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The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances (Hardcover)
August 2014 Indie Next List
“In Cooney's latest, a broken young woman and a sanctuary for broken dogs struggle toward common ground and, in the process, heal one another. Evie is a bright young woman, but often defeated by her demons. Surfing the web one night she spots a school for dog trainers and impetuously enrolls. Determined and inventive, Evie perseveres, learning to love and rehabilitate her tormented canine charges. Cooney's writing style is completely her own, lively, inventive, and fun to read. Do not miss this remarkable novel!”
— Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books, Sunriver, OR
The Sanctuary. High up on the mountain, the Sanctuary is a place of refuge. It is a place where humans save dogs, who, in turn, save the humans. It is a place where the past does not exist, where hopelessness is chased away, where the future hasn t been written, where orphans and strays can begin to imagine a new meaning for family.
Evie is making her way to the Sanctuary. She has lied to gain entry. She has pretended to know more than she does about dogs, but she is learning fast. Once the indomitable Mrs. Auberchon lets her pass, she will find her way. Like the racing greyhound who refuses to move, the golden retriever who returns to his job as the Sanctuary's butler every time he's adopted, and the Rottweiler who's a hopeless candidate for search-and-rescue, Evie comes from a troubled past. But as they all learn, no one should stay prisoner to a life she didn t choose.
This is the story of two women and a whole pack of dogs who, having lost their way in the world, find a place at a training school and radical rescue center called the Sanctuary. It is a story of strays and rescues, kidnappings and homecomings, moving on and holding on and letting go. And it is, ultimately, a moving and hilarious chronicle of the ways in which humans and canines help each other find new lives, new selves, and new hope.