I have always been interested in writing children's books. I have files and files of stories from when I was a teenager. I just never had the nerve to do anything with them. I wrote and wrote, putting my ideas and dreams on paper. I never thought about writing a children's picture book, though, until recently. I love to write and blog and am honored to be a weekly blogger on Deaf-Insight.com. At first, it was a challenge,as it was another deadline and another box to be checked off on my "to do" list. Once I started writing,however, I realized how much I loved to write. It was my voice. It was my way of sharing. It was therapeutic.
I have been blessed with wonderful feedback and people telling me I have touched their lives. That is my goal for Forever Friends. Sure, I love my dog, Dexter,who the book is based on. Sure, I love how Collin brought him to life. Most of all,I love the story I created about Dexter and about Matt. I have been in the schools for so many years and have seen too much isolation and sadness from kids with hearing loss. It was important to me to try to address this. I wanted kids of all shapes/sizes/abilities/race to know they matter. You have to believe in yourself and love yourself,but you also need someone else to believe in you and love you.
My daughter, Megan, helped me see the need for a dog. I lived my whole childhood pet free. I always wanted an animal,but my parents refused. I met my husband and was suddenly thrown into a cat frenzy. His family never had less than two cats. When we married, we had three and currently live with four cats-sometimes,that is four too many! Megan shared how special and loving dogs are. Once I met Dexter, I fell in love. Even my very anti-dog in this house husband came around as soon as he started getting licked by Dexter. He was magic.
The rest is history-Dexter is my companion, my heart, my go to guy, my cheer you up guy, my cuddle bug, etc. He is a great companion and I knew that he had to be the hero to help deaf kids see that they are special. Is my guy deaf?No, so forgive me, I used a little literary freedom. I think my story is powerful in the similar lives they live. I hope you do,too! www.facebook.com/2ForeverFriends
Allison Schley has been in the field of deaf and hard of hearing education for 20 years. She founded a nonprofit for families with hearing loss. She most recently wrote a children's book, entitled Forever Friends. This book shows the how a deaf dog and deaf boy teach the world that all kids are good and being deaf is okay.