by Sally Carrighar
She was surprised to find that the dog seemed (after his initial uncontrollable excitement) to understand that he was to leave the little rodents alone, and slowly came to build a rapport with the dog. He was never very demonstrative or playful, but had his dignity and many characteristics she attributed to wolf blood in his heritage. For most of the book she talks about her relationship with Bobo, how she gained his trust and learned to communicate with him, and his eventual forays out into the community to try and win back his place as pack leader. As she describes it the dog had a very vivid intelligence and strong personality, and the book reminded me of Moobli.
I did wish for a bit more about the lemmings. I cringed a bit inside to read her affirmation of strange behaviors everyone mistakenly attributed to these little animals- that they perform mass suicide by running into the sea and drowning (or running off cliffs), and that they fall from the sky or can fly- she even was shown tracks in the middle of an airfield that seemed to start in the middle of nowhere. Carrighar came up with a theory about the supposed mass drownings (now proven to be a hoax) but had no explanation for the mysterious tracks.
I enjoyed her descriptions of life in Nome, some of the people she knew, and various dogs. She also muses about what it means to be a writer, and what the work of researching wildlife is like- particularly difficult when most people didn't take her studies of "mice" or "rats" as they were often mistakenly called- seriously at all.
A good read!
Rating: 3/5 ........ 191 pages, 1953