Dozer’s Run – A True Story of a Dog and His Race by Debbie Levy and Rosana Panza

Dozer’s Run – A True Story of a Dog and His Race by Debbie Levy and Rosana Panza
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Non-Fiction, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Dozer the Goldendoodle has a wonderful life! He and his best friend, Chica, belong to a loving family. They have warm beds to sleep in, enough food to eat, and plenty of room in their yard to play and investigate. What more could a good dog want? As it turns out, Dozer wants an adventure. And when a runner runs past his yard, followed by another, and another, and another, Dozer decides to follow and see what is happening. In May 2011, unbeknownst to his owner, Dozer slipped out of his yard in Highland, Maryland, enticed by the sight of people running past. The runners were participating in the Maryland Half Marathon, a race benefitting the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center. Dozer joined the 2,000 runners in the race, inspiring everyone along the 13-mile race course. By the time his adventure was over and he was reunited with his family, Dozer’s “Run” encouraged thousands of pledges in support of the Greenebaum Cancer Center. This true story of a playful dog that actually runs a half marathon entertains as well as inspires.

There’s more than one way to win a marathon.

I loved the gentle humor of this picture book. Some of the funniest scenes were the ones that tried to explain Dozer’s explanation of what those mysterious humans were doing when he found so many of them running past his yard. Surely they must have been chasing something amazing, right? I grinned as he made the sudden decision to join them in their race to see if his assumption was correct.

It would have been helpful to have a better explanation of how this dog escaped from his yard, especially since Chica, the other dog in their family, stayed put. Did he find a hole in a fence or slip out of his leash, for example? If this question had been answered, I would have gone for a full five star rating.

There’s a chapter of this tale that nobody except Dozer will ever know the true details of that involves where he went and what he did after the marathon ended and he was relatively far away from home. The authors did a wonderful job of sharing what the humans were able to figure out about how he spent that night while still keeping everything factual. That must have been a tricky balance to maintain, so I’m glad they pulled it off so nicely.

Dozer’s Run – A True Story of a Dog and His Race was a thrilling adventure.

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