What Readers Are Saying . . .
“The dust of the trail, the kiss of the sun, a person who seeks his healing in the loyalty and fortitude of dogs and the penetrating magic of wild things—this novel has everything I myself resonate with. Most of all, it has love. A deep, heartfelt passion infuses these pages, sweeping us along in the hero's quest.”
—Carl Safina, Author of Becoming Wild and How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace
"A book about dogs, and Arizona wildlife? Sounded interesting enough to give it a try. I was very pleasantly surprised how engaging it was from the very beginning! I could barely put it down—a roller coaster of a story that hardly came up for a breath! Loved it!"
Wild Call to Boulder Field: An Arizona Trail Adventure by Robert Ronning. Desert Paws Books.
351 pages. $11.99; Kindle $4.99.
"PARK RANGER WADE Conrad, with his well-deserved reputation as a “wildlife whisperer,” is finely attuned to the call of the wild. But Wade has a short fuse when it comes to people — a boneheaded species he avoids — and prefers the company of his golden retriever, Abby. When she goes missing, and his anger management issues boil over, he heads out on the Arizona Trail, seeking the balm of wilderness.
BUT PEACE IS elusive when he finds himself rescuing a rambunctious West Highland terrier — not the best companion for the trail, but one that brings out the protective dog-lover in him. Less welcome is the appearance of trail biker Jesse Hayduke, a wannabe activist prone to anxiety attacks. The mismatched trio soon discover they are unwitting participants in a deadly cat-and-mouse game with a mysterious but frighteningly vocal predator, setting the stage for a life-changing ordeal with implications that border on the mythical.
ROBERT RONNING OFFERS a savvy, fast-paced narrative, informed by his strong convictions about animal rights and wilderness protection in the spirit of Edward Abbey (who gets a sly wink from the author in the form of aptly-named characters). Ronning, whose background is in theater, taught performance literature at City University of New York and directed off-Broadway plays. He now lives in Tucson and devotes his time to lost dog rescue and to writing about wildlife and conservation."
— Helene Woodhams, Reviewer, Arizona Daily Star
“Here is a surprisingly good book by a dog and wild animal lover who stalks lost animals and the biggest cat on the continent in the boulder strewn maze of the Lower Sonoran Desert. The natural history is immaculate, but it is how Robert Ronning treads the edge of the sentient with animals both wild and domestic that got my attention: The author has an uncanny eye for this wild boundary, occasionally crossed by the huge cats and bears of our primordial dreams. There are great lessons of compassion in this book.”
—Doug Peacock, Author, Naturalist, and Wilderness Warrior
“I finished Wild Call to Boulder Field yesterday. I tried to drag it out as I didn't want it to end. I've heard it said that a "real writer hears the music." This story flowed like a song. You're the Real Deal, Mr. Ronning. I fell in love with the dogs and wildlife in the story--the people were secondary, just like in my experience. What a feat, to imagine a story and nurture it to a book! Bravo! And thank you for this gift of story."
—Sue Pope, Reader
“This story grabbed me from the first page. If you believe animals have more to teach us than we do them, you'll enjoy this book. I found the factual information included at the beginning of each chapter especially interesting and concerning. This is one of those books you won't want to put down! I'm hoping there will be another by this author soon."
“This is fiction that keeps on giving: It’s a dangerous physical journey faced with courage and fierce determination, it’s full of emotional connections, and it has a magical, mystical aura about it. It’s a rare gem that leaves you daydreaming about what the characters will do next. It's about believing in and doing what is right and good! I can't think of one nature/animal lover who wouldn't adore this story."
—Jean P. Hankins, Writer and Artist Tree of Life
"A lively romp through the Arizona backcountry, in which the non-human characters are most fully alive."
—Richard Grant, The Deepest South of All
"Wild Call to Boulder Field is an utterly captivating read that seamlessly intertwines the characters (human, canine, wildlife, & nature/environmental) into a story that captures and holds the reader to the very end!"
—Debra Duncan, Canine Etiquette Behavior & Training Consultant
"In this romance where untamed nature itself seduces us, a man in search of his own peace encounters several other strays in the harsh canyons of Arizona--one of them is even a dog. Ronning is equally adept at moving the human heart and thrilling us with action. And did I mention the dog?"
—Becky Masterman, Author of Rage Against the Dying
"This is an original, heart-warming, and satisfying story for lovers of all creatures, great and small. I look forward to the sequel!"
—Jessica Groenendijk, Author of The Giant Otter: Giants of the Amazon