Dog Friendly lovely, enjoyable, slow paced Women’s Fiction for Dog Lovers that represents darker side of veterinarian profession.
Dog Friendly by Victoria Schade
Publication Date : June 28th 2022
Publisher : Berkley Books
Genre : Contemporary / Women’s fiction
Pages : 352
Tea for this book : It’s cozy and slow paced so you sure need Black Tea to stay awake
Disclaimer – Many thanks to Berkley for eARC via NetGalley.
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“Perfect to read on the beach.” -The Boston Globe
A burned-out veterinarian takes a much-needed beach vacation, where a charming surfer makes waves in her love life, and a unique foster pup renews her passion for her work.
Exhausted veterinarian Morgan Pearce is feeling overworked and under-thanked, so when two favorite clients ask her to watch their special needs senior dog in their Nantucket home, she jumps at the chance for a summer break. She hopes her time on the island will be a reset from the stress of her everyday life, but her chill vacation vibe takes a hit when she gets roped into fostering a challenging, anxious dog and helping plan the local rescue group’s glittery annual fundraiser.
Her trip starts to feel more like a vacation when Morgan begins falling for Nathan Keating, an irresistible entrepreneur who thinks every problem can be solved on a surfboard. Just as the summer is shaping up to be the magical refresh she needs, thanks to a fling that feels like the beginning of something real and Hudson, the foster dog who reminds her how much she loves her job, a visit from her estranged brother and the discovery of who Nathan really is changes everything. Morgan finds herself at a crossroads, trying to determine if mistakes from the past must define the future, or if she should forgive, forget, and grab hold of a chance to finally rescue herself.
Heartwarming Women’s Fiction for Dog Lovers
Dog Friendly is heartwarming and lovely contemporary that revolves around overworked, burned-out veterinarian, Morgan Pearce, who has to take a vacation after losing consciousness due to fatigue. She accepts request ofone of her patient to dogsit for them in Nantucket for a summer where she finds her love for job once again and also understands the importance of taking care of herself.
The story is about depression, compassion fatigue, emotional trauma, impact of lack of work-life balance on mental health, dark side of profession, importance of therapy, friendship, and love.
Plot is character driven emotionally engaging and steady to slow paced, written in third person narrative from Morgan’s perspective. This is more women’s fiction than romance with the beautiful setting of Nantucket with sunshine, beach, delectable food, and dog friendly community that made the story charming.
Morgan is lovely, kind, compassionate, overachiever, and an empath who loves her job. Her passion and love for animals is admirable but she doesn’t like the emotionally draining side of her profession. She is having hard time coping with it with no cushion to comfort her feelings.
At first I didn’t understand why kept saying she didn’t deserve break or time away. I get her point that it’s not just her who is overworked, all her colleagues are but sure looking at the impact on her mental health she needed time and care for herself too. Later, I could figure out it was her denial mode but that too at the very end when author gave the questions to discuss the book. When the therapist came in picture she talked about why she felt she didn’t deserve the break but it didn’t feel like it was her denial mode. So here, I would have liked it discussed more as it made me feel like I don’t get the character.
As story progressed it was great to see her connecting with new people, how she let them in and shared her feelings related to her profession, how she realized talking about her problems made things more clear, and made her understand the importance of therapy and self-care.
Nathan is interesting character. There is more to him than his sunny charming nature but we don’t get his back story and that’s why I didn’t exactly feel anything for him. He felt like he is just there as a character who is going to be there to support Morgan and love her. At the same time lack of his background also made the twist in climax surprising.
I don’t know how I feel about sibling relationship between Mac and Morgan. They drifted apart when Mac was bullied for being overweight in childhood. He lashed out on Morgan and they could never mend the broken bond. I liked that second chance to their sibling relationship is included as subplot. I loved that Ellie is the support and push Mac needed to get over the childhood hurt, make things right with his sister and be better person once again but at the same time he never accepted lashing out on Morgan wasn’t right, their conversation on this wasn’t as satisfying.
Like I said romance isn’t at the center of the story. Chemistry between Morgan and Nathan is okay. What I liked most is author taking their relationship slow, keeping Morgan’s mental health and her dilemma in mind that made this realistic. I also liked how developed they both are when it came to making their new relationship work and being clear about their intentions.
Best part of the story is theme of compassion fatigue and emotional trauma that every veterinarian go through. I haven’t seen this discussed in other books that had veterinarian main character. In fact, I saw the profession represented as very lovely and enjoyable work that includes cute furry animals.
I didn’t know the darker side of the profession. I can’t imagine how one can go through taking tough decisions, being at receiving end of clients’ anger and mean words, not able to do anything when client treat their animals badly or when they leave negative reviews online, and poeple always wanting free animal advices… at the same time having life outside work that has its own problems. It was shock to know there is higher suicideal rate in this profession.
Dogs are also amazing in the book. I never had dog as pet, I’m a cat person but it was interesting to know about dogs, their behavior, ailments and dieseases more. It showed in the book how much author knows about dogs.
Climax is surprising and interesting. I liked reading more about Nathan that I felt missing throughout the book. I loved Morgan for being loyal and thinking about Mac first. Her concern about her relationships are genuine and realistic. I liked Nathan’s big lovely gesture at the end and I liked how things worked out for all characters including furry ones.
Why 3.5 stars-
I didn’t like the lull in middle part. It felt like nothing much is happening in the book in terms of character development and romance for long time. Like I said I wish there was more discussion on what Morgan was going through, what has affected her self-esteem, and why she feared talking about her problems for most of the book. Both romantic and sibling relationships are okay.
Overall, Dog Friendly is heartwarming, lovely, enjoyable, slow paced women’s fiction with serious topics and beautiful setting.
I recommend this if you like,
Slow paced story
Almost clean romance
Theme of compassion fatigue, emotional trauma
Story dealing with mental health
Fan of dogs
Darker side of veterinarian profession
Set in Nantucket
Dog friendly community
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