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Discussion Guide for THE DOG WHO DANCED
THE DOG WHO DANCED
By Susan Wilson
Readers’ Guide Questions from the Author
1) Justine Meade has bounced around the country a good part of her life. How much of her transient lifestyle do you think is directly attributable to her upbringing and how much is simply who she is?
2) What influence, if any, does the loss of her son have on Justine’s devotion to Mack?
3) Justine is one of those women who seem to go from boyfriend to boyfriend. Why do you think she has attachment issues?
4) The Parmalees and Justine have each suffered a loss. Are there parallels between their stories?
5) At which point in the story did you root for one outcome over another, and why? Did you feel that Mack deserved one family over the other?
6) Did Artie get the comeuppance he deserved? Why or why not?
7) In what ways does Mitch earn Justine’s trust? When did Mitch earn the trust of the reader?
8) How much about humans’ grief, anger, joy, and regret do you think dogs understand? Have you ever had an experience that made you believe dogs know more than we think they know?
9) How did Mack’s dancing effect and transform Justine? How did it do so to the Parmalees? What does Mack’s dancing represent to each of them? To you?
10) At the end of the book, all three human characters have emerged with new perspectives on their pasts and their lives. What have they learned? And what has Buddy/Mack learned?
One Good Dog
By Susan Wilson
Readers’ Guide Questions
1. What explains Adam March’s outrageous attack on
2. Why do you think the author used the first person in
telling Chance’s story?
3. There are two protagonists in this story. How would the
reading experience change if we saw only one side?
4. What is Adam’s initial attitude toward Chance?
5. How does that attitude reflect his attitude in general
and the situation he’s in?
6. When Adam breaks down, what motivates Chance to
7. What does Chance think of his “career” as a fighter?
8. Should Adam forgive his father?
9. What role does Gina play in Adam’s personal growth?
10. Describe Adam’s relationship with his daughter Ariel.
Does his childhood impact this relationship, and if so,
11. Does Adam relate at all to the boys he encounters on
the street? How so?
12. What are Adam’s three sins and does he overcome them?
13. In this story, men are living on the streets as well as dogs.
Are you more likely to support animal shelters or homeless
14. Conventional wisdom believes that fighting pit bulls
cannot be rehabilitated. In many cities, a dog that has
been known to fight is automatically put down. Do you
think that a character like Chance is realistic? Does he
change your mind about pit bulls?
15. In the end, has Adam been redeemed?