A New Book is Raising Funds for Rescue Dogs

By Bonnie Schiedel

While local author Donna White was sitting on the floor with eight puppies crawling over her, she decided to create a book. White had been fostering a mama dog and her pups for the local rescue dog organization Paws for Love until they could be adopted. “That whole experience just reaffirmed what I had gone through with my two rescue dogs,” she says. “You know, we think that we’re rescuing them, but in fact, they rescue us.”

White decided to assemble a collection of stories by people who had adopted dogs from rescue organizations. The result is How My Rescue Dog Rescued Me!: An Anthology of Tails to Warm Every Dog Lover’s Heart, with proceeds going towards Paws for Love’s expenses for services and items like vet care, food, and bedding. The book is also dedicated to the memory of Glen Darlow, who started organizing the transportation and care for thousands of homeless dogs from First Nations communities in 2012. “I thought this book could be a tribute to him,” says White.

The anthology has 37 stories submitted by rescue dog families. Many are from Northwestern Ontario, but people from southern Ontario and British Columbia also responded. Their heartfelt and funny stories describe how their dogs helped them through difficult times, such as navigating a spouse’s final illness, finding a renewed purpose in life after a rough patch, or becoming a buddy to a lonely eight-year-old. “You see that unconditional love that [the dogs] offer, and their ability to leave their past behind them and to just accept love,” says White.

White and Winnipeg editor Dave Gowriluk edited the book, and entries are accompanied by a digital illustration of each dog. Local author and designer Heather Leighton Dickson assisted with the cover design and page formatting, and long-time rescue dog advocate Victoria Lily Shaffer (daughter of Paul) wrote the foreword after White contacted her. “It’s been such a fun experience,” says White, who says she’d like to work on similar anthologies for other organizations.

You can preorder How My Rescue Dog Rescued Me! via an e-transfer to pawsforlovethunderbay@gmail.com, and be sure to include your contact information and the words “Rescue Book” in your message. The book, which is expected to be available mid-May, sells for $20 and will also be available for sale at Thunder Bay’s three Pet Valu locations and Kakabeka Depot’s two locations.