Having a dog who has earned the name Dumpster is embarrassing. Ever since Erika's best friend, Lisa, moved away, Erika has been miserable at school because Kyla, a girl in her class, is an expert tease and Erika is her target. When a new girl with an unusual name joins the grade six class, Erika is surprised to find that she wants to be friends with both Kyla and Erika. Erika is certain that her days of having a friend are numbered, and she is determined to make the friendship last as long as possible. To do that, she believes, she must not let Mercedes learn about all her dogs. But before she is done, Mercedes will surprise her--and Erika will surprise herself.