I learned of this book only last week, thanks to fellow animal rescue advocate, LoyaltyOfDogs.com, and now I can't stop writing about it! Ocean Blue declares it is her new favorite book!
Lucky Boy by Susan Boase is a book that kindly brings to light the plight of backyard dogs.
Backyard dogs have been on my mind lately. An ad created by BCSPCA captured my attention, and it is one of the few ads that I have recommended that gets its message across with much sadness in its message.
I like the ad because it is not using negativity to tell its message. It is simply presenting a true depiction of a typical day in the life of a backyard dog.
The headline is not controversial nor is it emotional. It is simply stating what you are about to read.
If the reader doesn't care about animals or thinks keeping dogs tied up outside is acceptable, then this ad will probably not be meaningful.
If the reader chooses to read on, the reality as told through the eyes of a backyard dog will leave that person with a feeling - sadness, helplessness, anger. It may remind them of a dog they knew or know now that is living the same sad life.
After having listened to speeches given by Wayne Pacelle, President of the Humane Society of the United States, about the efforts HSUS puts forth to educate people about the importance of spaying/neutering their pets by befriending them rather than making them feel like enemies. If you confront them, you create a wall between us. If you befriend them and invite them into the world that brings awareness to your mission, you create an opportunity for them to learn on their own.
How does this book help us as animal rescue marketers? Your gift and skill as a marketer is the ability to present something to an audience in a way that gets attention, convinces the audience that what we presented to them is valuable, and in the end individuals become citizen marketers - people choose to like it, buy it, and share it.
Lucky Boy presents a situation that animal lovers find to be horrible, inhumane, and heartless in a non-threatening way, and Boy the dog finds freedom and happiness, thanks to a "lucky" discovery and a human who was also lonely and living within his own isolated "backyard".
Some readers find the story's end to be a cop out because the family doesn't become any wiser or change its ways. But how about the real life families who read this book? What about the fortunate child who is forever changed because of this book and learns as a youth that having a dog – a thinking, feeling creature – does not mean a life alone and tied up in a backyard, despite examples from adults that think this is "ok".
Share your thoughts on this topic. What do you think are best ways to educate animal rights and other topics important to animal rescue advocates. We welcome your comments below.
Also, check out this A.R.M. article about a backyard dog named Judith: "10 years On A Chain (Yes, There is a Happy Ending!)"