Redemption Has 4 Paws is going to be published! Therapy Dogs are a huge part of the book!

Many of you who know me personally know that my dogs are the kids I was never able to have.  And because I love these little fur angels so much, I decided to write a book about all the dogs in my life and how they brought me to finding my life’s purpose–making therapy visits with my dogs.

Redemption Has 4 Paws was born over the past year and a half.  I found myself laughing as I remembered some of the antics of some of the dogs in my past and crying over the loss of many of the noble dogs that have spent time with me.  This book was written from the heart and I hope it shows how much all my dogs helped to turn me from a selfish “me-minded” adult to someone who has more compassion and feeling for my fellow human beings.  How could I not become a better human being because of the never-ending love these animals have shown me?

I can honestly say that my dogs helped to save my life.  The summer of 2006 was the worst time in my life but that is when Mario entered my life.  I believe God puts people and animals in our lives exactly when they should be there.  Mario, the beautiful sable Sheltie that I adopted from the local Kingman, AZ shelter who became my first therapy dog–how could I ever forget the difference he made in my life?

My precious Mario
My precious Mario

 

The fall of 2008 was another difficult time in my life.  My husband and I filed for divorce and in the same week that we filed, my mother passed away.  Add to that I had to move to another house and figure out what I was going to do with my life.  I’m not going to lie–I thought long and hard about suicide.  But my dogs were there and they had to be let out every day and fed two times a day. And they would jump up on the bed with me when they could feel me sinking into sadness.  I honestly don’t know if I would be here if I hadn’t had these loving animals depending on me.  I literally credit them for saving my life.

My handsome Harley--photograph by Barbara O'Brien
My handsome Harley–photograph by Barbara O’Brien

 

As the course of my life settled down after the divorce and I started to live life on a more even keel, I was able to look outside myself and find such joy in making therapy visits with my dogs.  While the majority of my friends have been experiencing the joy of raising children and now having grandchildren to love, I became more and more immersed in my dogs and training them to do therapy work and then taking on deaf dogs to do therapy work.  I owe such a debt of gratitude to all the dogs I’ve known throughout my life.  The unconditional love they have given me and others while on visits is truly a sign that they are gifts sent to us from God.

Making a therapy visit
Making a therapy visit

 

I submitted my manuscript to several publishers.  Covenant Books chose to publish Redemption Has 4 Paws.  They are a cross between a self-publishing house (where the author pays all the costs of printing, editing, promotion, etc) and a traditional publishing company that sends out advances and royalties.  It’s very difficult for an unknown author to get a traditional publishing contract.  Covenant Books is charging me $4,000 to get the book printed, edited, do press releases, do a video that I can use on YouTube to help sell the book, and then will get it into the wholesale book market through Ingram (the largest wholesale book group) and Arbor Press (a large Christian book group) and also get it into Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Apple in print and e-book formats.

Mackie enjoying a few minutes resting.
Mackie enjoying a few minutes resting.

 

The hard part for me is that I’ve barely been able to keep my head above water paying my monthly bills much less have any money to save to get the book published.  So I set up a GoFundMe page to help with funding to get the book published.  Once the book is published and on the market, Covenant will pay me 100% of the royalties until my initial $4,000 is recouped.  After that they will charge me a 5% commission.  Once the initial printing costs have been recouped, I am going to donate $1,000 to each of the four rescues that have been so important in my life–the Minnesota Wisconsin Collie Rescue, the MN Sheltie Rescue, the Long Island Shetland Sheepdog Rescue and the Central Illinois Sheltie Rescue.

Olaf making a therapy visit!
Olaf making a therapy visit!

 

Many people have already donated to the GoFundMe page and I truly thank them all from the bottom of my heart. I have never been comfortable asking for money from anyone else–I guess I’ve just been too ornery or too independent to do so.  But because getting this book published is so important to me, I decided that I had to suck it up and create the GoFundMe page.  Any amount that people can spare is so appreciated.

Here’s the link for the GoFundMe page:  https://www.gofundme.com/redemption-has-4-paws-book

I can’t wait to get the story of my fur angels out to the public.  And if my book can inspire someone else to try therapy visits with their dog then my mission will have been accomplished.  This is such an exciting time for me and my dogs.  I can’t wait until the story of their unconditional love is known to the world!

It’s time for me to give all the fur kids a hug so I can go to work.  Don’t forget to give your special fur angel a hug and kiss too.  And don’t forget to share the GoFundMe page and this blog from WeBlogDogs.  Networking is one of the greatest things to getting the word out there about my book.  Thank you!

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