The Christmas Dog by Melody Carlson is a heart-warming story of the unexpected ways love can come into our lives. Betty Kowalski isn't looking forward to the holidays this year. Widowed for many years with her children living far away, she can't even muster up the desire to put up decorations. Her interactions with the cranky next-door neighbor Jack certainly haven't helped. When a dirty, skinny dog runs from his yard into hers, she assumes that it belongs to Jack and tries to return it, only to have it keep coming back. And then her granddaughter Avery shows up, angry at her parents and ready to spend the holidays with the grandmother she hasn't seen in years. Carlson takes what could have been a treacly Christmas story and makes it much more through her textured portrayal of Betty who goes from a fearful near-hermit to strong loving woman determined to do the best for those she loves. It's a story certain to touch all who read it.
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