"Dog Man" by Martha Sherrill


There are mountain villages and green valleys throughout Japan, and very few people live in them. The cities teem and buzz with life-each year with increasing speed and sophistication, more crowds and smaller cell phones and a dizzying parade of man-made pleasures. But far away, the snow country world moves quietly, almost forgotten except as a dream This is the story of that dream. It's about one man's devotion to a place and way of being, however preposterous it may seem to others, and how he gently, and not so gently, steers his life there.
In the morning when the dogs bolted from their kennels and followed Morie into the woods, it seemed as though they were disappearing to a magical land, to another time. Their territory seemed boundless, miles and miles of green meadows, forests of towering cedars, and mountain peaks with sheer cliffs. The dogs craved the wild, Morie always said. It kept their instincts sharp, their spirits strong. It kept them from complacency and spiritual decline. Being in the wild reminded them who they really were-and the amazing deeds they were meant for. It was an antidote to the convenience and comfort of modern life. Kitako wondered if people didn't need the wild too.