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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Nicky is a very special puppy. He’s different. Well, only physically he’s different. He doesn’t have a paw on one of his rear legs. But that doesn’t hold him back. He’s still full of energy and lots of love. Only thing is, his mommy’s breeder didn’t want him because Nicky wasn’t perfectly formed: he had four legs, but only three paws. So Tammy, who runs a rescue, takes him to her home in the hopes of finding him a foster family or, better yet, a forever home. There are lots of other dogs at Tammy’s place, all hoping for that special family that will open their hearts and their homes to a special, four-legged, furry little (or big) bundle of joy. Unfortunately, some people think it’s okay to bring a dog into their home but soon lose interest when they realize there’s a little work involved in caring for the dog. These people don’t realize that dogs quickly become a part of the family and deserve the care and attention one would give to a human member of the family. Perhaps more so. Nicky’s first foster family, a mother and son, grew tired of caring for Nicky and returned him to Tammy. But, that wasn’t the end of Nicky’s adventures.
Steven F. Freeman’s children’s story, Paw Prints: The True Story of a Three-Pawed Dog, will warm the hearts of dog lovers of all ages. With beautiful illustrations, this early chapter book leads the reader through Nicky’s early life, his first fostering that failed, and his fear of being rejected yet again when another family takes him home. The characters, both dog and human, are carefully and well developed with just enough dialogue (both between the dogs and from their human caregivers) to help move the story along. A beautiful treasure of a book which, through sharing Nicky’s story, will inspire prospective dog owners to think carefully about the challenge they are undertaking by welcoming a dog into their family and their home. Dogs, like humans, need love and care and that takes time, but it’s well worth it.