Meet Travis! Featured in “Too Licky” as Too Distracted!

Meet Travis! Featured in “Too Licky” as Too Distracted!

In December, my daughter was working on a 20-hour project called “Paw Presents”. She set up collection boxes at a local pet store to collect old, gently-used items to bring to the Humane Society. One Saturday, a rescue group was there with dogs needing homes. They set up right next to my daughter’s collection box. Travis was one of the dogs there that day.

Before Travis and his brother, Jake, were saved by Rescue Adoption they were living outside crammed in a dog pen with A LOT of other dogs, and not much human contact. Certainly, not any loving human contact. Travis was beat down, extremely submissive and would cower at every person.  

A man and woman whose dog recently passed were loving on Travis looking for a dog to save as their house was now empty. My daughter and I couldn’t help but encourage this couple to adopt Travis. You could just tell that Travis was a wonderful dog and he deserved a loving home, and these people were the real deal. They filled out adoption papers and I was so thrilled that Travis was going home. My daughter put Travis on her lap while the couple roamed around the store looking for some items to get him for his new home. A bit later, the man tapped me on the shoulder to tell me that his wife left the store in tears. She just wasn’t ready for another dog. His wife told him to go back inside and tell me that unfortunately, they were not going to adopt Travis. But, if we wanted him, we should take him home. The man said his wife saw how much my daughter and I cared for Travis. And because they weren’t ready, they wanted him to go home with us. 

Travis is the perfect little companion dog and always a show stopper!


Meet Fiona…featured in “Too Licky” as Too Drooly!

Meet Fiona…featured in “Too Licky” as Too Drooly!

Fiona was a stray in Miami-Dade county. She was brought in by Animal Care and Control with a fresh litter of pups. The puppies adopted out fast, and Fiona even found a home, too. Because she had just had puppies, her new parents were to bring her back to be spayed after she recovered. Well, they brought her in, but never came back to pick her up. Once again, she was up for adoption. This time she found a loving home, but her anxiety was full blown. She kept running away. Again, she was returned to Miami-Dade pound. When I went to pick her up, she had days left before she would be euthanized.

When she came to my home she was very lethargic and moppy. She would rearrange my house if I left her home alone. So, I brought her with me everywhere until she livened up a bit. Then, I introduced her to a crate, which she loves. I call it her room. It gave her a safe space while I was away at work. Other than work, she came with me and was my shotgun rider in the truck.

Now, six years later she has two human sisters and is living the life! We have our ups and downs, but she was and will always be my first baby. I couldn’t ask for a better dog!

Professor’s rescue story…featured in “Too Licky” as Too Fluffy

Too Fluffy, Professor

 

In 2007, I received an email forwarded to me from a friend who was highly involved in the local shelter and rescue. It showed photos of a very depressed “Poodle,” who wasn’t handling shelter life very well and needed a home as the end of his time was near. He had been found wandering in a field so matted and dirty that he had to be shaved. He looked sad and naked!  I sent my now husband to the shelter because I was sure I’d have to take every animal home if I went. He described walking past all the happy bouncing balls of fur to the last cage, where he found a dog that looked sick. Professor wouldn’t look at him. My husband came home to get me and our other dog so we could see how they would do together.

 

As soon as Professor was brought out of his cage into the meet-and-greet area he was like a new dog! Smiling and sitting up! Excited as he could be to meet us and our other dog! So, guess who came home with us that day? Over time his very fluffy fur grew back in and we discovered he is really a Bichon. We tend to keep his fur short, but he’s quite fluffy if we let it grow. Professor’s now a sweet old man at 17 years old. He’s been an amazing doggy over the years!

 

Maddox’s rescue story…featured in “Too Licky” as Too Fancy

Too Fancy, Maddox

Maddox is our rescue dog from Puerto Rico. My husband was working in the rainforest when this little puppy found him. One phone call and I was smitten! Then, $100 and three days later this little Sato was flown to Tennessee. We had to work through a lot of issues when he first came to our home, but within the year we welcomed our first daughter and his demeanor completely changed.

 

Everyone says this, but he truly is the BEST dog there ever was. Calm, patient and loving. Clearly, he is easy going as he’s pictured wearing a princess dress for a tea party!

 

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Barkley’s rescue story…featured in “Too Licky” as Too Spotty

Too Spotty, Barkley

 

Barkley was rescued after following children to a school bus. Rescue Adoptions found him and I adopted him in October 2016, the weekend after Hurricane Matthew hit. We realize he could have been stuck out in the storm, but thankfully he was found just in time!

 

Although we got Barkley for our daughter who is on the Autism spectrum, he has stolen all of our hearts. Barkley really is her best friend. He instantly knew she was unique and loves her dearly.

 

We are dumbfounded as to why anyone would’ve given up this little guy. When we got Barkley, he was skittish and had numerous scars (presumably from abuse). The most amazing thing is how quickly and easily he released his past and was able to open up to our daughter. It really is an amazing bond.

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Bella’s rescue story…featured in “Too Licky” as Too Fast

Too Fast, Bella

 

In October 2012, I came across a post on Facebook that said our local city shelter was packed to the gills and needed fosters. I looked through the album of dogs in need of fostering and saw this cute four-month-old puppy. She had an upper respiratory infection and needed to get out of the shelter to heal. I wondered how she got there all alone and what she had been through in her short life of only four months.

 

When I first laid eyes on her I knew, I was in trouble. She was adorable!

 

But, I already had three dogs. This one, whom we named Bella, we were intending to just foster…to save a life.

 

We made an adoption flyer and took Bella on several outings. As time passed, we knew we couldn’t let her go. We knew she was a part of our family so we decided to adopt her. Since, Bella has been an ambassador for her breed. She has her Canine Good Citizen® training. When Bella and I were turned away from a local event because of her breed, we stood up to the Jacksonville Beach city officials with the help of Pit Sisters. Now, you cannot have an event in Jacksonville beach that excludes any breed of dogs. Bella wants to end BSL! Every dog deserves love. Regardless of breed.

 

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Skippy’s rescue story…featured in “Too Licky” as Too Small

Too Small, Skippy

 

Skippy is a special, special-needs dog. He’s a 2 1/2-pound Chihuahua with barely any hair and three legs. He was born with a birth deformity yet, he still can do almost everything other dogs can do. He has his own little ways of communicating what he wants, when he wants it.

 

Skippy was rescued from a backyard breeder’s home, and now fills our home with pure love.

 

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What’s the story behind the cover of “Too Licky?”

​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.”    

Cynthia Inks

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!

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