Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Meet Bob Walsh, aka "Grandpops": Author of Follow the Dog Home

Hi, I'm Bob Walsh, aka Grandpops. I live in Ledyard Connecticut and I am married to Mary McGrattan. We were both widowed and between the two of us we have 9 kids and 20 grandchildren. When we were first married, I of course had a dog. Her name was Daisy and she was a deaf Dalmation. Enough said. The second problem was that Mary was from New York City and had never owned a dog. Despite all of this I loved them both. And so we began our life together: Mary, Daisy and me. It's been a glorius adventure ever since.

Mary and Me 

This is where my journey with dogs started.
In the foreground is my first dog, Dee Dee.
My mother is holding me, and my sister Boots
is holding my twin brother, Dick. 70 years later
with the help of my son, Kevin, we returned to
the home where my journey with dogs started.

Returning to my first home, 2011
Recreating the photo seventy years later with new faces and new dogs

I've always had a dog, some good and some not so good. When I found that Daisy had died one sad night, I was at a loss. It was two weeks before Christmas and I moped through the holiday and for a few weeks after. I was in such despair and grief that Mary finally told me to "Go get a dog. Just get yourself a new dog."

I started feeling better immediately as I began my search. It wasn't long before I found a thoroughly agreeable and delightful little Corgi named Annie. She's full of vim and vigor and is absolutely full of herself. Mary has come to grips with my need for a dog, and the two ladies get along just fine. 

Annie is my current dog.

Why did I want to write a book about my dogs? Perhaps it's because I'm getting older and wanted to share some of the special things that made my life so rewarding. Or, perhaps it's because the dogs' stories need to be told. Susie (my Golden Retriever, below) contributed so much to me and my three sons during my first wife Carole's terminal illness. Susie showed saintly compassion as she sat bedside, night and day, in Carole's room. Each and every dog has provided me with companionship, loyalty and a variety of challenges. These stories suffice the book, Follow the Dog Home.

The Walsh Family with Susie

Yes, Kevin and I had some disagreements over the content and flavor of the book. He thinks Beverly is the big star, but he's wrong about that. Susie is. In the end though I think we reached a balance between two pig-headed authors which tells a true and exciting tale of dogs in my life, Kevin's life and Samantha's too.

An editorial meeting. 

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