Saturday, August 24, 2013

Champ: A Story of Survival

Have you ever heard a story so gripping that you are compelled to “do something about it?” Well, that’s what happened to me over these past few weeks. It is my only excuse for blogging just once in three weeks. I have been following more and more rescue sites and stories of animals saved from an awful fate. Many times I end up in tears and raiding my PayPal account to donate.
One particular animal rescue story captivated my attention—a story of death and life, in that order. The little dog was nothing special, many may think. He isn’t an exotic creature on the verge of extinction; he’s just a little poodle mix named Champ. When I first read Champ’s story I was, like
Champ's story!
many readers, appalled and then moved.
Appalled that such neglect and abuse could even happen in the first place, and moved by a little dog’s immense courage, fortitude, and most importantly his will to life, and his ability to forgive and love humans again.

On May 11, 2013, this little dog nearly died. He was dumped at the West Valley Animal Shelter, Chatsworth, California. Champsky (that was his given name) was enclosed in two sealed plastic bags, with another one over his head and tied around his neck. This gruesome parcel was left on the clerk’s counter by two people who then walked away. When the clerk opened it, thinking it was a delivery package, she saw what she thought was a dead dog. After all, he had already turned blue.

Do you believe in miracles? One happened right away. Against all odds, the shelter vet was able to revive him. The dog was a matted mess. They shaved him down and discovered ulcers covering most of his body, as well as deep wounds going all the way through his skin to his muscles. He was extremely malnourished, weighing only 7 pounds, when his proper weight should have been 15 pounds.

More miracles happened. He was stabilized and then taken in by S.A.F.E. Rescue, an animal shelter in California. Along with the hundreds of supporters on Facebook, I followed his precarious road back to health. Again, the odds were stacked against him; his condition was so bad, his wounds so deep. But this little champion (renamed Champ) decided to live. A torrent of love and funding poured in for Champ. The shelter was able to provide him with particular food to build up his constitution. Every day, his new foster guardians kept a Facebook Diary updated. Every day, people sent their messages of support, myself included.

Then I thought, “How about a blog post?” Then I thought, “How about a little e-book?” That way, I could donate my writing and create something to generate ongoing funds for Champ and the rescue shelter. S.A.F.E. Rescue were over the moon and the rest has been a flurry of gathering photos and information, getting Champ’s story down, and some creative stuff on the side, such as Champ’s “Happy Eva After Pome” and his short story How Superdog Champ Saved the Day.
As I wrote, so people worldwide sent in messages of love to be included in the book; some even sent messages from and photos of their own rescued dogs. But it all starts with one act of kindness. Every person involved in rescuing an animal, be it a glorious tiger in the jungle, or an orphaned elephant in
Happy at last!
the wilds, or just a little dog that perhaps no one would miss—his abusive owners did not care—is a link in a chain of love. The unsung heroes are a growing army of compassionate people, vets donating skill, supporters donating funds and food, volunteers donating their time. There is very little fame involved and definitely no fortune. Many large animal organizations and the humblest of animal shelters rely on public goodwill to keep going. The only reason they still operate is because of people's compassion and generosity.

Champ’s messages, included in his book, also moved me when I read how many people said Champ, and his brave little struggle for survival, had changed their lives. People saw their pets in a new light; some people began to work with animals; some people saw their own life in tandem with Champ’s and decided if he could survive, so could they. Champ’s tomorrows look very good. From being beaten by life, he has risen to stand head and shoulders above everything. Although fame was something he never expected, Champ handles his new celebrity status with grace and aplomb. To so many people, he has become a little ray of hope and sunshine in a dark world. His fans just want to love and cherish him. Until he is fully back on all four paws, he is enjoying life with his Foster Mommy Suzy and her collection of animals. Champ is not out of the woods yet. He needs ongoing care, and an operation to a damaged knee.
Kelli Hopper, who runs S.A.F.E. Rescue says: Champ has touched the hearts of so many people and has been an inspiration, if for no other reason than to bring awareness and attention to the plight of abused and neglected pets.”

Champ’s book will be available soon from Amazon, B&N, and all other book sites. Proceeds from sales go to Champ's continued care, and will enable S.A.F.E. rescue to help more animals. Please share Champ’s story: it deserves to be told.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Book Blast Giveaway for Where's Blucy?

About the Book

Blucy by Julia DweckTitle: Blucy Author: Julia Dweck Illustrator: Erika LeBarre Year published: 2013 Publisher: Xist Publishing Number of pages: 21 Recommended age: 3+ Summary (Amazon): Once in a blue moon, a special pet comes along. When Mandy adopts the best cat at the shelter, she doesn't realize it has a big secret and an even bigger personality. Features full screen images and pop-up text.

