What do you do when the puppy you adopted grew up into a dog that looks nothing like you thought it would? In the case of Sarah Kautzman, you write a children’s book about it, have your friend illustrate it, launch a Kickstarter just in time for the holidays, and partner with local animal rescues and shelters to promote the message: Adopt, don’t shop. You’re watching the local news network brought to you by Tafoya, Barrett and Associates and ServiceMaster Restore. I’m Hannah Robertson.
So the book is “Accidental Tiny Dog,” and it was inspired by my rescue pup that was mislabeled as a Labradoodle at The Humane Society. And when we got her home, we quickly realized with all the fur on our shirt and her size for her age, that she probably wasn’t a Labradoodle, but it was okay. I mean, she didn’t have dander issues. And so we hung on to her and she became just the best little dog you could ever have. And it’s always been just a fun, amusing story that people like to hear. And so about four years ago, I just kind of had some creative inspiration and jotted down some rhymes.
Kautzman then asked her neighbor at the time, Chad Clewley, if he would illustrate the rhymes. And although it was the first time he had done much digital art, he agreed, and the book started to come to life. The project quickly became more than just an outlet to tell a cute story of getting a dog that looked a bit different than expected.
We realized that we wanted to really emphasize the message of adopt, don’t shop, whenever possible. You know, if you can go to the local Humane Society, if you can find a foster-based rescue, if you do have specific breed needs, there are organizations that offer specific breed rescues. So we just figured, you know, we have a really great support network around this book from our personal community. And as that expands, we just want to connect that community with the Adopt Don’t Shop community and just let people know there are other options out there when you’re trying to add to your family.
As much fun as the book is on its own, Kautzman’s background in media and marketing had her looking for another angle to the book and the message of the joy of adopting a dog was something she didn’t want to ignore. When Kautzman and Clewley launched the Kickstarter for the book, which was funded over 100%, a big push was to find local animal rescues to partner with to better spread the message. Clewley, who has a pup from Parker’s Animal Rescue, also knows the joy of adopting a dog.
Our current dog right now is from Parker Animal Rescue right now. My two year old is just in love with her and she’s kind of taking over the training of the dog, which has been really cool.
Part of the goal of “Accidental Tiny Dog” is to remind people that just because you want a certain type or breed of dog doesn’t mean you have to only look at breeders. There are hundreds of dogs in rescues and shelters like Councilman Beasley who are looking for their forever home and will be able to fill your household with love and fur.
Again, I wish everybody could have the exact animal from, you know, what they what they wanted. But we can help with that foster-based, allowing animals to show who they are, their true personality and going to, allowing them to live in a home until they go to their forever home. And understanding that a commitment to adopting is a commitment to the animal no matter what. They may not turn out exactly like you thought they were going to turn out. And that is our job to keep them safe and to always love them, because a loved animal is a successful animal.
The first print order of “Accidental Tiny Dog” will be showing up on shelves around Durango the first week of December. So stop by and pick up a copy to share with your family. To learn more about “Accidental Tiny Dog” or to sign up for emails with updates about the project, visit accidentaltinydog.com or follow them on Facebook or Instagram @accidentaltinydog. For more information about Parker’s Animal Rescue, visit ParkersAnimalRescue.com. Thank you for watching this edition of the Local News Network. I’m Hannah Robertson.