Scarred by the rejection and humiliation which he suffers at the hands of his unloving father, the young Denis O'Connor finds solace in the woods and riverbanks of his native Northumberland. Nevertheless, his newly found happiness communing with nature and the local animals - a neighbour's violent dog, an untamed horse, a wounded goose and a white cat called Brumas - is severely tested when he finds his pet dog has been put down. This tragic incident almost results in Denis's own death but for the timely intervention of a stranger's golden retriever which saves his life. As he grows older, Denis begins to unravel the dark secret of his own origins and uncovers the mystery as why he was so tormented. Paw Tracks is a searingly honest account of how the power of nature can lift the human spirit and overcome the most unloving of childhoods.