No Dogs or Indians by Lisa Hare is a beautifully written novel about a young woman named Clara who owns and manages a sanctuary for wild mustang horses in Nebraska. In addition to training the horses, Clara and a therapist named Portia conduct equine-assisted therapy for troubled youths.
After suffering several life-altering losses, Clara’s favorite horse is killed when a drunk driver from the nearby Indian reservation hits and fatally injures the animal. Soon afterward, the driver ends-up at the ranch as ordered by the court. The entry of the angry youth and his father Joe Black Hawk set wheels in motion which unearth Clara’s prejudices, and eventually, change her life in ways she never imagined.
This is a thought-provoking story about loss, anger, and the plight of Native Americans. I especially appreciated its spiritual nature. It brought back fond memories of a vacation I spent learning to ride horses on a ranch owned and managed by a blind man and his wife. This beautiful story made me miss the excitement of viewing the world from atop a cantering horse. It also brought to mind a paper I wrote in college about the inhumane treatment of the American Indians robbed of their freedom so many years ago. This book captures part of their story. We still have much to learn.