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How to walk a dog - new children’s book aims to teach children about responsible ownership

PUBLISHED: 16:09 21 October 2018 | UPDATED: 19:49 21 October 2018

Worzel goes for a walk. Will you come, too? is available from Waterstones in Lowestoft as well as all good bookshops and online. Picture: Catherine Pickles

Worzel goes for a walk. Will you come, too? is available from Waterstones in Lowestoft as well as all good bookshops and online. Picture: Catherine Pickles

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A new children’s book released by a Southwold author aims to help young people learn how to walk a dog safely.

Cath Pickles with Worzel. Picture: NICK BUTCHERCath Pickles with Worzel. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

Worzel Wooface has become famous across the country for ‘writing’ his own humourous diaries on his daily life as a hound, which have been published by leading animal book producer Hubble and Hattie.

But author Cath Pickles has since expanded Worzel’s reach to include educational books for youngsters, so they learn vital tips on how to interact with dogs that may not pick up elsewhere.

Her first children’s book, Worzel Says Hello, Will You Be My Friend?, is even used in schools to teach children and has been nominated as a finalist in the East Anglian Book Awards.

“Taking a dog for a walk might seem the simplest thing to do in the world but it’s actually not,” said Mrs Pickles, who lives with Worzel near Southwold.

Worzel goes for a walk. Will you come, too? is available from Waterstones in Lowestoft as well as all good bookshops and online. Picture: Catherine Pickles
Worzel goes for a walk. Will you come, too? is available from Waterstones in Lowestoft as well as all good bookshops and online. Picture: Catherine Pickles

“The first book was about teaching children to greet dogs in a safe and gentle way.

“This one came about through a number of conversations I had with friends that it’s not just a question of going out for a walk with a dog - there are a whole number of other things you have to consider.

“For example, not all other dogs want to be greeted by a mad, crazy dog. It is about building up to them.

“I hope it will be a great book for children and carry on the idea of how to be a responsible dog owner and breed the next generation of dog lovers.

Worzel the lurcher on Southwold beach. Picture: Cath Pickles.Worzel the lurcher on Southwold beach. Picture: Cath Pickles.

“Hopefully it will help them understand that when they meet a new dog, they have to start building a relationship with that dog.

“It helps keep children safe and it helps keeps dogs safe as well.

The drawings, by illustrator and designer Chantal Bourgonje, have been checked by several animal behavioural experts to ensure young people will be able to relate them to real life.

Geelong Obedience Dog Club called the first book “a dictionary of dog speak”.

The book, which is set in Southwold and contains many of the Suffolk coastal town’s landmarks, is already available in bookstores and online sellers.

An official book launch will take place at Southwold Library at 1pm tomorrow.

About Worzel

Worzel was rescued by re-homing charity Hounds First Sighthound Rescue when he was 10 weeks old after being beaten and abused.

He was adopted by the charity’s founder but, as a result the abuse he had suffered beforehand, was incredibly anxious and struggled being around children.

He was re-homed again by the Pickles family and started ‘writing’ a regular blog in his own paw as a way of keeping his previous owners up-to-date on how he was getting on.

However his musings and very unique vocabulary soon captured the public’s imagination, gathering a strong online following.

His tales later landed a book deal with publisher Hubble and Hattie.

Mrs Pickles said of the children’s books: “I always wanted to write a book that was going to be suitable for children.

“However, Worzel’s language was never going to work for children.

“It took me a long time to work out how to write something for children which kept it recognisable as Worzel.”

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