Hal is a quiet, lonely boy who lives in an immaculate house with his shopaholic mother and workaholic father.
All he wants for his birthday is a dog and when to his amazement he is given one he is overjoyed. Fleck offers the unrequited love, affection and loyalty that Hal craves.
This doesn't last long when he realises he has been tricked by his unimaginative parents who have only hired the dog for the weekend from Easy Pets, an agency run by unscrupulous owners.
Hal is distraught and with the prospect of being sent away to boarding school decides to runaway from home, rescues Fleck and sets off on an adventure to his understanding grandparents in Northumbria along with four other dogs from the agency and their helper Pippa.
Chased by the detective hired by his father who is convinced he has been kidnapped, they find help from a variety of havens including a circus, care home, farm and an abbey, where each dog finds their perfect home.
The late, great Eva Ibbotson's last novel does not disappoint.
This perfectly pitched book is a eulogy to dogs. Only someone with a profound understanding and love for dogs could have written this moving book about the importance of love and friendship and the power of people and animals to provide it.