The dog emergency by Sally Morgan

cover image

Ill. by Craig Smith. Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781742991351
(Age: 6+) Recommended. Brothers Ryan and Dillon live in a small country town with only one main street surrounded by cattle stations. On their way home the boys discover a dirty, dusty cattle dog with a broken leg. They want to rescue the injured animal, but they know Mum would be very cross with them if they brought it home on their billycart. She is missing their old dog Buster, who passed away the week before. There's no vet in their small town and all medical emergencies for people are seen by Murray the nurse at the nursing post.
This easy to read story is just right for the reader ready to engage with chapter books. The plot explores the plight of the dog and the interesting way the brothers raise money to pay for the vet's bill - painting Uncle Wilf's shed purple. Will the boys be able to keep Dusty the cattle dog or will Max Henry take him home to the station?
Sally Morgan's characters are down to earth; she understands family relationships, Mum's grief over losing Buster and the need for the boys to have a new pet - it is a big decision. Craig Smith's illustrations bring the country people to life, Aunty Jo's joey's pouch, eating a meal by the wood stove, even Farmer Max's appearance.
Rhyllis Bignell