How to Look for a Lost Dog

BOOK: How to Look for a Lost Dog
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About this book

11-year-old Rose is autistic and struggles to understand her classmates. But when her father gives her a stray dog who she names Rain, the dog becomes her best friend – her anchor in a confusing world. So when Rain goes missing during a storm, Rose refuses to stop looking for her…

A touching story from the beloved author of
The Baby-Sitters Club

“If you can read, you'll love this book.”
New York Times


About this book

Meet Ann M Martin


Title Page

Note on Imperial Measurements


1. Who I am – A Girl Named Rose (Rows)

2. My Dog, Rain (Reign, Rein)

3. The Rules of Homonyms

4. Some Things About My Father, Whose Name, Wesley Howard, Does Not Have a Homonym

5. When We Got Rain

6. Who I Wait For

7. Why I Don't Ride the Bus

8. In My Classroom

9. Mrs Leibler, Who Sits Next to Me

10. Anders Isn't Following the Rules

11. When Rain Went to School

12. Some More About Homonyms

13. At the End of the Day


14. The Storm on the Weather Channel

15. Where We Live

16. How to Get Ready for a Hurricane

17. Waiting

18. Storm Sounds

19. Rain Doesn't Come When I Call

20. Why I Get Mad at My Father

21. Rain's Nose

22. What Must Have Happened


23. Why My Father Gets Mad at Me

24. I Telephone Uncle Weldon

25. How to Look For a Lost Dog

26. Someone Calls Me Ma'am

27. My Story Is Such a Sad One

28. Riding with Uncle Weldon

29. What Not to Do When You Think of a New Homonym

30. Empty Space

31. The Good Phone Call

32. The Happy Tails Animal Shelter in Elmara, New York

33. What a Microchip Is

34. What Mrs Caporale Says


35. The Thing I Have to Do

36. Mrs Kushel's Helpful Suggestions

37. Where Rain Used to Live

38. The General Store in Gloverstown

39. Found: Blonde Female Dog

40. Parvani Finds a Homonym

41. My Father Makes a Mistake with Pronouns

42. Protecting Rain

43. What Mrs Kushel Says

44. Goodbye


45. The Quiet House

46. My Father Has an Argument with His Brother

47. In the Middle of the Night

48. What Happened to My Mother

49. Hud Road

Author's Note

A Guide to the Measurements in this Book


Meet Ann M. Martin

Ann M. Martin is the author of the bestselling
Baby-Sitters Club
series, which sold 176 million copies worldwide. In addition, she is the author of over thirty critically-acclaimed novels, including
A Corner of the Universe
which won a Newbery Honor in 2003.

In memory of sweet Sadie,

March 11, 1998 – October 7, 2013

Note on Imperial Measurements

This story happens in America, where we use imperial units of measurement. Please
turn to the back for a guide
to help you calculate them in metric.

The First Part

Who I Am – A Girl Named Rose (Rows)

I am Rose Howard and my first name has a homonym. To be accurate, it has a
, which is a word that's pronounced the same as another word but spelled differently. My homophone name is Rows.

Most people say
when they mean
. My teacher, Mrs Kushel, says this is a common mistake.

“What's the difference between making a mistake and breaking a rule?” I want to know.

“Making a mistake is accidental. Breaking a rule is deliberate.”

“But if—” I start to say.

Mrs Kushel rushes on. “It's all right to say ‘homonym' when we mean ‘homophone'. That's called a colloquialism.”

“‘Breaking' has a homonym,” I tell her. “‘Braking'.”

I like homonyms a lot. And I like words. Rules and numbers too. Here is the order in which I like these things:

1. Words (especially homonyms)

2. Rules

3. Numbers (especially prime numbers)

I'm going to tell you a story. It's a true story, which makes it a piece of non-fiction.

This is how you tell a story: First you introduce the main character. I'm writing this story about me, so I am the main character.

