As usual, I asked five inquisitive questions.
Q.1. Obi the Super Puppy is an intriguing title. Please tell us about Obi. What breed is he and how is he super?
A. Obi was a yellow Labrador and he was the most amazing dog. Obi just knew how to capture the hearts of everyone. His legacy lives on. Recently I returned to my old school where I used to teach and take Obi for visits. The kids there who would only have been 5 and 6 at the time all remembered Obi. He was just that kind of dog.
Obi the Super Puppy is a fiction novel, but it is based on truth. I was always amazed at the crazy things he did as a puppy, but he always appeared to have purpose in his actions. I came up with the idea of him being a super hero in training because I’m pretty sure he thought he was. This is the story of him telling my two girls about his first adventure. I wrote it this way because they spent many hours talking to their dog.
Q.2. Can you tell us a bit about the sequel to Obi the Super Puppy?
A. The sequel to Obi the Super Puppy and the Mystery of the Red Mist is close to being published. Hopefully I will have it all ready for the new year. It is called Obi the Super Puppy and the Quest for the Last Laugh. This time Obi is telling my kids and their new puppy – Stitch (superhero in training) about Obi’s first sidekick, Rigger. They are still battling the red mist, only this time it is affecting children, making them ignore Labradors…. Obi has to use the crazy skills of Rigger to help solve this mystery.
Q.3. What are your aims in writing this story, beyond telling an entertaining tale?
A. I loved sharing Obi and my two current dogs (Stitch and Chewie) with children. They get so much from interacting with these trained Labradors, who have so much personality. I have begun to write all of their stories to share their love of life with more children. It also helps to keep the memories of Obi alive. I love that he can continue to put smiles of faces.
Q.4. How do you think reading stories about dogs affects children’s attitudes?
A. I think children can relate really well to dogs. This is because a dog never judges, they simply love everyone who will pay them attention. Being around dogs and reading about dogs can give children a great sense of happiness and enjoyment. Plus so many kids never get to own a dog, so reading about one can give them that experience to some extent.
Q.5. Is Obi based on a real dog?
A. Obi was my first yellow Labrador. He was so funny and beautiful, quite the character. When I started teaching I used to bring Obi in to school as a reward for the students trying really hard with their behaviour and learning. It was highly successful. Later he worked for me in a not for profit organisation, where I worked with at risk youth to train Labradors as companion dogs. Obi was a great part of this program's success. Now I have Stitch, who was lucky enough to learn from Obi and he is in turn training Chewie. I laugh at Chewie because he comes from the same lines as Obi and it is obvious. They would have been peas in a pod.
Thanks so much for visiting the blog, Ashley. And everyone... if you want to know more, visit the links below!
Purchase Obi the Super Puppy and the Mystery of the Red Mist: http://sbpra.com/AshleyHowland/
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