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I read a book in 7th grade and it had some type of dog (?) character that traveled through some sort of long tunnel on like mining cart sort of contraption.

There was something to do with a clock or time. It wasn’t like sci-fi or “futuristic” time travel.

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    Hi, welcome to SF&F. We don't know when you were in 7th grade, so approximately what year was this? Was the dog intelligent or special somehow? Why was it travelling through the tunnel?
    – DavidW
    Commented Dec 29, 2023 at 5:32
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    @Samantha Did the dog actually have a clock strapped around its stomach and was referred to as a "watchdog"? If so that definitely is familiar to me.
    – skyjack
    Commented Dec 29, 2023 at 5:37
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    "The Phantom Tollbooth"?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Dec 29, 2023 at 5:39
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    @Fuzzyboots thank you. 40 plus years since I read it and couldn't think of the title. Not sure if its the answer to this question but big thanks for clearing that up for me!
    – skyjack
    Commented Dec 29, 2023 at 5:42
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    @skyjack: Glad I could help you. Unfortunately, we have no confirmation what the querent is looking for a similar "watch dog". :-|
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Dec 29, 2023 at 5:44

2 Answers 2

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As mentioned by skyjack, there is a possibility that you are looking for Norman Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth.

The Phantom Tollbooth is a children's fantasy adventure novel written by Norton Juster, with illustrations by Jules Feiffer, first published in 1961. The story follows a bored young boy named Milo who unexpectedly receives a magic tollbooth that transports him to the once prosperous, but now troubled, Kingdom of Wisdom. Along with a dog named Tock and the Humbug, Milo goes on a quest to the Castle in the Air seeking the kingdom's two exiled princesses, named Rhyme and Reason. As Milo learns valuable lessons, he finds a love of learning in a story full of puns and wordplay, such as exploring the literal meanings of idioms.

One of the primary characters is Tock, a

talking, oversized dog with an alarm clock on each side (a "watchdog"), who tells Milo that only by thinking can he get out of the Doldrums.

Milo and Tock from The Phantom Tollbooth

That said, the only mining I recall (let alone carts) involved the realm of the Mathemagician, where numbers are mined, and I don't recall any carts.

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    +1 FuzzyBoots I hope you will forgive my pictorial edit. :)
    – Lexible
    Commented Dec 29, 2023 at 18:04
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    One of my all-time favourites!
    – fez
    Commented Dec 29, 2023 at 18:06
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You are thinking of Madeline l'Engle's book A Wrinkle in Time. More so, you are possibly thinking about the sequel, A Wind in The Door. The dog was the key factor in the time travel.

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    Hi, welcome to the site. It'd be great if you could edit this answer to say a bit more about how precisely this matches the OP's description. In particular, does the dog travel "through some sort of long tunnel on like mining cart sort of contraption"? Commented Dec 30, 2023 at 8:53
  • {nods} I'll admit to never having read the book, but a quick search in a convenient copy only seems to indicate a brief interlude with Fortinbras although he is somewhat plot-significant in signaling danger in the one chapter.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Dec 30, 2023 at 13:07

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