When my dad told me he was going to write a book full of stories about our dog Erik I thought, “Well, that makes sense.” I grew up hearing these stories and anyone who spent time with Dad in the last 40 years would have also heard a story or two about Erik.
This book will take you through almost 14 years of a dog’s life. From being the last of the litter to be picked, becoming a companion and friend to a small college town, and finally a big brother to me, Erik certainly lived a great dog’s life.
Most people are familiar with the tales about a boy and his dog, but this one is a little different. My dad found Erik in a pivotal time in his life when he was about to graduate college and start a family. My dad and Erik grew up and entered adulthood together. Erik and my dad drank beer at parties, protected each other from real or perceived threats, and showed each other unconditional love.
While I was too young to fully appreciate most of these stories since Erik was already 5 years old when I came along, I understood immediately that he was part of the family.
Some of my first memories are of my dad and me going to the football or baseball fields near our house and Erik was always there with us. Erik was my guest for show and tell when I was in kindergarten, he served as a pillow for me when I was 7 and got the chicken pox, and he was there when I learned to ride a bike.
Throughout this book my dad compares Erik to a 13-year-old son. The dog had a sense of humor, created his own fun and was headstrong just like a teenager.
Sometimes kids disappoint, test the boundaries, and aggravate us and so do our
dogs. Everyone that has cleaned up after a dog then has them come and lick your face knows what I’m talking about.
When I was growing up with Erik, I thought everyone else with a dog had the same experiences. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized Erik was one of a kind, but at the same time, these are stories to which all dog owners and dog lovers can relate.
This book is not only a way for dog owners and dog lovers to reminisce about some of their own experiences, but it’s a way to honor a family member.
That’s what this book is about; family. While Erik is the focus of the stories, every one of these memories has something to do with Erik’s interaction with family or friends, except for the one where he got into the trashcan.
But at the heart of it, the book is a way to celebrate a member of the family.
Capt. Joseph T. Simms, USAF
(Now Major Joseph T. Simms, 2019)
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