Blucy Facebook Page * Blucy Pinterest Page * Goodreads


Purchase & Special Offer

Xist Publishing is pleased to offer you a special Buy One Get One FREE (BOGO) offer when you purchase Blucy by Julia Dweck. The Deal? If you purchase Blucy (e-book) through Amazon, you will receive a FREE electronic copy of Julia Dweck's newest book, Mary Had a Sleepy Sheep (released September 5, 2013). All you have to do is forward your purchase confirmation email to and Xist Publishing will send you a complimentary copy of Mary Had a Sleepy Sheep. Don't wait to take advantage of this great deal!



The Early Buzz

"Julia Dweck scores another winner Blucy! This book is beautifully illustrated, features solid rhyming verse, has a most unusual main character in Blucy the cat, and will surely be loved and appreciated by all cat-lovers! I would recommend this wonderful picture book to children who love cats and for their grown-ups who will recognize their own cat's behavior in this funny story. ." ~ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

"Ms Dweck and Ms Lebarre have created a delightfully humorous read that will no doubt capture the attention of every little mischief maker. The rhythm and rhyme are wonderful and flow so beautifully throughout the book. The illustrations are absolutely exquisite. I honestly wish I could purchase every one of them to put upon my toddlers walls." ~ WhenIgrowupIwannawriteakidsbook

"The illustrations are amazing and beautiful and the story pulls you in and had Dino telling Mandy and Blucy what to do and got upset when they didn’t listen to him. He was hysterical with some of Blucy’s antics and wanted to know if Balboa could do that to. Really and truly a cute book and one that Dino will keep reading, especially now that he think he’s a catosaurous." ~ Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

A blue cat? I love color - lots of color and these illustrations are exactly that. The rythmic method used by Julia is perfect for all ages and the content is entertaining for all - including adults. My daughter loves mood rings so she found this book particularly interesting - what about a "mood cat". I am also a firm believer and supporter of pet adoptions - so another plus for this story...That Blucy is quite a mischievous cat. Blucy has special facts at the end of the story as well as a game for the kids to keep them thinking. I love this book as I have all of Julia's books and so do my kids. ~ The Stuff of Success

A Phenomenal Children's Classic. Children & Adults will love and cherish this beloved tale. Julia Dweck has always amazed me with her talent at writing children's books and Blucy is by far my favorite one yet. I laughed and giggled my way through the whole book and had to read it again several times for the pure joy of the story. The illustrations are fabulous and very colorful and I found myself staring at each page as I read and just loved the details in the illustrations. This is a RECOMMENDED MUST read story that adults and their children will fall in love with. This book will become the best bedtime story that children will want to hear over and over again. ~ Back Words, White Pages


About the Author: Julia Dweck

Julia Dweck, Author Julia Dweck's background in elementary education affords her the opportunity to be in touch with what children want to read and what makes them giggle. She's collaborated with leading artists in the world of children's literature to produce over 20 Amazon eBooks. Her titles have garnered placement on Amazon's bestsellers in children's color picture books multiple times with two #1 bestsellers: PIE-RITS and Zombie-Kids. These titles have been chosen by Amazon Editors for the prestigious "Kindle Daily Deal." Many of Julia's titles have earned placement on Amazon's top ranked lists based on customer review. In her spare time, Julia is a designer of educational adjuncts for children's literature, and has worked with such notable publishing houses as Penguin Young Readers. She presented at the 2011 National Center for Family Literacy for her creative use of technology in the classroom. For more information about Julia Dweck and her books, please visit her website, Jule Loves 2 Write.

Twitter * Facebook


* Where's Blucy? *

Before we get to the $100 Book Blast Giveaway, we have a special treat for you. If you head on over to Julia Dweck's Facebook Fan Page, you will find the "Where in the blue is Blucy?" contest. Julia Dweck fans are invited to post suggestions of "blue" places Blucy could be hiding, (e.g., near Elvis' blue suede shoes). The most creative answer will win a print of the Blucy cover by the artist, Erika LeBarre. Head on over to Julia Dweck's Facebook Fan Page to enter and...

Pssssttt... if you enter the contest, you gain 5 entries in the $100 Book Blast Giveaway below!

Julia Dweck - Blucy  

* $100 Book Blast Giveaway *

Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner's choice) Contest runs: August 13 to September 15, 11:59 pm, 2013 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: A randomly drawn winner will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. If you have any additional questions, feel free to send us an email!

* This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Julia Dweck and by Xist Publishing. *

a Rafflecopter giveaway