I saw a delightful movie, Where the Red Fern Grows
(1974 version) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where_the_Red_Fern_Grows
about a 12 year old country kid who rears two hounds.
The author was a construction worker in Mexico who wrote in spare time and kept his writings with his parents. Just before getting married he burned all the manuscripts he wrote, including this one. When his wife heard this, she asked him to rewrite the story and managed to get it published.