In the coming of age novel Stay by Catherine Ryan Hyde, 14-year-old Lucas Painter learns that nothing in life happens by mistake. Growing up in a dysfunctional family with a best friend who suffered depression and a brother drafted to fight in the Vietnam War was hard for Lucas. Running with two dogs he met in the woods helped Lucas feel better about himself. When Lucas met the dogs’ owner, everything changed. Themes in the novel include the therapeutic nature of animals, the power of drug addiction, and the impact of suicide and depression.