Monday, November 21, 2011

Meet Kevin Walsh: Author of Follow the Dog Home

Hi, I'm Kevin Walsh. I'm 41-years-old and I live in Wellesley, Massachusetts. I have a beautiful wife named, Jean, and she's blessed me with two lovely daughters: Samantha and Amanda. I am also Beverly's father and owner. I work in the television industry which has taken me around the world. I have seen so many different cultures and changes in industry, values and life. There is but one constant in life though that keeps me grounded and always gives me heart. It's the love I have for dogs, and the love they return tenfold.

Back, Kevin and Jean Walsh with Stanley Cup.  Front (L to R), Amanda and Samantha Walsh

My late mother, Carole, with my brothers and me and dog Susie, 1988
My brother Chris and me with my dad and the neighbor's loaner dog, Susie.  1975
I became a part of Follow the Dog Home largely by accident. And it's among the best accidents I've ever had. I was talking on the phone with my dad and he told me he had been writing. "About what?" I asked.

"My dogs," he said.

"That's cool," I told him, "what are you going to do with it?"

"I'll write the book and you just get it published for me when I'm done."

Discussion among authors: Bob Walsh,
Kevin Walsh and Samantha Walsh

He acted as if getting published was similar to, say, scoring free tickets to a Red Sox game. Yeah there's effort, but not much more than a couple of phone calls. It doesn't work that way with publishing. It took me ten years to get my first book, The Marrow in Me, published. But that was my problem now wasn't it? Dad had some really cool dog stories to share, and always has. I had to convince him it wasn't enough though; there needed to be more beyond the anecdotes, more for the reader, which sort of meant less for him.

Dad is stubborn. So am I. That ignited some spirited debate. The good news it also sparked creativity with fresh ideas and voices. I joined the writing and so did 10-year-old Samantha. No longer would the book be a hodge podge of favorite dog stories. It would be an ongoing discussion of how our dogs connected us as a family almost as much as blood. And it wouldn't be just about us. Other families could see a part of themselves with their dogs while reading about our experiences.

Our dogs are more than our pets and treasured family members. They're bigger than that. They're bridges to our past and our future. No technology and no institution can offer as much. That is what we discovered in the writing, but it was really there all along. We simply, as the title suggests, followed the dog home.
Walsh Family Returns to Atwood Street


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