Boy with a dog is an old, old story. The author speculates on just how old with this tale of what is presumably the first best friend of man. That the relationship was a spiritual one from the start is firmly established here with the dog making his entree as the companion rather than the slave of man. The Cro-Magnon boy Ash builds a fire to ward off intruding beasts, and is joined by the dog Arkla, the only animal unafraid of the flames. Immediately they are a psychic team -- the very next day the two do some tricky hunting, and later, of course, come to the aid of the tribe during the difficult winter. Ash's people, by the way, are highly advanced and seem to be without superstitution. The story is full of debatable anthropological speculation. It does, however, maintain an internal logic for those with a profound belief in the sympathetic qualities of the canine. The eulogizing is balanced with some solid action.