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Huck: The Remarkable True Story of How One Lost Puppy Taught a Family--And a Whole Town--About Hope and Happy Endingsby Janet Elder
Synopses & Reviews
In the tradition of Dewey, A Lion Called Christian, and Homer’s Odyssey, HUCK is an unforgettable true story of a lost puppy and a family who learned a valuable lesson about tenacity, faith, and the generosity of strangers.
This story begins with a little boy’s dream. Janet Elder’s son Michael was about four when he began begging for a dog. His relentless campaign went on for years. At one point, when Michael was about seven years old, there was even a PowerPoint presentation entitled, “My Dog,” with headings like “A Childhood Without a Dog is a Sad Thing.” Janet almost caved, but then thought about the impracticalities and the logistics--their city apartment, her and her husband Rich’s demanding jobs, their need to get away. So as much as she hated having a heartbroken boy on her hands, she remained steadfast: no dog. What makes her reconsider her long-standing position on a family dog is a breast cancer diagnosis.
Worried about the toll the illness would take on eleven-year-old Michael and Rich, Janet decides the anticipation and excitement over the arrival of a new puppy would be the perfect antidote to the strain on the family of months of treatments for her illness. The prospect of a new puppy would be an affirmation of life, a powerful talisman for them all.
On Thanksgiving weekend, shortly after the treatments were completed, they bring home a sweet, mischievous, red-haired, toy poodle, they name Huck, who quickly and conclusively wins everyone’s heart.
A few months later, the family ventures south to attend the Yankees’ spring training and enjoy a much-needed vacation, leaving Huck for the first time with Janet’s sister in Ramsey, New Jersey. Barely twenty-four hours into their trip, Janet gets a dreaded phone call. Huck has slipped through the backyard fence and run away. Broken hearted and frantic, the family races home to begin a search for little Huck. It’s a race against time, for Huck, lost in an area he is entirely unfamiliar with, faces the threat of bears, coyotes, raccoons, swamps, freezing temperatures, rain, and fast cars on curvy roads. Moved by the family’s plight, strangers – from school children to the police lieutenant — join the search.
As the days pass, finding a small puppy in a densely wooded area in freezing and rainy weather proves to be an incredible test. Buoyed by grit, the open arms of strangers, and faith, the family soldiers on. Touching and warm-hearted, HUCK is a page-turning, heart-stopping story about resilience, the kindness of strangers, and determination. It is a story about hope, a story the reader will neither put down nor forget.
"Elder, a senior editor at the New York Times, shares a touching story of how a missing dog can bring out the best in people. Elder's son Michael longs for a dog and, over the years, his parents offer him poor substitutes, including fish and butterflies. But after Elder is diagnosed with breast cancer, she decides to grant her son's wish. The family becomes besotted with the toy poodle they name Huck, and the little pup with his perfect blend of 'sweetness and naughtiness' develops a circle of admirers wherever he goes. While on vacation, the family learns that Huck has run away from the dog-sitter's New Jersey home. What follows is a town-wide effort by complete strangers, teenagers, storeowners, and multitudes more that confirms the basic goodness in people and prompts a very happy ending. Elder is a gifted writer whose story is sure to tug on heartstrings and leave readers with a renewed belief in the kindness of strangers. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
""Huck" is the "Dewey" of the canine world. The dog is a delight--even my cat Norton would have been charmed (after a hiss or two)--and the book itself is lovely and inspiring. I rate it five barks."--Peter Gethers, author of "The Cat Who Went to Paris"
Huck is a page-turning, unforgettable true story of the tenacity of one small dog, the unexpected, extraordinary kindness of strangers, and a family’s devotion to each other.
Michael was four when his relentless campaign for a dog began. At seven he made a PowerPoint presentation, “My Dog,” with headings like “A Childhood Without a Dog is a Sad Thing.” His parents, Janet and Rich, were steadfast; bringing a dog into their fast-paced New York City lives was utterly impractical.
However, on a trip to Italy, a chance happening leads Janet to reconsider, a decision then hastened by a diagnosis of breast cancer. Janet decides the excitement of a new puppy would be the perfect antidote to the strain on the family of months of arduous treatments for her illness. The prospect of a new puppy would be an affirmation of life, a powerful talisman for them all.
On Thanksgiving weekend, soon after the grueling months of treatments are over, Huck, a sweet, mischievous, red-haired, toy poodle joins the family and wins everyone’s heart.
A few months later the family ventures to baseball’s spring training, leaving Huck with Janet’s sister in Ramsey, New Jersey. Barely twenty-four hours into the trip, Janet receives the dreaded phone call: Huck has slipped through the backyard fence and run away.
Broken-hearted and frantic, the family catches the first plane to New Jersey to begin a search for their lost puppy. It is a race against time, for little Huck is now lost in an area entirely unfamiliar to him, facing the threat of bears and coyotes, swamps and freezing temperatures, rain and fast cars.
Moved by the family’s plight, strangers – from school children to townspeople to the police lieutenant – join the search, one that proves to be an unyielding test of determination and faith.
Touching and warm-hearted, Huck is a spirit-lifting story about resilience, the generosity of strangers, and hope.
About the Author
Janet Elder is the editor for news surveys and election analysis at The New York Times.
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