About a Dog
I like dogs, but this one seemed so small and worthless that I objected to his going...So wrote John Muir at the outset of Stickeen: The Story of a Dog, which is among the most popular of all his books and recounts his harrowing adventures on Alaska's Brady Glacier with the mongrel that, for a time, became his trusted sidekick. In fact, Stickeen left an indelible impression on Muir and he struggled for many years to put the story of his "horizontal brother" to paper.
I only bring this up by way of announcing the end of our Dog Dogs of Summer contest. In case you missed it, we asked folks to send in photos of themselves with their non-human brothers -- dogs, cats, llamas, birds, or whatever -- in the outdoors. Mostly, we got dogs. No surprise there. Man's best friend and all....
From the hundreds of shots we received, we chose a much smaller selection of finalists from which we asked folks to pick a winner. Well, the results are now in. Have a look, and while you're at it, be sure to check out the gallery of honorable mentions as well. Some great shots in there.
For Muir, the great naturalist and explorer, the adventure with Stickeen was transformative. As he would write many years after their shared experience on the glacier:
I have known many dogs, and many a story I could tell of their wisdom and devotion; but to none do I owe so much as to Stickeen. At first the least promising and least known of my dog-friends, he suddenly became the best known of them all. Our storm-battle for life brought him to light, and through him as through a window I have ever since been looking with deeper sympathy into all my fellow mortals.