I am a cat person. Even so, I appreciate and enjoy dogs, and I love heroic adventure starring animals of all sorts. Kilgore has taken everything doggie and lovable about dogs and set it against a bizarre, apocalyptic event that destroys almost the entire human population of earth. Dogs have been man’s best friend and companion for eons … but what are they without their people (or “Belongings,” as the dogs call them)? Well, for a long time, they are lost. Lost Dogs is the story of the devastation wrought by an ongoing event that changes everything; of the dogs who are left wandering and unbelonging; and of the gradual transition to finding themselves once again in the new reality.
The far-and-away star of this book is the dogs’ personalities. Buddy, the German shepherd protagonist, is a good, solid citizen. He is full of love, common sense, and the instinct to be vigilant and responsible. He struggles to hold everything together, survive, and safeguard the increasing number of lost dogs who fall in with him and his beagle-mix housemate, Sally. Sally is sweet and sensible but prone to wander and lose her way. They are joined by neighbor Pomeranians, Penny and Poppy, who are simply hilarious. Then there’s Jake and Lil and too many others to mention in this review.
The world-changing event itself is never fully explained. Sometimes alien-like, sometimes almost rhapsodic, and at one point sentient even, it lends itself to any number of reader interpretations. It plays the role of both antagonist and setting, an oppressive and unpredictable backdrop against which the drama plays out. It provides food for thought as well as the impetus that sets the quest in motion.
Buddy and his companions will cheer you, horrify you, break your heart, and make you laugh out loud. Lost Dogs is a wonderful book.