This book would definitely appeal to anyone who loves dogs, and anyone who doesn't. It is about a boy called Hal who desperately, desperately wants a dog for his birthday. His parents won't let him have one because they think it would make too much mess in their very expensive house! They hire him a dog (Fleck) for the weekend from a place called Easy Pets, and Hal and Fleck have a brilliant time playing together. When Hal comes home on the following Monday and Fleck has been taken back to Easy Pets, he is absolutely heartbroken.
Hal finds out where Fleck was hired from with the help of a new friend called Pippa and breaks in to the building to rescue him. Hal and Pippa then run away to Scotland to find Hal's grandparents- the only problem is that they are joined by four more dogs from Easy Pets, and chased by a gang of villains. On the way to Scotland they have many exciting adventures, and Hal realises how important Fleck is to him...
This story is beautifully written and there are some very sad moments. When Hal finds out that Fleck has gone, you feel so sorry for him and realise how lonely his life must be. This was one of the last books that Eva Ibbotson wrote before she died and it is definitely one of her best.
Recommended for age 8+.