Linwood Barclay (CA)
Chipper is a very special dog. He's part of a multi-million-dollar experiment at a secret organization known only as The Institute. The Institute has been experimenting with dogs, melding them with state-of-the-art computer technology. But there's a problem with Chipper. His natural dog instincts often overrule his computer side. No matter what he's doing, if he sees a squirrel or a mouse, he'll drop everything to chase it. So The Institute has decided it's time to pull the plug on Chipper. Chipper manages a daring escape with a destination in mind, but a team from The Institute, led by the cold-hearted Daggert, is hot on his heels.
Twelve-year-old Jeff Conroy lives with his aunt and helps run her lakeside cabin-rental business. Jeff desperately misses his parents, who were killed in a plane crash a year earlier. But at least he's made one friend: Emily, a computer whiz, who has the coolest fort ever: a trackless, abandoned train station in the middle of the forest.
After eluding his would-be captors, Chipper boards a bus to the country that ends up taking him to Jeff and Emily, who discover a computer port in Chipper's collar. Chipper's arrival is not random, it turns out. He has been looking for Jeff--and now so is Daggert . . .