Meg Brennan has recently relocated from Philadelphia to San Francisco and has started up a business as a pet bereavement counselor. However, as is often the case with those in the counseling field, she is struggling with her own issues. Her beloved dog, Toby, died not long after she arrived in California and since then Meg has found herself unable to leave the house. She has managed to hide this from her best friend (and landlord) who lives upstairs thanks to the magic of ordering food and other items via the Internet but Meg doesn’t know how much longer she can keep up the ruse. This situation is all the more stressful because Meg’s mother back in Philadelphia suffered (and still suffers) from debilitating agoraphobia. However, Meg is forced to deal with her own problems when she is asked to counsel Anya, a young woman who is obsessively searching for her lost dog, Billy.
This novel was just right mix of sweet and serious to go down easily and the presence of a number of memorable dog characters helped too. Though there are some plot points and potential relationships you see coming a mile away, the specific details about mental illness, grief over lost pets, and Meg’s relationships with her parents and friends elevate the story a great deal*.
*Sorry, I finished this in China back at the end of May so this is all I got.