me. I am taking him home with me. John, you like him too, don't you?" she implored.
John looked at her and said, "My love, this is your birthday gift. I want you to be happy. I will adore whichever pup you choose. Besides, you are going to be the one picking up that dog's poop, so uhh, you better be very much 'in like' with the one you pick!" For the next hour I sat in her arms as we strolled through the pet center picking out things for me: a leash, a collar, food bowls, and the best thing of all was this cozy leopard-print dog bed for me to lounge on. When we came to the toy section, there were so many. My new human squeezed them all, looking for hints of excitement from me so she knew which ones to pick. I could not believe all of the toys and treats I was getting!
As we were about to leave, I turned my head around to take one, long last look at the cage which had been my temporary home, and noticed Walter was standing up — his front paws pressed firmly on the glass of the cage — with a look of shock on his squishy looking face. I smiled a goodbye smile at him, letting my tongue hang out as low as it possibly could hang, and realized that my life was changing. I felt happy and ready to start this new chapter of my life. And as we left the pet rescue center with me cuddled in her arms, my beautiful human looked down at me and I looked up at her, and that is when our love affair truly began.
From the outside, my new digs appeared to be pretty cool. There were many stairs leading up to the front door where I was now going to be living, so many that I am positive my tongue was dangling to the ground from my heavy panting, as I was one pooped puppy by the time I finally reached the top. Once inside, my exhaustion was quickly replaced by curious excitement as I immediately explored the rooms, of which there were really only four. There was a small kitchen, a little living room that also had a table and chairs to one side, a nice-size bedroom and a teeny bathroom. As I was running around smelling and inspecting my new territory, I overheard John and Luv starting to discuss what they were going to call me. "He is white and fluffy, and so sweet. How about Cotton Candy?" suggested Luv.
"Beth, he is a boy dog. Kind of a girlie name, don't you think?" teased John. I don't really remember what stopped me in my tracks the quickest, hearing her called Beth or hearing that I might end up being referred to as a circus treat. Regardless, the outcome was the same. I swear my four paws came to a screeching halt realizing that I had better pay attention, otherwise I was going to get stuck with some stupid name like my poor brother Luke, I mean Baby Spice.
Okay, so I started to bark and jump, and I tried to tell them that my name was Lucky, but they just weren't listening. I began to throw out my suggestions. I mean, if they didn't like Lucky, they could call me Prince, or better yet His Royal Highness, but my recommendations seemed to fall on deaf ears. As they bantered names between them, I became increasingly nervous as potential names like Spot, Dancer, Prancer, Snowball, Christmas, Fluffy, Marshmallow, Caramel, Butch, Lassie, Cookie ... I mean, you name it; every conceivable name came flying out of their mouths, and they were all tragically awful. Just when I was sure I was going to get stuck with a name from hell, John took a deep breath and said, "Historically, didn't the Lhasa Apso guard the Tibetan Monks, so why not give him some sacred name or something? Why not call him Monk?"
Luv looked at John, and then she looked at me, and she said, "Monk? I kind of like it," and from all the other names that had been spewed out that night, Monk seemed to work for all, including me.
The next few weeks were probably the toughest, as I had to get used to the routines of Luv, whose name it turned out was actually Beth, but I did not care what the rest of the world called her; the first time I met her she was referred to as 'love,' and to me that seemed to be a perfect name for such a perfect human specimen. So to me, she would always be known as Luv, my love.
I soon learned that peeing inside was not at all acceptable, and that there were specific times to walk, eat and sleep. I also learned very quickly that no matter what I did, if I cried just the slightest or started to pout just a little, Luv would basically do anything I wanted. And as it probably comes as no surprise to you, I wanted IT ALL!
IT ALL started with the sleeping arrangements. At first Luv put me in a crate near her bed. I could see her, but somehow that was not enough for me. The constant sobbing cries from the crate would eventually lead me, in short time, to being snuggled under the cozy covers and sleeping up against her warm skin, the sound of her breathing lulling me to sleep. Of course, there were the nights when John would sleep over. These nights proved especially tricky, as for whatever reason John really wanted to sleep alone with Luv. I mean, who could blame him? But I realized John just had to learn that umm, even though he paved the way for my journey here with Luv, this was my house, and the sooner he realized that he was merely a visitor, the better off it would be for, umm ... me.
I knew the importance, albeit urgency, of John learning this rule quickly; the rule that I was the boss, the significant male figure chezmoi. You see, John not only wanted me sleeping in the crate, but he wanted me sleeping in the crate in the kitchen. I overheard him saying something to Luv about me staring at him. Staring? If he thought I was staring, it was more like I was glaring daggers in his direction, as he wasn't getting any brownie points from me. The view of the kitchen stove was NOT what I wanted to fall asleep to. I think it was at this moment when I learned the art of the howl.
The howl always started out the same: whining, which led to crying, crying which would lead to sobbing, until I mustered up the loudest howl that echoed so perfectly in the kitchen I am sure it could be heard for several blocks around. The howl always resulted in my infinite placement in the bedroom, and in the bed, stuck right in between Luv and John. John hated the howl, and secretly, I relished in the fact that I knew he hated it.
Excerpted from "Where the Dogs Go"
Copyright © 2017 Janell Martin.
Excerpted by permission of Dog Ear Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Where The Dogs Go is a short tale of what happens to dogs after they cross that Rainbow Bridge. As told through the eyes of a dog named Lucky aka Monk. Monk has a glorious first few weeks with his mother and brother until he is forced to live in a shelter because of Monk just not being the perfect dog. It's there that he meets Beth aka Luv who will be with him until he crosses over one unexpected night. As Monk deals with losing Luv and trying to fit on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, he finds his spot until that one night where he will finally find his happy ending. Having just lost two pets within a 5 month span, I was a little hesitant to pick this book up but at the same time, I so want to see what this book was all about. For me, it was a short funny but sad tale that did get a little boring in the middle or when Monk was in heaven for what was going on. To me, it just seemed that if the whole heaven scene was cut down to just 15 to 20 percent of the book instead of being half, it so would have been a much better book. I do say that ending made up for that whole middle part, it did bring a tear to my eye while reading it. Thank You to Janell Martin for writing a good tale that so makes me wish that ending really does happen when we cross over because that would totally make living a good long life even more better knowing you get to spend eternity with your best friend! I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley!