I read this a looooong
time ago, when I was but a wee little book reviewer-in-training. The story is set in Newfoundland and features the coolest breed of dog ever, the (what else?) Newfoundland dog. I distinctly remember reading this book long ago and being puzzled at the superstition subplot. As I looked back on the book today, I realized that, even at a relatively young age, I was beginning to understand what made a good (or bad) plot device. I wasn't sold on this book as a child, I think, because the superstition subplot seemed so corny and hokey. (Whether it was a reality in the setting is another matter.)
I wouldn't read the book again today; nor would I recommend it to anyone over the age of 12 for the simple reason that it's a book designed for kids.