Diane Rose-Solomon, a certified Humane Education Specialist & Author of 3 award-winning books joins us today to talk about the 2nd Edition of her book “What to expect when adopting a dog”. This book is a one-stop-shop for anyone looking to adopt a dog. She offers expert advice from rescue specialists, organizations, veterinarians and many more. Her passion is education and bringing awareness to others on the adoption of rescue animals. Check out her FaceBook page for her adoption tips & other useful information!
Welcome to the Professionals and Animal Rescue podcast, where a goal is to introduce you two amazing people helping animals and share how you can get involved with animal rescue. This podcast is probably sponsored by do bert dot com. Do Bert is a free website designed to connect volunteers with rescues and shelters and the only site that automates rescue relay transport. Now on with our show. Dan Rose Solomon became involved in Animal Rescue more than 23 years ago. She’s a successful author of three award winning books, and she speaks at events like American Cancer Society, Bark for Life and Women in the Pet Industry Network Conference, where she uses her books as tools to help parents, educators and families learn about compassion, kindness, responsibility, an unconditional love, which are all prelevic themes. In her book, she also served on the board of directors for a small animal rescue organization and is a certified humane education specialist. Hey, Diane, welcome to the program. Thank you so much, Chris. I’m really happy to be here. Well, it’s great to have you, So why don’t you tell us a little bit about you? Well, let’s see. I actually got started very accidentally. Um, in the animal rescue world almost 24 years ago. At the time, my husband and I were getting ready to find our perfect dog. We had a golden retriever in mind. That was our breed of choice. And we didn’t know anything about animal Rescue. All we knew is that we were ready for a dog. I was about to research breeders, and at the 11th hour a friend of ours called and said that he’d been playing soccer on a field and he found a puppy at the end of the night. No, there was nobody else around, so he took the puppy home to his apartment, but he couldn’t keep the puppy. The puppy was dirty. The puppy had fleas the puppy had on a choke collar that was too tight. So at some point, this puppy was in somebody’s home. But the dog was lose. The dog was neglected. The dog had a choke collar on. That’s too tight. And he called my husband and said, I’ve got this puppy here on. I know you guys are thinking about getting a dog. Would you consider this dog and my husband said sure I’ll come take a look, But let me ask Diane and my heart wasn’t quite that bigot that point. Um, what I perceived that this puppy was was not what I had in mind of the letter that the puppy that was gonna pick out of a literal from from a breeder and I was really resistant. And, um, my husband said, I’m just gonna go take a look. He went and took a look at this puppy the next day. He said, he’s really cute. I said, Fine, I’ll take a look. I was so reluctant and so resistant. And he pulled up that night in his car with this really fluffy puppy on his lap. And I fell in love immediately on. And they were in retrospect, even if I hadn’t fallen in love, I didn’t even know what a shelter waas At the time, I wouldn’t even know where to take him if I didn’t want to keep him. So the puppy got lucky. And I got lucky, too, because I mentioned this puppy to somebody that I was doing business with at the time, and he said, Oh, I know somebody who’s doing work in animal rescue and all these terms were new to me. This is 24 years ago. It wasn’t a common thing to discuss the sure, but And so I got involved with this woman to be a little fund raising for her small little organization. And I joined her board over time, her board of directors, which was an incredible learning experience for me. And at that time, what I really learned was there were between 12 and 16 million healthy adoptable animals that were being used in ice in the shelters. And when I learned this, my heart just split open Thio a 1,000,000 pieces because if this was going on and the numbers were so dramatic and my puppy could have been one of those numbers and now I’m in love with this puppy and like that would have just been awful. And how awful is it for these other animals? And how can I make a difference? How can I say? Well, this is my experience. I got lucky here, you know, I wanted to shout from the rooftops. Wait. There’s all these animals, you know? Go find it. Adam, on the shelter. Go look There first you get a little bit of education? Um, so that sort of started me on my path. Wow, that’s that’s really inspiring. I mean, like so many other people, like you said, you kind of stumbled into it, right? You didn’t know. And 24 years ago, as you said, I mean, it was very different world. So even today, I mean the numbers air. Thankfully, not that high anymore. They’re down under two million. It’s millions of animals. We’re talking healthy animals and some of the stories. You know, when you’re in this world, you just see and read these heartbreaking stories that are preventable. It’s not necessary because there are homes for all these dogs and cats and various other animals. It’s just a matter of getting out there in educating people. So tell us now how that inspired you to do what you do today. Because obviously you took a different path, an animal rescue, then I think others have. Yeah, I didn’t