2016 has been my most fun WBD so far (or WBD weeks as it ended up being) because my golden retriever, Bella, got to come too! She wasn’t fazed even when we had giant size audiences.
My latest book ‘Echo Come Home’ is about a hearing dog. But when I give my talk about both of my assistance dog books for children Bella pretends to be a mobility helper dog. I sit on a chair and explain how hard it can be to pick up something from the floor if you’re in a wheelchair. Wheelchairs, and especially electric wheelchairs tend to be quite high and it can be just about impossible to pick up dropped keys or a fallen glove from the ground without risking falling out. But it isn’t hard at all if you have a dog. Bella loved coming out onto the stage, picking up the dropped item and putting it in my hand or on my lap. Of course she’s only pretending to be an assistance dog and is a pet dog – but it only took her a few minutes to learn what I wanted her to do and once she knew there were treats involved there was no stopping her (no stopping her even without treats too:-).
Here’s some pictures of her doing her thing.
Thanks to all of the schools that made us so welcome. Wags from Bella to Twickenham Prep, Biggest World Book Show on Earth at Castle School – where she got to meet Steven Butler, Gill Lewis, Sarah MacIntyre, Steve Anthony and Phillip Reeve too 🙂, then there was Claire’s Court and Whitley Park Primary organised by Berkshire TLS. Bella loved the tasty treats and ball the library service brought for her – thank you very much.
RBWM library service organised brilliant visits to All Saints where Bella now has a new Labrador dog friend, called Poppy. And St Mary’s where Bella got so excited to do her tricks she couldn’t stop licking my face 🙂 And finally a dragon drawing and story making day at Portsmouth Grammar on Tuesday. No Bella for this one. She was too busy splashing about in the sea over on the Isle of Wight where we headed off to after visiting everyone.