In the Queue: The Gift of Friendship

WalksWithSierraHave you ever wondered what your dog is thinking on one of those long, meandering walks you take together? In her charming book, Walks with Sierra: The Story of an Old Soul, Liz Brooking ’81 takes a stab at voicing her dog’s thoughts as he journeys through his last year of life. Sierra is a stray that turns up at her door “one cold and blustery November day.” Brooking knows nothing about him except that he’s old, but she quickly falls in love with him.

By telling Sierra’s story through his own voice, Brooking attempts to delve into what’s at the core of the ageless bond between humans and dogs. Told in short, eloquent vignettes, each with a photo, the book follows Sierra’s wanderings around the rural farm in Pennsylvania where he lives with Brooking as he comments on everything from his pig sister, Wilma, to the heron in the creek and the fox in the field. Beautiful images of nature flow through his thoughts as he contemplates basic elements of life such as love, survival, and loss. And always present is his relationship with Brooking and the feelings it evokes in both of them. Sierra is indeed an old soul and he knows his death is near, and he knows how much Brooking dreads it. But in the end, the deep bond they have shared becomes the means for healing for the author. Be sure to have your tissues handy as you fall in love with Sierra yourself and experience his friendship and his loss.

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