International Assistance Dog Week

It’s the middle of International Assistance Dog Week! This annual event recognizes and honors the specially trained canines who do an amazing job of helping their human partners. It also offers an opportunity to raise awareness and learn about how service dogs improve the lives of disabled men, women, and children. For more information on International Assistance Dog Week or to check for a local event in your area, please visit the official website http://www.assistancedogweek.org

As an author and dog lover, as well as someone with a disability, assistance dogs have become one of my favorite topics. There are so many different jobs these amazing dogs are trained to do, and they have such a positive impact on the lives of their human partners. Assistance dogs help increase a disabled person’s independence, assist them with everyday tasks, and protect them from things that could cause the person harm, such as allergens.

Because of the importance of these dogs and my deep appreciation for the work they do, I’ve written three books starring assistance dogs (so far). My last release, Imperfect Beauty, has a blind hero who is partnered with a guide dog. This is likely one of the most recognized types of service dog

My upcoming release, Jordan’s Battle, has a psychiatric service dog partnered with the hero, who is an Army veteran. The use of service dogs for things like posttraumatic stress disorder is controversial among some people, but those suffering from from PTSD who have dogs trained to help alleviate the symptoms have given plenty of anecdotal evidence about their effectiveness.

And coming this Christmas season, Breath of Christmas stars a hero with a medical alert dog. Medical alert dogs can literally save the lives of their human partners, as well as get help, carry emergency medication, and give enough warning of an impending medical emergency that the human can go to a safe place or take other measures to lessen the severity of the issue.

The next time you see a dog working in a store, restaurant, or other public place, be aware that the dog is doing an essential job by helping its human partner with a disability. Although the disability may not be visible, the presence of a service dog shows the disability exists and requires the assistance of a specially trained dog to help the person enjoy the independence and freedom non-disabled people take for granted.

Imperfect Beauty cover artImperfect Beauty

A visit to the Highland games goes awry for Alasdair Buchanan when his cousin abandons him in the crowd. His guide dog is terrible at describing the sights, but he does a great job of finding the river. Too bad Alasdair has no clue where that river is in relation to his cousin’s apartment.

When Trisha Wright stops to speak with him in her angelic voice, Alasdair is certain his cousin did him a favor by abandoning him. Trisha loves the Scot’s flirtatious ways and basks in his compliments, but she can’t shake the fear that he’ll hate her when he learns the truth about her—a truth everyone can see but him.

Jordan's Battle cover artJordan’s Battle

Computer programmer Alaina Howard has a new office mate, and she couldn’t be happier that he’s handsome and unattached. Although initially uncertain of his position in the company, she quickly realizes that he’s good at his job and a valuable asset. If only she knew why the seemingly non-disabled man needed a service dog, things would be perfect.

Army veteran Jordan Blake is thrilled to get a job that allows him to pursue his dream of learning web development. The position is even sweeter thanks to the beautiful woman he shares an office with. The only drawback is that she seems suspicious of his need for a service dog to assist with an invisible disability.

Will Alaina’s suspicion and Jordan’s reluctance to talk about his disability keep them from developing the relationship they both desire?

Breath of Christmas cover artBreath of Christmas

When Esther Beauchamp agrees to drive a snowmobile during the Santa Snow Challenge, she expects a weekend of transporting snowboarders with no complications. What she gets, however, is the task of transporting a single snowboarder and babysitting his service dog while he’s on the slope.

Robbie Kendrick is instantly attracted to the pretty staffer volunteered to help him out during the competition. While she’s clueless about asthma, he appreciates her efforts to understand how it affects him and his snowboarding. Best of all, she treats him like a man who isn’t disabled and gets along great with his medical alert dog.

Then Robbie’s ability to compete is called into question due to his health. Is it in God’s plan for him to give up the career he loves, or will his competitive spirit cause him to lose his chance at a future with Esther?

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