The Dog Share Audiobook Blog TourHello and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Dog share by Fiona Gibson. Thanks so much to Ellie at HarperCollins UK Audio for the invite and for my copy via the NetGalley app. I’m sharing an extract today, but before I do that here’s what the book is all about:

“Suzy Medley is having a bad day…. When a shabby terrier turns up at her door. Just like Suzy, Scout has been abandoned, although only Suzy has been left with a financial mess and a business in tatters thanks to her ex. Suzy takes Scout in and her chaotic world changes in unexpected ways: strangers have never been more welcoming and her teenage kids can’t wait to come home to visit. Then a chance encounter on a windy Hebridean beach makes things more complicated, because Suzy isn’t the only one who needs a friend. Scout has plenty of love to go round…but does Suzy?




‘Dad,’ I yell, ‘look at that dog!’
I’m running across Silver Beach. I know it so well; every rock, the names of all of the shells, the best places to find  flat stones for skimming. I know most of the people we  see here – and their dogs – at least to say hi to. But I’ve never seen this dog before. I stop and wait for Dad to catch up. ‘That’s the kind I want,’ I tell him.
‘Are you sure?’ he says, smiling. ‘Last time we looked, you said you’d have any kind . . .’

He means the dog rescue centre websites. I’m always checking them out, seeing which dog I’d adopt if Dad  would let me. Not that he will – I realise that. It wouldn’t  be fair, I’m out all day, we don’t have a garden, blah blah-blah. I’ve heard it all a million times. But it doesn’t stop me looking . . . just in case. I like reading about dogs too. I know loads of canine facts, like they only sweat from furless areas (their noses,  the pads on their feet). And when they see a dog on TV,  they actually recognise it as a dog. Some even have their favourite programmes (my friend Lucas’s whippet likes  Match of the Day). Dogs are amazing. I grab a piece of driftwood and throw it. The dog tears after it and brings it back to me. We do it again and  again as Dad strolls about, looking for more sticks. The dog’s mostly brown, with a patch of white on his chest, and he’s a bit scruffy and skinny. He probably wouldn’t win any of those competitions where the dogs  are paraded about in front of judges. I don’t really like  those competitions, but maybe the dogs don’t mind.  Obviously they can’t say, ‘God, this is boring, having to  sit nicely and look neat. Can we go out and play now?’ I like thinking of all those competition dogs sending each other telepathic messages, planning a mass breakout.  I mean, they can communicate through sounds, movements and by producing scents – so why not by telepathy too? A dog is as intelligent as a two-year-old human, I told Dad recently. That’s amazing. But we’re still not getting one, he said with a smile. 

‘I can’t see anyone about,’ Dad’s saying now. ‘Maybe he’s run away?’ 
‘Yeah, maybe.’ I nod. 
‘We should take him to the police station,’ he adds. 
‘Can’t we play a bit more?’ 
Dad checks his watch. ‘No, we really should go. We don’t want to miss the ferry, do we?’

In fact, I wouldn’t mind missing it this time. I don’t really want to go back to Glasgow. And I definitely don’t  want to take the dog to the police station. I want to play  here all day, like I used to, when it wasn’t just me and Dad who came to the island, but Mum, too. Sometimes I feel sad being here without her. It didn’t matter so much when I was little – I’d been busy building  sandcastles, filling my bucket with seawater to flood  moats, all of that. But I’m not little any more. I’m ten years old and sometimes the sadness seems to creep in, a bit like the seawater that seeps in through my trainers  and wets my feet. And I can’t do anything to stop it. I miss her then. But I’m not missing her now that I have this little dog to play with.

We run and run, and I  pretend not to hear as Dad calls out:
‘I don’t feel good  about leaving this dog on the beach by himself. If we  hurry up now, we could drop him off at the police station  and we’ll still catch the ferry . . .’
‘Aw, Dad!’
‘He’s probably run away. And someone’ll be going crazy, looking for him.’
Dad’s looking serious now, properly worried.
‘See if you can catch him. We can use my  scarf as a lead . . .’
‘Can’t we take him home?’ I stare at Dad, wanting him to say yes more than anything. ‘Please, Dad. Please!’
‘I’m sorry. You know we can’t do that.’
‘But he’s lost! Or maybe he’s been abandoned?’
I look back round, expecting to see the dog sitting there, waiting for our stick game to start up again. But he’s not there. And when I scan the whole beach I spot a blur of brown in the far distance, growing smaller  and smaller until he runs around the headland, and is gone.

