Yes, it’s a dog story. So it’s understandable if you roll your eyes and shrug your shoulders. If you react, as you might, to the images that run across your mind, bounding and unleashed. You know the images: Puppies frolicking in grass fields or retrievers leaping into summer lakes or collies chasing after Frisbees in the park.

Yes, it’s a dog story. But this story doesn’t fit those pictures, unless the settings you imagine are the dense and swallowing Amazon jungle or the dusty streets of Quito, Ecuador, or a village 300 miles south of the Arctic Circle.

As with many stories about animals and humans, it’s informed by a bond — ancient as the place where it first formed, and new as the ways it was preserved and protected.

It’s a dog story — a dog that joined a race, and outpaced death, to find a new life.

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