“My book, ‘Jerry Duty: A Tale of Puppy Training Trouble’ is about how a new puppy in the house affects the whole family,” said Raus. “With humorous anecdotes about the trouble puppy Jerry gets into, narrated by older dog Ben, families can use the story to open a dialogue about the responsibilities necessary for taking care of and training a puppy.”
The picture book walks readers through her own experience of welcoming an eight-week-old puppy into the household as narrated by Ben.
The family hoped Ben, a trained therapy dog, would show young Jerry how to behave.
“We never had two dogs at the same time before, but when Ben was 10, we decided to get a puppy because we thought Ben could help with the training by setting a good example and modeling good behavior,” Raus said.
Sadly, the plan did not work out.
Two weeks after Jerry arrived, it was discovered that Ben had cancer and the family lost him 12 days later.
That left Raus trying to civilize a very rambunctious puppy. “Jerry was adorable and very entertaining but as he grew, he found more and more trouble to get into.” Raus said.
The now 3-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,” she said.
Families who are thinking of welcoming a puppy into their home will benefit from her tale. 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. The book features original watercolor illustrations by Marietta artist Nancy Morales based on photographs of Ben and Jerry.
“I think any puppy is too much for kids to handle,” Raus said. “All family members must work together and the most important thing in training a dog is consistency from their humans. Dogs are smart and constantly observing us so commands and expectations must be consistent from each person who has a hand in the care and training of the puppy. Much easier said than done.”
This is the second children’s book the Milton resident has published. The first, “Ben: The Very Best Furry Friend,” tells Ben’s story as a therapy dog.
“I do not write anything other than my children’s books about dogs,” she said. “I am thinking of a new story in which Ben the therapy dog goes to a stable and meets a therapy horse and learns how he helps children.”
As for Jerry, the lovable pooch still has not settled down all that much as he has a strong personality, Raus said
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.