- The book takes place in what I like to call the Middle Years. Mike is ten or so, Lizzie is roughly six or seven and Phil still lives in Milborough.
- The action starts when Farley breaks a break for it after Potato-nosed Elly gives him a bath. This is because Elly (who ends holding his collar in her hand) does so in the driveway instead of the backyard.
- His first stop is a kid's birthday party; one of the participants is feeling low because his sibling (the guest of honor) is getting way too much attention and is cheered up by Farley's lumbering, dopey presence; too bad the kid's Mom mistakes Farley's presence for some sort of threat and chases him off.
- That's because he runs into a construction site where he meets a friendly truck driver who wishes he had his collar on so he could take him home, the local park where a group of people are having a cook-out and the ravine where he'd end up dying because his humans were stoopid.
- He meets up with the kid he befriended earlier; this time, his mom is happy to see the shaggy knucklehead. Not so happy that she doesn't try to find out who he belongs to, though.
- That's because he locks onto Phil's car and chases after the pizza he's got. Phil tells him that everyone (except stooopid and useless John who doesn't appear in the book) is worried sick about him.
- His joyous return hits a sour note because Elly takes a deep breath with her big honker and declares that he needs another bath.
- Farley is gobsmacked.
- DreadedCandiru2 laughed at that in spite of himself. This is because I remember Farley's bout with garbage gastritis, the stupidity inherent in Elly's letting him wander hither and yon and the way he died. While I do like being reminded that dogs shouldn't have sweets and that he doesn't think like a human being (as indicated by what he's smelling being depicted as a stream of sensations, each of which is indicated by a separate color), I'm not especially fond of Elly's failure to think things through; as I said, it reminds me of the failure of the intellect that ends up killing him.
ETA: I should describe the little boy he befriends; he's about Lizzie's age, has red hair and has a tendency to run away from his problems and whine about how he's being mistreated. He doesn't have glasses YET but I think we all know who I'm talking about here.