Rufus Finds a Home
By: Theodore Jerome Cohen
Publisher: TJC Press
Publication Date: January 2017
Rufus is a beautiful golden retriever who lives with Charlie, a wonderful, caring man. Charlie loves his dog but the man is getting older and can no longer care for Rufus. What will happen to this special dog?
Rufus is full of energy and wants to play. He loves to chase sticks, go for long walks, and explore his surroundings. While Charlie would love to run around with his dog, the man has grown old and tired – he can't play fetch with his dog now. The two sit by a tree on a beautiful fall day, as Charlie worries about his dog. Soon Charlie will be moving to his daughter's house, and Rufus won't be able to follow his owner to the new home. Charlie remembers many of the fun times the two shared, but his thoughts keep returning to his dog's future. What will become of Rufus?
While the two friends sit quietly by the tree, a young boy comes up to Charlie. He asks the man about his dog – what's his name, can he do any tricks – and Charlie's face lights up. There's nothing he loves better than talking about Rufus. Charlie tells Jimmy about the tricks Rufus can do, how the dog went to doggie school and was a star pupil, and how Rufus helps around the house. Jimmy is quickly joined by his sister Heather, and their mother, and all three are intrigued by the beautiful golden retriever.
As Charlie talks about his dog, Heather notices that he is quite sad.
"Then why are you sad?" asked the boy's sister, Heather,
"A fine dog like Rufus should bring joy forever."
"I know," said the man, wiping tears from his eyes,
"but old age has taken my youth by surprise."
It's clear that Jimmy and his family are loving people who adore Rufus. Will they be able to give the dog a new home?
While I've read and reviewed many dog stories that deal with rescues and finding homes for abandoned dogs, this is the first one that deals with a very difficult, but rarely discussed, topic of what happens when an elderly person is no longer able to care for their pet. Having to part with a beloved pet is hard for anybody, but for an elderly person who may have already lost a spouse, or other loved one, the event can be particularly stressful. Told in rhyme, with lovely photographs of Rufus that fit perfectly with each page's action, the story is easy to follow and heartwarming too. Rufus Finds a Home is a book that children will love to read, while it also educates them about how / why dogs sometimes need new homes.
Quill says: A difficult subject, tackled with sensitivity, makes Rufus Finds a Home a wonderful story and one children will enjoy and want to read over and over.