News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

A dog’s journey as an allegory of child development

Child development has been a lifelong focus for Sisters resident Edie Jones, but in her recently published second book she has taken a unique angle on the subject, using her goldendoodle, Walker, as the focal point. The book is comprised of a series of poems, chronicling Walker’s development.

The soft-cover volume, “Walker’s Wisdom: His Journey from Puppy to Big Dog,” is hot off the press and available for purchase locally. It is a collection of 14 full-page poems, each of which touches on an aspect of Walker’s journey.

Clearly, the book is an allegory of human development.

“When Walker came into our lives I was struck with how much the challenges of raising a puppy were so similar to raising a small child,” Jones explained. “Stories started to emerge as poems and each seemed to have a message for parents — principles that are important to keep in mind if we’re going be the best caregivers possible.”

Jones’ passion for child development has spanned most of her adult life including her time as the owner of Camp Tamarack with her husband of 56 years, Ted, who passed away in 2019, and her time as executive director of Together for Children, which focuses on children from birth to three years of age. Jones joined the Sisters School Board last year and is a strong advocate of early childhood education.

Topics woven into the poems include everything from unconditional love, to the importance of play, to the value of new experiences. Each poem is accompanied by a full page illustration by artist Jeni Kelleher, formerly of Sisters, who also contributed to Jones’ first book, “Raising Kids with Love, Honor, and Respect: Recipes for Success.”

“Jeni’s illustrations are so life-like it is hard to believe they are not photographs,” said Jones. “So, in addition to the poems themselves, this is a fine art book as well.”

Kelleher spent time with Walker and took over 100 pictures in order to capture him in a variety of situations.

Jones considers the book to be appropriate for a wide-range of audiences.

“First of all, I believe this is a book best enjoyed by being read aloud,” said Jones. “In my mind, the audience for this book could include adults, teens, elementary age children who are beginning readers, and for anyone that loves to read aloud to children four years and older.”

The book can also be used as a teaching tool, according to Jones.

“There is a synopsis of each story (poem) at the end of the book, sharing parenting tips important to remember, whether you are raising a puppy or a child,” she said.

Jones feels satisfied having produced another book and encourages others with ideas to share to give publishing a try.

“If you enjoy writing, don’t hold back,” she said. “There’s something magical about producing a piece of literature that enriches the lives of others.”

The book is available for purchase in a number of locations in Sisters, including Paulina Springs Books, The Paper Place, and Bedouin, as well as Herringbone Bookstore in Redmond and Dudley’s Bookstore in Bend.

Feedback on the book thus far has been favorable, said Jones.

“I can honestly say that the reviews I’ve been getting from those who have it are very positive, which is exciting. I’m so glad it’s going to be a book that many feel they will treasure.”


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