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  • By William Meacham
    Feb 27, 2009
    "Review by Gill Griffin , posted" [From: The Irish Wolfhound Illustrated (some deletions due to space considerations)] This is an updated posthumous version of the original A4 booklet that was published by the author. Being a paperback book it is much easier to read and is one of the few works in wolfhound literature which has the author's story of their life with wolfhounds and then when the author's life has ended, those that knew him complete the picture of this very unusual man and his devotion to his Irish wolfhounds which he has now immortalized in literature. The book begins with notes from those that knew the author as this very individual man, his status in the scientific community of that period and his Irish Wolfhounds, especially the beloved Clyde. The introduction deals briefly with how deeply the author felt the loss of Clyde, and the passage of time since Clyde's death. The book then starts in earnest with how, when in his teens, the author bought an Irish... More > Wolfhound for $25 from New Mexico -- the dog turned out to be a crossbreed but was loved for its short life. This set the ball rolling, and some years later Grover was reminded of his ideal dog by the Great Danes on campus. There is an interesting account of how he managed to finally buy a pup from the legendary Alma Starbuck, only to find that he had to get accommodation for himself and his new fast growing pet, whose height and weight was regularly recorded with scientific precision. The story continues with Clyde's introduction to the author's relations, his training and the author's fascination with the interaction of his dog with other dogs, children and hopefully the quest to find a girlfriend. The final chapter written by Grover is unsurprisingly on aging and death and the first thing noted is a reduction in Clyde's height. Clyde had reached the venerable age of nine. Clyde's demise starred with an infection which was followed by worsening conditions. The author goes through the emotional helter-skelter that those of us that have lost our companions know only too well, but this is also interfaced with a scientific reality, which was put to the final test when an experimental drug was given as the only possible cure for the recurring pneumonia. It was gamble that never worked. Clyde died within hours, aged ten years. The author describes the black hole of despair that followed, and how he was haunted by the last look his Clyde gave him as he left the vet, not knowing that was the last time he would see Clyde probably. This event made him want to change his life -- so he lost another wife. The postscript that follows deals with the exhumation of Clyde's skeleton -- somehow this completed the loop. Decades later, Grover Krantz died from pancreatic cancer. It had been his wish that Clyde's skeleton and his own should be articulated in a pose of the dog's front feet resting on Grover’s shoulders (as in the book’s cover photo) at the National Museum. The powers that be were not happy with that idea, so his bones were left to the Smithsonian after being utilized for forensic research into decay at the University of Tennessee. Today Grover's remains rest beside those of three of his dogs, including Clyde. A remarkable end for a very individual man, who was very intelligent and eccentric (he was a world class expert on "Big Foot") but yet had the failures of being human. This book is a very convenient size and makes easy reading, more importantly it calls us to question ourselves and the way we see our hounds. My only criticism is that I would have loved to have read about the other Irish Wolfhounds in the life of this man.< Less
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Product Details

Publisher
William Meacham Hong Kong
Published
August 7, 2008
Language
English
Pages
117
Binding
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
Weight
0.5 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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