Doug’s book “Doug the Pug – A Working Dog’s Tale”
by Cate Archer.
Cate and Doug have been working together, through Pets As Therapy, since 2011. Before this great partnership, Cate taught literacy and numeracy to children with learning differences and worked on a positive behaviour programme with those on the autistic spectrum.
Doug’s book is published by 5m Publishing
It’s written especially for junior school aged children, independent readers, and for those who enjoy reading with them. Pug lovers might like it too. In fact, anyone interested in the beautiful relationship between people and their companion animals might like it.
Doug’s story is a sweet tale highlighting the joys of the human/animal bond and is based on Doug’s genuine working life through the UK charity “Pets As Therapy”.
It’s written in an endearing, traditional style which some might find a little old fashioned. Cate felt that this was fitting with the values and principles of the story and Doug’s benevolent approach to life. Not all of us can be ‘cool’, or even want to be ‘cool’, and being ‘cool’ shouldn’t really matter anyway.
The book’s aim is to encourage us to be happy with who and what we are, celebrate each individual’s differences and recognise that we all have something quite wonderful to offer.
Doug the Pug – A Working Dog’s Tale is illustrated throughout with charming colour photographs of Doug himself (by Cate) and enhanced with background drawings and illustrations creating a delightful mix of media.
The graphic designer of this fabulous work is Alice Palace
Cate hopes that, through reading Doug’s book, a greater understanding of companion animal therapy will be gained and funds raised may enable Pets As Therapy to further their good work.
Pets As Therapy will receive all Royalties from every one of Doug’s book purchased.
‘Doug is a working dog who works with children in the classroom. This is an amusing, heartwarming, informative book which is well illustrated. It is aimed at junior school children and they will love the book and Doug. I understand that the royalties received for this book will go to the Pets as Therapy Charity.’
‘This is not only a charming book about a charming dog, but an inspirational book for kids. The children at my local school love reading the book to my Pets As Therapy dog. Teachers at the school find it such a valuable resource, they say every school should have a copy!’
How to get the best from Doug’s book
Doug the Pug – A Working Dog’s Tale is in two parts.
Firstly, there is Doug's story. This is woven throughout with tales of his varying quests as a Therapy Dog and a Reading Dog.
To help with any wording that might be new to the reader, there is a glossary at the bottom of each page where a potentially tricky word is highlighted with a little paw print. Some writers put a glossary at the back of a book but Cate hopes that having it on each page will make it easier to keep track of what it’s all about without losing place.
Cate has segmented the book in such a way that most double page spreads feel complete. Because of this, some parts that might be thought of as too wordy, or complicated for a younger reader’s understanding, could be skipped without really affecting the body of Doug’s tale too greatly.
Then, following Doug’s story, there is a second part to the book – a ‘Further Learning’ section. This is of equal wording to the story, but on fewer pages, and isn’t illustrated in quite the same way.
In this Further Learning section, carers, teachers or therapists can discuss social and emotional issues from the story - or inquisitive children can discover opportunities to further develop their understanding of working dogs in this field and reflect upon the social messages that Doug shares within.
As there are many examples of social and emotional empathy throughout the book, both Doug’s tale and the Further Learning section can be used together to support any areas of understanding that the reader might like to bring to the attention of the listener.