This section was really intense, wasn't it? Could you believe all the things that happened with Todd? That was totally unexpected.
Let's start our discussion with Todd. I knew that he was a dangerous kid, and I figured he killed Marshmallow, but I never expected that he would do something as disastrous as set a house on fire while people were in it. He just kept escalating in brutality. What was the deal with the meat that he left for Bailey? Was it poisoned? Throughout the first part of the book, I just felt a little confused about what Todd's purpose was. Was he just meant to show Bailey that some people were dangerous? Did he just help Bailey learn how to protect people?
It was sad that Ethan was so injured from the fire. I couldn't believe it ended his football career. Ethan's absence really affected Bailey as well. I was a little worried that Ethan would never come home, or that if he did come home, he would be so changed that he wouldn't still want to be around Bailey. Were you worried that Ethan would lose his will to live after the accident?
I liked how Bailey injected himself into Hannah and Ethan's relationship. In chapter 13, Bailey commented that he liked to sit at Ethan and Hannah's feet to give them something interesting to talk about. That line made me laugh out loud because I think my dog thinks the same thing. She always ends up right in the middle of any family conversation.
Were you surprised that Bailey came back as a working dog named Ellie? I thought that was an interesting twist. I liked reading about the training, even though Jakob wasn't a very loving character. I think Ellie needed Jakob's strict guidance to learn, but that she had a better relationship with Maya. I was really glad that Maya ended up keeping Ellie and working to get certified.
This section ended with a cliffhanger, didn't it? It was interesting to read how they kept Ellie's spirits up after she kept finding dead people in the rubble. I never thought that a dog would get discouraged after only finding people who had already passed away. What do you think Ellie is going to find in the rubble? Do you think she'll be able to help that person who is still alive?
Check out the video below if you're interested to see another kind of search and rescue dog in action.
Finally, if you want to read more about W. Bruce Cameron including information about his writing process and his life with his dog, check out this article from Writer's Digest.
I'm really excited to read your thoughts about this section. I hope you'll tell me that I wasn't the only one to get emotional several times while reading! Make sure to finish the book by next week.