Dozer’s Run: A True Story of a Dog and His Race by Debbie Levy and Rosana Panza and illustrated by David Opie
This picture book tells the true story of a dog named Dozer, a mix of golden retriever and poodle, who in 2011 got out of the yard of his house in suburban Maryland and joined two thousand people running a half marathon to raise money for a cancer center. Those running the marathon and in the crowd just assumed Dozer belonged to one of them. But his family was not aware that he had run off. Dozer ran the entire race and crossed the finish line. Afterwards, the story of the dog running the half marathon spread and people began making donations on his behalf. In all, $25,000 was donated in Dozer’s name! When Dozer’s family found he was missing, they were worried about him and searched for him. He returned home the day after the race. He was dirty and wet and limping and exhausted, but he recovered after a couple days rest and a visit to the veterinarian. In the meantime, the organizers of the race tracked Dozer down and awarded him with a medal – the same medal all the human runners received upon completion of the race. He has since been named the official mascot of the half marathon and so continues to raise money for the cause. This is a sweet book telling an amazing and inspiring story. The story is told in third person and includes what Dozer may have been thinking, which adds to the warmth and fun of the book. The illustrations are charming and will appeal to children. The book also includes a photo of Dozer wearing his medal and a link to an online video that shows Dozer crossing the finish line. A great book for dog lovers and to inspire us to greatness and/or altruism.