A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


We Give Our Hearts to Dogs to Tear: Intimations of Their ImmortalityWe Give Our Hearts to Dogs to Tear: Intimations of Their Immortality by Alston Chase
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

We Give Our Hearts to Dog to Tear: Imitations of their Immortality by Alston Chase is a Transaction Publishing release. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

The title of this book is taken from a quote by Rudyard Kipling and if you have ever forged a close bond with your canine pals you know what is meant by that sentiment.

I confess to feeling just a little jealous of the author and his family and the life they chose to live. I can see myself living that lifestyle someday. This story is about how the family came to love the Jack Russell Terrier breed of dog sort of by accident. A spur of the moment decision to take a puppy even though the timing for the family was somewhat dubious, began a journey for them as they learned all there was about this wonderful breed of dogs.
There is a wealth of information pertaining to the history of the Jack Russell terrier as well as the disposition of the breed and health issues the dog is predisposed to. Through the years the Jack Russell has grown in popularity and is now recognized by the Westminster Kennel Club. This decision spawned some debate and that was understandable.
The 1980's would prove to be a pivotal time for the JR terrier as it gained popularity as a companion dog and times were changing bringing about the formation of anti- fox hunting animal rights groups in England. This was sort of confusing since people loved the “ hunting parson” Russell but not the hunting.
Once we have been armed with all this knowledge about the breed, the author begins to share his family's personal relationships with their JR terriers. There were touching stories, funny stories and of course tears.
The family grieved hard for some of the dogs they had bonded with and attempted to genetically keep them alive through breeding. The live and learn part of live taught them that this was not the solution and tells a cautionary tale in regards to inbreeding. Through the years the family has added so much enhancement to their lives by loving and caring the this breed. They now wish to spread that love and information on to others.

As an animal lover I was completely engaged in this book. I have a neighbor that rescued a JR from the pound and he is just adorable and smart and a really good dog. This is my only experience with the breed so I found all the information in this book very helpful and interesting. I also felt the emotional ups and downs that go with having dogs … the smiles, the fun, the joy, and the risk you have to take when loving and bonding with your dog.
For me and my family it's always been Cocker Spaniels and my husband and I can relate to the issues addressed here. One of the dogs we had so bonded with my husband we couldn't have just one dog after that. We wanted to breed them so we would always have a family of them, but just as the author state here, this is not always the best idea. Thankfully, we decided against that in the end.

So, even if you are not an owner of JR terriers don't let that deter you from reading this book. This information and experience could apply to all dog lovers and you will certainly understand and relate to how dogs enrich our lives and what a joy they are. Yes, a time will come when you will have to say goodbye but the time I have had with my dogs is worth it and I will continue to bring them into my life always.
This one is 5 stars.

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