More than a hauntingly beautiful memoir about small dogs in Big Sky country, this book is a wise account of the relationships among dogs, humans, and the land that surrounds them. It is the story of successive generations of Jack Russell terriers, their animal friends, and their human companions. Alston Chase searches for the immortality of dogs, what makes them unique companions, and why we humans willingly give them our hearts knowing that someday they will be broken. This book will resonate with anyone who has ever loved a dog.

Chase muses that dogs are the embodiment of spirit over mortality and through the window of their brief lives we glimpse eternity. This eternal includes the Earth, the land, and the bonds forged between people and dogs over thousands of years. Chase sees threats in the decline of rural life, unbridled urbanization, and in dog breeders who judge by conformation to breed standards and fashion rather than ability and health.

An uplifting tribute to the dogs we love, and a reflection on the limitations of life, this book shows a triumph of the spirit. Rich in poetic citations, it is an environmental cry for help, a naturalistic appreciation of a dissolving world, and a deeply spiritual reminder that nothing loved is ever lost.

chapter |5 pages


A Ghost Story

chapter 1|6 pages

The Misunderstanding

chapter 2|13 pages

The Summer of 1972

chapter 3|5 pages

The Earth Life

chapter 4|5 pages


chapter 5|11 pages

The Dogs of Devon

chapter 6|8 pages

Growing up Small

chapter 7|6 pages

The Soul of a Dog

chapter 8|11 pages

Hamilton Farm

chapter 9|6 pages

Special Dogs

chapter 10|5 pages

Living at the Edge

chapter 11|9 pages

Show Dogs

chapter 12|6 pages

Leaving Millegan

chapter 13|9 pages


chapter 14|7 pages

America Discovers Jack Russells

chapter 15|5 pages

Seaching for “Genetic Immortality”

chapter 16|6 pages

Ifrit’s Spirit

chapter 17|4 pages

Ifrit Passes

chapter 18|8 pages

Daisy and Bungee

chapter 19|5 pages

Ranching the View

chapter 20|7 pages

The Stealth and “A” Teams

chapter 21|12 pages

Bungee’s Summer

chapter 22|5 pages

Bungee’s Winter

chapter 23|14 pages


chapter 24|5 pages

A Sporting Dog

chapter 25|5 pages


chapter 26|6 pages


chapter 27|8 pages

Millegan Return

chapter |18 pages


The Future of Dogs