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The New York Timesbestselling author Donald McCaig has established an expansive literary career, founded equally on books about working sheepdogs and the Civil War novels Jacobs Ladder and Rhett Butlers People, the official sequel to Gone with the Wind.
In his new book, Mr. and Mrs. Dog, McCaig draws on twenty-five years of experience raising sheepdogs to vividly describe hisand his dogs June and Lukesunlikely progress toward and participation in the World Sheepdog Trials in Wales.
McCaig engagingly chronicles the often grueling experiencethrough rain, snow, ice storms, and brain-numbing heatof preparing and trialing Mrs. Dog, June, a foxy lady in a slinky black-and-white peignoir, and Mr. Dog, Luke, a plain workerno flash to him. Along the way, he relays sage advice from his decades spent talking with Americas most renowned dog experts, from police-dog trainers to positive-training gurus.
As readers of McCaigs novels will expect, Mr. and Mrs. Dog delivers far more than straightforward dog-training tips. Revealing an abiding love and respect for his dogs, McCaig unveils the life experiences that set him on the long road to the Welsh trial fields. Starting with memories of his first dog, Rascal, and their Montana roadtrip in a 48 Dodge, McCaig leads us into his thirties, when he abandons his New York advertising career to move to a run-down Appalachian sheep farm in the least populous county in Virginia. This 1960s agrarian adventure ultimately brings McCaig, Luke, and June to the Olympics of sheepdog trials. In his narration of one mans love for his dogs, McCaig offers a powerful portrayal of the connection between humans and their animal companions.