THE NORTH RUNNER by R. D. Lawrence


Email this review


Purchased from an Ojibway Indian, Yukon was part-malamute, part-wolf, a snarling beast who turned into Lawrence's pet and protector almost overnight. This vivid record covers their several years together, happily homesteading in the Canadian backwoods and, less happily for both, living in towns and cities while hoarding funds for the next wilderness retreat. It begins with the transplanted Englishman's first tentative efforts to tame the beast, proceeds through Yukon's years as lead dog and exemplary companion, and ends--a bit too symmetrically, some may find--as they separate, each to a new (female) mate. Along the way, though, Lawrence comes up with unique insights into wilderness behaviors (do animals roll in odiferous substances for camouflage?) and, although posing as a tenderfoot, establishes himself as a consummate woodsman. Yukon, affectionate and playful at home, is intrepid on the trail, operating with a kind of natural radar, fearlessly facing up to moose, bears, badgers--everything but a surprisingly fierce bison. Lawrence reserves for him much of the same respect accorded wolves in general by Barry Lopez (Of Wolves and Men, 1978) and uses their singular relationship as a focal point for his rugged personal experiences.

Pub Date: April 6th, 1979
ISBN: 1896219667
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston