NEW editions out now!

NEW editions out now!

 'Makes you laugh and some of it makes you cry ...  I think it's an amazing story.' The Guardian Online.


'McNish weaves a magical tale of hope, disappointment, love, loyalty and friendship - all in a wonderful read that'll keep you captivated from start to finish.' Dogs Monthly.

Chapter 1

At the Happy Paws Rescue Centre, every pet dreams of one thing: going home.

But Ralph, Mitch, Bessie and Fred are the no-hopers: dogs so difficult or troublesome they aren't expected to ever go home.

Ralph's face is scarred. Bessie can't stand to be touched. Mitch can't stop chasing cats and Fred... has just given up. Who'd want to adopt any of them instead of a cute little puppy?

But when Happy Paws reviews its policy of never putting an unwanted pet down, time starts running out for the dogs. Can they prove that they're worth a second chance? Will there be hope for the no-hopers after all?


Illustrations by the fantastic Trish Phillips featuring scenes in the novel.

Filmed by Phil Gammon and narrated by Jenny Gammon

Japanese translation
Japanese translation
Korean translation
Korean translation

'Everyone Loves a Dog Story...'


This one came from a special place. I'm generally known for my darker fiction, but my wife, Ciara, was forever asking me to write a warm story. 'How about one involving dogs stuck in a rescue home,' she said. 'You know, something heartfelt and funny. You can do that, can't you?'

Since we'd spent over two years fostering rescue dogs I had plenty of stories to use, though I never took the suggestion seriously. Other people wrote those sort of poignant, funny stories much better than me, didn't they?

But when Ciara passed away the idea returned. And once I remembered it was her idea the characters took on an instant, vivid life. I could see Ralph, Bessie, Mitch and Fred barking away.  I knew exactly what their stories were. Is GOING HOME the novel she wanted? I only wish she could tell me.



'Dog books can easily be formulaic and twee, but Going Home is a fresh ‘buddy movie’ told with smart repartee.' Nicolette Jones, Sunday Times.


'Any young kid who loves dogs will adore this tale and immediately want to visit the nearest rescue centre.' Sam Hawksmoor, Hack Writers.


'By turns funny and touching, this story is a must for all dog lovers.' BookTrust


'The depiction of the dedicated staff and animals, whose story he humaises to a brilliant degree, is nothing short of masterly. A lovely story, lovingly told and realised.' Books Monthly


'Heart-warming ... a perfect read for animal lovers.' Dogs Trust


'This book is a must for animal lovers ... amusing and heart-warming.'  The School Librarian.


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I'd love to hear from you.


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Comments: 13
  • #13

    Honor Dent (Friday, 25 November 2016 21:14)

    Dear Mr Mcnish
    Going home is one of the best books I have ever read. I love it!
    Thank you for coming to our school.
    Best wishes

  • #12

    Emma Carroll (Thursday, 26 May 2016 21:16)

    I love this book it is sad but funny

  • #11

    Feranmi (Wednesday, 14 October 2015 17:34)

    This is a really good book

  • #10

    Jonathan (Wednesday, 14 October 2015 14:14)

    I really like the book.

  • #9

    Phoebe (Tuesday, 09 June 2015 19:10)

    Me and some friends from school are doing part of chapter one for the 2015 riveting reads book awards! We go the day after tomorrow! So excited! Hope your there Cliff McNish! PS: I love the joke at the beginning by Mitch!

  • #8

    ookknhijnhyguijoklm,nbgvhjkmn (Sunday, 19 April 2015 17:17)

    Going home is a great book for animal lovers. it was a great adventure reeding it, i loved it, especially the end when most of the dogs got a home. it was sad when mich left but overall i loved it.
    Thank you (:

  • #7

    Poppy (Saturday, 20 December 2014 12:50)

    I love Going Home. It is my favourite book at the moment and I ADORE Mitch!
    It was the best idea for a book EVER and the pictures are SO COOL.

  • #6

    charlie boz (Tuesday, 02 December 2014 16:38)

    realy sad

  • #5

    LEAH WARNEY (Sunday, 21 September 2014 16:55)

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS BOOK, I love dogs and any animal and I love books and when i saw this book i was like OMG!!!!
    Thanks Cliff for wrighting this!

  • #4

    Atif Hussain (Thursday, 05 June 2014 13:21)

    Dear Mr McNish
    What inspires you to write the type of books that you write?

  • #3

    Rebecca Collins (Sunday, 25 May 2014 10:08)

    Brilliant! I like the character Bessie so far, I am really enjoying reading Going Home.

    It was lovely to meet you when you came to St Luke's School last week. I look forward to reading some of your other books when I have finished Going Home.

    From Rebecca :-)

  • #2

    jasmine (Saturday, 24 May 2014 21:27)

    Do you sell the book going home in a shop?
    How much are the going home books?
    I like the first chapter when did you come up with the chapter?
    Are your books sighned by you in the shop?

  • #1

    Katie Slaughter (Saturday, 24 May 2014 09:35)

    I think going home would be good to read because I want to know what is happening to these dogs. You have put a lot of effort in to it, well done.