The Service Dog Digger, Written and Illustrated by Hope I Saxton

In honor of National Dog Day,  a day that “celebrates all breeds, pure and mixed and serves to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year, either from public shelters, rescues and pure breed rescues. National Dog Day honors family dogs and dogs that work selflessly to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort. Dogs put their lives on the line every day – for their law enforcement partner, for their blind companion, for the disabled, for our freedom and safety by detecting bombs and drugs and pulling victims of tragedy from wreckage.”  Dakota and I think that today, while we are celebrating ALL dogs, it is also the  perfect time to introduce an important children’s book that honors Service Dogs.

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Digger the Service Dog: “by evoking an emotional response in my art I can have a conversation with a total stranger, who may or may not speak my language…from anywhere in the world. If I can illustrate a response toward empathy and educate the public to seen and unseen disabilities, I have used my art to encourage a more compassionate society.” Hope Saxton

FROM THE SERVICE DOG DIGGER: “What does a Service Dog do?  A Service Dog helps people function in a normal life by helping disabled people do things that they can not do, like fetch an out of reach phone when it rings. They may also alert a handler to a ringing doorbell that they cannot hear. A Service Dog may also help mobilize a person by helping them stand or walk, or even by transporting them. Service Dogs come in every size and with different tasks that they like to do.”

Written and beautifully illustrated by Hope I Saxton in language that children can understand, The Service Dog Digger “allows the reader to understand the role service dogs play in society. Hope shares her experience that endears pets and children as well as pets and parents.”

Meet Digger:

“Digger” Photo Courtesy of Hope I Saxton

Digger is the dog of author and illustrator Hope I Saxton. “Digger is a soft, attentive, friendly, longhaired Chihuahua that will capture your heart.”

In The Service Dog Digger,  Saxton describes “the many ways in which Digger helps his owner be more aware of her surroundings and to remain calm, so she can speak better.”

She also explains to children (and adults), that “A working animal helps his or her human handler do his or her job better than doing it alone.” She mentions the jobs that police dogs, performance dogs and search and rescue dogs do that is clear, simple and concise for young minds to understand.

This book, while small in pages, stands tall in the important message that it shares. Children AND adults will learn the PROPER way to approach ANY animal, especially a working animal. Hope teaches us the:

5 Finger Rule to Approaching Working Animals…

  1. Stop
  2. Look!
  3. Listen…
  4. Ask….
  5. Follow directions!!!

That is a rule that many adults need to be reminded of as well!  Including myself!

This beautiful hard-cover book is only 18 pages, but it is 18 EXTREMELY IMPORTANT pages. In the back you will find various organizations that will help individuals with disabilities, animals, Veterans and more.

I know many of you who read my blog have service animals of your own. What an incredible gesture it would be to purchase this book (it is available as a hardback 978-1-4808-3707-2,  which is what I received, paperback 978-1-4808-3705-8,  and as an E-Book 978-1-4808-3706-5, Publisher: www.archwaypublishing.com) for the facilities that you visit, as well as to give to some of your more special parents and children that you encounter during your visits. What a wonderful and cherished gift this would make!

 

While Dakota and I give The Service Dog Digger a resounding rating of  “4-PAWS UP!!”, my one and only complaint, (which is actually more of a suggestion),  is that I would have liked to have seen this book be longer. I am suggesting that Hope Saxton turn The Service Dog Digger into a SERIES, that will go into more depth about the myriad of SPECIFIC situations that I am sure Digger helped her with throughout his life.  How educational, interesting and fun that would be for all of us to read!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Hope Saxton is a U.S. Marine and Army veteran with a service dog for almost a decade. Hope has a BFA in Visual Communications from the Northwest College of Art in Poulsbo, WA. She is an avid photographer, motorcyclist and gardener. Hope volunteers her art and her time to veteran and other service organizations.

She is married and has 4 grown children, and 3 grandchildren, 3 dogs, a turkey and a dozen chickens. She and her husband, Franklin, reside on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.

Thank you to Hope Saxton for this wonderful book and to ALL OF YOU, Dakota and I wish you a

 Happy National Dog Day!!