Publication Day for Why Love Is Not Enough
Why Love Is Not Enough – title of my new book. It’s been a long time in the writing. It’s a guide to helping dogs rescued from breeding lives settle into their new homes. I started working on it properly – whereby I mean systematically going sentence by sentence, chapter by chapter rather than random jottings – in January 2019. Before that, large amounts of time were spent on jottings, the doodling of procrastinating writers everywhere. In 2020 I was ready to involve others, gaining useful and essential input from both experienced and newer adopters of dogs.
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”Toni Morrison
Ever since I adopted Susie-Belle I’ve felt the need for there to be a book like this one. Something to help those who find themselves living with a dog who has no reference point for being a normal companion. Dogs in the commercial dog breeding industry are so far from being companions that their needs when adopted can be overwhelmingly difficult to understand. The behaviours they bring can baffle and worry. Their new humans easily flounder with little idea of how to help the dog they desperately want to be happy. Love helps, but it’s not enough.
I was lucky that I had a small network to help me. Susie-Belle’s foster mum was there when I needed advice. But not everyone has good support. There are rescues which don’t offer any real help – even when they claim to. Adopters soon find this out the hard way. With breedings dogs trading on selling sites to buyers who believe they are ‘adopting’ the situation is worsening.
For the past ten years I’ve received calls for help, messages and experiences from hundreds of people struggling to know what to do to help their ex-breeding dog. Common themes pop up time and again.
I have kept the book deliberately simple so it’s approachable. Deciding what to include and what to leave out was one of the hardest tasks. Writing a short, instructive piece is always harder than having a generous word count for wider explanations – or ramblings. The book could easily have run into several volumes. I’ve opted for simplicity over elaboration. I’m relying on readers to deepen their knowledge through a selection of resources which I have found helpful. Major areas where understanding is needed and it’s possible to make change are all covered. Annabel Knight’s beautiful illustrations bring the whole project to life.
For ease the book uses the term ‘puppy farm dog’ to include all those kept by breeders who confine dogs where commercial gain is the priority. Where little care, human attention, company or respect is given. Living like this causes immense physical and psychological damage to dogs. They have everything to learn when they arrive in what is an alien world – one living with humans.
Drawing from years of accumulated experience and insights from many people, the book is a distillation of tips and information. Plus research I’ve done to help me understand what my dogs’ needs are. Susie-Belle started it all in 2011. I feel the brush of angelic wings as she peers over my shoulder at every word I write. I trust she’ll be guiding the guide to where it will best offer help to dogs like her.
All proceeds from sales of Why Love Is Not Enough go to the charity which I founded in Susie-Belle’s name – Schnauzerfest. Preordering is now possible ready for publication day on 22 June.