Hurricane Dog: A Tale of Betrayal, Redemption & Change by Sunny Weber
Category: Middle-Grade Fiction (Ages 8-12), 221 pages
Genre: animals/pets : Content Rating: G
Publisher: Pups & Purrs Press | Release date: Aug 8, 2019
Tour dates: Nov 11 to Dec 2, 2019
Pit bull mix Gator and puppy mill survivor Magnolia are abandoned during a Louisiana hurricane. They suffer dehydration and starvation after rescuers take their people to safety but leave the pets behind.
Saved from their flooded house, Gator and Magnolia recover but remain homeless. Nobody wants a pit bull. Gator’s resentment festers into intense hatred for Gavin, the boy who left them to die. He vows to never trust again.
Transported to Colorado with other refugee pets, Gator and Magnolia face the uncertainty of a new life. Eventually they are fostered by a kind woman who seems mysteriously familiar. Both dogs relax in their new lives until upheaval again throws them into chaos.
Overwhelmed by trauma, Gator and Magnolia cling to one another through change after change. Will they be separated? Will Gator forgive the Great Betrayal and love again?
What will happen to pets and their people in the next natural disaster? Can Gavin change the rules of rescue? Will Gavin and Gator reunite?
Buy the Book: Amazon.com | ~ Add to Goodreads
Review by LAWonder10:
This is another delightful tale by Sunny Weber of a Pit Bill adopted by a family for a young teenage son, who named him Gator. It is also a tale of another small dog, later named Magnolia, who was rescued from abuse. The family adopted her and the two very different dogs became best friends and developed a tight bond..
When a severe hurricane hit Louisiana, the family had to be rescued but were forced to leave their dogs. The dogs became starved and dehydrated and barely living. They felt betrayed.
Magnolia was listless and Gator was too weak to help...But what could he do anyway?
The author very cleverly creates the story from the dogs point of view. It is very touching, yet inspirational.
The readers will find this story to be captivating, intriguing and emotional. The adventures never cease. There are interesting "twists:".
The characters are very realistically portrayed and the scenes easily visualized.
The Book Cover and Title are very eye-catching and depicts the story well.
I highly recommend this book and series for all children and adults, too. It is a great family and book club reading series.
I offer a Five Stars rating for this book.
* This book was gifted me. I received no pressure to post a positive review. This is my honest review.
**For some reason, although it showed on my computer, browsers outside of my computer couldn't pull up he Guest Post From my Posting of the 1st From Wild to Mild Book. For those who missed it, here it is…
Dog in Two Worlds Blog Post #1: ~ Why I Wrote From Wild to Mild: A Dog in Two Worlds
Children are buffeted in overwhelming directions during their formative years. There are so many options and expectations from society that many children founder in trying to discern how grow up to be the best they can be.
Coming-of-age books address emotional and social challenges that all children face, often beginning at the so-called “middle-grade” years (8-14). Despite supportive adults, most children learn to bury their insecurities under the inability to articulate discomfort. Children with unsupportive or absent adult leadership are even more hindered.
My goal with all my books’ characters is to provide fictional animal friends who experience what children do, such as bullying, ridicule, rejection, insecurity, and the universal seeking of where to belong. Finding your true self is difficult work, even as an adult. Beginning on the journey of self-discovery as an emotionally developing young person can be daunting and confusing.
I wrote this book to address the main theme of the importance of searching for your true self, regardless of setbacks and roadblocks from situations and other people. Everyone has inborn talents and interests and one will be happier if those traits are discovered and adhered to. Being true to yourself is crucial to the development of higher character attributes.
In DTW, protagonist Kaya, a dog who is raised by coyotes, struggles to figure out how to force herself to become a wild canid. But try as she might, she cannot take a life (she’s an Australian Shepherd—a herder whose instinct to kill has been bred out of her breed), and she can’t stay awake for night hunts (she’s a dog, after all). Kaya finds other ways to contribute and finds the value of mother love and sibling companionship.
Her father, however, is an unscrupulous, bullying, meanie who constantly berates her. He nicknames her, “Worthless,” and is incapable of seeing beyond what he sees as her failures. Early on, Kaya recognizes that her father has no morals or integrity. Even if she can’t identify his faults cognitively, she emotionally senses he is not worthy of respect. For a while, she is conflicted—she knows she should revere him as her father, but his lack of admirable characteristics negates any attachment to him or his ways.
Children who live with similar emotional and physical abuse by parents struggle as Kaya does to reconcile society’s push to honor thy father and mother, with the contradictory push to idolize positive role models in the adults around them.
Such children either mimic the cruelty they see and experience—often turning to violent “acting out,” such as animal abuse; or collapse into “learned helplessness” and timidly accept bad treatment; or purposefully seek out alternative guidance and lifestyles opposite of the ones they have been imprisoned in.
Animal abuse usually begins in frustrated, non-verbal, unsupported children in the middle-grade years, when children first discover their own power over those “below” them in the family food chain, which are often pets. Multiple studies have shown that without intervention, animal abuse always escalates into violence against people when these troubled children become adolescents and adults.
By utilizing “first paw” (person) telling, I strive to help young readers see the world through the protagonist dog’s eyes, mind, and heart—thereby tapping into inborn empathy, before the world teaches that child to bury his or her kindness. Having the dogs go through conflicts young human readers may experience first-hand, I hope that my audience can see there are other ways to deal with frustration, trauma, and betrayal. Like Max and Gator, the stars of my other children’s books (see www.sunnyweber.com), Kaya battles her own innate demons. Yet she wants to emulate her courageous and kind coyote mother, and reject her cruel, closed-minded father. I wanted to show children that just because you are born into certain circumstances, you do have choices in whom and what you ultimately become.
Ultimately, Kaya must leave the family she can’t truly belong to and find her own way—utilizing her inborn talents and to learn skills that fit her nature. Just as children grow up and must leave home to strike out on their own, Kaya faces her future—sometimes with courage, sometimes with fear. But she knows there is no home to return to, until she finally finds she is at home within herself.
Theme: Work to find your true self; then be true to yourself. (The Development of Integrity)
1) There are two sides to every story: learning to think analytically is important. Learn to think through what is right or wrong and then stick to what you think is right.
2) Everyone has a “true nature,” although discovering inborn talents and personal interests can be difficult as one grows up, the search for “true self” is worth the struggle.
3) One must have courage to remain true to oneself, despite push-back from authorities, parents, peers, etc. You must beware of leadership/governance/parenting based solely on bullying, propaganda, and overpowering dominance and the other’s desire for control of you.
4) Disabilities can turn into abilities. Do not underestimate yourself or others.
5) That people should EARN your respect, not just expect it, because they are parents, social leaders, work superiors, etc.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sunny Weber has over 25 years of experience in animal welfare advocacy. She is a professional humane educator and believes compelling storytelling reflects her passion for seeing the world through the eyes of the animals she teaches about.
Real stories are Sunny’s key to making deep impressions on young minds, for the future of animal welfare lies in sensitive people who will have the power to alter the negative impacts of previous generations and bring about positive change for all inhabitants of our planet.
Sunny has developed educational programs regarding compassion, respect, and care of domestic and wild animals. She writes extensively on animal issues in fiction, non-fiction, and blogs.
Sunny lives in Colorado with dogs and cats. Their yard is a Certified Backyard Habitat for birds, squirrels, rabbits, pollinators, and any other creature with fur or feathers who wanders in.
Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Linked-In