Forever Borzoi Reviews

“These stories are thoughtful, illuminating, sometimes funny and often touching. Each one demonstrates one thing; that the bond between a human and a Borzoi contains not just love and respect, but a little bit of special Borzoi magic.”

“Drawing on incidents of personal experience, each writer profiles loving, earnest, and humorous moments in which Borzoi offer their owners unwavering companionship and support.

For non-Borzoi owners, there are intriguing snippets of information specific to the breed. Every story illustrates the importance of the human-dog bond and shows how more often than not, it is the dog which chooses the person and not the other way around.”

Sharon Sakson
Author of Paws & Effect: The Healing Power of Dogs and Paws & Reflect: A Special Bond Between Man & Dog.

Being Borzoi Reviews

The Sighthound

No matter what the breed, when one picks up a book about purebred dogs, the pattern is pretty much the same.  There is a section on breed history (accuracy is optional); the delightful characteristics of the breed (unlike any other breed); how to raise the critter from a puppy to a vigorous adult; grooming requirements and associated equipment; training tips and associated equipment; dietary and health needs; and a description of all the fun events one can compete in with said purebred dog if one is so inclined.  After having read the book, the reader is, however, left in a quandary about what life with the subject breed is really like.   

When a group of Borzoi owners who collectively call themselves Zoistory produced Being Borzoi, they broke the stereotypical mold of dog breed books.  After reading Being Borzoi one has a very good understanding of life with these dramatic sighthounds and why their people who are so devoted to them. 

The book is a compilation of very personal stories from Borzoi companions that cover the entire gamut of life with these hounds.  Through short vignettes, Borzoi people describe the personal highs and lows, happy times and sad, which accompany living with beloved dogs.  Some came to the breed after seeing them in a book or magazine, at a dog show or in a vodka ad.  For some, to eventually share their life with these amazing hounds was a dream come true.  For one, a starving, abandoned bitch found lying in the weeds would be the key to a whole new world.

Because Being Borzoi is comprised entirely of brief stories told by individual owners, there is no plot to follow; no cast of characters to track. This also accounts for a variety of writing styles.  It is a book that one can pick up, read for a while, and not have to worry about remembering where one left off.  Rather than randomly compiling the brief narratives, Zoistory has arranged the entries according to themes with each topic area having its own descriptive chapter heading.  This gives a rational flow to the book

The photos, manipulated to look like black and white watercolor reproductions, may be the weakest element of the entire book.  But since they are ancillary anyway, they shouldn't be considered a detractor. This is not a coffee table book with dramatic photos, tacky captions, and not guts.  Rather, it’s a gutsy book with a lot to say about a breed of hound that is often viewed as aloof by the uninitiated. 

Those who already share their lives with Borzoi will relate to many of the contributors and their stories.  They will both feel and understand the joys and sorrows expressed in this book.

Those who have not experienced life with such a unique hound will come to see the Borzoi as an intelligent, multi-faceted being capable of stealing one’s heart.  These people will know, after reading Being Borzoi, what sharing life with a Borzoi is really like.

Pam White

Sight & Scent

I was delighted to receive this book, a collection about Borzoi.  The stories, thoughts, and memories have been collected and edited and made into a lovely little book which exemplifies the very essence of the Borzoi. 

A breed book is a wonderful thing.  I have quite a few of them, and anyone considering going into a breed (or just getting a puppy of that breed) needs to have the best breed book available about the breed.  However, a book like this one is in some respects even better than a standard breed book.  As you read this book, you begin to form a picture in your mind about life with a Dog, and not just any Dog; about the particular Dog known as the Borzoi.  The anecdotes and memories of the Borzoi people bring forth the embodiment of their dogs so that the reader can see them and feel them and understand them.  If you are me, the book will probably also generate an intense desire to actually have a Borzoi. 

Although Borzoi are spectacular and beautiful dogs that are like by no other breed, they are certainly sighthounds, and if you are a sighthound person you will enjoy reading about the Borzoi.  Some traits are common to all of the sighthounds, and many of the stories made me smile as I thought about my sighthounds in miniature.  I have Italian Greyhounds, and they frequently get into exactly the same kind of trouble that the much larger Borzoi do.

There are many anecdotes which are very funny indeed.  Most of us ‘doggy’ people have had our garbage raided by, unfortunately, our very own dogs, but apparently when Borzoi go bad, they do it with a vengeance!  These deserve to be read, if only for the fun the reader will have feeling smug.  Why, MY dogs NEVER behave like that!  Of course, you can only feel this way if you do not have a Borzoi, or one of their kissing cousins, the Scottish Deerhounds.  Although my very own Italian Greyhounds have been known to create some messes that are truly inspired, they are impaired by their size, or lack thereof, in the damage department.  

There are a number of stories about rescued Borzoi, including a story about a Borzoi who joined company with his family through a number of serendipity chances.  Although this Borzoi has since gone to The Bridge, his people still want to know where he came from, and there is still a reward for anyone who can supply this information.  So—if you would like to be a detective, here is your chance!

I was especially interested in the story of one of the 29 Borzoi rescued from a deplorable situation in West Virginia, because it touched me in a peripheral way.  I had heard from my Italian Greyhound list that there were 29 Borzoi in dreadful condition who needed to be helped with transport and by fostering and rehabilitating, and because I am a West Virginian, and also a dog person, I immediately offered to help. However, enough people had already come forth to save these poor dogs, which goes to show the strength and determination and friendship of the sighthound community in general.  A Borzoi is a large dog.  It takes a real commitment to try to rehabilitate one; and yet there was an instant response to the needs of 29 of them.  One of their stories is included. 

Borzoi  are not known to be guard dogs, but there seems to be ample evidence in this book that they will guard, if the need arises.  At least, although they may not guard property, they will guard their people and their dog friends. 

There are a number of tales of therapy Borzoi which are especially touching.  Apparently, quite a few Borzoi have a real talent for seeing who needs them, and meeting those needs.  This is not a skill  which can really be trained, and seems to be an innate part of the dogs who possess it 

This is a book which, like the Borzoi themselves, is a gentle and quiet book.  It speaks of love and fun and sometimes of grief.  It is a wonderful book to read before going to sleep, and will, I trust, produce dreams of beautiful dogs running happily in a world made richer by their presence.

Profit from the sales of the book goes to the Borzoi Club of America Donor Advised Fund of the AKC/CHF, which supports research intended to better the health of Borzoi.

Catherine M. Fitch lives in rural West Virginia with her husband and small pack of Italian Greyhounds, where she spins, plays with the dogs, and writes, usually in conjunction with her Literate Hound, Penny the Poetess. She has a regular column on dog books in the IG Times, and is a member of the Dog Writers of America.