A touching tale of dog rescue in Detroit.
When Dora sees the scrawny German Shepherd mutt knocking over trash cans on her street in a desperate search for food, she spends hours trying to trap her. The dog eludes her, and those first few hours become months: long nights spent building a tenuous trust, worrying for the dog’s safety, and even tracking her to an abandoned house deep in their neighborhood, all while a harsh Detroit winter approaches.
By the time Dora and her partner, Paul, trap the dog, she is less than a week from whelping. They bring the dog (now named Eurydice) into a home already packed with dogs. Along with their own pets, they have several fosters: another mother dog they’d found a few months before, massively pregnant, on that same street; and several young puppies from the first foundling’s litter. They’re hoping Eurydice will have only a few puppies…she has nine. Eurydice is wild, and angry, and terrified of leaving the house during the day. Her puppies are sweet and smart, but anxious.
When an adopter returns one of Eurydice’s puppies, the reasons underlying that return force Dora to confront the dark reality of her family history. To help the puppy and his mother become happy, confident pets she must reexamine her own childhood and her relationships with those she loves the most.
Sunlight and Shadows is a book about dog rescue, and how to fail at training, and the many surprising ways puppies can accidentally kill you. It’s also about generational anxiety, floundering renovations, and chronic illness. Ultimately this book is about learning to wrangle the hellhounds of our better nature, and about embracing joy when it comes – even if that moment is when you’re bagging yet another double handful of dog crap.