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Absorbing work by Hal Borland
on August 15, 2006
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.