Tom's grandfather is recovering from heart surgery, so during summer vacation Tom is helping him with his hunting dog business. It's hard work, but Tom doesn't mind so much after he falls in love with one of the pups, a rare blue-eyed pointer Tom names Tad. It's almost as if Tad understands when Tom talks to him, especially about confusing things like how hard it is to write to Angie, a girl Tom met on vacation.
The trouble is, Grandpa promised the owner of the pup's sire the pick of the litter, and it's pretty clear that's Tad. Tom knows what he should do, but he can't help hoping there's a way to get around Grandpa's promise. How can he do the honorable thing when it will cost him what he wants most in the world?
Bill Wallace grew up in Oklahoma. Along with riding their horses, he and his friends enjoyed campouts and fishing trips. Toasting marshmallows, telling ghost stories to scare one another, and catching fish was always fun. One of the most memorable trips took place on the far side of Lake Lawtonka, at the base of Mt. Scott. He and his best friend, Gary, spent the day shooting shad with bow and arrows, cutting bank poles, and getting ready to go when their dads got home from work.
Although there was no "monster" in Lake Lawtonka, one night there was a "sneak attack" by a rather large catfish tail. Checking the bank poles was not nearly as fun or "free" after that point, but it was the inspiration for this story. Bill Wallace has won nineteen children's state awards and been awarded the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award for Children's Literature from the Oklahoma Center for the Book.