The Art of Racing in the Rain

by Garth Stein

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Chapters 10-12 Summary

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Enzo is locked in the house when Eve leaves with Zoe. Denny is out of town for a race. Enzo does not panic. He is a dog, and a dog knows how to fast, how to conserve himself until he finds food. Enzo says that when God refused to give dogs thumbs, he gave dogs the ability to go for long periods of time without nourishment. If only God had given Enzo a thumb, he thinks, he could have opened the pantry door and torn open the bag of kibble. Instead, Enzo searches the floor for fallen food and drinks water out of the toilet bowl.

Enzo waits three days before Denny comes home. On the third day, Enzo thinks he starts hallucinating. When he goes into Zoe’s room, he sees one of her stuffed animals dancing. It is a zebra Denny’s parents sent to Zoe as a gift. After dancing, the zebra begins abusing the other toys before ripping open his own seams and pulling out his insides. Enzo cannot believe what he has seen.

When Denny returns home, he discovers that Eve left Enzo behind for three days. He yells at her, saying that Enzo could have died. Eve says she was sick and was not thinking. Then Zoe comes out of her room in tears. When Denny and Eve see the mess in her room, they curse Enzo for the ruined toys. Enzo takes their harassment. He is unable to explain that it was all the zebra’s fault.

Later that night, Enzo crawls up to Denny, who is sitting on the back porch. Enzo is unsure if Denny is still angry with him. Then he notices that Denny is drinking some hard liquor and that his mood is more relaxed. Denny apologizes to Enzo for having yelled at him. Enzo places his head in Denny’s lap. Then Denny announces that he won the race he had been attending, and he was offered a great position on a professional team. The only problem is that Denny would have to be away from Enzo, Eve, and Zoe for six months at a time. Denny asks Enzo if he should do this. Enzo, of course, cannot tell him, but he thinks that although it might be great for Denny, it would be very difficult for the rest of them. Denny senses this, and he concludes that he cannot take the position. Denny looks into Enzo’s eyes and tells him that sometimes he thinks Enzo completely understands him. He says that he feels like Enzo has a person inside of him. Enzo silently replies that he does.

Eve and Denny believe that Eve merely had the flu. Enzo thinks they feel more comfortable with that conclusion. But Eve does not get better. Her headaches become so powerful she can barely move. Sometimes she screams out in pain. When she does, Denny takes Zoe outside for a walk or takes her to the movies. Before he leaves, Denny asks Enzo to take care of Eve.

Despite her suffering, Eve refuses to go to a doctor. She believes that all the doctor will do is give her medicine to relieve the pain but will not find the source of the ailment. There are short moments when Eve feels better, and Enzo witnesses a return of sexual activity between Eve and Denny. But nothing is the same as it used to be. There is a lot of tension between Denny and Eve. And Eve, who often goes days without eating because of the pain, is growing weaker.

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Chapters 7-9 Summary


Chapters 13-15 Summary