On Tuesday, August 17 at 3:30 p.m., we will welcome author/illustrator Joan Hellquist and her service dog Piki. Hellquist will read from her book, Piki Goes to College, a fun and tender story of a lovable shelter dog, Piki (rhymes with sneaky), who is on her journey to becoming a Service Dog. The author will answer questions after the reading. This program is suitable for all ages.
In her book, Hellquist explains, “To have a Service Dog, the person, who may be a child up to a very old person, must have some disability. The disability can be from an illness or disorder like epilepsy, arthritis, or diabetes. Or they might have had an injury or other problems that made their body not work very well. A Service Dog can also help with disabilities you can’t see, like autism, traumatic brain injury, or post-traumatic stress disorder. A Service Dog with additional very specialized training can assist the blind.”
Hellquist met Piki at the Rio Rancho, New Mexico Shelter in April 2013. Piki had been found roaming the streets and needed a good home. Piki and Joan both went into training that fall, Piki to be a Service Dog and Joan to be a Service Dog Instructor/Trainer. Neither was very good at training at first, but with perseverance, they both graduated.
Joan M. Hellquist has been a storyteller, artist and animal lover all of her life.Joan is retired from healthcare and is a Service Dog Instructor/Trainer. She works with children as a volunteer bereavement facilitator at the Children’s Grief Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico and continues drawing, painting, photography and writing. This is Joan’s second book and she has plans to take Piki on new adventures in an upcoming series.
This program will take place outside behind the Cook Memorial Library at 93 Main Street in Tamworth. Those wishing to avoid stairs may enter the library to use the lift to get to the rear exit on the lower level of the library. For more information, call 603-323-8510.