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Showing 1-10 of 236 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 266 reviews
on August 14, 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.
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on January 7, 2017
1st half is very dry. I found the author's lack of common sense regarding care for his dog puzzling. Hal is not the dog lover of typical ilk. I was curious why he wrote a dog book in the first place. Toward the very end he reveals he wrote a country-life column and his rescued dog provided content. I suspect this book provided a goodly amount of remuneration too.

In the book, the 'stray female yellow cur' he sent to the pound without doing any of the things most caring people do. Why did he not adopt or at the very least foster her? A dog person does not send a dirty and skinny stray to the pound for a near certain death!

It is our responsibility towards any stray to post for their owner. Or to foster them to reasonable health and weight before finding them a good home. Our very least obligation is to take a stray animal to a no-kill shelter.

I cannot reconcile how the author dismisses the few strays in the story so callously, especially the one female yellow "cur". He literally called the 'dog catcher'. This is incredible since his own dog was a rescue. His dog was also obviously attached to this other stray. He wrote his dog showed signs of acute distress after she was removed.

This book was about a lost dog. The author's lack of conscience and feeling for a dropped-off, stray animal concerned me. All considered "Pat", the rescued stray is a very lucky dog.

Not even considering Yankee frugality, this is a $3.99 book at best, and definitely not worth $10. Donate the much needed monies to a shelter, and if you must, check the book out from a library.
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on October 28, 2016
Mr. Borland was a naturist, and most of his books are related to that subject. However, he wrote two books (that I know of) about two different dogs that he "owned". (The other about Penny.) Both books were excellent, in my opinion. Mr. Borland certainly understood these dogs.
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on January 26, 2014
This story was a heart warming tale that will be enjoyed by anyone who has ever let a dog into their home and heart. It was so well written that I was able to know this independent yet endearing dog Pat enough that he won a place in my heart.
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on September 5, 2013
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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on October 27, 2013
It's a well-written book and I'm glad I found out it was actually written in the 1960's. I should have figured it out myself, considering that the author and his wife lived on so much open space. Probably not that much open space in this day and age in all of New England.

I read this with 21st century sensibilities about treatment of animals. I'm not a PETA member, but believe that if you have a pet you should keep track of where it goes, where it sleeps and show some concern about it when the weather is inclement. I was bothered by the fact that the author punished the dog for being a dog ("I wore out a weekday edition of The New York Times trying to slap some sense into him, and still he howled and struggled at the chain.") He allows the dog to swim across the river and nearly drown, even though the author and his wife are on a boat. He allows the dog to run the roads and mountainside where the dog is severely injured by a bobcat, and where he is attacked by a pack of stray dogs. He keeps locking his dog outside in an unheated shed even when the temperature reaches -18 degrees.

In spite of this, the dog "Pat" chose to remain with the author and his wife, and they eventually came to an understanding. Pat was the boss and in charge of his own comings and goings.
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on January 6, 2013
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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on December 20, 2012
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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on July 10, 2013
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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on September 7, 2012
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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