The Dog Thief and Other Stories called “Treasure Trove of Stories” in January 2018’s Bookwatch by Midwest Book Review:
Animal lovers will discover a treasure trove of short stories revolving around animals, humans, and companion relationships in The Dog Thief and Other Stories (Available in Paperback, Kindle, and Audiobook), a collection almost as powerful in its messages about community interactions and individual survival as it is about animals who interact with humans in a variety of situations.
Take, for example, the story ‘Beer Money’. Readers won’t expect an animal tale with the opener: “Bob lurked behind the cedar tree. He was spying on his ex-wife, waiting for her to leave for work.” And when he does enter her home, he discovers “There was no sign that he had ever occupied this home…She had cleaned him right out of her life.”
As he makes himself at home in her absence, he comes upon the deaf old dog that also was once part of their lives. Buddy had been his dog before he’d met Linda, and has always been there for him. But it seems Linda that has plans for Buddy, and suddenly Bob is faced with yet another change in his life.
Sometimes the animal and nature feel are peripheral to the human story, as in ‘Driving While Remembering’, which chronicles a drive into the past, the juxtaposition of life-affirming youth and the trials of aging, and the discovery of a wetlands volunteer who made a difference at the end of her life.
Each short story holds a poignant portrait of human relationships, changed circumstances, and struggle, and these lie at the heart of stories which often add animals into the mix.
As vignettes and snapshots of moments of quiet revelation, change, and encounters with nature and (most often) dogs blossom, they present lovely pieces packed with depth, insights, and the kind of literary approach that elevates them to philosophical and psychological reflections about life’s meaning and trajectory.
Each story is heartfelt and wrenching in its own right, delicately captured in a moment of time that perfectly presents pets and people at different pivotal moments of their existence.
Animal lovers seeking a collection of slices of life that add the extra dimension of pets and people will love this hard-hitting collection, which portrays all kinds of people from all walks of life.
—Diane C. Donovan, Senior Reviewer