Well-constructed YA short stories.
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[SPOILER in the second paragraph]

A group of dogs (plus one cat) finds itself protecting a rural community called Burden Hill from a string of strange threats: ghost, witch, werewolf, human... Told as a series of interconnected short stories.

Beasts of Burden is basically Scooby Doo with a dog/cat cast: the goofy/heroic/comic relief characters stumble from one wacky, spooky situation to another. It's apparent that it's a young adult book, tugging carefully at the occasional heartstring but then immediately retreating so as not to cause too much upset. In the meantime there are plenty of animal puns and Saved by the Bell-style one-liners to keep things light. There are a few sad or scary moments (as when a Weimaraner mom drowns herself to be with her dead puppies) but nothing too taxing. Each story's ending is bittersweet or just happy.

Jill Thompson's watercolors are absolutely gorgeous. The woman knows how to paint animals. Landscapes, action, unusual perspectives, she does everything in this book and she does it well.