In December 2004, an aging black Labrador retriever on the first hunting trip of her long, good life spooked at the sound of gunshot and was lost amid the frigid rice fields of the Texas coastal prairie. For a week her owner searched for his old companion, knowing that her age and inexperience were stacked against her survival. When family obligations pulled him halfway across the country, sadness and gloom pervaded the approaching holiday. Then a freak snowstorm, a distant phone call, and a friend’s lucky timing brought an unexpected reminder of the magic of Christmas.
The regular feature Scout in Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine is named after this remarkable dog. Here is the true story of her winter adventure.
Awardwinning conservationist ANDREW SANSOM is executive director of the Rivers Systems Institute at Texas State University. He has also served as executive director of both the Nature Conservancy of Texas and of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. He and his dog, Scout, live in Austin
What Readers Are Saying:
“If you love dogs, you’ll enjoy this true story…” --The Brazosport Facts
“This is a story for hunters, Gulf coast outdoor enthusiasts or anyone who’s a sucker for a dog story.” --Houston Chronicle
“This is a book that is more about the journey than the destination, although in the end, it is a heart-warming tale about the bond between humans and dogs and the indescribable emotional investment the two species make in each other. If you know a dog lover or just an in-general animal lover, you might want to get this book for them as a stocking stuffer. It will be a keeper for years to come.” --Gainesville Daily Register
“…this is a tale with a lot of heart, a story that will be enjoyed by children and adults alike.” --Laredos
“ . . . the perfect companion to an evening in front of the fire with man’s best friend. A story that can help children understand the hard work that owning a pet can me, the happiness that good training can bring to both pet and owner, and the bond that can grow between a dog and its master, Scout, the Christmas Dog will be a favorite holiday read for anyone who has treasured a pet.” --Texas Illustrated Magazine