SUMMARY: Lad, A Dog; Bob, My Dad.
Starting somewhere in my middle childhood I became crazy about dogs. A crazy dog lady in development.
My parents encouraged me via books. My mom was the one who had collies as a kid and who likely got me started on Albert Peyson Terhune, and I think that it was my dad, in particular, who browsed used bookstores for all the Terhune books that money could buy--back in the day when used bookstores were many, and those who remembered the best-selling Terhune books still roamed the aisles of used bookstores. (Lad, A Dog: "Published in 1919, the novel was a best seller in both the adult and young adult markets and has been reprinted over 80 times.") And he loved books, and he loved bestowing gifts on loved ones.
My father died last week, just a month short of his 85th birthday, after a steep but short decline from cancer, still fighting, still treasuring his books and his family.
So many memories from my childhood reside in these books, so very many of which came wrapped as birthday or Christmas gifts over a period of a decade or more. And so many of which I still occasionally pull out and plunge into, for good times with good dogs.
You can always read about how Gray Dawn influenced my preferences for dogs, in Boost's History.