Saturday, June 11, 2011


Title: Hooper Finds A Family

A Hurricane Katrina Dog’s Survival Tale

Author: Jane Paley

ISBN: 9780062011039

Publisher: Harper
“My life before Hurricane Katrina was the best. Living with Mamma and George I never had to worry about where my next meal came from or where I would sleep. But, then something happened to change that and my world came crashing down. Listening to the humans speak and understanding what they were saying, I hoped they could tell from the expression on my face that I wanted to go with them wherever they traveled. Unfortunately, that was not to be. Leaving me a hardy meal and some water Mamma and George took off in their truck promising one of them would return for me. I settled down and ate my meal and felt all alone for the first time in my life. As I was looking for a safe place to sleep for the night the sky filled up with dark clouds and the rain began to fall. At first the rain came down in small droplets and then in torrential downpours, which really frightened me and chilled me to the bone. With no one in sight I searched for a safer place to weather the storm. My name is Jimmy and this is my story. I am a yellow Labrador puppy, kind of small and some think puny. I was separated from my family in Lake Charles Louisiana. A terrible hurricane strikes the land and now I have to find a new home and family.”

Author Jane Paley relates a heartwarming, true story about a brave dog named Jimmy/Hooper that finds his way from New Orleans to New York City in search of a new family. Cleverly written and narrated in the first person by the dog, you hear his inner thoughts, fears; understand his actions and interactions, as he meets some ornery animals when he finally arrives at his first destination. Courageous, brave, feisty and full of spunk this amazing dog never gives up despite any obstacles that come his way.

Jimmy’s first destination, after being rescued is a shelter for animals, is a metal cage, where he is not very happy. Learning how to get along with the other animals there would be equally as challenging as living through Hurricane Katrina. Jimmy refused to lose hope. A volunteer named Chrissie arrived at the shelter and things were about to change. Chrissie’s job was to find him a new family.

First impressions can make or break a situation. Jimmy’s new dad did not take to him at all. Jane, his new mom did. Understanding that he needed reassurance and kindness, Jane sat in the back with him holding him close. Renaming him Hooper and trying to make him feel apart of their family would take hard work and patience.

Author Jane Paley’s first-person narrative account of this puppy’s ordeal is based on the actual events of a true story. Jimmy’s story is quite unique and he tells it in his own special way. The storms he weathered, not just during Katrina are vividly described and Jimmy’s underlying fear that he could be sent back to the shelter are heard loud and clear.

Taking his first bath, fearful of the water, thinking he might drown, it takes a lot of patience on Jane’s part to reassure him that he is safe. Standing up to the meanest dog in the park, impressing one beautiful collie named Willow and facing up to the squirrels in the park, allows Hooper takes his first step to becoming a New York dog.

Hooper tries his best to become part of this family. But, Larry his new Dad does everything in his power to make him feel unwanted until something happens that just might change his mind? A heartwarming tale of survival, overcoming fears, adjusting to a new life, Hooper is one special dog that everyone will fall in love with. “My name is Hooper, read my story.”

Without rescue shelters many of our unwanted or abandoned pets would not find homes. Thanks to the many who rescued Hooper and found him a home. This review is dedicated to all of those dogs that found homes and to my mother in laws dog Randi who was one of the lucky ones.

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