The Hobo and the Dog: A Tale of Prayer, Pets, and Healing


Tony B. Ratliff, Sr., was born and raised in southern West Virginia. He received his bachelor’s degree from Marshall University and his master’s degree from Central Michigan University. Tony started his career as a research chemist, later specializing in color applications and standardization. In his last few years before retirement, he worked in customer relations as a technical adviser. This assignment allowed him to visit many countries around the world, study those cultures, and make new friends. In addition to writing, his other hobbies include guitar playing and songwriting. He and his wife, Linda Jeanne, currently reside in South Carolina but maintain a home in southern West Virginia. Other publications include We Fly at Dawn and Other Selections. For more about the author and his works, go to

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Abandoned by neglectful owners, a golden retriever must learn to fend for himself. Over time he develops street smarts, avoiding fast moving cars and net-carrying humans. But his newfound sense of caution can’t quite overcome his loving nature. He risks capture again and again as he helps those who need him.

After losing his wife and baby in one tragic moment, Barfield feels heartbroken, forsaken by God, and utterly alone. He becomes a drifter, crisscrossing the country, looking for answers and finding none.

When man and dog meet in a darkened boxcar, Barfield has reached the limits of his endurance. He hangs onto the side of the speeding train as it crosses the raging and dangerous waters of the New River Gorge of West Virginia, preparing to leap to his death.

But the golden retriever cannot ignore a human in need.

The Hobo and the Dog explores the powerful influence of prayer, pets, and poetry. With great sensitivity, Tony B. Ratliff, Sr. spins a tale of hope and healing you’ll not soon forget.


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