Another Sort of Rescue Dog: Mogie, The Heart of the House by Kathi Appelt
Some dogs are meant for dramatic rescues from burning buildings. Some dogs are meant to track down children lost in the woods. Some dogs patrol perimeters of lonely outposts, looking for saboteurs.
Mogie is not one of those dogs.
He's a shaggy, fluffy-footed, somehow goofy-looking Labradoodle, clearly capable of making messes and misbehaving.
But Mogie has one special talent.
GIVE HIM A KIDDO WHO IS BLUER THAN BLUE, AND MOGIE WILL BE TRUER THAN TRUE.
Mogie is an empathy dog. And when Mogie wanders into Ronald McDonald House, he discovers his calling.
Mogie sees a boy who used to be a busy, bouncing, back-flipping sort of boy, slumped sadly in a wheelchair.
Gage has definitely lost his Mojo!
Mogie goes to Gage and sits down beside him. He smiles at Gage in that goofy way that only a floppy, frizzy-faced, tongue-lolling dog can, and Gage looks at him. Soon Mogie finds a ball for Gage to toss, and the two become friends. Life is looking up for Gage, and he's on his way to becoming his old self. In time he's got his Mojo back and goes home.
Mogie has lost his friend. But then comes a girl, a gloomy girl who looks as if she's lost her "cha-cha-cha." Mogie knows just what to do.
Newbery-winning author Kathi Appelt tells this true story of a different sort of rescue dog, dogs whose job is to comfort and "rescue" sick and injured kids, in her latest, Mogie: The Heart of the House (Atheneum, 2014) Appelt has a light touch with what could have been somewhat smarmy story, brightening the narrative with appealing verse and with just a hint of the theme that all of us, even messy mutts, have our gifts in this world. Appelt's sweet story is ably illustrated by notable artist, Marc Rosenthal, whose engaging Mogie is the sort of pooch almost no one could resist. Publishers Weekly says, "A warm tribute to a remarkable dog and to the workers at Ronald McDonald Houses, which will receive a share of proceeds from book sales."