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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 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 service.

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)