A photo of Sally and a woman talking at Sally's Peterborough book reading.

In recent weeks I have participated in five book signing events to promote my new novel Unleashed, which is about quirky characters in an urban off leash dog park. A fight for survival of the park leads to political intrigue and both dogs and their owners struggle to unravel a major mystery as the plot unfolds.

Because my book has special appeal to dog lovers, we arranged signing events in support of local humane societies and I’m pleased that we’ve raised more than $ 1,000 to help the good work they do on behalf of animals in need.

The humane societies organized the events, I showed up with my books, and at the end of each event 40% of sales literally went to the dogs!

The most wonderful thing about signings is the opportunity to meet new people-- - especially those who love their dogs and want to talk about them.

Just about everyone has a dog story to tell-- -and often pictures to share. Like proud parents and grandparents, the book buyers talked about the many ways in which they benefit from the love and companionship of their special canine friends.

They didn’t need to be reminded of the therapeutic benefits of pets—how kids with pets have fewer allergies and are less apt to suffer from asthma; how adults are kept fit walking their dogs and the elderly find companionship that wards off depression. A recent study even suggests pet owners live longer.

One woman told me how her dog saved her family’s life by alerting them to a middle of the night fire that could have engulfed them had they not been awakened by the dog’s barking.

A man described how a rescue dog cured his father of severe depression and isolation by giving the old man purpose and feeling that life is worth living.

A couple credit their Labrador therapy dog with the husband’s ability to cope with PTSD he suffers from military service in Afghanistan.

Kids had pictures of dogs of their dogs with Santa Claus and dressed in Halloween costumes and reminded me of my first dog, a mystery breed named Spot, who would leave our house promptly at 3:55 p.m. each weekday and wait on the corner to celebrate my return from school.

Right up there with people who love dogs are people who love to read ! In Unleashed they find the perfect gift for themselves and their dog-loving friends and relatives as we approach the holiday season.

I look forward to more book signings and the beginning of visits to various book clubs. If this keeps up and the dog stories keep pouring in, I may even have enough material for a sequel !


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