cover image The Dogs of Christmas

The Dogs of Christmas

W. Bruce Cameron. Forge, $15.99 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3055-0

Unlike Cameron’s most recent doggie tales (A Dog’s Journey), this slender Christmas story isn’t written from a canine’s perspective. Instead, the sentimental narrative focuses on Josh Michaels, a freelance software programmer who lives alone in the Colorado mountains. Socially awkward and easily tongue-tied, he’s bamboozled by an acquaintance into caring for Lucy, a very pregnant dog. None of Lucy’s litter survives, but someone leaves a box of newborn pups in his truck and Lucy begins to mother the five as if they were her own. Kerri, an attractive young woman from the local shelter, helps Josh foster the pups so they may be adopted, in the process bringing Josh, scarred from his ex-girlfriend’s infidelity, out of his shell. His inability to communicate, however, nearly derails the budding romance. The canines inhabiting the story are adorable, and Kerri, unlike Josh, has real personality. While Josh is full of love and good intentions, until the story reaches its climax he reads like a gangly adolescent in a grown man’s body, clueless and unable to stand up for himself. Agent: Scott Miller, Trident Media Group. (Oct.)