Many of you have asked about the cover illustration for “Too Licky.” Who is that dog? Who is that little girl?
There are two things I love about this illustration. One, the girl represents every child who knows the love (and lick) of a dog. And two, the story of the dog on which this illustration is based.
To best share that story, I am sharing with you a ‘sneak peak’ of our illustrator, Cynthia’s preface for “Too Licky.”
Warning: grab a tissue. And, enjoy.
My daughter, Jillienne, and I are avid rescue advocates who have a passion for fostering shelter dogs and finding them loving, forever homes. From a very young age, Jillienne loved bully breeds and always wanted to be an ‘end of life’ foster for a dog with terminal illness. On November 16, 2015, both of her wishes came true when we became foster parents for Trucker, a six-year-old Pitbull mix who was brought into Clay County Animal Care and Control as a stray. Thanks to the shelter’s compassionate vet, Dr. Jennifer Broadhurst and FOCCA, a volunteer organization that pays for the medical treatment of the shelter animals, Trucker was not euthanized and was given a second chance. This sweet little lowrider was diagnosed with Mast Cell Cancer and Advanced Heartworm Disease and simply needed a loving home to live out the remainder of his days.
We fell in love immediately with Trucker’s gentle demeanor, adorable grunts and grin that made everyone smile. We created a Facebook page for him appropriately named “Trucker’s Bucket List” and began our journey of giving Trucker the life he deserved. From beach visits to special treats, we wanted to make his remaining time with us as special as possible. But Trucker had a different plan and decided that he wasn’t ready to leave us any time soon. In March of 2016, his vet told us that he was doing so well on his medication that he could possibly live another two to three years! As much as we loved him, we knew that this boy deserved a forever family of his own. So, we began our journey to find a home for a six-year-old Pitbull who had heartworm disease and cancer.
We were not entirely optimistic that we would find someone who would be willing to adopt a dog that may or may not be a part of their lives for very long, but once again, Trucker proved us wrong. Everyone who met Trucker fell in love with him. He had such a special way of drawing people to him. Three different families wanted to adopt him, but each one fell through. We were becoming discouraged, but on May 21st, Jillienne decided to take him to an adoption event. It was there that he met an incredible family who fell for him instantly. He did a sleepover at their home that evening and found his forever home! He spent his days basking in the sun, sniffing the warm breeze off the lake and spent his nights snuggled in his human sister’s bed. His family adored him and continued to share his journey via his Facebook page.
Sadly, just six months later, on Thanksgiving weekend, Trucker unexpectedly became very ill and the Morales family helped him cross the Rainbow Bridge. For just a little over one year, Trucker touched so many lives, made so many people smile and was an incredible ambassador for his breed. Trucker was the sweetest, most loving dog we have ever fostered, despite the mistreatment he experienced at the hands of his former owners. The illustration of him sticking his tongue out while Jillienne kissed his head was based on a photo taken at the dog park, and it was also the inspiration for the name of this book, “Too Licky”.
As I painted the illustrations for this book and read each dog’s story, my mind kept wandering back to Trucker. A dog that most people would overlook provided so much joy and love to so many people. I encourage you to visit your local shelter and adopt a dog rather than purchasing one. Shelter and rescue dogs seem to have an innate sense that they have been saved and have a special way of changing your life. I also encourage you to get involved with your local shelter or rescue organization.
As the illustrator of Too Licky, I hope to honor Trucker’s memory, and dedicate this book to all of the shelter dogs who are still waiting for their forever homes.”
How beautiful is that?!
Sending love and licks!
Jody, Gigi, Ryan and Sugar
P.S. If you’re waiting for your cop(ies) of “Too Licky” from Kickstarter, they will be mailed out soon!
We are waiting to confirm the final (physical) proof from the printer and then will launch this work on art and love on AMAZON!