feel called to be on the front lines. I was working with this this small little little rescue group, and she did mostly fundraising for medical aid. And if there was an emergency around the country, they would send boats. You know, if there was a flood, that type of thing. So we were making a difference. But there was a little bit of local animal rescue, but it wasn’t like a big day to day animal rescue. But, you know, as I said, I felt really called Thio educate. There was nothing premeditated about this. But I sat down one day one afternoon and started writing out my story because I felt like people need to know about this because I could really relate to people who were ready to go to a breeder because they didn’t know or this is all you know, they weren’t. They didn’t know enough about animal rescue and shelters to make that leap. So I thought, Well, what if I started telling my story? So what could that look like? So I wrote out my story. I was like, How what am I gonna do with this now? I did not come from a writing background. I thought, Well, should I make it into a magazine article on get it up that way? And I really felt called to make it into a Children’s book, so I wrote my first book called J J. The American Street Dog and How He Came to Live in Our House, which was a fictionalized version of my story. I added a little girl to make it appealing to kids, And, um, I and I told my story, and I, you know, had a little bit of Disney drama in there, you know, just to give it a good story arc. Um, but all is well in the story, of course, and they end up keeping J. J. Just like I kept J. J. And I realized, Well, there’s more to that story, too, because now that you’re a pet parent and a pet family, what are the next things? You d’oh, you train your dog. So I wrote a sequel called J. J Goes to Puppy Class, and then there’s three more that have been written. They’re not published yet. Hopefully, someday they’ll get out into the world. But would happen from that is I started doing author visits at the local school so I would have a chance to read my books and have a conversation with kids about compassion and kindness and animal rescue and all the themes there in the book responsibility. That’s a big one. That’s a really big one for me about responsibility. Because I know from having my own kids that kids come home and they teach you what they learned in school that you could actually get them to tell you what they did at school that day. You might learn something like I remember so they would Come on, Mom, You know, we learned about electricity today and we have to turn off the lights when we’re not using them. And okay, yeah, that’s a good one to remember. And so I know that there’s a some crossover so that when kids come home well, we had a guest speaker today and we learned about animal Rescue and, you know, here’s the book. A lot of the kids would bring him a copy of the book, and it just it was teaching the adults as well from there. No, that is really insightful. And that’s exactly how it works. Right is you’re putting this into the minds of the of the next generation through these stories, and as you said, you’re teaching them about responsibility and compassion. But in a fun loving way exactly. That’s that’s really cool. So now this kind of one of the things that you have mentioned me was a certified humane education. Surrealist. So how did this you went from a couple of Children’s stories, and now it sounds like this is really morphed into something for you. Longer term, I actually became a certified humane education specialist around the same time that I was writing the kids books. Um, I stumbled upon it at the time. I am supporter of the Humane Society, United States, and at the time I was reading there, met one of the magazines and they’re telling a story about a woman who would become a certified humane education specialists. I thought, Well, that could be kind of cool, and I checked it out at the time. That course was through the Humane Society. They had a whole university. I don’t think that that exists anymore. In fact, anybody who’s looking for the certification it’s called the Academy of Pro Social Learning now on, and it’s the same woman who ran that course. She just runs it on a different platform now. But I felt like I’m going to schools and I’m essentially having a teaching role in this, that I wanted to have a better understanding of what it’s like to be teaching and the majority of the people who become certified humane education specialists are humane educators that work in the shelters or because many shelters have a whole humane education department where they’re bringing kids in and they’re they’re introducing them to being kind to animals and incredible programs going on all around the world with this. So a lot of these educators in the shelters were becoming certified humane education specialists that they could learn how to be teachers or teachers who wanted to bring humane education into their classroom. We’re learning the language ing and just like lesson plans and things like that, and it was wonderful ramp for me, you know. It was a good It was a good bridge for me to bridge what I didn’t know, what I did know and to be able to teach it. What happened from that is that I became the expert in my community. People were like, Oh, Diane knows about dog, She’s got books and she’s got dogs and she’s got experience here. So people were calling me. You know, I’ve got a question about rescue. I’ve got a question about my aging dog. I’ve got a question about