Diane Rose-Solomon’s book, JJ the American Street Dog and How He Came to Live in Our House, is the delightful story of a found dog and the family who welcomed him into their home.
The book has received applause from readers and reviewers as well as a Mom’s Choice Award.
The original JJ the street dog
When her own family decided to get their first dog, Rose-Solomon recalled, she imagined getting a golden retriever from a well-researched breeder.
“I didn’t know there were shelters. I didn’t know about pet overpopulation. I wanted my golden retriever,” she said.
At virtually the 11th hour, a friend found a dog on a soccer field and introduced it to the family. JJ had found his new home.
“I realized that it’s not the breed of the dog that counts. It’s the ‘dogness’ of the dog that matters,” Rose-Solomon said.
An education in pet rescue
Through the original JJ, Rose-Solomon became involved with pet rescue.
“When I found out that millions of adoptable pets had been euthanized, I couldn’t turn my back on them,” Rose-Solomon wrote for the Humane Society University. “I wanted to tell people who are planning to purchase a pet, ‘Hey, I was just like you and didn’t know about rescue pets and almost bought a dog.’ Now I know that rescue pets are just as good as the ones you could buy from a pet store plus you are saving a life!”
In 2010, she earned her Certified Humane Educator designation through the Humane Society University, which offers bachelor’s, master’s and certification programs in animal welfare. She now gives talks and reads her book at schools or groups.
“When I go to schools now, I talk about a big word in the book: responsibility,” she said. “I ask the children to think about it — how you have to be ready to have a dog; you have to be able to take it to the vet when it needs care; you have to feed it, walk it, train it.”
Writing the book for the whole family
Rose-Solomon sat down to write her book about a year after JJ died of cancer at the age of 13. After trying to interest New York publishers, she decided to publish the book herself through SOP3 Publishing. A portion of the proceeds from every book sold goes to rescue organizations. She has also started an affiliate program that offers a unique link from an affiliate’s site to her own and pays a 20% commission on books sold through the link.
This is the first of what will become a series of books about JJ’s experience’s with his best friend Maya, the daughter of the family in the book. Rose-Solomon is currently working on a book about pet parenting.