AWI Quarterly: Pablo the Puppy

More than Puppy Love
AWI's new children's book on dog care teaches kids a lesson in love in a diverse world.

There are many books available today on how to find the perfect dog, but there is only one that tells us how a dog can find the perfect person.

The Animal Welfare Institute's latest book for young children ages 4 to 8, Pablo Puppy's Search for the Perfect Person is the heartwarming story of a lost little puppy who is taken to a shelter where he meets an older dog named Natasha. They become fast friends, and soon Natasha, with her many years of experience, enlightens Pablo about how to find "the perfect person" to adopt him.

Children's book author and illustrator Sheila Hamanaka says she wrote the book to model how children need to care for a puppy or dog they want to adopt, but adds that it isn't meant to be a complete or thorough guide to dog care. Instead, she aims to convey "the 24-7-365 nature of living with a dog," says Hamanaka.

Natasha describes to Pablo how the perfect person feeds you, walks you, never yells and gives you a bed to sleep in. Why do people go to all this trouble? "They do it out of love," says Natasha.

Of course, nobody's perfect. People, like dogs, also come in all different types. So all the characters are different sizes, shapes, ages, ethnicities and abilities. As a family is about to leave with the newly adopted Pablo, the little girl notices that Natasha looks awfully sad and realizes that this old dog will surely miss her little friend.

Happily, the girl and her grandmother decide to adopt Natasha too. "The little girl and her grandmother are sensitive to the feelings of the older dog and are aware that dogs experience feelings of attachment and loss just as much as people do," explains Hamanaka, who wanted to inform young readers (and their parents) about the large numbers of older dogs available in shelters who also make "perfect" companions and deserve just as much love and respect as puppies do.

One complimentary copy of this full color paperback is available to all librarians, pre-K through third grade teachers and active AWI members. For additional copies, or if you do not fall under these categories, the book can be purchased for $4, including shipping and handling.  To order your copy please call 202-337-2332.

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