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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
From the time he was a puppy, Chance demonstrated an exemplary ability to understand and communicate with humans. Not many dogs, even those well trained, have such an intense connection of comprehension. Chance was born to be a hero. He began his training as a guide dog and excelled at everything except getting in and out of cars. Something about vehicles frightened him. It was a challenge he had to overcome. And he did. Good thing, since braving the scary, noisy beast of metal would one day make him every inch the hero he already was.
Jennifer Shenefield’s novel, Chance in a Lifetime, is a compassionate, heartwarming story about a very intelligent guide dog. Trained to be a human’s set of eyes, Chance excels at all he’s tasked to do, from sorting the laundry to finding lost dolls. His goal is to keep his humans happy and safe. His reward is a powerful feeling of belonging, a feeling of being loved. And he is. The story is told in the first-person from Chance’s point of view. It begins with Chance as a young puppy and progresses through his training, his first human, and the sorrow of loss before he is connected with another human, this time a young boy, Ethan.
The character of the dog is well developed and the reader truly senses Chance’s emotions at every stage of his life. The human characters are also well developed and believable. The author uses the dog’s power of perception to provide a detailed description of each setting, so the reader feels completely involved with the unfolding narrative. There is a lot of love in this story and a lot of learning for Chance, his humans, and the readers who follow his story. A lovely story from beginning to end. The reader will laugh and cry and cheer Chance along. Very uplifting.