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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
“The Mistress had always envisaged the kennels as a club for like-minded dogs who would frolic during the day and sleep soundly at night with minimum supervision.” Hmm! Really? And what about the incessant barking? You can’t expect to fill a kennel with dogs and not have incessant barking. When hired as the kennel maid for an English manor house, Miss Mutt, as she is nicknamed by the family, realizes quite readily she’ll have her work cut out for her. Not just the dogs, but those who bring their dogs for kennel care and, regrettably, the master, the Lord of the Manor, whose sole goal in life appears to be eliminating the source of the incessant barking. But the income is necessary to maintain the Manor. So, the kennel maid and her Mistress accept all kinds of dogs for brief stays, and, as one might suspect, each dog has their own unique story to tell.
Jonathan Diack’s novella, No Barking Please: The Life and Times of a Kennel Maid, is an interesting story about kennels: both the dogs and those who care for them. The plot follows Miss Mutt’s routine from her first day on the job, including the incident where a man wants to abruptly dump his pitbull at the kennel on Miss Mutt’s very first day. She cleverly advises him that without proper vaccination certificates, the kennel can’t possibly accept the pitbull. What a relief, as it appears it was a disaster cleverly avoided. Each new day at the kennel brings another dog story, some funny, some rather sad. And, you can’t have a good dog story without a little bit of romance. A fun read, especially for dog lovers.