Joan M. Hellquist Warms Hearts With Tender Story of Lovable Shelter Dog Piki and Her Journey to Becoming a Service Dog

PLACITAS, N.M., May 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Have you ever wondered what kind of training a dog receives to become a Service Dog? In Piki Goes to College, we meet Piki (rhymes with sneaky), a mischievous and captivating shelter dog who finds a special purpose learning the job of assisting an owner with a disability. Author Joan M. Hellquist pairs this endearing book with beautiful painterly illustrations and information about Service Dogs and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Before Piki got her name, she was living in an animal shelter. She thought the shelter was jail because she was kept in a kennel. Piki was scared —until she met Joan. They immediately liked each other.

“Joan arrived and gave me my own new collar that had a tag with my name on one side and my address and phone number on the other side. Then she took me to my new forever home. I was happy to get out of jail and go home with Joan.”

Soon Joan and Piki met Rick and Heather and learned how dogs should act in public. They taught Piki how to listen to Joan and how to behave when on a leash. Piki was attending school and Joan was learning how to train her to be a Service Dog.

“To have a Service Dog, the person, who may be a child all the way up to a very old person, must have some kind of disability. The disability can be from an illness or disorder like epilepsy, arthritis or diabetes. Or they might have had an injury or other problems that made their body not work very well…A Service Dog can also help with disabilities you can’t see, like autism, traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder.”

In Piki’s journey to earning her vest—the garment Service Dogs wear to indicate their job—she has plenty of silly antics and adventures along the way. Young readers will learn through Piki’s story and from the back matter of the book, including information for parents and educators.

Families will delight in reading this entertaining and informative tale, masterfully written by Joan
M. Hellquist, herself a Service Dog Instructor/Trainer. This heartfelt story of Piki’s journey from a shelter to a home, aiding people with disabilities, will shine a light on the importance of these gentle and smart dogs. Piki Goes to College, the first of a picture book series about Piki’s adventures, is available now wherever books are sold.

For more information about Joan M. Hellquist and Piki Goes to College, please contact:

Joan M. Hellquist

SOURCE Joan M. Hellquist

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