Joey is an irrepressibly energetic, curious and gregarious chocolate Labrador Retriever who lives along the route of the Boston Marathon. He also loves to run and run – and has an insatiable sense of discovery. Will this lead him to gratification – or to danger? Preparing his shenanigans well in advance, Joey discretely makes his move early one morning, a move that forever changes his life and the lives of his mom and dad – his running partner – and leaves them to pick up the pieces. This heartwarming book, now a 2015 B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree for Literary Fiction, narrates a true story with a unique voice.

Dogs Don’t Look Both Ways is a true story about freedom, rules and boundaries, communication, and, of course, our dependence on the kindness of others.

Review: It struck me odd at first as, Joey begins his story by relating his limited knowledge about what other dogs and their lives are like. But, I quickly came to realise the genius behind this approach as Joey’s story unfolds to show us how important others are in his life, bringing about the understanding that it makes perfect sense he would start off his story in this way.

The story is excellently penned, grammatically sound, and structurally brilliant. As one learns more about Joey, and his antics, one simply becomes more and more drawn into his story. One thing that really stood out for me, as a person who loves both dogs and cats, but has not taken the challenge of fathering a Labrador, is the informational side of the story about the importance of proper care and understanding of the labrador, and their characteristics among other things.

While we can laugh and run along with Joey, and enjoy some of his photos, we also learn why it’s so important to always keep a watchful eye… especially since… dogs don’t look both ways. It’s a very enjoyable and educational read for persons both large and small. Jane Hanser’s strong teaching background most certainly shines through. I can see why this work is a 2015 B.R.A.G. MEDALLION HONOREE for Literary Fiction

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