Year after year Hal has got only one birthday wish – a real dog which is always by his side. But again, also this year’s birthday runs down at his mother’s will. Hal is so unhappy that his father promises him a dog now. After all there are shops where you can borrow a dog for some hours or the weekend. At ‘Easy Pets’ you can find dogs of various breeds and they all hope to find a real home soon. Without Kayley, the dogs’ attendant, and her little sister Pippa who lovingly care for these dogs, their life would be hardly tolerable. Hal is over the moon and when he and his dad go to Easy Pets the next day, he actually finds the right dog.
Fleck, a young mixed-breed dog, seems to have been waiting for him. Overjoyed, the two new friends head home. When Fleck is taken back to Easy Pets while Hal is away, Fleck is so sad that even docile Otto, a Saint Bernard, can’t comfort him. Hal has to realize that his parents have lied to him and that he won’t see Fleck again. But yet he meets him by chance and Hal decides to kidnap him and flee to his grandparents together with Fleck. To his surprise Pippa helps him to take Fleck away. But when Hal is suddenly accompanied by the dogs Otto, Francine, Honey and Li-Chee, who have been ‘freed’ spontaneously by Pippa, too, an inconspicuous attempt of escape is impossible. What now?
This book is suitable for readers aged 9 and 12.
Eva Ibbotson was the author of twenty novels for children and adults. Her first was published in 1975, and her last is the joyous ONE DOG AND HIS BOY. Eva’s books have been shortlisted for every major children’s literary prize in the UK, and JOURNEY TO THE RIVER SEA won the Gold Smarties Award in 2001.