DOG DAYS OF SUMMER
54, 000 words
Trina knows how to train dogs, but growing up is an entirely, different matter.
Eleven-year old, Trina has an unusual hobby; she’s a Puppy Raiser for service dogs. DOG DAYS OF SUMMER; set on Edisto Island in South Carolina is a coming-of-age story with a twist. Trina, not only must deal with the risk of losing her best friend, Sarah, as she becomes obsessed with boys, but Trina must also conquer her grief over returning her service dog, Sydney, after a year of training and much love. The story combines humor, growing pains and plenty of puppy love-of both varieties.
My magazine article, Scent with Love, about a Diabetic Alert dog, was published in Clubhouse Magazine in July, 2010. This story received the Special Interest award from the Dog Writers Association of America at their December awards banquet in New York. It can be read on my website; (www.sherislevy.com.) I am an active member of SCBWI, helped coordinate manuscript critiques and have written for our Carolinas regional newsletter, The Pen & Palette.
With three special education credentials, I treasured every moment of my teaching career. I continue mentoring special children, teaching creative-writing workshops after school and volunteering with an accredited, non-profit service dog kennel, PAALS. Many memorable days have been spent running with my dogs on Edisto Island, capturing my heart and soul.
To meet specific curriculum needs, a discussion guide could be added on beach ecosystems. PAALS volunteered to add information on service dogs. I look forward to hearing from you.
First 150 Words:
Dog Days of Summer (first words-139)
Chapter 1- Sunday
Sydney and I wrestled in my bedroom until I giggled so hard my insides hurt and his barking made me deaf. I crisscrossed my arms on my chest and said, “Freeze!” He stopped in motion, panting. His head tilted sideways, eyes glued on mine, waiting for the next command. I’d always made sure Sydney got to be a regular puppy. Even when he became someone’s service dog, he’d still have playtime.
Momma’s voice boomed through the door, “Trina, are you packed?”
“Almost.” I gave Sydney the release word, “Okay,” and he pounced at me. I threw my arms around his neck, buried my face in his red, brown and white-freckled fur and breathed in his fresh vanilla scent. My stomach lurched. Could I survive this next week?
This week at the beach would be my last with Sydney.