Author visits local bookstore
Posted: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 12:00 am
By ANN NICCUM firstname.lastname@example.org
It was a special day at Edwardsville’s AfterWords Bookstore on Saturday.
The bookstore hosted a book signing for Laura Marlowe, the California woman who penned the children’s book “Tommy the Throwaway Dog.”
Marlowe wrote the book to share the story of the local dog, now known as Tommy, who was left for dead in a trash can in Cahokia on Oct. 29, 2010, and thanks to the help of a few was saved.
The public filled the bookstore to buy the book and have it signed by Marlowe and Tommy. All in attendance also had the opportunity to meet Marlowe, Tommy, and all who rescued him that day (the characters in the book) – Cahokia Police Officer Derek Ruberstell, Horseshoe Animal Hospital Veterinarian Dr. Chris Randla, Hope Animal Rescues’ Co-founders Jackie Spiker and Kim Lee and Tommy’s new mom and dad. Tommy seemed pleased that everyone came to see him. He allowed guests to pet him and get their photos with him, and he even gave out free kisses. Tommy’s story began when he was found by an employee of Waste Management Systems as he was emptying a residential trash can in to his garbage truck. The employee saw the lifeless puppy suddenly move and he then quickly hit the emergency button to stop the compactor and called police. Rather than taking him to St. Clair Animal Control where the puppy would have most likely been put to sleep, because he was injured, the authorities called Hope Animal Rescues – an animal rescue organization based in the Edwardsville/Alton area. Hope Animal Rescues said Officer Ruberstell was responsible for that call that day that ultimately saved Tommy’s life. Hope Animal Rescues took Tommy to the Horseshoe Lake Animal Hospital for medical attention. Spiker said Tommy was starved, beaten and had a cord that had grown into his neck tearing at his flesh, causing his face to swell and leaving him unable to eat. She said he received medical attention and surgery for the wounds around his neck. Marlowe, an animal lover and writer, heard about the rescue through an online news source. After reading the story, Marlowe said she wanted to do something to help. As a writer and animal supporter, she said she came up with the idea to write a children’s book about the events that day. Saturday was the first time Marlowe met Tommy and those who rescued him – and it was like a reunion for all involved that day. Randla said it was nice to see Tommy again. He said most of the time he does not get to see rescued animals after they are adopted. Randla said he was excited to see Tommy and how well he was doing. “So many don’t end with a happy ending,” Randla said. Randla, who operated on Tommy that day, said he was very loving that day despite all that he had been through. “He just wanted to be loved,” Randla said. Spiker said Tommy is doing beautifully in his new home. “Other than a few scares, he is well,” Spiker said. She added, “I think it is a testament that not all Pit Bulls are bad.” Spiker pointed to Tommy and said, “Look, he knows this party is for him” as adults and children swarmed him with pets and kisses. She said they were all pleased that so many people came out to the book signing. “I think this is great,” Spiker said. “It shows that people still care.” Lee added, “This is fantastic.” She said not only is the book a great way to share Tommy’s story, but today also shows people in attendance that Tommy is real. “He is an amazing boy,” she said. The bookstore donated all proceeds to Hope Animal Rescues. AfterWords Bookstore’s owner Rebekah Shelton, also an animal lover and someone who has adopted from Hope, said she was thrilled to offer an event to help the organization. “I have always wanted to do something for Hope Animal Rescues,” Shelton said. “The book came out and provided that opportunity for me to do something for them.”
To learn more about the book “Tommy the Throwaway Dog”, visit www.tommythethrowawaydog.com. The book ($12.99) is available at AfterWords Bookstore in Edwardsville or online at either www.barnesandnoble.com or www.amazon.com.
For more information about Hope Animal Rescues or to learn more about Tommy’s story or see his before and after pictures, visit www.hoperescues.com.