In Sobaka Finds a Home, author Becky Williams fictionalizes the story of her adopted dog, imagining his life before he met her.
From young puppyhood to adoption by a chaotic, sometimes abusive family and a risky stay at the pound, Williams writes from the dog’s point of view. For example: “There was lots of noise from the boys laughing and talking all at once, and it made me nervous. As soon as my human dad put me down, I ran under the nearest table to think about where I was.” While the dog (named Corkey by her first adoptive human family and later renamed Sobaka), shares how she’s feeling, she most often simply narrates what’s going on from moment to moment.
With error-free writing and impeccable editing, this simple redemption tale clips along, and the dangers our hero faces are never so scary as to be upsetting; while Sobaka is mistreated by her first family, she escapes and is ultimately OK.
Williams is a Christian minister who suggests here that animals understand God in much the same way humans do. She makes it clear that Sobaka is loved, chosen, and has a job to do here on Earth before she goes to heaven. These ideas are integrated seamlessly into the story (although some may find this religious slant clutters a straightforward adventure tale).
Other important themes are also addressed. For example, Sobaka is a Maltese-terrier mix, which makes her hard to place for adoption; this paves the way for a potential conversation about acceptance versus exclusion based on appearances.
To enjoy the story, readers must take it on faith that a dog thinks in human terms and overlook minor inconsistencies, such as the fact that Sobaka is an outside dog who instantly figures out what a “kitchen” is. But these are quibbles. Overall, this is a sweet story about an outsider who is taken in and loved — one that young readers, in particular, should appreciate.
Also available as an ebook.