I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Megan's Pet Sitting Adventure by Pamela Foland
Series: Megan's World #2
Also in this series: Megan's Munchkins
Published by Sonny's Legacy Publishing on November 4th 2017
Genres: Childrens, Middle Grade
Source: ARC from publisher
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Bringing up four kittens is expensive, and if Megan can’t come up with an idea fast, her parents will give her precious babies away. She thought pet sitting would be a fun, easy job. Getting to be around more animals - what could go wrong? Megan gets her first job watching Mrs. Driscoll’s pets for the weekend. She is responsible for the enthusiastic lab named Max, a talkative African parrot named Taffy, and a finicky Burmese cat named Holly. Each pet comes with its own quirky personality, but Megan plans to look after them like her own. She enlists the help of her best friend Jill, but Jill’s mind isn’t focused on the pets. Is Megan in over her head? Her neighbor’s pets are certainly testing Megan’s pet care knowledge. She is thrown one curveball after another as she works to keep the three pets safe and happy. How will Megan fare? Will she earn the Driscoll’s praise or get scolded for giving poor pet care? Find out in this exciting story of Megan’s Pet Sitting Adventure!
Again, this book very realistically portrays the shenanigans that come with pet sitting. It reminds me of all the trouble I had while pet sitting recently! A lot of things I realised were true that I wouldn’t have thought of before (and most books don’t include). For example the pets behaving differently for sitters than for their owners. In the book, Holly the cat doesn’t eat at first and then gets picky when she does eat. This is sort of true for cats in general—many are finicky eaters—but especially cats and dogs who have had their routines disrupted by owners going on vacation. I had two dogs who wouldn’t eat when I fed them, only much later at night (when I wasn’t watching), and I had similar problems getting them to eat their vitamins. They just know exactly how to separate them from the rest of their food! One thing that I used successfully was peanut butter. Megan didn’t think of it, but she still came up with clever ways to get the dog to eat it. I think she used bread instead of peanut butter at one point. And as for Taffy the parrot biting her all the time—I would just get some heavy-duty gloves. I’m not about to keep getting bitten! That may have saved her a lot of trouble. But it was a lot to take on all at once. Another realistic thing was that sometimes the owners say one thing and the animal does another. The Driscolls say that Taffy’s wings are clipped, but she still manages to fly around the house and refuse to go back into her cage. In my case it was potty training. Every single time I had to look after a dog, whether at my own house or the owner’s, the owner always claimed the dog(s) was potty-trained, but not for me it wasn’t! Every single dog went in the house at some point. Sometimes exclusively. That sort of ties in with the first point. Animals behave differently for sitters.
The relationship between Megan and Jill seemed even more strained in this book. We already knew that Jill was more boy-crazy than pet-crazy, but Megan got scary intense about it. She bordered on rude when she chastised Jill about having a life other than pets and was not very empathetic when Jill had a minor heartbreak. She tried a little, but ultimately she did not have the frame of reference to be able to comfort Jill properly. That’s something she’s going to have to work on. And it is a little scary how Megan has such a one-track mind. She honestly doesn’t seem to have much of a life outside pets. Sure, she’s good at school, and gets excited about seeing Kevin and Stacey, but she doesn’t do many things with her parents or anyone other than Jill. And when she’s with Jill she really only does or talks about pet-related things. It’s great that she wants to get a job and make some money, and continue to prove her responsibility, but she probably needs to round out her life a bit more to achieve maximum happiness. And pet-sitting certainly piled on the stress—she wasn’t eating or sleeping as well as she had been before. She’ll have to find a balance. It’s a lot for one girl to do. I’m sort of on her parents’ side in the whole affair. I just think it’s funny that she was more focused on buying toys for the cats with the money rather than other things, like seriously saving up for vet bills. She could just make toys at home. It’s a pretty well-known fact that cats love to ignore the fancy toys you buy them and use other things. You buy a cat a bed, she’ll just play in the bag it came in. You buy a cat a new gadget or scratching post and she’ll just sit in the box. In my case, you buy a cat a bunch of mice and ball toys and he’ll immediately lose them and continue playing with his favourite thing, ripped-up pieces of the pad under the carpet. Cats! But I know that Megan is certainly thinking about saving for spaying and neutering, so hopefully she’ll use the money appropriately. Especially since she has (sort of) decided to come clean with the vet about the fact that she isn’t actually in 4-H, and that coupled with the fact that she’s now earning money will surely mean she’ll lose the discount. So she’ll have no choice but to use the money for vet bills.
Anyway, I could probably analyse the characters and their motives until the cows come home, but I did like the level of realism present in the books and the fact that the story is progressing in a natural way. With the wide world of pet-sitting (and earning money) now open to her and Jill, they should be able to have plenty more animal-related adventures. It certainly enables Megan to grow up pretty quickly, at least in terms of responsibility. I doubt she’ll take an interest in boys anytime soon. But we’ll see. It happens to most everyone. In any case, I think there needs to be a lot more relationship growth between her and Jill, and they need to have a more equal relationship. They also need to bond over something other than animals, because they don’t seem to have much else in common and Jill isn’t nearly as obsessed as Megan is. And it seems like Jill is Megan’s closest friend, so…again, for her overall emotional health, they should probably explore some other areas of interest.
reaction upon finishing
Well, at least that went well enough!
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