“In Dog We Trust” by Beth Kendrick says it all with the title. This fun-loving book is a must read for all dog lovers and those that want smiles on their faces. In addition, readers get an interesting mystery where greed is the antagonist. The story is enjoyable, amusing and entertaining.
“The story cannot happen without the dogs, who are agents for change,” Kendrick said. “People and pets have a very significant relationship. Dogs know who is kind and nurturing. It is that saying, ‘if my dog doesn’t like you neither do I.’ There is something about having another being to rely on us. There is a deeper level of nonverbal communication that is satisfying and profound. My vet once said to me, dogs want to be useful and serve. I think we have an obligation to give that back to our dogs.”
The plot takes place in the Delaware seaside quirky quaint town of Black Dog Bay. It has become well-known for being the “best place in America to bounce back from your breakup.” Charming seaside diners, boutiques, bakeries, and a bed and breakfast capitalized by having names of “Home to Better Off Bed-and-Breakfast, the Eat Your Heart Out bakery, the Jilted Café, the Rebound Salon, and the Whinery bar.” The owner of “Black Dog Bay Books” created a legend about an apparition of a black dog as a harbinger of hope and change.
The main character Jocelyn Hillier helps her mother run a laundry rental business in the beach town. A chance encounter leads to Jocelyn’s meeting Mr. Allardyce, the owner of several pedigreed Labrador retrievers and living in one of the fanciest shore-side mansions. He is gruff, a penny pincher, and a social outcast, but decides to hire Jocelyn as a dog walker and dog sitter. After Mr. Allardyce suddenly dies, he leaves all of his money to his three show dogs, appointing Jocelyn as their guardian. She has control of the money and is able to live in the mansion. An interesting premise that encircles the story, how an eccentric dog owner would appoint a trustee of the dogs who inherited the wealth. But life becomes troublesome when his estranged son, Liam, and the dog’s trainer, Lois, decide to sue her for the inheritance left to the dogs and her guardianship.
“I came up with the idea after was reading with my eleven-year-old son a National Geographic story. It was how all these dogs are bequeathed millions and millions of dollars. There is plenty of legal precedent even though the dogs actually cannot spend money. All they want is food, water, and a human. Pet trusts are routinely now part of estates. I understand how we owners want them well cared for. I think dog people have a spiritual and creative streak that are mostly kind and helpful.”
Besides having likeable characters and cuddly dogs this story delves into scandal and betrayal. The humorous banter allows for a very fun read.