Inspiring Children’s Book Honors Sandy Hook Victim And Therapy Dogs

Mary Simpson
by Mary Simpson
Celebrating a little girl’s love of animals, “Good Dogs, Great Listeners” introduces children to therapy dogs while helping to foster a love for reading.

One little girl. A sister, a daughter, a lover of dogs and aspiring veterinarian. She could be our own child, but instead is an innocent victim of unspeakable tragedy. She is also the driving force behind a highly unique program designed to help youngsters in need of emotional support. Melding lovable therapy dogs with childhood literacy, the program is aptly named Charlotte’s Litter and its mission is to promote awareness and resources for the use of therapy dogs in delivering comfort, support and learning skills to kids in need.

You see, six-year old Charlotte Helen Bacon was lost three years ago this December in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Following the incident, her parents witnessed the impact therapy dogs had on her classmates including young brother Guy, and just knew their little girl’s vibrant spirit had to live on in something that would be meaningful to her. Her love of dogs and in particular her best friend Golden Lab Lily meant pooches was going to factor big time!

Related: Lending A Helping Paw: What’s Involved In Therapy Dog Training

But as mentioned earlier, Charlotte’s Litter goes much further than just patting and cuddling a fluffy bundle of fur. We all know that dogs rule the day when it comes to listening skills so rather than just have kids talk to them, so why not have kids read to them? Yes, therapy dogs are paired up as reading partners to encourage youngsters to practice their literacy skills in a fun and non-judgmental setting.

Of course with kids and dogs and books in play it made perfect sense that soon after Charlotte’s Litter was formed, the creation of a children’s book, “Good Dogs, Great Listeners: The Story of Charlotte, Lily and the Litter” became a reality.

Related: Therapy Dogs May Be The Key To Less Stress And Loneliness At Colleges

With proceeds from all sales going to support childhood literacy and the Charlotte’s Litter therapy program, this upbeat kids book tells the tale of Charlotte, Lily, her beloved “litter” of stuffed toys and the adventures they undertake. Written by award-winning author Renata Bowers and beautifully illustrated by Michael Chesworth, the magical story follows the easily distracted Charlotte who tends to abandon her books in search of activities she thinks to be more fun. When pet dog Lily is injured, the little girl must find a way to love Lily back to health and along the way discovers just how much she enjoys reading to her beloved companions.

The children’s book is based almost entirely on Charlotte’s actual adventures, with true-to-life illustrations and a touching message that will appeal to parents and kid alike.

To learn more about this project and order your copy of this beautifully illustrated and narrated book, visit the official Good Dogs, Great Listeners website.

Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

Sharing space with three seriously judgy Schnoodles and a feline who prefers to be left alone. #LivingMyBestLife

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