This picture book is about a little boy who wants a pet dog, during a time when his family is having financial trouble and they must hold the line on expenses. The little boy’s father tells him that times are tight, but the little boy isn’t sure what “tight times” means. His father explains that “tight times” are when everything keeps going up, the reason they eat cereal in bulk rather than from little boxes, and why they run through the sprinklers instead of going to the lake. Then one day, when the little boy is with the babysitter, his dad comes home and tells him that he lost his job. When mom gets home she wants to speak to dad alone, so the little boy waits outside on the porch. While he’s waiting, he hears a noise coming from the trash cans and finds a kitten. He brings the kitten inside to feed him. When his parents find the little boy, they tell the him that he can keep the kitten after all, just as long as he doesn’t ask for a dog ever again.