Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Continuing Story

Posts that describe the ongoing story and news of our dogs will be tagged (below) with the label "Continuing Story." You can click on that tab for a complete listing of such posts, or click the Continuing Story link in the navigation area (to the right of the screen) under the heading "Threads."

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Readers' Comments

"Alston Chase has gone against the popular grain with his fascinating account of life on the edge of the wild in Montana with several generations of real, sometimes difficult Jack Russell terriers. They may be "cute" but they are first and foremost working dogs, with bold hearts and ambitions bigger than their bodies. While he may make you cry, Chase is never cheaply sentimental. In a time when too many people reduce dogs to surrogate children or toys, he reminds us what remarkable creatures real dogs are, and how strong a bond they will make with their human partners."

-- Stephen J. Bodio, New Mexico

"For me this precious read is best served with tea, a cozy chair, and a ray of light pouring through a window. I waited each day for just the right moment to pick it up. It is a book to savor.

"I understand that Alston Chase is quite the intellectual - the author of several very heady reads. I have to say that in "We Give Our Hearts To Dogs To Tear" I can see the heart of the author, splayed for all the world to see.

"This book takes the reader aside from the hustle and bustle of life and drops into the true essence of living. Maybe that shift is seen through a canine friend's field of vision or maybe because of these canine friends Alston Chase has made that shift himself.

"We Give Our Hearts To Dogs To Tear" is reflective of days gone by, of pioneers, and grit, and lasting love. Thank you for such an endearing read."

--Lindsey, a reader

"I read We Give our Hearts in one sitting simply because I couldn't put it down. At variance with other 'dog books,' this book delves into the man dog connection in a completely new way. Dr. Chase is a philosophy professor and his expertise in this area allows him to investigate our love for our animals in a believable and convincing way, and to answer the question about the soul of a dog. His experiences with his dogs and his love of the land make his ventures ring true. The photographs included portray his life in Montana. His unabashed love for the entities in his life that are meaningful flow beutifully. This book is a real treasure."

-- Cloe Caproni

Writers' Praise for We Give Our Hearts to Dogs to Tear

"In this personal narrative of the working terriers he has loved, learned from, and lost, Alston Chase tells a tale that is sometime funny and always moving. But he also gives us the story of working animals in real country, and how this heritage is being lost everywhere, often because of the good intentions of animal lovers themselves."

Stephen J. Bodio
author of Querencia and On the Edge of the Wild.

* * * * *

"We Give our Hearts to Dogs to Tear is a fantastic piece of work. I could not put it down. I pray and hope that many will read this wonderful book to understand better the true character of our terriers, and what is happening to our environment."

Ailsa Crawford
Founder and President Emeritus
the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America

* * * * *

"We Give our Hearts to Dogs to Tear, the story of Alston and Diana Chase's thirty year adventure with successive generations of Jack Russell terriers in Montana, is a thinking person's dog book. Funny, sad, charming and profound, it will resonate with anyone who has ever loved and lost a dog."

Tim Cahill
author of Jaguars Ripped My Flesh, Lost in my Own Backyard and Hold the Enlightenment.

* * * * *

"Alston Chase comes to Montana looking for a new pair of glasses, and is as surprised as anyone when they appear in the form of a series of small terriers which serve as a window into the land and the forces that have made it. We Give our Hearts to Dogs to Tear is more than a memoir about small dogs in Big Sky country, however; it is a book about an adventurous life, an intrepid wife, and the passing of the baton from a generation to another. What lasts? Chase' surprising answer is a simple one: Nothing loved is ever lost."

Patrick Burns
author of American Working Terriers

* * * * *

"We Give Our Hearts to Dogs to Tear is a poignant wise account of dogs, men, the land they inhabit which inhabits them."

Donald McCaig,
author of Nop's Trials, Jacob's Ladder
& Rhett Butler's People

* * * * *

"A dog is man's best friend. Unfortunately, this does not always prove true in reverse. Alston Chase examines both sides of the matter in We Give Our Hearts to Dogs to Tear. Chase's wonderful new book combines a heartfelt personal history of his relationships with several generations of beloved Jack Russell terriers and a serious examination of how kennel club inbreeding has sapped the vitality of noble sporting and working dogs, converting canine types into 'breeds,' where conformation counts for more than valor and heart. Anyone who truly loves dogs as more than mere fashion accessories will love this book."

William Hjortsberg,
Author of Falling Angel, "Tom Horn", etc.

* * * * *

"Like the Jack Russell terriers who animate its pages, this book will steal your heart, tear it up -- and somehow manage to mend it, too."

Sy Montgomery
author of The Good Pig

* * * * *

"Alston Chase's new book, We Give our Hearts to Dogs to Tear may well be the most beautiful and richest book about dogs ever penned. It is not only an elegaic study of his and his wife's Jack Russell Terriers and other dogs, but also a piercing look at the breeding that is ruining dogs' genetic health, especially as practiced by AKC breeders."

Richard S. Wheeler, Winner, Owen Wister Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature

* * * * *

"One of the great dog books of our time"

Alex Beam, Boston Globe

* * * * *

"A remarkable memoir...This is a truly fascinating journey of spirituality ..while Chase writes about things that cannot be proven, he achieves insights about grief, about loss and about death that transcend and, finally, uplift us."

Elana Winsberg,
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

* * * * *

"Moving and thought-provoking...Have handy, while you read, a hanky or two."

Ann LaFarge,
"Constant Reader"
Taconic Times

* * * * *

"If you haven't read it, get yourself a copy of Alston Chase, We Give Our Hearts to Dogs to Tear: Intimations of their Immortality (Transaction Publishers, 2008). You will laugh, you will cry, and you'll remember again why you gave your heart to JRs. This book's a keeper! Chase also has interesting things to say about the purebreed world's wrong-headedness in attempting canine 'immortality' via linebreeding."

Joseph Harvill, publisher of Great Scots Magazine