This past weekend, I noticed that it was the anniversary of the day our dog Sydney died, in 2014. I wrote a tribute to her a few weeks after she passed, and just as with Tucker in 2010, I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from people around the world who identified with my loss. That’s when I knew that the world needed a book of tributes about the dogs we share life with. So it was Sydney who inspired the book Gone Dogs – and why she is on the cover.
Building this book was hard. I recruited my good friend and designer/artist Laurie Smithwick to help and together we got to work on learning how to not only to self-publish a book, but crowdsource it. There were so many hoops to jump through. So many obstacles to overcome. So much emotion. But one thing was certain – with the number of people who wanted to be part of this concept, we were onto something.
In 2019, we finally launched and since then we’ve sold nearly 10,000 copies of Gone Dogs in various forms from ebook to paperback and of course, the original hardcover. And every year from November through Christmas, we’ve nearly sold out.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT CHRISTMAS ORDERS
Only, this year will be different. Because we went to a print-on-demand service this past summer, we will no longer run out. But that means customers have to deal with lead time. Typically 3-6 weeks lead time for hardcover – 2-4 for softcover. And so that means if you’re thinking of giving our book to a dog lover at Christmas, the sooner you order the better. Like – this week soon. For our hardcover books, we have a limited supply on hand and are offering FREE SHIPPING on those through December, or until we run out (we will definitely run out and then it’s 3-6 weeks lead time.) We will do our best to get to the post office every day this month for hardcover orders processed through our website.
We Hear You Loud and Clear!
You want more. We know because not a week goes by when someone doesn’t ask whether they can order the next volume or submit a story to be part of it. We had hoped to get Volume 2 and 3 going this year – but it just wasn’t meant to be. I had some health issues to deal with and work (my regular job) got crazy – so we had to put future volumes on hold. We’re still planning on continuing to grow the book for as long as people want to be part of it, and we look forward to sharing more about future volumes in 2024. Thank you for your continued interest.
The Reason for All of This
When I had the idea for Gone Dogs, it was because writing about my dogs helped me come to terms with the grief. If I could encourage others to share, it might help them too. But then something amazing happened – people who read our book began telling us that simply reading about the love other people had for their dogs helped THEM. Don’t get me wrong, I knew that these love stories were beautiful and heartwarming – but I never anticipated that the book would actually help readers.
It does. I routinely receive private messages from fans telling me how much the book has helped them cope with grief. I am always so grateful to hear this, but you should see what other readers have said about Gone Dogs since launching in 2019 – check out the reviews on Amazon or anywhere else it’s sold. The things people say are pretty remarkable. And humbling.
Last year, I was diagnosed with cancer. The prognosis was good, but I had to wait a few months for surgery because Covid was clogging hospitals. During that time, a thought occurred to me – we had such a passionate fanbase online, we could create a private group for people to grieve in a safe place amongst others who could identify with what they are going through. After a quick search to find that this wasn’t currently a thing, I launched the Gone Dogs bereavement group on Facebook. Since that time I’ve become convinced that this group was the reason I had the idea for the book at all. During my recovery from cancer surgery, the group took off like wildfire. Now it’s more than 4,000 members strong and is a constant beacon of light, love, and understanding. If you are grieving and need to share with people who care, please consider joining. I sincerely believe this group, with all its healing, was the reason for the book at all.