What a Dog Knows
WHAT A DOG KNOWS is the story of Ruby Heartwood, who has spent her life running away. She ran away from the Canadian orphanage where she had been left as a newborn; she ran away from those who would exploit her; and from the man who raped her. She ran from child welfare authorities as a runaway teen and as a teenage mother. She’s never allowed herself, or wanted, to stay put in any place. She’s never felt connected. Until now.
Ruby is a psychic, a fortune teller. She has spent most of her life telling fortunes at street fairs, carnivals and the odd Renaissance Faire. Of late, her abilities to tell a person’s fortune have been declining, and she’s been left riffing on what she sees in the tea leaves or on palms. She’s on her way from one place toward an undetermined other when she is forced to seek refuge from a powerful storm. With her less than dependable Westfalia parked at Lake Harmony, Ruby is settled in for the night when there is a terrific bolt of lightning. As the storm clears away and dawn breaks, a voice outside the van demands: “Let me in.” There is no one there but a little tri-colored spaniel. As plain as day Ruby hears the little dog’s thoughts, she too wants shelter. The little Hitchhiker becomes Ruby’s fast friend and her familiar. And Ruby hopes that this new skill, to communicate with animals, will revitalize her career.
Despite a history of never staying put, Ruby finds herself lingering in Harmony Farms, almost against her will. She is haunted by strange dreams which lead her to wonder if she’s not been running away all this time, but running toward something–or someone.