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PUPPIES, DOGS, AND BLUE NORTHERS by Gary Paulsen Kirkus Star

PUPPIES, DOGS, AND BLUE NORTHERS

By Gary Paulsen (Author) , Ruth Wright Paulsen (Illustrator)

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-15-292881-2
Publisher: Harcourt

Readers who aren't misled by the New Age subtitle--"Reflections on Being Raised by a Pack of Sled Dogs"--will find themselves along on a wonderful ride. Paulsen (Brian's Winter, 1996, etc.) is not known for writing love stories, but that's exactly what this lyrical, tender account is, showcasing Cookie, his primary lead dog for some 14,000 miles (including the path of the Iditarod), who saved Paulsen's life more than once. It's also the story of one of Cookie's litters of pups and the joy and inspiration Paulsen found in watching them learn and grow. He has fascinating tales to tell about how Cookie and the other adult dogs trained them. All wasn't work for the pups; the fun they had when Paulsen broke one of the cardinal rules for raising pups and let them into his house makes for a sidesplitting tale. The story remains, always, Cookie's, and when the day comes that she can no longer run because of arthritis, it nearly breaks her heart--and Paulsen's too. Upon learning that his health will no longer permit him to run either, man and dog settle into a different life, one of domestic companionship, until Cookie's blessedly peaceful death (there will be, as they say, no dry eyes in the house). "Such a bond, such a love I had with Cookie"--and such a book he wrote to share that love with others. (Nonfiction. 10+)