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Dog Blogger Pens New Dog Themed Children’s Book

Fellow dog blogger and Marketing Manager for the Altoona Mirror newspaper, Amy Jo Hanna-Eckenrode, recently released her first children’s book, and we’ve got the inside scoop. Between running the Have Dog Will Blog site, editing Central Pets PA magazine, and direct the Central PA Pet Expo, she managed to pen a wonderful children’s book.

It’s summertime and the living is easy, breezy, and dogs are getting outside to enjoy the warmer weather. It’s also time for one special Golden Retriever to explore the cape.

This long-time dog mom tells us that Oakley’s Great Cape Escape is based on a true story, which piqued our curiosity right away. Enjoy our exclusive interview with this dog-loving dynamo and stay tuned for how you can purchase a copy and maybe even win one in our giveaway.

dog children's book

About Oakley’s Great Cape Escape

Amy Jo and her husband adopted a dog named Oakley when he was two years old. The breeder never socialized the poor pooch during those early weeks and months of life, so Oakley was uncomfortable around people.

Amy Jo naively believed taking him to the beach in the offseason to explore sounded like a good idea. The dog got loose during the walk, the sound of a truck spooked him, and the adventure began. He ran around the cape island for 24 hours, with everyone trying to catch him.

“We spun the story so that Oakley got tired and lonely and realizes that your family is home, home is where your heart is, and perhaps that is the best place to be…with those who love you,” she shared.

The Pets That Share Her Life

I’ve known Amy Jo for years, and one thing is for certain: If I were a stray dog, I’d find myself at her doorstep because she is one incredible dog mama.

Right now, the couple has 11 animals that include:

  • Rio, a 2-year-old white German Shepherd Dog
  • Chase, a 7-year-old Golden/Collie mix rescued from a cage in someone’s yard
  • Hope, a 10-year-old mixed dog found as a stray with a litter of puppies. She was four years old at the time. Amy Jo says all the puppies found homes, too!
  • Mabel, a 12-plus-year-old chocolate Labrador Retriever that was rescued as a stray.
  • Katie and Krusher, brother and sister rescue cats who are both over 18 years old
  • BoBo, a 10-year-old rescue cat
  • Gracie Louise, a 9-year-old rescue cat
  • Grayer, a 7-year-old rescue cat
  • Miss Odilia, a blind wonder rescue cat adopted from ConnieKitty Blog!

mom and cat

About Dog Blogger Amy Jo

“There have been so many wonderful pets in my life who have forever changed me,” Amy Jo shares. “I started rescuing senior Goldens and somehow ended up with a whole menagerie of pets over the years, many with all sorts of conditions. People ask me why I adopt seniors and doesn’t it break my heart not having them a long time?”

She says that if she can give them the best last years of their lives, then she’s done her very best and her hope is fulfilled. Her heart does break a little more with each loss, she admits, but there is always enough duct tape to mend the holes. She knows that new rescues need a loving home and she is ever ready to take them in.

Who Should Read This Book

This is the sort of book you gift yourself and all the dog-loving adults and kids you know. Children of all ages are enjoying it and many are buying it for their own children so they can read to them. It is geared at the fourth to fifth-grade reading level.

We received a copy of the book to review and we absolutely adore this book. It makes you smile and that smile sticks around in your heart all day long. 

dog bloggers
Amy Jo with David Frei in middle and Carol Bryant on right.

Why She Decided To Write This Book

Amy Jo shares, “The book is based on a true story, yet it was so unbelievable that each time we told it, someone said, ‘If I didn’t know you better, I’d think you were making that up!”

Her husband said it would make the perfect storybook, and thus it was born. This dog blogger took pen to paper and the book came pouring out. The illustrations of Tom Worthington II are beautiful, too. 

dog children's book

How to Obtain A Copy

Amy Jo loves animals so much that a portion of the proceeds from every copy of the book sold will be donated rescue organizations.  You can purchase a copy of the book by clicking here .

enter to win

Win A Signed Copy: CLOSED

The winner is Jillian, whom we are contacting today. Congrats and thanks to all who entered. This is the perfect summer read so snag a copy for yourself here.

