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Sunday, June 8, 2014
The Story Behind my Next Story
In 2009, I
discovered Facebook. At about the same time, I started volunteering at the
local animal shelter, taking pictures of those available for adoption for
including in petfinder.com and the local newspaper.
The director of
the animal shelter graciously allowed me to set up a Facebook page in their
name, Ridgecrest Animal Shelter for animals available for adoption and those
that had been recently found.
I was excited to get started, but
recognized my shortcomings as a photographer right away. I don’t know if you’ve
ever attempted to take a picture of a dog or cat that has been in a kennel or
cage for a while, but getting far enough away from them to take the picture can
be quite a challenge. They either want to cuddle with you or run like crazy.
I either got pictures of tongues
or the backs of their heads, chew-happy puppies wanting to eat my camera strap,
or the males, peeing on a conveniently placed fire hydrant in the exercise yard.
To help me take acceptable
pictures and help get the animals' personalities across, I asked several
different people on separate occasions to come with me and entertain the
animals while I took their pictures.
One of the trips involved my
grandson, Kaiden, coming with me. He was six at the time and eager to be of
We started taking pictures in the
room where all the cats are kept and Kaiden fell in love several times, begging
me to call his Mom for permission to take the animal home. Then we moved on to the dogs. It
was the same situation there. He wanted to bring them all home. When we had all the pictures we
needed, we came to the front office to see the “shelter kitty”, Shay. Shay was
the one cat at the time that had free rein of the shelter space. Shay was very friendly and came
and sat with Kaiden, purring loudly. After petting him for a few minutes, the
cat curled up in his lap for a snooze. “Why does he love me so much?”,
Kaiden asked. It was easy for me to explain... he’s a lovable kid and these
animals have a lot of love to give... That day, I decided to write the next story in the Kaiden series of coloring books, Kaiden picking his perfect pet. The coloring book with story line
is titled KaidenVisits the Animal Shelter and is featured in my shop, ABCs w/Merrie. It also contains flip book
animation when thumbing the pages backward that show Kaiden and one of the dogs
playing tug of war. Kaiden and I hope you and your
child enjoy it as much as we did sharing it. If you would like your child
featured in a coloring book, click here to personalize MyDay at the Animal Shelter. In my experience, children love seeing their
name in print. Both of these books are intended
to raise awareness of the loving animals desiring homes and part of the
proceeds of both books go to our local animal shelter. Hug your pet for us... Sincerely, Merrie Giles (ABCs w/Merrie)