While Benny was being groomed this past Saturday at Hometown Grooming in Ashland, WI., I visited my fave used bookstore, Chequamegon Book and Coffee Company in Washburn, WI. With some downtime ahead, I am stocking up on reading material for both in the hospital and at home. Purchased mint copies of William Faulkner's infamous trilogy regarding the Snopes family in the fictional Yokapatawpha County, Mississippi. It consists of three separate novels, "The Hamlet", "The Town", and "The Mansion." It was begun in 1940 and completed by Faulkner in 1959, when I turned eight. My 11th grade English teacher, Mrs. Boyle, turned the class on to Faulkner's, "As I Lay Dying", additonally requiring each student to purchase a subscription to "Atlantic Monthly, for literary review and discussion. Years later, as a college educator, I always sought to model myself after her, for she was able to take the most unlikely miscreants in class and actively engage them in intelligent discussion. Looking at the state of affairs in public education today, I was fortunate to have been exposed to exceptional educators in Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, and Rochester public school systems (in the days when school funding was adequate and valued by politicians). I am currently reading, "Walking My Dog Jane", by Ned Rozell, after hearing about this non-fiction piece on NPR. This novel examines Rozell's tribute to his adopted State of Alaska and to his travel partner, Jane, his lab. At ten years old, she carried Rozell's heart and her own backpack during summer spent outdoors hiking the entire 800 mile length of the Trans-Alaska-Pipeline, from Valdez to Prudhoe-Alaska top to bottom.