From Wags to Riches is a delightful new novel by Cate Miller, author of Everything You Say About Me THAT’S WONDERFUL is True. In it, a sassy Yorkie named Wags escapes from a dreadful puppy mill and eventually frees all the other dogs. The story for 8- to 12-year-old readers is told with warmth and humor, but also takes on the serious issue of animal welfare.
Set in the fictional town of Endwell, Wisconsin, the action starts at The Dogg House, a puppy mill where dozens of dogs are housed in despicable conditions. They all want to escape, but only Wags executes a getaway plan that works.
Her goal is to be adopted by the prominent Tiggywiggle family that owns Frenchy’s Dog Food. The family patriarch, Billy Tiggywiggle, however, hates dogs and forbids them in their home. This is just one of the many hurdles Wags must overcome to break away from the clutches of Francis and Cookie Cruikshank, owners of The Dogg House.
In her adventures, Wags tackles a tricky agility course of obstacles at Frenchy’s Woofstock, an annual dog jamboree on the Tiggywiggle property. It’s the only time dogs are allowed there. Wags cleverly wiggles her way into the affections of Mrs. Hortense Tiggywiggle, Billy’s wife, and the couple’s children, Bea and Auggie. Three screwball characters-Uncle Brambles Wysywyg, a sculptor of dogs; Nomad, a local stray; and Kind Kirby, the senior prisoner of the puppy mill-help in Wags’s pursuit of happiness.