The Alby and the Cat adventures continue with my new book, 'Alby and the Cat: All Holed Up', which has just been released and is available now!
These books are close to my heart, as you know. My Dad was blinded in an industrial accident many years ago and he had a beautiful black Labrador Guide Dog named Duke. Duke not only provided Dad with independence and gave him the confidence to face the world again, he was his best friend, and when he died of bone cancer after over 10 years of service, Dad was devastated and swore he would never have another Guide Dog again. The relationship forged between a visually impaired person and his Guide Dog is like no other. Dad had to place his total trust in Duke, who literally had Dad's life in his paws. Their bond was so deep and strong. Dad didn't want to have to go through the same thing with another dog, and then, another, so he has used his cane ever since.
It was interesting watching Dad and Duke, and people they came into contact with. Because Labradors are well accepted by the community and are very people-friendly, people just assumed Duke was a normal pet, even though they knew he helped Dad. They would come up and pat Duke, sometimes before they even spoke to Dad. What they didn't realise was, that when Duke was in harness, he was working and couldn't be distracted, or Dad was put at risk.
I wrote these books not only for children, but also for adults, to educate them a little about guide dogs, what they do, and why they make such a difference to the lives of visually impaired people. The situations in the book are based on situations that Dad is faced with every day.
The original 'Alby and the Cat' was out of stock so has been revised and reprinted and is also available now! 'Alby and the Cat' and 'Alby and the Cat: Showbusiness' are both on the 2016 Premier's Reading Challenge booklists in Victoria, NSW and SA.