Books set in Europe, Children's, Feel-Good, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Social Commentary, Stoneley-Jack, Young Adult

#672 Scruffy by Jack Stoneley

Scruffy by Jack StoneleyScruffy by Jack Stoneley

A lonely dog waits outside a house tethered to a drain pipe. Her owners, an elderly couple, have left her there. They must leave their home because it’s going to be demolished. Someone is supposed to pick the dog up, but the dog knows that it must get back inside of the house to wait for her owners to come back. She manages to free herself, but in the meantime, she misses the woman who was supposed to pick her up.

The dog soon has three puppies, they die, one by one, until only one is left. The last puppy is black and white. One day the house is boarded up and fire is set to it. The dog knows something is wrong. She has to get her puppy out. She goes upstairs with her puppy, where she has never been allowed and finds that the only way out is the chimney. She climbs out of the chimney with her puppy to be rescued in the nick of time by some construction workers.

She is taken home and cared for, but she decides to escape. These people, although nice, are not her original owners. She must get to the house and wait. She escapes with her puppy one day. They pass a field of sheep where the puppy stops to play, only to be shot at by a farmer. The mother does not make it. The puppy is left to fend on its own. The daughters of the farmer care for her for a while, but she escapes and makes it into town.

In town, she finds a homeless man, who used to be an actor, his name is Joseph Tibbles. He cares for the dog and gives her a name, Scruffy. Scruffy helps Joseph in his act, but eventually this friendship comes to an end as well. Scruffy then has to fend for herself again, but soon finds the companionship of a pack.

Eventually, the entire pack of dogs is picked up and taken into a shelter. She is placed in a Tuesday cell. When it’s one week later, all the dogs in the cell will be euthanized. A man comes in and takes a picture of Scruffy and puts it in the paper, perhaps all hope is not lost.

What I liked

This story is based on a true story. Scruffy was real. I never knew Scruffy was real. I used to have the cartoon that was based on this book. Scruffy was a real dog, who actually lived. Her story was actually in the paper. Jack, the author, put her picture in the paper, writing an article about Tuesday’s dog. The article ran the day Scruffy was supposed to be euthanized. The response was overwhelming. Everyone wanted to adopt Scruffy. Everyone wanted to adopt all the dogs in the shelter, in fact, that’s what happened. That day every single dog was adopted out of that particular shelter and from many more shelters. Scruffy went on to live to be fourteen years old with happy owners. Later on, Jack wrote this book, which was also turned into a cartoon. Jack saved hundreds of dogs with one article.

This story just goes to show you what a little knowledge can do. If people know and people act, good things can happen. Sometimes people just have to know about something so they can act.

I used to have this cartoon as a child. I used to watch it. I remembered the part about the fire. You can watch the whole thing on YouTube apparently.

I am so happy that Scruffy did succeed. I was reading this and thought all was going to be lost as I didn’t remember how the cartoon turned out. I thought Scruffy was going to get it.

What I didn’t like

Get your tissues, people. This book will grab your heart and squeeze it. It’s ends happily, but the journey getting there is rough. It is a sad story. It’s sad how some people treat animals and it’s sad how some people are treated. Some people don’t want to neglect animals, but are sometimes given no choice because they themselves are being treated badly. Sometimes it comes down to a situation of saving one’s own skin or saving the dog, and ultimately, you generally have to save yourself.

My pets provide companionship to me and I just cannot fathom that someone would just throw away an animal, just take it to the pound and leave it there to be euthanized. Any pet I’ve gotten rid of personally has gone to people, actual people.

Last year, I lost a pet, three actually. I got divorced and my ex took one of our outside cats and the dog. I have no idea what happened to the dog, but I know what happened to the cat. I additionally had to give one of my cats to a cousin because she tried to run outside every time the door was open and I couldn’t take her with me to an apartment, but she’s enjoyed herself where she’s at.

As far as the cat that my ex took, he left me this nasty note one day saying that the cat was not mine. It was scrawled in angry writing on a piece of brown paper in pencil and left in my carport. I had no idea why he left me this nasty note, just one more nasty note among many nasty notes, emails, voice mails, and texts. He later emailed me and told me that the cat was given away, implying that he found someone to take the cat. Too late, I found out that my ex had taken the cat to the pound, where he was probably euthanized. My sweet cat, was taken to a pound, right after my ex left me the nasty note, where he was probably killed because my ex is not a nice person. If I had known that the cat was at the pound, I would have gone and gotten him, but I didn’t know until too late. I later had these awful dreams about my cat and the whole situation. I was so upset over it and my whole family was actually upset over it.

Because of this incident, this book hits close to home. While I was reading about these poor dogs waiting in the shelter to die, I thought about my poor cat, just waiting there to die, with no one to come and rescue him, and it just made reading the book all the more difficult.


If you have to get rid of a pet, find a home for them, not a shelter.

Weigh In

Do you think we could garner the same reaction to Scruffy’s story today?

Do you think Jack is a hero for writing this story?

Part 1 of Scruffy below


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