— In Giv: The Story of a Dog and America, Boston Teran has created an insightful American odyssey. A dog named Giv is the wanderer, meant by the author to be “a window through to the soul of this nation as we follow him on a journey from person to person.”  He guides the reader through incidents of generosity, sacrifice, goodness, evil, sorrow, tragedy, and triumph to that rarefied state: selfless love.

Boston Teran wanted to write a living documentary —interspersed with personal reflections on patterns of American life—using true stories, fateful dramas, that touch the heart. According to Teran, ““most of the characters in this work were quilted out of my own personal journey across these United States. …I talked with people in coffee shops and bars, struck up conversations at truck stops and RV parks. I went to church charities for animal shelters and biker rallies for rescue missions and gatherings in city parks for the ‘Blessing of the Animals’.”

Then, one rainy night on a California back road, he came upon an accident: a pickup truck had hit a dog. As he helped the driver place the dog into the front seat, he noticed the man’s Marine Corps tattoo on his shoulder and a scar that appeared to be a battle wound. Teran continues, “Whether it was an accidental happenstance or the poetry of fate, those few fleeting minutes would prove to be at the soul of everything I wanted to say, from the intimate to the ultimate. And so, on a back road in the rain, I found the character I was searching for to be an anchor, along with the dog, for this mural of American life.”

We follow Giv through America at the time of 9/11 and Iraq. We visit the Book Depository in Dallas and look back at the greatest of American tragedies. We experience the devastation of Katrina, first-hand, and mourn for those who are lost. And we meet the people, good and bad, along the way.

Giv is no ordinary dog, nor is his story. The dog’s journey approaches allegory through its poetic vision and its fundamental spirituality. The story of a dog and America is meant to touch the heart.