The Dog Share: pawing people closer

When life gives you lemons, get a dog!

Suzy Medley, an obituary writer is in a mess. With her former partner investing in a distillery on a far-off island called Sgadansay and vanishing without a word when the finances start to topple, Suzy is left to deal with angry employers, a life without a partner, and deprived of any knowledge about the workings of the distillery. That is, till four paws come knocking on her door. The Dog Share by Fiona Gibson is a heart-warming and poignant tale of having a dog in your life and how it changes everything around you.

When Suzy discovers an empty apartment and tons of debts due to the poorly managed distillery that her partner had bought two years ago, she decides to face the problem herself and feels responsible for the employees. She immediately heads off to the remote island and starts familiarizing herself with the surroundings. While people were hostile towards her, they slowly start seeing her as a not-so-bad-lady with the terrier dog, Scout. She befriends the locals and tries to get her life back on track with her fur buddy by her side.

Ricky, born and brought up on the island lives in Glasgow with his son, Arthur, and partner, Meg. A music teacher by profession he is often haunted by his relationship with Arthur’s mother and tries to build a strong family out of the two. When he visits Sgadansay during Easter, Arthur takes a liking to Scout. Little does he know that his life is going to change forever.

The silent protagonist of The Dog Share is none other than Scout. His subtle presence brings people together. Suzy not only meets Cara, her friend on the island who takes him out for walks; but also, Ricky and little Arthur. While Cara offers her friendship, she looks forward to Ricky’s companionship like no other. Her own children who are away at the University had never been excited enough to come back home, but for the dog. Cara has lost her own dog to old age, knows the pain of losing a loyal companion, and thus takes a liking to Scout. While Arthur always wants a dog, Ricky agrees to borrow Scout since they cannot have one of their own and in the process opens up to Suzy in a manner he never does to anyone.

While the disaster at the distillery makes Suzy apprehensive about whom to trust, Scout changes things for her. Being a friendly dog, he doesn’t create a hassle when he is taken out for walks by Suzy’s friend or even Arthur. In fact, he is often shared by all of them and loved equally. As he enters her life as a lucky charm, her financial lawyer seems to find a way out, her honesty with the vendors and stakeholders give her more time to sort the issues, and slowly, the employees start looking at her with a changed perception.

Apart from the human-dog relation, The Dog Share throws light on the therapeutic nature of having a dog. Dogs understand everything: they are loyal companions, emotional friends, and silent spectators. Though they have no voice of their own, their actions and caresses are enough to ease tensions and fill minds with positivity. The novel also highlights the action of abandoning dogs. This immoral act of taking in a dog and then leaving them to fend for themselves scars them forever. Yet, they learn to trust other people and deliver happiness wherever they go.

I could personally connect with the novel to a great extent. 15 January 2018, I got my best friend home. A 1.5-month indie dog, adopted, black as coal with white streaks, was named Snowy. While mum was not too open about having a dog, as I write this in 2022, she is best friends with him and I just exist on the sidelines. He gets a curated menu every week, new toys to play with which vanish conveniently after a week, regular grooming is involved in all family meetings, and is quite happy with his partner next door. On 1 December 2022, he turns 5!

P.S Snowy says Hi and urges you to read The Dog Share soon.

No. of Pages: 350

Publisher: avon. / Harper Collins 

Availability: Amazon / Flipkart

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