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by Mike Gaddis

Odd name for a book was my first thought. If I'd seen this one on a shelf somewhere with only the spine visible, there's no way I'd have thought it was about a bird dog. But boy if ever there's a case for not judging a book by its cover, this is it. This is the story of Pat, an English Setter owned by Mike Gaddis (author of Jenny Willow) and by his judgment the finest he ever had. Gaddis takes us from the birth of this special pup through the years of field trialing and to the last of her days, all with prose that is very different from that of his fictional work. He writes from the heart, the pages full of emotions that any dog owner knows well.

The story is one that everyman can relate to in more than emotion. Gaddis was no highfalutin trialer - he had a couple of horses, a handful of good dogs, and took his family with him to train and trial as often as he could. He passed on the politics and pretense of the circuit, opting to spend time with the genuine folk who helped show him the ropes when he was green. But the story really excels at describing the amazing Pat. Her drive, her speed, her quirks and her conquests. I'm not a field trialer but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's a page turner, and if you want to know where the title came from, you'll have to read it.

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