When Teresa Pelham and her family welcomed Roxy, a little brown rescue dog, into their home in Farmington, sending a check to those who had saved the dog's life didn’t seem like enough.
So Pelham, a parenting columnist and freelance writer, put her talents to work and wrote her first children's book: "Roxy’s Forever Home."
On April 6, Pelham and Roxy will appear together at the in West Hartford.
Pelham's book honors the work of the woman who scooped Roxy, her siblings and mother off the streets of Tennessee; the veterinarian who treated the sick puppy; and the Farmington foster mom who took Roxy out of a high-kill shelter and connected her with Pelham. Proceeds from the book will also help fund their work, so they can continue to rescue more dogs.
“The people I want to give the money to are the people who rescued Roxy, and Melissa Adams in Georgia, who is pictured in the book," Pelham said. "She found Roxy and all her siblings roaming the streets in Tennessee and their mother, too. They were all starving and Roxy was sick."
But Adams nursed her back to the happy, healthy dog who won Pelham’s heart.
With three boys and a houseful of other pets, Pelham wasn’t looking for a dog.
“But she kind of found us,” Pelham said of Roxy.
Pelham and her family met Roxy at the home of Jan Borreil, a Farmington resident who takes dogs from high-kill shelters in the South and cares for them until they find permanent homes.
“Jan brings healthy dogs up here that have been vetted and spayed… she’s had a couple of dogs at her house before, and none jumped out at me the way Roxy did," Pelham said. "She won us over one by one — my sons, then me and then my husband. She’s just so special. She’s a little brown dog, not a fancy breed."
To paint Roxy in the book, Pelham found pet portrait artist Dina Marie Pratt, of East Berlin, who had coincidentally always dreamed of doing a children’s book.
“She did such a great job with it. The paintings she did are just gorgeous,” Pelham said.
Copies of the book arrived at Pelham’s home Monday, and are now boxed in her garage, waiting to be distributed.
Pelham’s planned a number of venues to sell the book, starting with a book signing party at the March 3 from 2 to 4 p.m. Pelham, Pratt and Roxy will greet guests and sign copies of the book. Pelham had a rubber stamp made of Roxy’s paw print. And cookies for both dogs and people will be available.
The pair will also be visiting Farmington schools starting in late March to teach kids a little about rescue dogs and give them an opportunity to buy the book. Order forms will go home in kids’ backpacks after the presentation, which will include a slideshow of rescue success stories.
They plan to visit Cobb Montessori School in Simsbury April 5 and the Children’s Museum in West Hartford on April 6 from 11 a.m. to noon. The author and her dog will join the Hill-Stead Museum’s pet parade on May 15.
For more information or to buy a book, visit www.roxysforeverhome.com.