Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Life of a Raggedy Rascal

Life began in hardship for Scruffy, carried to survival by her mother from a fire in a condemned building, only to be orphaned by a sheepherder’s rifle. Soon she is rescued and nursed back to health by some merciful children but leaves them to make her way back to the city. A kindly street performer takes her in and shows her the possibilities of human decency. But in the middle of a cold night, fate decides that Scruffy must once more to be alone.

Alone that is, until a bullterrier named Butch accepts her as part of the street pack that beds down each night in an abandoned car and roams the streets and back alleys during the day. Then one terrible day they are all taken to the pound and condemned to death. But by now, Scruffy has a talent for survival. She not only saves the day but she becomes a national celebrity.

I’ve read many books about dogs over the years but none of them as often as I have read Scruffy by Jack Stoneley. The book is loosely based on a true story, in fact, it was the author himself who wrote the newspaper article. Scruffy’s history throughout the book is fictional “though all of the incidents described have happened to actual dogs and are based on brief press reports of their exploits”.

Originally published in England as The Tuesday Dog, this 150 page little story doesn’t take too long to read and was a quick re-read for the Four-Legged Friends Challenge hosted by Kailana. I loved how the story is told from Scruffy’s point of view but doesn’t “humanize” her at all. I can’t seem to find much on the author but I would love to read more things by him if they’re all as good as Scruffy is.

Unfortunately, this wonderful story is currently out of print and extremely hard to find but well worth it if you happen to run across it in an old library or something. The book was made into a 3 part series on ABC-TV in 1980 but it is also a rare find. I got to watch it for the first time a year or two ago and imagine my surprise when I saw that it was animated! It was still very good but nothing can beat the originals source material.

~ This book was: “Dedicated to the many millions of unwanted strays throughout the world”


  1. What fun! I love the oddball books that you'd never otherwise hear of. Sounds cute!

  2. I love the photo of the book - is it your book? It looks well loved! I will keep my eyes open for this one - it sounds sweet. But can you get attached to the dog? I refuse to read another book where the dog gets it at the end!



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