Cash is a good dog who breaks the stereotypes about pit bulls.
Everyone knows that pit bulls are dangerous, ready to fight at the drop of a hat, attacking without a reason, killing or injuring both children and adults. There ought to be a law against them!
Her name was Cash, and Mackenzie fell in love with her as soon as he saw her. He'd always wanted a puppy. She was a good dog, never making a fuss, never doing anything she wasn't supposed to. The house near the train tracks was safe and warm. It had been a long time since Cash was either of those things, and she'd never had anyone take care of her the way Mackenzie did.
Mackenzie was happy too. He didn't really have any friends, but he had Cash and that was enough. It didn't take Cash long to learn not to make the big man angry, just like Mackenzie had learned. But she was only a puppy, not even a year old, and puppies make mistakes. Mackenzie's father shouted at her, then picked her up and threw her in the trunk of the car, and drove away, paying no attention to Mackenzie's shouts and tears. When he thought he was far enough away, he stopped the car and dragged Cash out of the trunk, then shouted and kicked at her. Cash took off as fast as she could, across the field filled with rubble, not stopping until she found a shelter where she could wait for Mackenzie. She had no idea where she was, but she was sure he would come and take her back where it was safe and warm.
She waited for three days without food or water. Mackenzie didn't come. Finally, she realized that he wasn't coming, and that she needed to learn how to survive on her own, and find food and water and shelter. But that wasn't easy in a town that hated pit bulls, and was about to pass a law banning them.
Mackenzie never gave up looking for Cash, always hoping that sometime, somehow, she'd show up. But the months passed, and Cash grew from a puppy to a dog—a big dog, with a strong jaw and sharp teeth, and a bark that was deep and threatening. And even though Cash really was a good dog, she looked dangerous, and people were afraid of her.
Sometimes lost dogs are found. Sometimes they aren't. What does the future hold for Cash and Mackenzie?
This booktalk was written by university professor, librarian, and booktalking expert Joni Richards Bodart.