Today, we’re talking with Kelly Preston, author of Real Dogs Don’t Whisper: Life Lessons From A Larger Than Life Dog and His Owner. Kelly is Mom to four special needs dogs, whom she writes about in the book, featuring Mr. MaGoo, the most outgoing of the group.
What made you want to write your book?
Having four special need dogs that were rescued, there were times in my life that people just didn’t understand why I needed to leave a party early, or why I wasn’t able to travel. I wanted to share my rewarding experience; wanted to raise awareness for rescue pets, especially those with special needs. I felt the need to share my experiences to help, inspire and motivate others.
How did you get the idea to write parts of it from your dog’s point of view?
Great question! After writing a few chapters, I went back to assess the work and I noticed that the chapters were very deep, heavy and downright depressing. I looked down at Mr. MaGoo, my co-author. He was looking back at me with his tongue sticking out and his head tilted to one side, as if to say, “Mom, I am the clown and entertainment in this household, let me help you out! Plus, I am very animated and have a lot to bark about.” That is when I knew what was missing in this book: humor, light-heartedness, comic relief, if you will. Since I already knew Mr. MaGoo’s personality, adding him as my co-author was seamless and effortless.
As a result, he has over 6,700 fans that adore his daily antics and weekly blogs. Mr. MaGoo provides hope, laughs and bountiful energy on a daily level for his adoring fans, While I often hear that I provide inspiration to them during challenging times. Together, Mr. MaGoo and I are a team that embraces life with one mantra; simply, live in the moment and be fearless, for life is too short not to enjoy.
Specifically, what message did you hope to send about rescuing and living with special needs pets?
The message, or goal, I hope that transpires from Real Dogs Don’t Whisper is to raise awareness about second chances for those with special needs and try to inspire readers to live in the moment, open your heart, and to show what unconditional love truly means. It is often that, when a special needs pet comes into one’s life, the person thinks that they are doing the saving. While this may be and often is true, more times than not, it is that pet that saves that person. It is the pet that teaches us about life, qualities in oneself, and so much more.
Based on the feedback you’ve gotten so far, do you feel your book has achieved what you set out to do?
Not only achieved, over and beyond! I have to say this has been an incredible journey and I know in my heart that this is just the beginning. I never dreamt that this book would touch so many lives on so many different levels. I receive messages from women that are going through a divorce, thanking me for giving them strength. I receive messages from young adults that are experiencing bullying or abuse and after reading my book, they receive the lesson that they must stand up for themselves. This book has inspired those with a special needs pet (or family member) to reach out. I truly have been blessed and I am thankful to God for this amazing opportunity, and hope that I can continue to assist others in times of need.
Any other book projects in your future?
Yes! Since the response has been overwhelming from our fans, we went into writing this past January. The second book will continue Real Dogs, with Mr. MaGoo and me as the authors again. However, the next book will contain stories from his fans. I think it is important to hear from others, too. Our fans have supported us and at the very least, I want to make them part of the next book.
Kelly Preston of San Jose, CA is a special-needs animal rescuer with a life like no other. She and Mr. MaGoo are both authors of Real Dogs Don’t Whisper and their freelance work has also appeared in numerous publications. Partial proceeds from book sales go to FACE Foundation, where Kelly volunteers. Visit Kelly and her dogs at their website.