Friday, February 13, 2009

The Soul Of The Silver Dog
Lynn Hall
1992, Bullseye Book (Random House)

Her eyes dampened. She took off her glasses and leaned her head back against the pillow and stroked Sterling with slow, hypnotic movements. The tension was eased, stroke by stroke, but the old sad ache remained.

14-year-old Corianne Wendel adopts the blind champion show dog Sterling, feeling an immediate connection with the helpless, unwanted animal. Her own family was torn apart by the illness of her baby sister Bethy, whose short life and death from cystic fibrosis broke up her parents' marriage, and Cory's never felt quite noticed by either father or mother since. Her friendship with Lisa 'Lee' Winterbottom, whose mother shows dogs, has taken the place of family, and led her to Sterling. Cory teaches Sterling how to navigate despite his dwindling vision from canine glaucoma. Searching for a way to show off her beautiful, intelligent dog, she hits upon the fledgling dog sport of agility. And the preparation for Sterling's first show brings the tattered bits of her family back together again.

The closed tunnel bothered Sterling at first. When his face hit the fabric barrier, he stopped dead, afraid he would walk into pain. But Cory's hand reached through, touched him, and showed him how to lower his head and follow her fingers under the loosely closed end of the tunnel. After several attempts he no longer hesitated.

A well-written animal book from the reliable Lynn Hall. As always, her characters are a bit forthright and blunt, but the quality writing and strong plots, which depend on character rather than mystery plots and romance, make this a very good book. Unusually for Hall, there are several passages seen from the dog's POV. Not so unusually for Hall, the mood throughout is rather gloomy - all success, all joy, all love is temporary, and the shadow always returns.

Galena, Illinois

Blue Shadows Sterling - Bedlington Terrier, champion show dog, male
Augie - Cocker Spaniel
Borowis - Borzoi, male
Wendy - Borzoi, female
Zhivago - Borzoi, male
Scatterbrain - white cat with black and tan spots

Other books by Author
Lynn Hall's Dog Stories
Barry, The Bravest St. Bernard
The Post Office Dog
Owney The Travelling Dog
To Catch A Tartar (aka Nobody's Dog)
The Mystery of The Lost And Found Hound
Dog Of The Bondi Castle
Bob, Watchdog Of The River
Dennison's Daughter
The Shy Ones
The Mystery Of The Schoolhouse Dog
Flash, Dog Of Old Egpyt
Murder At The Spaniel Show
Riff, Remember
Halsey's Pride
Danger Dog

Dog Showing For Beginners
Kids And Dog Shows
Careers For Dog Lovers

Books about Lynn Hall
Young Adult Authors Series - Presenting Lynn Hall Susan Stan

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