Bob Walsh, is no stranger to dogs, in fact, in having 17 different dogs throughout his lifetime, one could say he should write a book about them.
So, he did and he co-authored Follow the Dog Home with his sons and grand daughter who, like the dogs in their lives, offer different perspectives and recall different memories for readers.
The book jacket says, “through world wars, the polio era, death, birth, job relocation and so many generational and technological changes, there has been one, and only one constant—the family dog. Just like people, some of the pups were great additions to the family, and others not so great. And it's not just the Walshes, you may see your family and your stories while reading about theirs.”
The book begins with the uncanny coincidence that his son, who now lives in the town Walsh grew up in, went on a walk one day with his golden retriever, Beverly, who happened to sniff out the front door of the house Walsh grew up in.
True or not, the anecdote is a perfect segue into Follow the Dog Home, which introduces readers to each family dog and his or her contribution. Chapters do not so much differentiate the lessons in life but pay tribute to the dog that ushered them forth.
Why did you write a book about dogs?
“They’re a very important element of my life,” said Walsh. “I have to have them.”
Walsh’s dogs have been there through every challenge a life well-lived life could bring, he said.
“They just round out a home,” he said of their personalities.
Walsh said he has had all types of dogs and currently lives with Annie, an 8-year-old corgie.
“She has a bunch of fishing buddies,” he said of his four-legged companion who accompanies him out on fishing trips. “We have a nice time together.”
Is there one dog that sticks out more than others?
Susie Marie is the star. She had many adventures in her life, she was a wonderful dog. Walsh said she had a case of wanderlust and a liking for all kinds of booze and despite her carousing ways; she was a constant and sensitive companion for his ailing wife at the time.
What did you like most about writing this book?
Walsh said he enjoyed writing the book because it forced him to think about the importance of animals in his life. And that memories were resurrected and family members told him things about the dogs he had never known.
Walsh said he has received a lot of response from people who also have been profoundly impacted by a dog or two. He has received enough stories to consider expanding the circle and writing a second book.
Follow the Dog Home was published by Sweat Tea books this year and is available on Amazon in hardcover, paperback and for Kindle.
Walsh will be available to sign books on July 12 at the Bill Library as part of the the Connecticut Authors Trail.