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Author shows life lessons through dogs' eyes

Karen Swift reads to preschoolers Hanna Erskine, 4, and Christopher Desmet, 3, with the help George the foxhound, and Pam Rush, owner, at TLE. Photo by Phil Custodio (click for larger version)
October 13, 2010 - Preschoolers at The Learning Experience got a dog's-eye perspective on accepting life's changes, courtesy of local author Karen Swift.

Swift read from her children's book series, "The Adventures of Jake and George," Oct. 1, at the Independence Township school.

"They're based on watching my dogs," said Swift, who lives in Sylvan Lake and works at Fountains in Independence Township. "The stories are like fables, with little morals but no preaching. If kids get the message, that's cool."

She wrote the first book in the series, "Jake gets a new brother," in 2001, in honor of her father, also named George. It tells the story of how their terrier, Jake, went from resenting to befriending the new dog in the family, George, a foxhound.

"It started just by observing how they behaved in different situations – by looking at how Jake reacted to George," she said.

She has seven stories in the series, with an eighth, "Jake learns to swim," set to be released by Christmas.

Swift is the first author to read to TLE students, but not the last, said TLE owner Pam Rush.

"We'd love to have more local authors," Rush said.

For more information, check www.thelearningexperience.com/at/Clarkston and www.jakeandgeorge.com.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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