Cover image for Home waters : fishing with an old friend
Home waters : fishing with an old friend
Monninger, Joseph.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Francisco, Calif. : Chronicle Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
190 pages ; 21 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
SH464.W4 M57 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
SH464.W4 M57 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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When Joseph Monninger's dog, a golden retriever named Nellie, develops lumps that are most likely cancer, the 40 year-old author refuses to abandon her to the animal hospital-instead, he takes her on a road trip to visit their old mountain haunts and fish their favourite streams. As they wend their way through Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana, the author rediscovers his past. The memories of Nellie, woven together with their outdoor adventures, create a poignant meditation on life, freedom, love, and nature.

Author Notes

Joseph Monninger is the author of "Home Waters: Fishing with an Old Friend" and seven books of fiction and nonfiction. He lives in New Hampshire.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Monninger's touching account of fishing and hiking in the company of his beloved Nellie, an 11-year-old golden retriever whom he suspected of having cancer, is both a fly-fisher's engaging daybook and a wonderfully affecting probe of the humanÄpet bond. Nellie, as it turned out, was cancer-free. But, after the vet removed 17 lumps, Monninger, a prolific New Hampshire novelist (Mather, etc.), refused to have them biopsied, reasoning that he wasn't going to authorize extensive surgery if they proved malignant. Instead, as his way of repaying Nellie for her lifelong fidelity, he decided to take her on one last jaunt to some of their favorite haunts, including Montana's Crow Reservation, where he had spent a summer. Nellie, oblivious to any presumed health problems, contentedly watches bison at Yellowstone National Park, chases a coyote and, in Wyoming, falls head over heels for a male Chesapeake retriever named Chunky. Monninger's own adventures include getting into a leg-wrestling match in a small-town Idaho bar with Kathy, the local leg-wrestling champion. As he parcels out his lessons about unselfish commitment, Monninger keeps in mind that his relationships with people haven't always been as harmonious as his relationship with Nellie. In the end, man and dog return to New Hampshire, moving into a new home, a converted barn built around 1840, along with Monninger's new companion, Wendy, and her eight-year-old son. Monninger's writing sticks so close to the immediacy of experience that his book manages, somewhat amazingly, to avoid sentimentality. Agent, Jennifer Hengen at Sterling-Lord Literistic. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The "old friend" of the title is Nellie, the author's 11-year-old golden retriever, with whom he feels a "connection...beyond what others might consider normal." They are clearly each other's best friend, and readers of this heart-warming memoir will be genuinely gladdened to learn that Nellie is still tail-waggingly spirited on the last page. A sadder ending is anticipatedÄthe book describes a month-long fishing trip planned as a special treat after suspected cancerous lumps are discovered on the dog. The steadfast companions return to remembered streams and a few new ones as they travel in a pickup truck from New Hampshire to scenic waterways in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Fish are caught, wild animals encountered, and a few interesting people met, but these well-told stories are all secondary to the notion that Nellie is enjoying whatever they do. Recommended for public libraries.ÄWill Hepfer, SUNY at Buffalo Libs. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.