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Rescue dog inspires new story

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By Fiona Reid
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Rescue dog inspires new story

WHEN an old, abandoned dog was rescued from the street in Romania, the charity workers had no idea she would soon be starring in a children’s picture book in Scotland.

The dog, now called Charity, was found paralysed and starving with little chance of survival when she was discovered by the UK based Scruffy Dog Rescue, but to everyone’s delight she responded to treatment and found a new home with a family in Dumfries.

By chance, writer and storyteller Susi Briggs was in the process of working on her new picture book, Wheesht!

The story was about a dog that loves to sing, a talent not always appreciated by his family and neighbours.

She had been working with artist William Gorman and looking at lots of different dogs to see which would suit the book’s central character – Shug the Dug.

Susi explained: “During the process of creating the book we were searching for a dog that would inspire how Shug the dug would look.

“We knew the dog had to have a really expressive face and a lot of character.

“When I saw images of Charity on my friend’s social media, I had to share her photos with Will and publisher Jayne. We all fell in love with her and were immediately inspired.”

And when she later found out about Charity’s background and rescue, she decided to donate a percentage of the sales from the book to the charity that rescued her.

The picture book will be launched, appropriately, at the annual Big DoG children’s festival in Dumfries next month, when Susi will be telling the story during an Oor Wee Podcast Live event with storyteller and author Alan McClure at the Theatre Royal on Saturday April 2.

Moxie DePaulitte, whose family now care for the dog, said: “Isn’t it amazing what a network of love can do! We’re just delighted that she found her happy ever after and will be immortalised in Susi’s wonderful story!”

• Wheesht! is available to pre-order from the Wigtown Festival Company website and from Foggie Toddle Books and following the launch it will be available from independent bookshops. A donation from each sale will be made to the Scruffy Dog Rescue charity.

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