review by Mel Mathews
What better place to retreat to when one is in need of reclaiming one’s lost self than The Mountaintop School for Dogs and other Second Chances.
By chance, a stray in her own sense, without any experience as a dog trainer (except for a backpack full of unread how-to dog training books) Evie volunteers her so-called ‘expertise’ as a would-be dog trainer for a variety of rescued canines. The real learning begins only after she decides to burn the books and instead draws from her own experiences of loss and rejection — and innate wisdom. As she tends to the abandoned, abused, and neglected dogs that have been rescued and brought to this mountaintop sanctuary, the animals mirror her own wounds and Evie too begins to explore and grieve her losses and heal from her past.
A multitude of self-help and how-to books could never deliver what this brilliant novel accomplishes. Ellen Cooney understands love – not the short-lived rewards of romantic love – but love as in discovering and learning to accept the strengths and weaknesses of ourselves and others – which very much includes man’s best friend and some of mankind’s weirdest animal natures. All about dogs, humans, love, loss, hope, and the licking of wounds, The Mountaintop School for Dogs and other Second Chances is highly recommended.
Title: The Mountaintop School for Dogs and other Second Chances
Author: Ellen Cooney
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt