Brute Greenbaum faces challenges beyond those of ordinary 12-year-olds. Faded hearing. Dimming eyesight. Bad hips. A penchant for farting. They're normal for an English Bulldog equivalent to a human centenarian and pursued by the Malach HaMavet—the Angel of Death. But they're only the beginning.
A cantankerous lover of literature, rabinnic wisdom, humor and skateboarding, Brute must hold together the remnants of his shattered San Francisco family. Abbie Greenbaum, a 24-year-old dog walker, remains estranged from his college-professor father Morty more than a decade after the deaths of Abbie’s sister and mother. Yet he and Morty still live in the same house.
Enter Sarah—a 10-year-old with Down syndrome—and Rivka, her divorced Jewish-Chinese mother who teaches stand-up comedy and can't shake her ex, a classically trained cellist into bondage.
The three Greenbaums encounter a series of trials posed by mortality, jealousy and long-buried secrets, which represent nothing—and everything—to laugh about.