The Dog Tales Collection, developed by Patricia A. Brill, PhD, is the first collection of books written to help parents start a conversation with their child regarding issues or concerns they may have with their pet. These books help children better understand what happens when their pet or a loved one has cancer; has to undergo surgery, has to stay overnight at the hospital, or even dies.
About the Author
Over the years I have developed a passion for helping and rescuing dogs. I have been seen driving through the neighborhood with two lost dogs sitting in the passenger seat of my Porsche looking for their owners. I also volunteer and write grants for the Bay Area Pet Adoption Animal Shelter. Currently, I live with four rescue dogs named Turbo, Cayman, Carrera, and Porsche Bella. With four rescue dogs comes many visits to the veterinarian clinic. One day Dr. Larry Fleming, owner of Marina Bay Animal Hospital in League City, Texas and I were discussing Turbo’s upcoming surgery to remove cancerous moles. Dr. Larry mentioned that he has had several parents ask him if he had any material to help them explain to their children what happens when a dog or cat has cancer. He said the children have so many questions and concerns regarding their pet.
I was working on writing a chapter book about my dogs because I thoughts their escapades were hysterical. But then the educator in me kicked in and I decided to write books to inform, educate and empower children using my dogs as the characters.
Based upon the recommendation of Dr. Larry, the first book I wrote was titled Do Bad Dogs Get Cancer? The inspiration for the title of the book came while I was sitting with my mother while she was getting chemotherapy. She leaned over and asked my sister if she got cancer because she was a “bad mother.” I thought that, if an adult thinks this way, what are children with cancer thinking. After the book was published, I received many great responses from parents saying that this book helped their child understand that cancer is not contagious and the best thing to do if they know someone who has cancer is to be a friend.
After writing that book, I went back to Dr. Larry to see what other issues children have with their pets. We discussed death and dying; surgery and recovery; and even adoption. Inspired, I started writing more books.
The second book was titled Don’t Say Good Bye, Just Say See You! My mother, who lost her battle to cancer, would never say “Good Bye.” She would just say “See You.” To my mother, “Good Bye” was something you would say to someone you may never see again. “See You” meant that sometime in the future she would see us again.
The third book was inspired by my Aunt Mary. One day her Maltipoo swallowed the foam that goes between the toes after a pedicure. She rushed Gracie to Dr. Larry for surgery. The whole time Gracie was in surgery, Aunt Mary sat in the McDonald’s next to the veterinary hospital and cried. She was so scared because she didn’t know what was happening to Gracie. That’s when, I wrote “The Road to Recovery is Paved with Dog Treats.”
We already had four rescue dogs, but along came the opportunity to adopt a little white boxer. We had Turbo, Cayman, Carrera (all named after the Porsche) and Chevron (we rescued her at a Chevron station). We named our little white boxer Porsche Bella. “Porsche Bella’s Forever Home!” was written to help children learn the importance of fostering and adopting animals to give them a second chance. It is my passion to encourage a new generation of animal rescuers.
The latest book in the Dog Tales Collection is titled “No Treats for Bullies!” Bullying is increasing. It is important to let children know they can make a difference in other people’s lives. It is important to teach children at an early age about the negative effects bullying can have on others. Turbo, aka RUFF-T sings a rap song to help children understand that bullying is NOT OK!
Currently, the Dog Tails Collection has five books to help children ages 5 to 8 better understand concerns they have regarding their pets, friends, or loved ones. The stories are written in an uplifting way to help parents start these difficult conversations with their child. We are in the process of getting these books into the hands of the parents and children who need them.
We are working with schools, librarians, association related to the book’s subjects, parenting organization and through social media to reach people like you. Please reach out to us if you can help us reach our goal of getting these books into the hands of children and parents who need them.