my dog’s health and I realized that after 20 something years, you know that I had a lot of knowledge and a lot of experience. And if the people that I knew were calling me for advice and information, what about the thousands of people out there that I don’t know personally that had the same questions on the same concerns? And that’s when I wrote my most recent book, What to expect when adopting a dog. And it’s just years of not only my information and my knowledge, but also I I’ve connected with, you know, with people for the past number of years through different organizations. So there’s a ton of input from other pet professionals veterinarians, bloggers, rest people who were in the rescue world, people in the transport world. Just a lot of people who have experience that I don’t have we’re able to contribute to the book. So it’s a really well rounded book. And of course, I also share in the book tons of articles and information that is available on the Internet. But instead of people having to go search for it, I have it all in the book so people could do a deeper dive. Yeah, really cool. So it sounds like a really good resource for people. You know, You’re trying to kind of break down some of the stereotypes and make them understand How does the rescue will work? Yeah, and how can’t work for them? Because that’s the the biggest thing, you know. Okay, I’d like to adopt a dog, but it all seems overwhelming to me. And I don’t know what my first step is. Well, I make it easy and I give you, like before even the first step. What are some of the thoughts you wanna have it going back to responsibility. We want him in part and Children, it’s really important for adults like you might not be ready for a dog. You might think you’re ready for a dog, but it might not be the right time for you. And conversely, there’s a lot of people that say, Well, I’d really like to you, but I work out of the home and I say, Well, great. I think that a dog who’s who’s living in your home, even if you’re working outside the home is still way better off than in the shelter. If you’re willing to get a dog Walker, take him to Doggy Day care. So there’s so many solutions to all this that people just aren’t aware of because I’m not in that world yet. And so you know this. My books offer just a lot of helpful information on What’s My Next Step? And the cool thing about what to expect in adopting a dog is it’s not a book that you have to sit down and read cover to cover it like you’re in the beginning stages. Just read the beginning. If you’ve had a dog for a while and you’ve got some questions about their health or what I call advanced dog parenting, that’s in there, too. But you don’t have to read the whole book all at once. It’s kind of cool that way. Yeah, that sounds really cool. So I’m curious. What’s been the feedback? How’s it been received so amazing? And honestly, when I get a note from somebody that tells me that you know they were able to share it, I just got a note from somebody just a couple of weeks ago. She said, Oh, I guess I didn’t know much about the book, but I bought it and my nephew was thinking about getting a dog. And so she gave it to him, not with any big expectation. And she showed up at his house recently and he had, like, dog eared and highlighted. He was reading it and learning from it, and she said it was doing exactly what she was hoping it would do. And it was doing when I found this out exactly what my intention was, people who had no experience or some experience, we’re learning something. And then somebody who was in the rescue world had shared with me. You know, it was such a good read for her because even though she’s been doing this for a long time, she hadn’t gotten a puppy recently. Oh, she was. She was. She had a new puppy, but she hadn’t gotten you dog in a long time. And she’d for gotten that. It’s a good idea to get down on all fours and look around at doggy height for possible you know, emergencies and you two look at electrical wiring or toe. Look, att If you have a yard outside to where a dog could be digging and escape because they’re you know what? When you first get a new dog. Pretty scary for Don thinking to split. Um, So she said I didn’t even think of that to get down on all fours. She said I’ve been an animal rescue for 10 or 15 years. So everybody have spoken to you, no matter what their experience level has garnered something from my books. That’s really cool. Yeah. You know, you’re right. You you forget about these things, right? You knew it at one point. Somebody told you, but yeah, it sounds like a great resource that you said you want to read it cover to cover. You can pull it up it any time and and find the section that you’re looking for. That’s that’s the cool part about it. Yeah. Yeah, that is really cool. So I tell me, tell me what kind of what’s gonna be next now for some of these books, it sounds like you found your passion and educating people. Yeah. Um well, what? What? What’s exciting is when What to expect in adopting a dog originally was released. I was excited. I was really pleased with it. But then I ended up meeting some really cool people that were doing some really cool things in the animal world. And I said, Okay, when it’s time for a second edition, I’m gonna found you to it. So now it’s a little over a year later and I’ve got the second edition ready to come out to get re released. And so I’m really excited about that. And the plan is for that to happen at the end of June of this year. That’s the plan. Okay, Um, you know, as you know, sometimes