Rescuing Gus by Melissa Wareham

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Rescuing Gus by Melissa Wareham

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Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A story of the rescue of one dog but an excellent look at all that is involved in taking on a dog - and it's written by someone who knows her dogs! Recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 170 Date: April 2013
Publisher: Red Fox
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1849418171

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Melissa Wareham was convinced that she must be adopted: how could someone like her who loved dogs have been born to parents who, well, wouldn't have them in the house? She wasn't even that convinced when her mother produced her birth certificate. Melissa wouldn't be able to have a dog until she had a home of her own but in the meantime she got a job at Battersea Dogs' Home and it was there that she met Gus. He wasn't in the first flush of youth and his breath was a weapon of mass destruction, but he and Melissa bonded and when he was very poorly - he had kennel cough - she took him home.

Rescuing Gus is the story of how Gus changed Melissa's life. His previous owner had been imprisoned for car theft and there was no one willing or able to take on an elderly dog who was part husky and er, part one or two other breeds as well! Melissa did wonder if she'd done the right thing when Gus did his best to trash her flat, but time and care won through in the end. She's very open and honest about the difficulties of taking on a rescue dog (or indeed any dog) and no child reading this book is going to be in any doubt about what is involved and not just in terms of cost. Owning a dog is a full-time commitment and it's made clear that you can't just go off for the day if you have a dog to consider.

The book involves the reader too with questions about what they would have done in a certain situation. Melissa doesn't suggest that she had all the answers straight away - despite having a lot of experience with dogs - and she demonstrates the learning process well. I was also relieved to see that Gus's death was dealt with sensitively - there's no tale of a lengthy decline and a tear-jerking deathbed scene. He passed away peacefully in his sleep. It's sad but not overwhelmingly so.

There are some gorgeous colour photos of Gus, which I loved - a welcome step up from the usual black and white. I'd like to thank the author for sending a copy of the book to the Bookbag.

If this book appeals to a child then I can promise that they will love Take Me Home: Tales of Battersea Dogs, also by Melissa Wareham.

Buy Rescuing Gus by Melissa Wareham at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Rescuing Gus by Melissa Wareham at

Buy Rescuing Gus by Melissa Wareham at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Rescuing Gus by Melissa Wareham at


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