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A Chipper story

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Bailey mutt tells tale of her journey to become a therapy dog

By Daniel Laverty

Michelle Jansick of Bailey turned a tale of failure into a story of hope.

Jansick is the author of “Chipper’s Friends: The Heartwarming Story of an Imperfect Dog.” The book, which came out in March, tells a story through the perspective of Chipper and her journey to become a therapy dog.

The book’s narrator, Chipper, is Jansick’s 4-year-old mutt. Chipper, armed with her brown eyes, golden fur and pink bandana, was given the name because of her upbeat personality and ability to make people happy. 

Therapy dogs are trained to provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, schools, hospices, disaster areas and retirement and nursing homes. A good therapy dog must be friendly and at ease in all situations.

During therapy training, Jansick took Chipper to a teen homeless shelter, visited a pediatric hospice and even made valentines for seniors at a nursing home. The valentines included Chipper’s “paw-tograph.”

Unfortunately for Chipper, Jansick was forced to take her dog out of the program when Chipper shoplifted some treats from a pet store and barked at senior citizens.

Jansick realized that Chipper would not pass the test.

“I wanted to write a book about Chipper becoming a therapy dog, but, after some thought, realized her story of not becoming a therapy dog could also be inspiring,” Jansick said.

In the book, Chipper goes into detail about her efforts and failures while trying to become a therapy dog. Chipper talks about growing up a stray in New Mexico and how she found her new home in Colorado.

“It felt natural for me to write the book from Chipper’s perspective,” Jansick said. “I used to write e-mails to my mom that were ‘from my pets,’ and my mom would find them so funny.”

After writing the book and self-publishing it, Jansick decided to donate the net profits to a different charity each month during the book’s first year after being released.

Charities so far include Love146, which fights child sex trafficking, Colorado Puppy Rescue and the Jessica Ridgeway Legacy Fund. November’s charity is the Freedom Service Dogs of America, which rescues dogs from local shelters and trains them to comfort and assist children and adults with disabilities.

“We are so pleased that Chipper will be donating all of her profits in November to help us train shelter dogs,” said Sharan Wilson, executive director of Freedom Service Dogs of America.

Jansick’s next project will be to work on a series of children’s books.

For more information or to order “Chipper’s Friends: The Heartwarming Story of an Imperfect Dog,” visit HYPERLINK "http://www.chippersfriends.com" www.chippersfriends.com or e-mail chippersfriends@gmail.com.

Contact Daniel Laverty at Daniel@evergreenco.com or at 303-350-1043. Follow him on Twitter at @LavertyReports.