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In 2003 my husband and I took early retirement from the High Tech industry and moved to a nearby ski resort town in Colorado. The move made perfect sense at the time since both of our children lived out of state, but things got complicated after the grandchildren were born.
Even though we visited them for their birthdays and holidays, the time with our grandchildren was never long enough. During each visit we noticed how much they had grown since we saw them last. Sadly we missed their first steps and words, and could only imagine the confident smiles that covered their faces.
Technology helped to bridge the long-distance gap, but it wasn’t able to capture the smell and touch of my grandchildren. It made me sad that I only had two weeks out of every year to cuddle them and smell their freshly shampooed hair, to read them their favorite bedtime stories and tuck them into bed at night.
There seemed to be no acceptable solution to my long-distance dilemma, until I entertained the idea of writing a book for my grandchildren. Yikes! That was a scary thought. Since I’m not a writer by trade, writing a book seemed like a huge undertaking, but the fear of not maintaining significant connection with my beautiful grandchildren was far greater than the fear of writing the book.
So with all the courage I could muster, I took a deep breath and said “yes” to one of the biggest challenges of my life. As soon as I made the decision to write the book, the appropriate people came into my life to make it all happen. This was no coincidence.
I began by reviewing children’s books to identify the kind of books children enjoy. There were books on just about every topic, but I didn’t find books that included life lessons. I wanted to connect with my grandchildren by sharing my wisdom as a mother and grandmother and by offering them the tools they needed to navigate through life. A list of life lessons began to form in my heart.
Dogs have always been a source of comfort, joy, and inspiration to me. I believe that animals, especially dogs, are our greatest teachers. So it made perfect sense to bring together my grandmother wisdom and my special connection to dogs by conveying the chosen life lessons through the lives and stories of lovable canines.
The six dogs chosen for my first book were either dogs owned by my family or neighborhood dogs. All of them were likable characters and had bigger than life personalities. I used their breed type characteristics and molded their strengths and weaknesses into each story to create life lessons of courage, strength, character-building, and self-acceptance.
In 2008, my first children’s book Six Tails was published by Wagamore Productions. Six Tails is my gift to my three grandchildren, to whom the book is dedicated. The six main characters, their tales and lessons, have become a part of our family: