“One of the greatest gifts we receive from dogs is the tenderness they invoke in us,” says Koontz. “Some friends, monks at St. Michael’s Abby near here, came for dinner. One of them said to the other, “Father Jerome, what do you think about this dog?” They started talking to each other in Latin and I thought, that’s interesting. And then they recommended I read the story of Tobit, which is part of the Apocrypha. It’s the most subtle dog story ever written.