Calling all kids
Do you know a young person who has a story to tell about a dog? If so, I’d love to read it—and, maybe even, publish it.
In Dog Tales, Part Two, I introduced readers to the Homeless Pet Clubs, a non-profit organization founded by Georgia veterinarian Michael Good that empowers young people to save the lives of shelter dogs and cats, while also teaching empathy, compassion, and how to care for companion animals. Students’ stories about their pets were Good’s inspiration for the Clubs. Now I’d like to use young people’s stories to fundraise for this exceptional organization and similar humane education groups.
I am collecting stories from young people about the dogs they live with, dogs they’ve met, dogs they’d one day like to own. I hope to publish the most humorous, heartfelt, and poignant stories on my blog and in a book, with 100% of the proceeds donated to humane education.
So please spread the word. Parents, tell your sons and daughters. Teachers, tell your students.
And if the young person you know needs inspiration, offer up one of the following writing prompts:
- Who picked your dog’s name? Is there a story behind your dog’s name?
- If you were to write a letter to your dog, what would it say? Start your letter with “Dear (insert your dog’s name).”
- If your dog were to write a letter to you, what would it say?
- What is your favorite activity to do with your dog?
- What is the funniest or silliest thing your dog has ever done?
- Have you ever been to an animal shelter? Describe what it looked like, smelled like, felt like. Did you get to pet a dog? If so, how do you think that made the dog feel? How did it make you feel?
- If you don’t live with a dog, why do you want to? What would you and your dog do together?
Answers to some questions you may have:
How long should a story be? One paragraph or one page. What matters is that the story is written from the heart.
How old is a young person? Old enough to tell a story—so anywhere between the ages of four and eighteen. Moms and dads, please no editing for grammar or punctuation or style. These are your children’s stories, in their own words.
Please send stories—and pictures of your child and that special dog—to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My next post: A story by six-year-old Matthew Syken, about all the thought that goes into finding a dog’s just-right name. Thank you, Matthew!
Jacki Skole is an award-winning journalist, author and adjunct professor of communication. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, she spent a decade as a writer and producer at CNN before turning to teaching. Jacki launched WRITE Now to assist students in writing the college application essays that will chart their future. Read More...