Book Title: DAWGS: A True Story of Lost Animals and the Kids Who Rescued Them by Diane Trull with Meredith Wargo
Category: Adult Non-Fiction (18+), 256 pages
Genre: Narrative Non-Fiction
Publisher: Citadel Press - Kensington Publishing Corp.
Release date: March 2020
Content Rating: This non-fiction book is rated PG. There is one scene in which the shelter was broken into and several puppies were killed. The author does not go into any gory details, but this information may trigger some sensitive readers.
Award Winner in the Animals/Pets: Narrative Nonfiction category of the 2021 Best Book Awards sponsored by American Book Fest
We can all make a difference.
Elementary-school teacher Diane Trull’s life-defining moment happened when her fourth-grade reading class saw a photo of a cardboard box overflowing with homeless puppies. Her young students were determined to save these lost pups and others like them. In that moment, the Dalhart Animal Wellness Group and Sanctuary—known as DAWGS—was born.
How Trull and her fourth graders started their own animal shelter is a story of dedication, commitment, and perseverance. Trull shares inspiring stories about animals and animal lovers of all ages in this moving story of hope and compassion. DAWGS is a testament to how love and a strong measure of determination can offer second chances—one animal, one child, and one day at a time.
Diane Trull’s lifelong passion for rescuing animals served as the catalyst for cofounding the Dalhart Animal Wellness Group and Sanctuary (DAWGS) with her husband, Mark Trull, and a group of fourth-grade students. Diane continues to teach those involved in animal rescue about the importance that compassion and community service play in making a difference in the lives of homeless animals.
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When did you first start writing?
I went to Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and majored in Journalism. Most of my professional career involved writing, editing, and marketing for a variety of industries, including the legal, architectural, and engineering markets. And while I was fortunate to have worked for several large and respected companies where I was able to hone my skills, I wanted to use my writing for things I felt passionate about. The famous cliché is to write about what you know and love, so I started freelancing on the side and writing about animals. I’ve had more than 60 articles published in a variety of animal-related magazines. Several of my articles have won Maxwell Awards from the Dog Writers Association of America, which is the most recognized professional writing association devoted to dogs. My favorite topics include promoting the heroic efforts of animal rescue groups and shelters or sharing news about the latest advances in animal health and wellness.
What was the inspiration for your book?
I think my affinity for animals began the moment I was born. I’ve always had a soft spot for animals of all kinds. From growing up with the family dogs to taking horseback riding lessons as a teenager, many of my happiest memories are those that include a four-legged creature. So, when I first learned about Diane Trull and her fourth-grade students starting an animal sanctuary in the Texas Panhandle, I knew I wanted to write a book about their amazing journey. Too often, kids are criticized as being lazy or indifferent. I was so impressed with these students’ resilience and dedication that I wanted to shine a light on their efforts. But my day job and life in general often got in the way of my putting pen to paper. It took me 12 years to finish the manuscript and a few more years to find a publisher. It was a true lesson in perseverance and patience!
What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
If they are animal lovers, I hope they realize there is always something—big or small—they can do to help homeless animals. Volunteer an hour a week at their local shelter to walk the dogs or read to the cats. Use their knowledge and skills as a lawyer or an accountant to help administrators at shelters stay on top of legal forms, contracts, and donations. If they’re a social media whizz, spread the word about the adoptable pets in their area on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Open their home and foster an animal for a few days or weeks, or volunteer to transport a dog from the shelter to its veterinarian appointments.
And for the readers who aren’t animal lovers, I hope the book inspires them to realize that everybody can make a difference. The human spirit is capable of achieving great things and every small and not-so-random act can make a huge difference. It doesn’t matter your age or your size when you’re doing something you believe in. There are heroes among us everywhere and every day.
I am a chocoholic and proud of it! It doesn’t matter what shape or form it comes in; chocolate makes the world a better place.
DAWGS Book Tour Giveaway