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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Chasing the Blue Sky is an animal fiction novel written by Will Lowrey, an animal rights advocate and attorney, who has been involved in animal advocacy, particularly pit bull rights, for over 15 years. The small white dog was little more than a puppy herself at the age of two, but already the harshness of her life had dimmed her outlook, enthusiasm and health. Her life was a lonely one with no other dogs to play with and the all-too-rare visits from her people to check that she had water and food. At one point, she had been tethered to a plastic-coated wire that gave her enough freedom to lie by the tree in her yard, but, when she tangled herself up in it one day, the man had cursed loudly and come back with a short, stout chain. In those few moments, she had lost her tree and the blessed shade it gave her in the harsh summer’s heat. The chain gave her little room to move, and it radiated the chill of the winter’s cold and burned her skin in the summer. One day, another dog managed to get into her yard, and she had a few wonderful and carefree moments of joy and companionship. Then, months later, she had her puppies, and they became her world.
Chasing the Blue Sky shines a much-needed spotlight on the abuses and neglect suffered by so many dogs. While many of us delight in giving the canine members of our families the love, care and attention they deserve, there are far too many instances where dogs are tethered out in the elements or are surrendered to animal control or the local shelter by owners who have no idea what they are condemning those puppies to. This story is primarily narrated by Toby, the last of the little white dog’s puppies to be adopted, and it follows his experiences with his mother, then the love and acceptance initially given him by the family who adopted him, and his time in the shelter after he was surrendered by them. Lowrey addresses the difficulties shelters have in placing dogs characterized as being pit bulls or pit-bull mixes, especially since landlords and some communities have breed restrictions in place. Lowrey’s shelter employees and canine inmates speak so eloquently in this book about a broken and tragic system. Chasing the Blue Sky is a sorely needed reminder of those cast-off dogs waiting and hoping for new families to come and find them. It’s most highly recommended.