Raus’ picture book walks readers through her own experience of welcoming an eight-week-old puppy into the household, as narrated by her older dog Ben.
“Prior to the advent of puppy Jerry, we had been living with our 10-year-old golden retriever Ben, a trained therapy dog, who seemed to feel that his purpose in life was to please us. Jerry was adorable and very entertaining but as he grew, he found more and more trouble to get into,” Raus said.
The now 2-and-a-half-year-old golden retriever put Raus through lots of puppy-training crises from potty training to surfing on pillow cushions down the stairs.
“His ultimate feat of destruction was chewing up my passport the day before I was due to leave on an international flight. I did manage to obtain an expedited passport and was able to go on my trip but I began to think that all of this material Jerry was supplying would make a great book,” Raus said.
The 13-page story provides parents with a way to introduce the concepts of pet care and responsibility to their children in a fun story format and she hopes families who are thinking of welcoming a puppy into their home will benefit from her tale.
The book features original watercolor illustrations by Marietta artist Nancy Morales based on photographs of Ben and Jerry.
Holly Raus is also the author of “Ben: The Very Best Furry Friend,” a children’s book about her own therapy dog volunteer work which was released in 2011. Her golden retriever Ben was a certified therapy dog and together they visited nursing homes, libraries, and schools in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire.
Ben passed away shortly after the book was published. “What has been most gratifying to me about this book has been hearing from people all over the United States about the work they are doing with their therapy dogs and how they use my book as a resource in their reading programs,” Raus said. “In this way Ben’s legacy continues.”
She plans to continue to write for children using real life anecdotes to teach about pet care and responsibility, dog training, and the role of therapy dogs.
“I feel privileged to be able to combine my love of dogs and reading in this way,” Raus said.
Holly Raus is a staff member at the Forsyth County Public Library where she works in youth services. Both of her children’s books are available through www.amazon.com and she may be contacted directly at www.furryfriendben.com.