In Dog We Trust
Questions for Discussion
1. Mr. Allardyce says, “My dogs are much better people than any of the people I know,” and he puts his money where his mouth is. Chris’s family also devotes a lot of time and resources to raising money for animal charities. Do you think there is any moral conflict in devoting so much money and effort to animal welfare as opposed to focusing on humanitarian causes?
2. When Chris breaks up with Jocelyn he offers her an expensive “parting gift.” Do you think she should have accepted the bracelet?
3. Mr. Allardyce and his acquaintances from the dog show world place a premium on preserving breed standards (both aesthetic and behavioral). In your opinion, what responsibilities do owners of purebred dogs have to adhering to historical breed standards and to providing their purebred dogs with access to the activities for which they were bred (e.g., herding opportunities for border collies)?
4. Lila, Jocelyn, and Bree stand by while Chris purchases an emerald that is allegedly cursed. If you could bestow a curse on a piece of jewelry, what would the curse be and who would you give it to? What if you could bestow a blessing on a piece of jewelry?
5. On multiple occasions throughout this novel, characters have to decide what matters most to them: “Your money or your life?” How do you see this dilemma playing out in your own life and your own choices?
6. Given what Nora tells Jocelyn about the circumstances of her courtship, marriage, and divorce with Mr. Allardyce, to what extent did she “deserve” what she got? Did Nora’s disclosure change your perception of Mr. Allardyce at all?
7. Was it right or wrong of Friday’s owner to effectively sell him to Jocelyn? Was Jocelyn right or wrong to agree to the sale?
8. What would you like to see happen to Bree as she embarks on the next step of her journey?
9. After she becomes the de facto beneficiary of Mr. Allardyce’s estate, Jocelyn experiences immediate differences in the way she is treated and perceived by others. How do you think your social, familial, and/or romantic relationships might be affected if you unexpectedly inherited tens of millions of dollars?