Amy Jo has graciously agreed to give a signed copy away of this adorable book. This is the perfect summer read so snag a copy for yourself here and enter to win a signed copy below. Good luck and thanks to Amy Jo. Congratulations from Fidose of Reality on this wonderful book!

Simply comment below with the name of your dog, cat, or any pets who have touched your life past or present. Enter one time per email address. One winner will be selected at random on Tuesday, June 25, 2019. Good luck. USA only.

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  1. I have had several pets that have touched my life. I had a show pony, Real Gusto, That I loved so much, but as I outgrew him, I had to sell him. I would go visit him, and made sure he got a great home. When the girl who brought him was ready to let him go, she gave him to the blacksmith, who used to shoe him when i had him. his grandchildren loved him to death. Mr. Cobb said they would clean out his stall several times a day, gave him treats, brushed him all the time. so i know that he had a great life after he left me. i was so happy because he had a bad life before i got him. he had been beaten and got caught up in barbwire- he had a very bad scar o n his leg. i would have never sold him if he had been a mare because he was beautiful. i had lots of offers to buy him but i made my mother take a lesser amount so that he would go to a good home at a barn that i knew the owners. my oldest 4 legged girl, Evie. passed 2 years ago. it seems like yesterday because the pain of losing her was so great. Evie was my baby since she was 6 weeks old. she was 1 month shy of 16 years old. she was the sweetest little gal, a miniature schnauzer. she loved people and would rather be around people than other dogs. she loved my mother. she would talk on the telephone to my mother, play music by making sounds with her toys when she heard her grandma’s voice. Evie was great at everything, even when other dogs were not nice to her, she was still nice to them. she could tell when someone was not nice to me and was very protective of me as well. when my mother was very ill, Evie was so good about staying at home while i had to be at the hospital all day, sometimes 24 hours. she never had an accident. in the last years of her life, Evie developed a very rare form of cancer. the vets, both her regular vet and her cancer vet, said she had such a strong sense of duty to me, loved me so much, that she fought the fast growing and deadly cancer to the very end. she should have died with in days, up to 2 weeks of getting the cancer but she lived for 10 months fighting it. the cancer vet could not understand, as the cancer grew, the chemo was not helping. he tried several different types of chemo and some new drugs, but nothing would stop the cancer fronm spreading in this 15 lb little body. Evie was also almost completely deaf and blind. i had to hand feed her for a long time, i was holding her feeding her and she had a stroke, i gave her cpr and rushed her to the cancer vet er. the er doc wanted to put her down. i said no, i wanted to wait til the cancer vet came in morning. i stayed there all nite even though they would not let me be with her. she was in an oxygen tent. he came and woke and said it was time. i held her with the oxygen for a long time, and even after he gave her the shot. i ran after her as they took her away. when i painting on the mantle of the fireplace in my bedroom. i talk to her every morning and nite. i still take her urn with her picture on it to be blessed every year when i take my other girls. my youngest girl adored Evie, she would follow her around. She became very depressed when Evie passed away. so much so that i had to take her to the vet. when i put Evie’s picture on the mantle, Harley looked at it, then at me, and just kept staring at it as if she was hoping Evie would come and play with her. Evie could play soccer, even head the ball, kick and dribble the ball, she loved balls even when she was a baby. she loved to play catch, fetch and she was a great dancer. she had a bag load of tricks. she was so easy to train. i had her cremated in a beautiful urn with her picture on it that still sits on the piano in the living room, i walk by it every day. she will be buried with me.

  2. My current two cockers are actually the pets who have touched my life the most, but if I were to choose out of the two I would have to say my male Bennett. He is my first reactive dog, and wow has he taught me A LOT. We have always had cockers, and they’ve always been so wonderful that they hardly had any training. They were just great dogs. Bennett has been a totally different story since day one it seems. He resource guards, he’s dog reactive, he’s hyper sensitive, anxious etc. but it doesn’t make him a bad dog. I’ve come a long way with him through trial and error, what he likes and doesn’t like, what he’ll tolerate and what he won’t. He has made me feel like a responsible dog owner because he 100% relies on me out of everyone in my family, and knows that I will always help him. He has truly touched my life!

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