I have my own squeaky bone.
Honestly, the first time you really look at Can I Be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings, you think cute. It makes sense, right? There’s this adorable dog on the cover with a letter and a happy querying look on his face. And your heart just straight up melts. I know mine did. What you don’t expect is for this book to end up nearly ripping your heart into pieces.
Those Puppy Eyes
Can I Be Your Dog? is a story about Arfy, a lovable yet lonely pup looking for a family. There’s a clear message from his story, that there are animals who need a home. The push is for the adoption of strays or shelter animals rather than those adorable puppies that everyone tends to want. And it’s a great message, really. And when you have this conversation from the eyes of the very strays who need to be adopted, it can feel painful.
Just thinking about Arfy’s loneliness is enough to bring tears to my eyes, so it’s really not all that surprising. And as he goes from person to person and gets turned down?
But don’t worry. This story has a happy ending.
Oh my goodness, I loved the artwork for this. It’s bright, it’s colorful, and Arfy is the cutest dog you ever did see. The book is written somewhat in a letter format, with most of the text existing in the letters that Arfy writes to various families as he looks for a forever home and then, finally, in a letter that he receives himself.
This was such a clever way to portray everything and I just loved it.
In the end, this is a very cute and very emotional story. And there’s a reason for that. Puppies are amazing, but so are older dogs. And a lot of them, unfortunately, have found themselves in need of a home. I used to volunteer for an animal shelter. It was always so sad to see how many animals didn’t have families. I love this book and I love its message. I hope you will, too.