you know plans get going. I sure that’s the current plan, but what I’m also offering it’s a lot more free information. I’ve been doing a lot of video tips online on social media just for people to come on and watch a really short video to get like, What’s a good nugget for today, right, Especially for people who are have no experience with animal rescue. But I’m gonna be doing a webinar for people to come get some good GC bits about animal rescue and what they can expect from adopting a dog. So just good to bits that will help them before they even have to purchase a book. Just come get some learning. Right. And then in the fall, I’m gonna be doing a summit with a lot of other pet professionals who have a ton of information to offer that all help people learn and where they say, Wow, I had no idea. That’s really cool. I’m really glad I sat down for 2030 minutes and listen to that. I learned a lot from that. So I’ll be doing a summit in the early fall as well. Wow, It sounds like you got a lot of things planned. It on your plate. You must be a very busy lady. Yeah. Two dogs, two kids. You know, a few books, fan things going on. Wow, that’s really cool. Now I know. And look at your website. There was a couple other things that I just wanted to mention. I mean, tell us a little bit about the teen kindness program and then pets people planet connection. Right? So my organization, my company is called pets People Planet Connection, and that’s really my my thought process behind that was, how can we connect pets and people all around the world in so many different ways? And how can we educate people? So that’s that’s the umbrella company, if you will. But around the kids books, I started a program called Team Kindness and its team hyphen kind of, um dot net, I believe. And, um, that’s really for humane educators or teachers or people with little kids. I’ve got a cool little word puzzles and crosswords and things like that for people to start, You know, you could just print them out right now and go. It’s great for classrooms, and I also have a lesson plan that was created by a teacher who’s also a humane educator that that accompanies J J. The American Street Dogs. So there are any teachers out there who are looking to incorporate human humane education into their classroom. I think it’s 18 states. It’s required to teach you mean education. But a lot of teachers don’t just don’t know how to go about it. So this is a way that you can incorporate the lesson plan. It’s free. It’s available on my website along with the book, you know, as a way to introduce, you know, through through projects. You know, kids learn through projects, whether the poster or whatever they make. There’s a whole bunch of choices of things that can do in the lesson plan and that can all be found on team kindness. There’s a book club in there. I’ve got other book Resource is on there that I share. So there’s a lot of cool stuff there. Yeah, that’s really cool in the fact that you’re making that available is great because you’re helping, you know, I’m sure teachers are always looking for new resource is and sites get lesson plan is probably one of the toughest jobs out there. I’m sure it is. This is really cool. This has all been great, and I’m really glad that you came on. Is there anything else, Diane that you wanted to share with people before we wrap things up, you know, just a general sentiment of, you know, yes, responsibility is so important when thinking about animal adoption. But I just really encouraged people to to consider adopting a dog. You know, it’s I always want people thio have the love of a dog like or a cat or whatever your animal of choices, because having that that bond, there’s nothing like it having that unconditional love. There’s really nothing like it, But there are so many animals out there that can use a home, and people would be surprised. You know, I’ve had so many friends say, I want this kind of a dog on You know they can’t they can’t shed with Well, have you considered this rescue group? Have you considered blah, blah, blah? There’s breed rescues for just about every breed out there, and it’s just about getting the education, you know, and that you can really have the dog of your choice. But more importantly, I know you’re gonna fall in love with just about. You could fall in love with just about every dog. It’s just impossible. I know that from experience and just to keep your heart open. And as you know very well, your dog might not be in your neighborhood. It could be somewhere else. And just keep your heart in your eyes open that that you’re perfect. Dog really is out there, and it doesn’t have to come from a breeder, and it certainly shouldn’t come from a shop because that’s not okay, because those air profitable dogs and those dogs are suffering. So help a dog out. That’s his life is possibly on the line. Who could be your next best friend? Go to the shelter, go to a rescue group. It’s really you’re making a difference to them and you’re gonna fall in love. I don’t think I could have stayed it any better. Thank you so much for doing that day and and thank you so much for coming on the program today. Oh, it’s really been a pleasure, Chris. Thank you so much for all that. You do as well make a difference, too. Thanks. Thanks for tuning into today’s podcast if you’re not already a member, joined the Air P A. To take advantage of all the resources we have to offer. And don’t forget to sign up with do bert dot com. It’s free and helps automate the most difficult tasks in animal rescue