What a marvelous
read! I began Smokey by reading a chapter a night
before going to bed, but it wasn’t long before I couldn’t
put it down. It was an honest, touching story that told us
not just about a brave and loyal dog but about the boy who
The way you put
the book together around specific incidents, your use of
dialogue, your descriptions of the ranches, your humor—all
work so well together.
Your use of
dialogue is especially good and helps create the characters
of your brothers, mother, and father—characters we are
delighted to know better. Your parents are especially
admirable, as only parents of a young boy can be.
descriptions of the natural world are very specific with the
names of vegetation and wildlife. Not only did we get a
sense of the variety out there on the ranch, along the
rivers, and in the wooded areas, but we also heard the
sounds of the birds and animals. You are also good at
recreating the fear that nature can throw at us, as in the
case of the crazed Brahma cow, for example. Smokey outdid
himself on that one—no fear for him—just as he did when the
coyotes went after the stranded sheep.
trip was a fitting high point of the book and one from which
I learned even more about life in the Rockies. The story of
Jimmy’s pants in that incident is delightful.
Thank you for a
charming story, a nostalgic trip, and an opportunity to
share your boyhood adventures.