In this “charming, rich, intelligent” memoir, a woman discovers the natural world by following her dog’s lead (Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, New York Times–bestselling author of When Elephants Weep).
When she adopted Ari, an exotic Jindo dog, Kathryn Miles steeled herself for the usual disruptions that come with a new puppy. But she didn’t realize how transformative her relationship with Ari would be. As the two of them began to explore the outdoors together, walking through the forest near their Maine log cabin, she realizes that a dog sees the world quite differently from a person (for starters, he or she is much closer to the ground)—and that looking at things from Ari’s point of view was a way to truly take in the sights, sounds, and smells of nature.
Determined to let Ari lead the way and live life on her own terms, she set some basic ground rules, then took the leash off her dog and the blinders off her own eyes. In this memoir, she recounts the experience. She and Ari explore a backyard landscape of grass, mud, snow, trees, and the occasional fox. They find the scent of a northern wind, the footprints of a startled raccoon, and other secrets of the natural world. The puppy’s free-spirited outlook teaches Kathryn to see more when she might otherwise have seen less, while adding a certain excitement and clarity of vision. Soon, Kathryn begins to give up control and know the world as Ari does.
Adventures with Ari makes compelling reading for dog lovers as well as anyone who’s been out and about in the woods. Like most projects of discovery, this process forces Kathryn to uncover much more than the physical—it allows important insight to her thoughts and feelings and her relationship with her entire family, all thanks to a puppy named Ari.
“Some discover nature through gardening, others through camping, and a rare few—such as Kathryn Miles—by gripping the end of a leash as the family dog reveals the great outdoors.” —Hannah Holmes, author of The Well Dressed Ape: A Natural History of Myself