by Yukiya Sakuragi; adapted by Ian Reid
published by Viz; $9.99 US
This volume is a definite change of pace for this series about a pet shop worker, her dog, and their friends and canine companions. I appreciate the creator tackling all phases of pet ownership, though. One thing people should consider before getting a dog, or any pet, is that they are likely to outlive their animal loved one. It’s an important lesson in understanding the cycle of life.
Kanako had a Pomeranian named Czerny. She doted on her pet, dressing the dog up in special outfits every day and generally treating her as precious. Unfortunately, Czerny has passed away suddenly. In this book, Suguri helps Kanako come to terms with her loss.
There’s a whole gamut of reactions covered here. One shop worker needs to be educated on how significant this loss can seem to a pet owner, while others feel a lot of grief. The problem of different recovery rates — some get over their pain quickly, others need much more time — causes tension among friends. An owner, losing her closest friend, might even feel suicidal.
The others worry about Kanako. Should they let her recover at her own pace, or should they step in to help? What kind of support does she need, because every situation is different? We don’t often see much of Kentaro, one of the pet shop workers, but here, he demonstrates unusual depth and consideration. And the gang has a creative suggestion to reorient Kanako in a more positive direction when it comes to remembering her beloved pet.
The big question is whether a grieving owner should get another dog, and if so, how quickly. Things are complicated by a natural disaster, which leaves both owners and pets homeless. By the end of the story, I admit, I was tearing up, because reading about the love between people and dogs is so heart-warming.
I was surprised but pleased to see such an affecting story in what I previously thought was a much lighter series. There’s a lot of thought-provoking learning here, accompanied by lovely pictures of cute doggies (and girls!). Although rated for Older Teens, I would think this would be a good read for anyone, teen and up, wondering about how to deal with loss.
Oh, and there’s also another story to change the mood, a comedy about feuding pet owners whose dogs are friends. It involves a modeling session with outfits for the pets, so the writer works in some information about sizing and reasons for dog clothes.