This book emphasizes the importance of believing in yourself, even if others do not.
This book emphasizes the importance of accepting others, even if their appearance is different.
My new book, for younger children ages 3 – 9 years old, is a story about Oscar, the littlest puppy from a litter of famous search and rescue dogs. His dogged determination helps him overcome his short-comings.
In 2000, I adopted a sweet little chihuahua/dachshund mix from a local rescue organization in the Bay Area. He had big chihuahua eyes, and a long ‘wiener’ body. After a few days of getting to know him, I named him Oscar.
I began to imagine him as a rescue dog, like a St. Bernard. “Rescue” was a relatively new term to describe adopting dogs from shelters versus the more traditional way of getting a dog through a pet store. Very soon, the story just came to life in my head: a little dog that really wanted to be a search and rescue dog but was just too small for the job. Especially compared to a massive St. Bernard!
Many years passed, when in 2019, the story of Oscar came bubbling back up in my mind. I had had so much joy and gratification writing and illustrating The Creek, I knew it was time to write Oscar’s story. Around the same time, my family and I adopted our dog Ella from Family Dog Rescue in SF. Now I had a new muse for the story!
Despite being about three years old, Ella had the cutest little puppy face that reminded me of Oscar as a puppy. Otherwise, the two dogs are very different. Ella is a terrier-mix with a curly tail, long legs and can sprint like the wind. She has small eyes, fold-over ears, jet-black fur with a bright white patch on her chest and dots of white on all four paws.
I spent the next three months writing, rewriting, and editing the manuscript for the book. Once the story felt complete, I began to create the illustrations. I reviewed my old sketch book with hundreds of drawings of Oscar, and used Ella for additional “live” inspiration. I had to consider, does he stand like humans or sit like a dog? Through research and LOTS more sketching I finally figured it out.
Oscar is a composite of two rescue dogs, about 20 years apart, and now will forever be tied together.
For this book, I used an app called Procreate along with my iPad and an Apple Pencil. This was the first time I used the app and pencil, and I must say, it's really quite amazing. If you have a comment or question, contact me. I'd love to hear from you!
I’m proud to announce a portion of the proceeds of the sales of this book will be going to Family Dog Rescue in SF. They are a small, local, non-profit organization that receives no government or city funding. They depend on generous donors and volunteers to continue their work.