Sheila Thibedeau has a most unusual career. In addition to being a professional dog walker, she is also an animal communicator. The latter part of her duties earns her a great deal of derision and not much respect from acquaintances, friends, or family. However, in general, her clients find her to be extremely helpful in dealing with their pets. Sheila works for both sides. She is contacted by pet owners to telepathically communicate with their pets so that they can find out what is going on, and learn how to help them. Her clients include horses, cats, rabbits, pigs, and dogs.
Imagine her surprise when she discovers that one of the dogs she is contacted to help was formerly a human being who died in prison after bilking his clients out of their money while being a hedge fund manager. Harrison is a gruff, irascible character. Dying in prison, he is surprised to wake up in the body of an arthritic old dog. When Sheila contacts him, at the request of his adopter, he is extremely rude and uncooperative.
As time passes, they begin to develop a friendship of sorts, and Harrison begins offering Sheila financial advice. Being a dog walker/animal communicator is not a lucrative career choice. Using Sheila as a mental escape from the doldrums of living in a boring household, Harrison tries to convince Sheila to take his financial advice in areas of both investments and gambling. Sheila slowly begins to adapt to the idea of taking his financial advice but is reluctant to get involved with gambling, even when she is encouraged to use some of the insider information that she gains from her animal clients, especially in the areas of shows and races.
Time will tell if Harrison was sent back to right some wrongs by helping Sheila with his knowledge, or if he is still a shyster. Meanwhile, Sheila continues to work on making her business grow, and to develop a special non-professional relationship with a handsome young banker.
The Dog That Managed Hedge Funds takes a humorous look at the special human/animal connection that many of us believe that we share with our four-legged friends. The author, Nancy Parsons, has created some wonderful, eccentric human and non-human characters that really make this story shine. Catching myself laughing out loud, many times, I found this novel to be the perfect escape to treat myself to at the end of a very stressful day.
(Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views)