Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Dog For All Seasons

A book recommendation.

If you've ever owned—or been owned by—a border collie, you'll love this book. I'd ordered  A Dog for All Seasons months ago but only recently got around to reading it. I'd been on a memoir reading jag lately, so this memoir by Patti Sherlock fit in nicely. It's one of the best books I've read this year—and I've read some doggone good ones.

Basically, the book is a memoir of Sherlock's sixteen years with her border collie, Duncan. Here's an  excerpt

I'm on my second border collie now. My first was Abby, who'd been dumped on our farm in 1991 when she was about six months old. Abby, who died in late 2004, was my introduction to border collies. Abby was the smartest, most loyal dog I've ever owned.

I've blogged numerous times about Maggie, my second border collie. I wrote the following in a blog post about Maggie when she was a year old:

When I got her, I was still mourning my old border collie, Abby, who died a year earlier. Maggie had some big paw-prints to fill. When I went to the Parkers' farm in Bedford to look at puppies, a border collie who looked like Abby bounded to my car and greeted me warmly. I knew then that I had to have a pup from this dog. And I got one. 
Maggie was the easiest pup we've ever brought into the house. She was quiet the first night (and for all nights thereafter) and was easy to housebreak. She never chewed up anything that wasn't hers—except the tub-scrubber. From the first, she knew she was my dog. 
I should have known, since she was the biggest in the litter and had huge feet, that she'd grow up to be a big dog. And she has. 
Maggie is a smart—maybe too smart, independent, and take-charge kind of dog. She loves water, be it in bathtubs, creeks, or puddles. We had to add a tub to the kennel so she can soak whenever she wants to.
But I'm digressing. A Dog for All Seasons isn't just about a remarkable dog; it's also about a big chunk of Sherlock's life and the challenges she faced with her family and with sheep-farming.

I highly recommend this book—even if you aren't a border collie person.

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