Travis realizes after Old Yeller rescues Little Arliss from the bear that not only does he now appreciate the dog, but he also really loves his little brother. Travis feels greatly indebted to Old Yeller and claims he can’t do enough for him. He pets him and takes care of him and feels bad for how he treated Old Yeller earlier. To show his care for both Old Yeller and Little Arliss he takes them squirrel hunting. Little Arliss is noisy and slow like Travis knew he would be, but he tolerates it. They work out a system where Little Arliss scares the squirrels off the ground, Old Yeller trees the squirrels, and Travis shoots them. They come home with five squirrels for supper. Old Yeller begins to help the family in all.
Travis Coates is left to take care of the family ranch with his mother and younger brother Arliss while his father goes off on a cattle drive. When a yellow dog came out of no where and ends up staying with the family. Though Travis initially hates the dog and at first and tries to get rid of it, Old Yeller eventually proves his worth, saving the family on several occasions. Travis grows to love the dog named Old Yeller and they become great friends. After Old Yeller and Travis go on several adventures. Old Yeller becomes exposed to rabies while defending the family from an infected wolf. They try to nurse Yeller back to health, but in the end Travis is forced to shoot the dog. However Old Yeller had puppies with one of Travis’s friend’s dogs, and the puppy helps Travis get over Old Yeller’s death.
Authors Purpose: The authors purpose in this book is to entertain. This is mainly because there is no real lesson learned in the book. The story is just meant to entertain with tales of a boy and his dog. This story would be meant for someone who wants to read an about the adventures that Travis and Yeller have. Even though the book has a sad ending it is still a very good read for someone who wants to hear a good adventure book.
Authors Theme: The authors theme in this book is Heroism. This is because all through out the book Travis gets into some kind of trouble and Yeller saves him in a number of ways. For example in one tale Travis is trying to catch a wild boar for food but ends up getting attacked himself. Yeller however is around when this happens and stops it from happening and ends up killing the boar and saving Travis.
Author Information: Fred Gipson is the author of this book. In the 1940s, he began writing short stories with a western theme which proved to be prototypes for his longer works of fiction that followed. In 1946, his first full-length book, The Fabulous Empire: Colonel Zack Miller’s Story, was published. Hound Dog Man in 1947 established Gipson’s reputation when it became a Double day Book of The Month Club selection and sold over 250,000 copies in its first year of publication and was later made into a film in 1959. His additional works included The Home Place, Big Bend: A Homesteader’s Story, Cowhand: The Story of a Working Cowboy, The Trail-Driving Rooster and Recollection Creek.