A Dog Called Kitty
Goodreads ratings
4.06 / 5

"A Dog Called Kitty" Summary

By Bill Wallace

childrens | 176 pages | Published in NaN

The puppy was small and fuzzy, with a friendly, wagging tail -- and Ricky was afraid of him! No wonder, since he was attacked by a dog when he was just a baby. So when a stray puppy comes sniffling around the farm, Ricky tells it to get lost. But the puppy keeps trying to play with Ricky. And every time Ricky's Mom feeds the cats, the little dog comes running. The cats aren't sharing their food, however, and the poor pup is slowly starving. If Ricky doesn't overcome his fear, the little puppy may die -- but if he lets himself get close enough to feed it, he may find the best friend he's ever had! Winner of the Texas Bluebonnet, the Oklahoma Sequoyah and the Nebraska Golden Sower Awards.


Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

A young boy learns about courage and friendship through his bond with a misunderstood dog.


In "A Dog Called Kitty" by Bill Wallace, readers are taken on an emotional journey through the eyes of a young boy named Ricky, who is terrified of dogs. This heartwarming story explores themes of friendship, facing fears, and the power of love and understanding. With its engaging plot and relatable characters, "A Dog Called Kitty" is a must-read for children and dog lovers alike.

Brief Synopsis

Set in a small town in Oklahoma, "A Dog Called Kitty" follows Ricky, a ten-year-old boy who has an intense fear of dogs. His fear stems from a traumatic childhood experience when he was chased by a pack of dogs. Ricky's fear becomes a source of embarrassment for him, especially since his father, a veterinarian, loves dogs and can't understand Ricky's aversion.

One day, Ricky's father brings home a stray puppy and names him Kitty as a playful joke. Initially, Ricky refuses to have anything to do with the puppy, but as he spends time with Kitty, he begins to realize that not all dogs are scary. Through patience and understanding, Ricky learns to overcome his fear and builds a special bond with Kitty.

Main Characters

Below are the main characters in "A Dog Called Kitty":

RickyThe ten-year-old protagonist who is afraid of dogs.
KittyThe stray puppy that Ricky's father brings home.
Ricky's FatherA veterinarian who loves dogs and tries to help Ricky overcome his fear.
Ricky's MotherSupports Ricky and tries to help him conquer his fear.
BillyRicky's best friend and supporter throughout his journey.

Summary of Story Points

Chapter 1: The Fear Begins

  • Ricky recalls the terrifying incident that sparked his fear of dogs.
  • He avoids dogs at all costs, even crossing the street to avoid them.

Chapter 2: A Surprise Visitor

  • Ricky's father brings home a stray puppy and names him Kitty.
  • Ricky is initially terrified of Kitty and refuses to interact with him.

Chapter 3: A Change of Heart

  • Ricky's mother encourages him to spend time with Kitty.
  • Reluctantly, Ricky starts to observe Kitty from a distance.

Chapter 4: A Slow Progress

  • Ricky gradually overcomes his fear and starts petting Kitty.
  • He realizes that Kitty is not like the dogs from his past.

Chapter 5: A Special Bond

  • Ricky and Kitty develop a strong bond of friendship and trust.
  • Ricky's fear of dogs diminishes further as he spends more time with Kitty.

Chapter 6: Facing Fears

  • Ricky decides to confront his fear head-on by visiting his childhood neighborhood.
  • With Kitty by his side, Ricky realizes that he has overcome his fear.

Chapter 7: A Lesson in Understanding

  • Ricky's father explains the power of love and understanding in overcoming fear.
  • Ricky feels grateful for Kitty's presence in his life.

Main Events

  • Ricky's father brings home a stray puppy named Kitty, which sparks Ricky's journey to overcome his fear of dogs.
  • Ricky gradually builds a bond with Kitty and learns that not all dogs are dangerous.
  • Ricky confronts his fear by revisiting the place where he was chased by dogs, with Kitty by his side.
  • Ricky's fear is ultimately conquered, and he develops a deep love for dogs.

Themes and Insights

Friendship and Understanding

Through the relationship between Ricky and Kitty, the book emphasizes the importance of friendship and understanding. Ricky initially fears Kitty, but as he spends time with him, he realizes that Kitty is just a playful and loving puppy. The story shows how friendship can help overcome fear and build trust.

Overcoming Fear

"A Dog Called Kitty" explores the theme of overcoming fear. Ricky's journey from being terrified of dogs to developing a bond with Kitty showcases the power of determination, patience, and the willingness to face one's fears. It teaches readers that with perseverance, they can conquer their fears.

Love and Acceptance

The book also highlights the significance of love and acceptance. Ricky's family supports him throughout his journey, and through their love, he learns to accept himself and his fear. It emphasizes the idea that love and acceptance can help individuals overcome their insecurities and grow emotionally.

Reader's Takeaway

"A Dog Called Kitty" is a heartwarming tale that teaches children the importance of facing fears and the power of love and understanding. Through Ricky's journey, readers are encouraged to confront their own fears and learn that they are stronger than they think. This book delivers a valuable lesson in empathy, friendship, and personal growth.


In "A Dog Called Kitty" by Bill Wallace, readers witness Ricky's transformation from a fearful boy to a dog lover. Through the story's engaging plot, relatable characters, and powerful themes, young readers are inspired to face their fears head-on and discover the beauty of friendship and love. This book is a timeless classic that will continue to resonate with readers of all ages.

A Dog Called Kitty FAQ

  1. What is the main plot of 'A Dog Called Kitty'?

    The main plot of 'A Dog Called Kitty' follows a young boy named Ricky who is afraid of dogs. However, when he adopts a stray dog named Kitty, he learns to overcome his fear and forms a strong bond with the dog.

  2. Who is the author of 'A Dog Called Kitty'?

    The author of 'A Dog Called Kitty' is Bill Wallace.

  3. What age group is 'A Dog Called Kitty' suitable for?

    'A Dog Called Kitty' is suitable for readers aged 8-12, particularly those who enjoy heartwarming animal stories.

  4. Is 'A Dog Called Kitty' based on a true story?

    No, 'A Dog Called Kitty' is a work of fiction and is not based on a true story.

  5. Are there any sequels to 'A Dog Called Kitty'?

    No, 'A Dog Called Kitty' does not have any sequels.

  6. What is the setting of 'A Dog Called Kitty'?

    The setting of 'A Dog Called Kitty' is a small town in rural America.

  7. Does 'A Dog Called Kitty' have any illustrations?

    Yes, 'A Dog Called Kitty' includes illustrations by Carol Moore.

  8. Is 'A Dog Called Kitty' a heartwarming story?

    Yes, 'A Dog Called Kitty' is known for its heartwarming story about the bond between a boy and his dog.

  9. What is the page count of 'A Dog Called Kitty'?

    The page count of 'A Dog Called Kitty' varies depending on the edition, but it is typically around 150 pages.

  10. Is 'A Dog Called Kitty' recommended for dog lovers?

    Yes, 'A Dog Called Kitty' is highly recommended for dog lovers as it explores themes of companionship and overcoming fear.