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The Dog Who Came to Stay: A Memoir [Kindle Edition]

Hal Borland
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)

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Book Description

During a fierce snowstorm, an abandoned and hungry animal howls at the back door of nature writer Hal Borland’s farmhouse, announcing the beginning of a transformational friendship
Hal Borland and his wife Barbara have recently moved onto a hundred-acre farm in northwest Connecticut, where both hope to write and live in harmony with nature. From his New England home, Borland travels the country searching for material for his New York Times “outdoor editorials”—but soon nature comes searching for him, in the form of a miserable, half-starved, deeply trusting, black-and-white foxhound mutt that wanders onto the farm during a blizzard. The dog, Pat, becomes a member of the family and teaches Borland that, often, our most immediate connection to the natural world is through the animals we live with.

Editorial Reviews


“It is not a mere book to read. It is one to participate in, to experience, to feel. Recommended as much more than a superior dog book!” —Library Journal
“A book for those who know the companionship of an honest dog, and for those who must realize the blessing of such an experience vicariously.” —The Christian Science Monitor

From the Back Cover

The rib-thin, black-and-white rabbit hound turned up at Hal Borlands' Connecticut farm one Christmas night in the middle of a nasty winter storm. Pat, as the dog came to be known, and his raffish traveling companion, a young pup, "were even more unwelcome than the weather," but after a few preliminaries, both settled in as members of the Borland household. The pup eventually found a home elsewhere, but Pat became Hal Borland's true companion and a local legend, the terror of woodchucks for miles around.
With his keen sensitivity to the natural world, Borland here recounts, with deep affection and wonder, how a man and his dog can form a magical and unforgettable partnership.

Product Details

  • File Size: 603 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media (November 29, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0066B7JWE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,744 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
72 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing work by Hal Borland August 14, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I didn't know what to expect when I ordered this book, but it had a title similar to another book I just read, so I was curious. When I read the introduction, I realized that this was a book written almost half a century ago and reissued recently. I learned that Hal Borland had died in the 1970s, but had been a prolific writer about many things and especially outdoor life. His story about the dog who chose to stay with him and his wife began on Christmas night and continues over the ensuing years. His descriptions of the dog, Pat, his rural life as a writer, sportsman, and gardener are completely absorbing. They draw you into the world of the upper Connecticut valley by the Housatonic River. I soon began to wonder about his wife, Barbara, and found that her obituary had just been published in the NY Times on the day I looked for reference to her in Google. I felt a real sense of loss at that. This is how Hal Borland's wonderful descriptive writing lead me to feel as though I was back in time and there with them over 50 years ago. Most of all, Pat, his dog, comes alive as a unique yet thoroughly doglike personality who charms and delights the reader. Pat is just one more example of why humans love dogs so much.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And the book that came to stay September 22, 2006
I have a bit of a sentimental attachment to this book as it was one of my first "adult" books, given to me by my grandmother when I was 9. I have read this memoir of a man and his 'found' dog at least a dozen times through and have, actually, visited the house and grounds. Hal Borland, little known now, was a much read naturalist and writer for the New York Times. I don't like his novels so well, except for "When the Legends Die" one of his later books, but his non-fiction is excellent -- factual, loving, but not much anthropomorphism. The dog has his own dignity and the author does his best to convey this. If you are looking for a truthful and loving recounting of the relationship between an older man and a dog, as opposed to the usual sentimental 'boy and his dog' bit, this is a book worth finding.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good read. July 10, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A book that all dog lovers should read. I found this by accident along with another book of the almost same title. If you love dogs then this is tale to be savored. Amazing sometimes how people can just pour out their hearts to an animal and love them like family. And a dog will always reward you back with that "unconditional love" and even spread it around to others. I do not think that it is an accident that Dog is God spelled backwards!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top dog September 5, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Heartwarming story of an independent dog who chose wisely the couple with whom he would spend the rest of his life.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The dog who came to stay, heartwarming December 20, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It was interesting to read a book about a pet from the male perspective--very enlightening, educational, and interesting. I liked this book in general but loved the escapades that Pat had, how they ended up, and their effect on everyone. I enjoyed learning about the other animals and their habits. I loved that Hal knew exactly what his dog wanted, his routines and likes and dislikes. I love how he realized his moods, thoughts, reasons why he did what he did and his total understanding of this dog. Having a dog, I totally understand how they "talk" to us! I could envision the fields, ponds, countryside and area that they wandered and spent their time--it was quite relaxing to read. I expected the ending to be very sad and was quite pleased that it was not.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars for all animal lovers January 6, 2013
By Ross
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Still reading this story and truly love it. Look forward to reaching for it each night (and day when I can). If you are an animal lover and have had any pets before you should be moved by this story as it gives you a view from all sides, both human and animal. Still love reading it and will be dissapointed when I reach the end.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars mjm September 7, 2012
By Mike
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
well written this book is so real that I can my self relate to it with my love for dogs and how aware they are of people . and also the relation of the husband and wife.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is one of the most vintage heart warming books about the human dog bond. It describes how Dogs can enter your life, expand it and complete it all in one lovely book. And it is not a sad book. The characters in this book really take good care of their Dogs, especially given the age this book was written in! In our age, Dogs can no longer run free. Just like our kids, they need to be protected. But still, I Loved it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dog and his Family
Enjoyable story of a stray dog that claims the couple he wants to live with. Writing and story were great, I could imagine each scene.
Published 7 days ago by Nancy Sue
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a nice read. This book just felt good
Such a nice read. This book just felt good. A real insight into the relationship between a dog and his man
Published 20 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book.
A slightly different time. An excellent book.
Published 4 months ago by E. B. Webster
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very entertaining, a look at a earlier time, where one didnot have to be politically correct
Published 4 months ago by tricia
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great story and it didn't and sadly love it
Published 5 months ago by Sheri
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wonderful writing as all Hal Borland writing is. Recommend to anyone who loves animals and nature.
Published 6 months ago by Kathleen LaLonde
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Enjoyable book.
Published 6 months ago by Penny Dillon
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read if you're a dog lover like I am.
I loved the book! It really showed the nature of Pat (the dog). Some parts were funny, others were kind of sad. But it had a good ending.
Published 6 months ago by Ina Sanford
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An easy read that will leave you with a warm feeling in your heart.
Published 7 months ago by stonemarker
5.0 out of 5 stars book about a dog
For anyone who loves dogs, this is an easy reading book about the life of a dog. I caught myself smiling so many times as his dog and my own are so much alike. Read more
Published 7 months ago by leighlew60
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