We Give Our Hearts to Dogs to Tear: Intimations of Their Immortality

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More than a hauntingly beautiful memoir about small dogs in Big Sky country, this book is a wise account of the relationships among dogs, humans, and the land that surrounds them. It is the story of successive generations of Jack Russell terriers, their animal friends, and their human companions. Alston Chase searches for the immortality of dogs, what makes them unique companions, and why we humans willingly give them our hearts knowing that someday they will be broken. This book will resonate with anyone who has ever loved a dog. Chase muses that dogs are the embodiment of spirit over mortality and through the window of their brief lives we glimpse eternity. This eternal includes the Earth, the land, and the bonds forged between people and dogs over thousands of years. Chase sees threats in the decline of rural life, unbridled urbanization, and in dog breeders who judge by conformation to breed standards and fashion rather than ability and health. An uplifting tribute to the dogs we love, and a reflection on the limitations of life, this book shows a triumph of the spirit. Rich in poetic citations, it is an environmental cry for help, a naturalistic appreciation of a dissolving world, and a deeply spiritual reminder that nothing loved is ever lost.