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A Useful Dog

Donald McCaig

BUY Cloth · 96 pp. · 5 × 7 · ISBN 9780813926179 · $16.95 · Apr 2007

Alternately comical, melancholic, pragmatic, and poetic, Donald McCaig’s collection AUseful Dog offers a delightful exploration of the simple yet rich relationship between dogs and humans. Having cast aside urban life in the 1970s in favor of working and living on a sheep farm in Virginia, McCaig has spent the past three decades raising working sheepdogs and writing about his experiences with them. A Useful Dog comprises a selection of short pieces—vintage McCaig—that reveal not only the ins and outs of sheepdog work and trials but also the joy and devotion that dogs bring to our daily lives. For any dog enthusiast, this little book will prove a telling reminder of why the dog became known as man’s best friend.


"Written by the Mark Twain of dog writers, A Useful Dog is an evocative collection of deftly written stories that will capture the hearts of dog lovers everywhere. Few writers can match McCaig's ability to speak to the bond between people and dogs with such quiet and unassuming grace.

Patricia B. McConnell, author of The Other End of the Leash and For the Love of a Dog

 McCaig's tales of working dogs are luminous and tocuhing. If you ever loved a dog, you will love this book.

About the Author(s): 

Donald McCaig, sheepdog trainer and writer, is the author of Nop’s Trials, Eminent Dogs, Dangerous Men (both about working border collies), Jacob’s Ladder (a Civil War novel), and An American Homeplace (Virginia). He lives on a farm outside Williamsville, Virginia with sheepdogs Slick, Luke, June, Zip, Silk and sheep guard dogs Ruth and Boo.

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