Friday, September 19, 2008
Memoir by Carlisle’s “Dogsteps” author
Long-time Carlisle resident Rachel Page Elliott, better known to us as Pagey, of River Road Farm at the corner of River and Skelton Roads, has written a memoir, From Hoofbeats to Dogsteps, A Life of Listening to and Learning from Animals, just published by Dogwise Publishing.
Elliott is also the author of Dogsteps, written in 1973, which won the Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Book of the Year. In 1983, her new and updated edition, The New Dogsteps, included work she did at Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, researching bone and joint motion through cineradiography (moving X-rays) with Dr. Farish A. Jenkins (a former Carlisle resident). This study gave Elliott new understanding as to what goes on inside the moving dog.
In her memoir, we first meet Rachel Webster with her pony Major, growing up in Lexington during the 20s in a house looking out on the Lexington Green. We follow her to Radcliffe College and then on to meeting her husband-to-be, Dr. Mark Elliott, while seated in the dental chair in his downtown Boston office.
We learn about Mark and Pagey Elliott at the end of World War II finding a run-down farm on River Road in Carlisle, and life there with their children Betty, Ruth and Mark David, their Golden Retrievers and farm animals. Betty, Pagey’s oldest daughter, still lives in Carlisle and is married to artist Maris Platais.
We follow Pagey and her career in breeding Golden Retrievers, writing books and more recently designing and cutting wooden jigsaw puzzles. This is a wonderful adventure and her book should be of interest to all, not only dog lovers.
A copy of From Hoofbeats to Dogsteps has been donated to the Gleason Public Library. You may purchase a copy for $19.95 by contacting Elliott at her home here in Carlisle. Profits go to the Yankee Golden Retriever Club.
Last week, Elliott learned that in February she will be inducted into the Dog Writers of America Hall of Fame.
© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito