Katy Werling’s parents think she’s spending the night with a friend, unaware their child is lying severely injured at the bottom of a ravine. A crisis in their marriage consumes them, preventing them from focusing on anything other than their crumbling lives.
Neighboring families, all facing their own catastrophes, are equally oblivious to a black dog’s attempt to capture their attention.
Will any of them look past their individual struggles to discover the dog’s urgent message and save the child?
It all started because of the dog. Katy has been having bad dreams and she knows in her dream that a big black dog saves her. When her mother almost hits the dog coming home from school, Katy talks to it and wants to adopt it. Her father says no but mom says yes. Since Katy is going away for the weekend, her father puts the dog outside hoping it will move on. Doing that saves Katy’s life…
Ms. Coley writes good solid stories of relationships, expectations, and life and death. The black dog almost has to be a ghost, but it’s a real dog in this story. Somehow she talks you into believing it.
Katy decides to go home instead of going with her girlfriend’s family to the lake. She wants to be with her new dog. When she hears a dog barking, she thinks it might be Moe, so she takes the path to the ravine. When she loses her balance on the wet leaves, she falls. It hurt but she’ll just get back up to the top of the path and go home. No, she won’t. She has a broken leg and can’t move at all. The only one who hears her is the dog.
There’s family trauma all through the neighborhood. Katy’s mother finds out her husband is making a date with one of his students. The veteran in the neighborhood gets mad at his wife and she leaves him. The old couple on the other side are disrupted by the wife’s heart attack. As everyone tries to deal with their problems, no one pays attention to the black dog that tries to get them to follow him.
This is more a tale of relationships and life history than it is the tale of a lost girl. Each situation was unique and they had to work their problems their own way. It isn’t until the weekend is almost over that they realize the child got lost on the way home and is missing.
There were some over-the-top incidents that were a bit unbelievable but they made the story exciting. This story demonstrates that for every action, there’s a reaction. Reading this story made me examine my life. Maybe it will do the same to you.