How could I not be friends with Kristin O’Donnell Tubb when she clearly loves dogs as much as I do? And how can you not want to immediately dive in to her latest book, A Dog Like Daisy (Katherine Tegen Books), once you get a good look at the cover? You’ll find Kristin’s story behind the story as irresistible as Daisy herself. Read on! And don’t miss the giveaway info at the end of Kristin’s essay.
“Who Rescued Whom?”
“Who rescued whom?” When it comes to rescue dogs, it’s a question that’s often asked. Did the pet owner rescue the dog, or…?
A Dog Like Daisy (Katherine Tegen Books) is the story of Daisy, a rescued pit bull training to be a service dog for an injured veteran. The veteran, Colonel Victor, wrestles with PTSD, and the story follows Daisy through the rigorous 10-week service dog training program. Service dogs can do many amazing things, including helping those managing PTSD. They can sense an oncoming panic attack and help their human get to a safe place, both mentally and physically.
While A Dog Like Daisy is a story of rescue on both sides, it is, honestly, a story of rescue for me, too. The idea for Daisy came to me when I was at a writerly low. I’d finished editing John Lincoln Clem: Civil War Drummer Boy (developed in-house, so it wasn’t my idea, though I truly love Clem’s story). I wasn’t sure where to turn next. Every idea I had seemed to fall flat, and had for a long while. I was beginning to question whether this was the career I was meant to remain in, long-term.
Then poof! A neighbor of mine mentioned in passing they knew a breeder who trained service animals. While I’d read quite a bit about service dogs themselves, I hadn’t read anything about the training process. It turns out, it’s fascinating, particularly when service dogs are introduced into a family environment.
When a service dog is brought into a family, the only person who can pet the dog, feed the dog, walk the dog, and let the dog outside is the handler, the person the dog assists. This can cause resentment among the other family members. Which then brought forth the idea of a boy who didn’t want a dog in his life, perhaps the only boy in America with that particular wish.
Daisy was born.
And my writing fingers couldn’t keep up. I wrote the story faster than any story I’ve written before or since. I call it my “lightning in a bottle” book, and it reminded me of the sheer joy of the writing process, which is fully and completely separate from the business of publishing. (Which has many joys of its own, but is largely external and out of one’s control). I fell in love with Daisy, and I fell in love with writing. Again.
Thank you for the rescue, Daisy.
I am indebted to many helpful dog trainers and organizations who lent me their expertise. Portions of sales of Daisy have gone and will continue to go to Southeastern Guide Dogs, Paws for Veterans, and the Warrior Canine Connection.
Giveaway: I will send a signed copy of A Dog Like Daisy to one person who retweets Kirby’s link to this post between now and midnight, Monday, 9/11. Also, there is a Goodreads giveaway of A Dog Like Daisy going on NOW through September 13! Hop over there and register for one of three signed copies.
Kristin O’Donnell Tubb is the author of A Dog Like Daisy, John Lincoln Clem: Civil War Drummer Boy (written as E.F. Abbott), The 13th Sign, Selling Hope and Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different. She’s also written many activity books featuring well-loved characters like Scooby-Doo, Bugs Bunny, the Powerpuff Girls, and Strawberry Shortcake. Kristin lives near Nashville, Tennessee with her bouncy-loud family. Just like her two dogs, she can be bribed with cheese.
Kristin can be found far too often on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/kristin.tubb), Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/ktubb), and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/kristintubb/) . Oh, and she has a website, too: www.kristintubb.com.