Michael was four when his relentless campaign for a dog began. At seven, he made a PowerPoint presentation, "My Dog," with headings like "A Childhood Without a Dog Is a Sad Thing." His parents, Janet and Rich, were steadfast; bringing a dog into their fast-paced New York City lives was utterly impractical. However, on a trip to Italy, a chance happening leads Janet to reconsider, a decision then hastened by a diagnosis of breast cancer. Janet decides...