Kokomo woman releases 'Yellow Dog' children's book inspired by her therapy dogs

<p>Cindie Hudson sits with her therapy dogs, Harlee and Seger, at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library. Hudson recently published a children&#x27;s book called &quot;Yellow Dog&quot; in an effort to encourage children to read. <strong>Cindie Hudson, Photo Provided</strong></p>

Cindie Hudson sits with her therapy dogs, Harlee and Seger, at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library. Hudson recently published a children's book called "Yellow Dog" in an effort to encourage children to read. Cindie Hudson, Photo Provided

Buy "Yellow Dog" on Amazon.

Cindie Hudson, Kokomo, Indiana resident and owner of two therapy dogs — Harlee and Seger — has recently published a book called “Yellow Dog.” “Yellow Dog” is about Hudson’s family trip that she took to Sanibel Island on the southwest coast of Florida. 

“We were on the beach and Harlee and Seger are very, very in tune with their surroundings, and they were looking in the trees, looking up in the sky, looking in the water, looking at the coconuts, the fish — things like that, and [I was] just watching them on the beach, and watching other people and how they were attracted to them,” Hudson said. “I think people in general are attracted to golden retrievers because they're just happy-go-lucky, smiley dogs [and] very friendly.” 

This is Hudson’s first book, and it has already sold out twice on Amazon

“The writing process was not difficult. I went back to the house that we had rented and kind of started writing it, making notes, putting thoughts together — that kind of thing. Then, I kind of sat on it for a little bit, to be honest,” Hudson said. “What I did was I sent it to three publishers [and] two of them got back to me. I selected the publisher that I'm currently with — Dorrance Publishing — and it kind of took off from there.”

Hudson has scheduled book signings with Harlee at Books & Brews in Indianapolis and at the Kokomo Library for September. She hopes to see her book sold at bookstores in the near future. 

The title of the book was inspired by someone at St. Vincent Hospital that Hudson visited with Seger in 2018. 

“A child was in the hospital and wanted a visit from the yellow dog,” Hudson said. 

Seger regularly goes to Ascension St. Vincent Hospital and Community Howard Hospital in Kokomo to comfort sick patients. Harlee does work at the Paws to Read program at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library and is the therapy dog at Western Primary School. Both dogs were trained and certified at Therapy Dogs International by Bonnie Krupa, who is one of two therapy dog certifiers located in Indiana. 

“They were friendly with all the volunteers that I had helping me with the test and they were just really compassionate and basically kind of sat there and just wanted to be petted,” Krupa said. “You knew they were made for therapy work.”

Krupa was previously a graduate adviser for the Department of Special Education at Ball State, and she helped put Hudson in contact with a group from the Teachers College in April 2019. 

”A lot of elementary [education] professors and different staff members in other departments knew that I was a dog trainer and had therapy dogs myself or evaluated therapy dogs,” Krupa said. “Teachers just reached out to me if they needed to find some therapy dogs to come in for a program they were having.”

Hudson talked with the Teachers College group about the benefits of having therapy dogs in the classroom. She got the idea for this presentation from noticing the different types of people that would come into the library — she noticed a lot of them struggled to read. 

Hudson discovered the United States’ literacy rate is at a fifth-grade level for U.S. adults, which was one of the reasons she decided to write “Yellow Dog.”

“I noticed that there was a huge gap there, and I thought, ‘Well, I'm going to publish this book and I'm hoping that it'll get kiddos interested in reading, and it'll encourage them to read my book and maybe, they'll pick up another book, and then they'll pick up another book,’” Hudson said. “I just really want to encourage kids to read and to love to read.”

​​Contact Lauren Clark with comments at lnclark2@bsu.edu.

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