The North Runner is a true and moving story of the building of trust between a man and an exceptional dog that was half wolf, half Alaskan Malamute, and the resulting mutual affection and respect between them.
R.D. Lawrence was a Canadian naturalist and wildlife author. Born aboard ship in the Bay of Biscay off the coast of Spain on September 12, 1921, he moved to Canada in 1954. RD Lawrence died of Alzheimer's on November 27, 2003 in Haliburton County, Ontario, Canada.
RD Lawrence's many books are published in 26 countries and 15 languages and take us to animal habitats far from humans; to the boreal forests of North America alive with puma, beaver, bear, timber wolves and eagles, to the frigid waters of the Pacific Northwest where orcas thrive, and to the sharks of the Red Sea.
This is a classic dog and his boy wilderness adventure story if you don't mind that the dog disembowels a moose, a bear ,a coyote and a cat. Some of the passages in this book are beautiful and some are clunky and downright disturbing. I don't think that either Cesar or Victoria would approve of the author's training method. He never hits the dog, but I do wonder if it is a good idea to leave a wolf-dog unsupervised with collies for the first time.
Still, it is a great read for dog lovers. The author and his faithful companion explore the wilderness together and then sit by the fire while RD reads Thoreau and Steinbeck aloud to an adoring Yukon.
We would all like to do that with our dogs. I think most dog lovers would be completely fascinated by this book, even with all its faults.
If you like reading about dogs, wolves, pack mentality and behavior, you should like this book. It’s Lawrence’s own story of moving from England to the wilds of Canada after WWII and adopting a half wolf/half dog named Yukon to be the leader of his sled dog team. Yukon was abused by his former owner and distrusts humans. But, Lawrence sees a proud, strong animal and, with patience and care, gains the dog’s trust and they become bonded to one another. Really interesting book—I’ve read it twice now.
This is the first book by R.D. Lawrence I've read, and after reading it I've ordered half a dozen of his others.
North Runner is the honest, touching tale of a man who buys an abused wolf/dog hybrid named Yukon for his dog sled team. The dog is half wild and trusts nobody, and the man is lonely and looking for meaning in his life.
Over time the man and dog learn to trust and respect each other and become so close they can feel each other's emotions. They travel the North Woods together, camping, hunting, exploring, and enjoying each other's company.
Parts of the book are laugh-aloud funny, and parts will make you cry, and all of it makes you remember every dog you've ever loved. When the book ended I kept thumbing through the last pages, hoping there was more.
R.D. Lawrence has a wonderful way with words that transports you right into the story. I could almost feel Yukon's fur and smell the pine trees as I read. If you like books set in the wilderness, and especially books about wolves, you will love this one!
I read this decades ago, and it propelled me to read other books by the same author.
I very much enjoyed revisiting the author - a writer/naturalist - and his years living in the pristine wilderness with Yukon, his wolf dog.
Lawrence is poetic with his descriptive prose, especially that of the wilds of northern Ontario, Manitoba and B.C. You can hear the crunch of the snow after a blizzard, smell the pine tar, hear the jays and raven in the stillness.
Though the book shares the many trials and hardships the two go through, it is the strong bond and trust that grows exponentially throughout their travels that is the most rewarding to the reader.
Anyone who loves the outdoors, or gave their heart to a dog will find this an absolute treasure.
What made this book interesting was the description of the Canadian north and the dog Yukon. It took patience to get into the story as Lawrence is not a gripping writer. But it is worth reading if this topic is of interest to you. I have to say the ending bothered me and seemed a little trite and self-serving. I won't give it away but I thing the writer embellished the ending in order to not appear callous and self-serving.
This is one of the best books I have read. The author is a biologist who pays attention to even the smallest of living things in my magnificent country that he explores with his wonderful half wolf, half Malamute, Yukon. The story of their love and respect for each other will make you laugh and cry. Great book!!!