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books on dogs

“Dog” returned, 76 years later

Seventy-six years after he checked it out, Mark McKee has returned “A Dog of Flanders” to a Michigan library.

No late fees will be charged.

In 1934, McKee, then a 13-year-old, checked out “A Dog of Flanders” by English author Marie Louise de la Ramee, from the Mount Clemens Public Library in Michigan.

Seventy-six years later, he found it among his possesions and mailed it back, according to an Associated Press report.

McKee, now 89, said in a letter to the library that  he was initially “entranced by the book and kept it with my prized possession.”  Later, it got lost in the shuffle of life until he recently discovered it.

“My conscience took over,” wrote McKee, who is former publisher of The Macomb Daily in Michigan, and now a winter resident of Chandler, Arizona.

“A Dog of Flanders,” an 1872 novel published under the pseudonym “Ouida,” is about a Flemish orphan named Nello who befriends an abused dog named Patrasche.

Library Director Donald Worrell Jr. said he was thrilled to get the book back.

In his letter, McKee said he estimated the fine on a book overdue for 76 years could total thousands of dollars. But Worrell said there won’t be a fine.

“We figure the story is better than the money,” Worrell said.

Comments

Comment from Anne’n'Spencer
Time December 22, 2010 at 10:52 pm

Oh, dear! “A Dog of Flanders” ranks in my top three dog books that are guaranteed to make their readers weep buckets. The other two would be “Bob, Son of Battle” and of course, “Old Yeller.” A dog-loving friend of mine who is well-educated, well-read, and otherwise sophisticated said one time that as an adult she still can’t read sad dog books or sad horse books. I’m with her. I actually found my old copy of “Bob” while moving, and while I’ve kept it, I tried revisiting it and couldn’t make it past the first few chapters. I must have been made of sterner stuff as a pre-teen–or else I recognized the value of a good cry.

Comment from manuel
Time December 24, 2010 at 2:40 am

I’ve seen the 1997 unedited anime movie version. Tear jerker for sure. I recommend it for those who have never seen anime before.

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