Dog Days - Becky Citra - E-Book

Dog Days E-Book

Becky Citra

4,49 €


Brady is a dreadful card player and he doesn't like dogs. His mother has moved him across the country to be near to his grandfather who insists on playing (and winning) endless games of Crazy Eights and whose ornery, ancient dog makes Brady's life miserable. Abra, next door, is nice to him, but she dresses like a witch and she's a girl. The only way that Brady can see to make real friends in his new home is to enter the upcoming dog show, but how is he going to do that without a dog?

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Seitenzahl: 64


Dog Days

Becky Citra


Copyright © 2003 Becky Citra

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.

National Library of Canada Cataloguing in Publication Data Citra, Becky

Dog days / Becky Citra.

“An Orca young reader”

ISBN 1-55143-256-0

I. Title.

PS8555.I87D63 2003         jC813’.54         C2002-911517-5

PZ7.C499Do 2003

Library of Congress Control Number: 2002115955

Summary: Brady must overcome his fear of dogs if he wants to make friends in a new town.

Free teachers’ guide available.

Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support of its publishing programs provided by the following agencies:the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the British Columbia Arts Council.

Cover design by Christine Toller Cover & interior illustrations by Helen Flook

Printed and bound in Canada



Orca Book Publishers

Orca Book Publishers

1030 North Park Street




Victoria, BC Canada

Custer, WA USA

V8T 1C6


05 04 03 • 5 4 3 2 1


chapter one

chapter two

chapter three

chapter four

chapter five

chapter six

chapter seven

chapter eight

chapter nine

chapter ten

chapter eleven

chapter twelve

chapter one

“We are now approaching the planet Jupiter.”

Brady piloted his model of the Starship Enterprize across Gramp’s living room. He dodged between an ancient windup record player and an old dusty saddle.

The model was an early birthday present from Mom. He’d stayed up late three nights building it. Brady bit his lip. It was one of the best things he’d ever made, and there was no one to see it.

Footsteps slapped in the hall. Brady landed the Starship gently on a faded velvet armchair. Gramp shuffled into the living room. His slippers looked like bear paws. Wild horses galloped across his pajamas. He was carrying a large box wrapped in newspaper.

Mom came through the kitchen doorway, wiping her hands on a tea towel. She shot Brady a warning look. Brady knew what it meant. Pretend you like the present. His heart thumped. Gramp always gave him weird presents. Last year it was a horseshoe. Mom had told him to hang it over his door for good luck. Well, it sure hadn’t worked.

For a second, Brady let himself think about last year’s birthday. He and Mom had been living in the city, far away from Gramp. The horseshoe had come in the mail in a box covered with masking tape. Brady and his best friends, Thomas and Jason, had rolled their eyes and laughed. Then Mom had treated them to the pool and the arcade and a movie. It had been a great birthday. He’d planned to do exactly the same thing this year.

That was before Gramp got his problem. That’s what Mom called it. Gramp’s problem. Anger bubbled up inside Brady again.

“He’s afraid to go out of the house,” Mom had explained patiently. “It’s sort of an old person’s thing.”

“Mr. Tadley goes out, and he’s old,” Brady had pointed out. Mr. Tadley lived in the apartment next to Mom and Brady. He rode a motorcycle and gave Brady a loonie when they rode up in the elevator.

Mom’s forehead had wrinkled. That was a bad sign. Brady should have seen trouble coming. But it was hard to worry about a grandfather he had never even met, a grandfather who lived thousands of miles away in a little town on the other side of the country.

Then Mom had ruined his life.

“Moving? We’re moving?” Brady’s stomach had plunged to his feet.

Cold with shock, he had listened to Mom’s arguments. She had a great new job opportunity. They could see Gramp every day. It would be super to get out of the city. They’d try it for a year and then decide.

“We could even think about getting a dog,” she had suggested. “Kids in small towns have dogs. It could help you get over your nervousness.”

Brady had shot her an icy look. “How many times do I have to tell you? I’m not nervous of dogs. I just don’t like them.”

Just because Brady crossed the street when a dog approached and once said he approved of the No Dogs rule in their apartment building, Mom thought he was afraid of dogs. She blamed it on what she called his bad experience. When he was three years old, a friend’s Saint Bernard had cornered him in a bathroom and he’d been trapped for two hours before anyone noticed. Brady sighed. Everyone acted like it was against the law if you didn’t think dogs were the greatest thing in the world.

Beside him, Gramp coughed. Brady shifted his thoughts back to the box. Gramp’s bright eyes bored into him. He tore the newspaper off in long strips and crumpled it into a wad. Cautiously he lifted the lid of the box.

“Boots,” he said in disbelief.

The boots had high heels, pointy toes and scrolly designs on the sides. Dust lined the creases in the leather, and something crusty and brown stuck to the soles.

“My old boots, when I was a boy!” said Gramp. He stared defiantly at Brady. “That’s horse manure!”

Brady shuddered. Gramp used to be a cowboy. He’d ridden wild horses. He’d been a champion roper in the rodeos. Ever since they moved here, Brady had heard the stories. That didn’t mean Brady wanted to be a cowboy too. He had a sickening feeling Mom would try to make him wear this stuff.

“They look like girl’s boots,” he muttered.

Mom frowned.

Brady sighed. “Thanks anyway, Gramp.”

“Ha!” said Gramp. He shot Brady a long hard look. Then he sidled towards the card table by the window. Brady’s chest tightened. He knew what was coming next.

Every afternoon Mom and Brady rode their bikes the six blocks from their new house to Gramp’s house to check on him and make his supper. Brady always got stuck playing cards with Gramp. The trouble was, Brady was the world’s worst card player. He mixed up spades and clubs. And he couldn’t shuffle.

“I’m going upstairs to read comics,” he said quickly. He caught Mom’s eye. “Just for a little while.”

Gramp collected old Marvel comics. He stored them in cardboard boxes in a little room at the top of the house. Brady had discovered them a week ago.

The stairs in Gramp’s house were narrow and dark. Ooomph. Brady tripped over something heavy lurking in the shadows. A low growl rumbled in the darkness.

Brady’s heart jumped into his throat. “Hey, look out, Grit!”

Grit was Gramp’s dog. His name was short for True Grit. In dog years, Grit was as old as Gramp. He had black-and-white fur, a rusty patch between his ears and washy eyes. On the wall in Gramp’s living room was a photograph of Grit in a gold frame, a much younger looking Grit, with a glossy coat and bright eyes, clutching a Frisbee in his mouth and with a red ribbon hanging around his neck.

“Frisbee-catching champion,” Gramp had boasted when he caught Brady looking at the picture. He’d rummaged around on a shelf and produced a blue- and-red Frisbee. He rubbed off the dust with his sleeve. “This was his favorite.”

For just a second, Brady had pictured himself throwing the Frisbee for the big black dog. He’d take him down to that park near their new house. A group of guys hung out there with a bunch of dogs, throwing sticks for the dogs and tossing a ball around. Brady had been watching them for almost three weeks. He’d biked past lots of time slowly, but he couldn’t get up the nerve to say hi.