Lucy Rescued By Harriet Ziefert



lucy rescued

My kids pulled this book off the shelf in the local library. Given that we rescued our beautiful, yet anxious staffy/lab, Tilly, 5 years ago, my two were drawn to this book, about a little dog rescued from the pound.


Written in the first person, through the eyes of a little girl, this is the story of Lucy, a very cute little dog the family sees at the dog pound. Lucy’s ‘time is almost up’ and so, the family decides to adopt her.

Unfortunately, Lucy is a bit anxious and takes to howling all day and all night. The family do everything they can think of to ease her stress and stop the howling, but nothing works. Until, that is, the girl has the idea of giving Lucy her own special soft toy to cuddle. This works a treat and Lucy (and the whole family) sleep soundly, but perhaps one special toy isn’t quite enough…

Why I love it:

I love this book because it really does take me back to the time we rescued Tilly and it reminds me of where she came from and of how her anxiety is reasonable, all things considered. Tilly has never been a howler, but she is a bit of a chewer and a poo-er and a fence-jumper – all these things only when we leave the house. Basically, she’s nervous at being left alone and Lucy Rescued reminds me that it’s always going to be our job to ease her nerves. And that’s okay, because we love her.

Themes to discuss with your child:

  • The pound
  • The phrase ‘her time was almost up’
  • Pet adoption
  • Anxiety
  • Caring
  • Unconditional love
  • Problem solving
  • Compassion
  • Kindness

Questions to ask your child:

Before reading:
  • What do you think this book might be about?
  • Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
  • Is this a book you want to read? Why/why not?
  • Where do you think the cover illustration is set?
  • What emotion do you think the girl is feeling? What makes you think this?
  • How do you think the dogs in the cages are feeling? What tells you this?
  • What do you think it means to ‘rescue’ someone?
After reading:
  • Did you enjoy this book? Why/why not?
  • If Lucy was your dog, how would you have felt about the howling?
  • Why do you think Lucy howled?
  • Why do you think the soft toys stopped the howling?
  • Do you think the family handled the situation well? What would you have done if you were in their position?
  • Do you think it’s a good idea to rescue animals from the pound? Tell me your thoughts.

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