Chapter One 

Two Years Earlier 


The island had come clearly into view, illuminated by a  shaft of silvery light. We stared, transfixed, from the deck  of the ferry. 

‘So, what d’you think?’ Paul asked.
‘It’s incredible,’ I murmured. ‘It’s like one of those old religious paintings – like a Michelangelo or something.  All it needs are some floating cherubs and a scattering of  naked muscular gods . . .’
He laughed and squeezed my hand. 
I glanced at his handsome profile: long, strong nose; full lips; messy, wavy, light brown hair being buffeted by  the wind.
‘I’m so excited, Paul,’ I added. ‘Look at those  mountains! And those little white cottages dotted along  the shore . . .’ 
‘And I think that’s the whisky distillery over there.’
He pointed towards the end of the town. 
‘Really? It’s tiny!’
I gazed at the purplish hills that scooped down towards the greener lower pastures. A little way along from the town – the only sizeable settlement on the island – lay a wide crescent of beach. It looked  deserted. There would be no resort-style entertainment  here, no shops crammed with souvenir keyrings and  novelty booze that never seems quite so enticing once  you cart it home. My heart soared with the anticipation  of a whole week together, separated from the rest of  the world. My mother had been astounded when she’d first heard about our trip.
‘Belinda said you’re off to some island?’  she’d barked down the phone. So she and my sister had  been gossiping about Paul and me. Although I didn’t know where my hackles were exactly, I was sure they were raised.
‘Yes, we just thought it’d make a nice change,’ I explained.
‘A Scottish island?’ she gasped. 
‘That’s right, Mum. It’s in the Hebrides.’ 
‘The Hebrides! How on earth will you get there?’ 
‘We’ll drive up to Oban on the west coast and take the ferry from there. It looks amazing,’ I added, to stir her up even further. 
Mum paused, obviously figuring out how to fish for more information in a non-blatant way.
‘Isn’t that a  bit . . . different for you two?’ 
Ah, the ‘D’ word, a favourite of Mum’s, as in, ‘Oh, is that a new jacket, Suzy? It’s different!’ I.e., ‘If you’re  happy to go out in public wearing such a hideous article,  then who am I to stop you?’ 
‘We’ve been up to the Highlands plenty of times,’ I reminded her, ‘since Paul’s Dad bought that hotel. You  know we love it up there.’ 
‘Yes, but that was in proper Scotland, wasn’t it?’
You’d have thought we were talking the Arctic Circle. But then my parents had spent their whole lives living within a  few miles of York – where Paul and I also lived – and  rarely ventured out of Yorkshire. 
‘Erm, it was on the mainland, yes,’ I replied. ‘But the islands are proper Scotland too, Mum.’ ‘That was in a town, though, with things to do.’
Like we were a couple of kids.
‘And obviously,’ she added,  ‘now Paul’s dad has, um . . .’ 
Died was what she couldn’t quite bring herself to say. My boyfriend had lost his father the previous summer.  Paul had only been ten when his mum had passed away,  and apparently he and his dad had been a real team –  inseparable really – as he’d been growing up on their  Bradford estate. He’d taken his death extremely hard. 
‘We are still allowed in Scotland,’ I said lightly, ‘even though Ian’s not there anymore.’ 
‘I know that, love,’ Mum said, in a softer tone. ‘But d’you think Paul will enjoy it? I mean, don’t you normally  go to Majorca or Spain—’ 
‘I’m sure he’ll love it,’ I said firmly. 
‘But what will he do there?’ 
‘What everyone does on a Scottish island, I’d imagine,’ I said, sensing a throbbing in my temples. ‘Explore and enjoy the incredible scenery . . .’ ‘What if it rains?’