My first name has a homonym, and I gave my dog a homonym name too. Her name is Rain, which is special because it has two homonyms – rein and reign. I will write more about Rain in Chapter 2. Chapter 2 will be called “My Dog, Rain (Reign, Rein)”.

Something important about the word
is that it has
homonyms – right, rite, and wright. That's the only group of four homonyms I've thought of. If I ever think of another four-homonym group, it will be a red-letter day.

I live with my father, Wesley Howard, and neither of his names has a homonym.

From our porch you can see our front yard and our driveway and our road, which is called Hud Road.
has two homonyms – rowed and rode. On the other side (sighed) of the road is a little forest, and through the trees you can see the New York State Thruway. The word
has a homonym – sea. But even better,
has two homonyms – seas and seize.

I'm in fifth grade at Hatford Elementary. There's only one elementary school in Hatford, New York, and only one fifth-grade classroom in the school, and I'm in it. Most of my classmates are ten years old or about to turn eleven. I'm almost twelve because no one is sure what to do with me in school. I've stayed back for two semesters, which is a total of one year.

Some of the things I get teased about are following the rules and always talking about homonyms. Mrs Leibler is my aide and she sits with me in Mrs Kushel's room. She sits in an adult-sized chair next to my fifth-grade-sized chair and rests her hand on my arm when I blurt something out in the middle of maths. Or, if I whap myself in the head and start to cry, she'll say, “Rose, do you need to step into the hall for a moment?”

Mrs Leibler tells me that there are things worth talking about besides homonyms and rules and prime numbers. She encourages me to think up conversation starters. Some conversation starters about me that do not have anything to do with homonyms or rules or prime numbers are:

I live in a house that faces north-east. (After I say that, I ask the person I'm trying to have a conversation with, “And which direction does
house face?”)

Down the road, 0.7 miles from my house is the J & R Garage, where my father sometimes works as a mechanic, and 0.1 miles further along is a bar called The Luck of the Irish, where my father goes after work. There is nothing between my house and the J & R Garage except trees and the road. (“Tell me some things about

I have an uncle named Weldon, who is my father's younger brother. (“And who else is in

My official diagnosis is high-functioning autism, which some people call Asperger's syndrome. (“Do
have a diagnosis?”)

I will finish up this part of my introduction by telling you that my mother does not live with my father and me. She ran away from our family when I was two. Therefore, the people living in my house are my father and me. The dog living in our house is Rain. Uncle Weldon lives 3.4 miles away on the other side of Hatford.

The next part of my introduction is the setting of my story. I've already told you my geographic location – Hud Road in Hatford, New York. The historical moment in time in which this story begins is October of my year in fifth grade.

Now I will tell you something troubling about fifth grade. It isn't as troubling as what happens later in the story when my father lets Rain outside during a hurricane, but it is still troubling. For the first time in my life I'm being sent home with weekly progress reports that I have to give to my father. The reports are written by Mrs Leibler and read and signed by Mrs Kushel, which is my teachers' way of saying that they're in agreement about my behaviour. The reports list all of my notable behaviours for Monday through Friday. Some of the comments are nice, such as the ones about when I participate appropriately in a classroom discussion. But most of the comments make my father slam the reports onto the table and say, “Rose, for god's sake, keep your mouth closed when you think of a homonym”, or, “Do you see any of the other kids clapping their hands over their ears and screaming when they hear the fire alarm?”

In the last report Mrs Leibler and Mrs Kushel asked my father to schedule monthly meetings with them. Now he's supposed to go to Hatford Elementary on the third Friday of every month at 3.45 p.m. to discuss me. This is what he said when he read that: “I don't have time for meetings. This is way too much trouble, Rose. Why do you
these things?” He said that at 3.48 p.m. on a Friday when there was no work for him at the J & R Garage.

Uncle Weldon heard about the monthly meetings on October 3rd at 8.10 p.m. when he was visiting my father and Rain and me.

My father was standing at the front door, holding the letter in his hand and gazing out at the trees and the darkness. “These meetings are crap,” he said.

BOOK: How to Look for a Lost Dog
9.12Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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