Combining her creativity, talent for words and love of animals, Chester County high school student Caroline Capuzzi, 17, recently published a book, "Dog Joy: Amazing Stories of the Indescribable Love Only a Rescued Dog Can Give." The book features the stories and photos of 26 dogs that have been adopted through rescue organizations, as well as information about those organizations. One hundred percent of all profits from book sales is being donated to the rescues listed in the book, which include Animal House Project in Pottstown and the Animal Rescue League of Berks County in Birdsboro.
To date, at total of more than $2,500 has been donated to several of the rescues featured in the book. Caroline also donated copies of "Dog Joy" to rescue and shelter organizations featured in the book so that they may sell them at events and keep 100 percent of the proceeds. So far, the rescues have received $971 worth of books.
Caroline, the daughter of Mike and Becky Capuzzi of West Chester, explained that the idea to publish a book came about this summer when she and her father were discussing activities she could take part in during her break from school in addition to working in the kennel at a local veterinary hospital.
"I have been working in the kennel for a year and half, and I love dogs," Caroline recalled. "My dad and I were brainstorming ideas for a project that I could do on the days I didn't work so I could do something productive over the summer. We came up with an idea of doing a fundraiser for dog rescues and making a book about it to spread awareness and inspire people to adopt their next pet from a rescue."
The stories featured in the book are from real pet owners in the community. "My dad has his own business, and he asked his clients to submit stories about their rescue dogs," Caroline explained. "We were expecting only 20, but 25 got back to us. They emailed (the stories), and I proofread them."
In addition to the 25, the Capuzzi family dog, Stella, is featured in the first chapter. Stella was adopted from Greenmore Farm Animal Rescue in West Grove.
Also featured in the book is Cado, who was adopted by Marybeth Yannessa, board president of Animal House Project, which operates the Chester County Pet Food Pantry, where Caroline and her dad volunteer. Cado was rescued after being left in a cardboard box outside a farm in rural Georgia along with other newborn puppies.
After collecting the stories and photos, Caroline designed the cover and came up with the title. "We finalized the cover, the dimensions of the book, the colors and the title, and I proofed everything a second time and we sent it to the printer," she said.
She shared that she enjoyed reading about the dogs in their owners' words. "They are all so different. All the dogs came from different backgrounds," she noted. "Some people wrote about their dog's passing. That brought me to tears."
Caroline said that her next endeavor is to help rescue organizations publish their own books as a fundraiser. "If any rescues or shelters want to make their own rescue-specific books, they can do that through us," she added.
Caroline, a senior at B. Reed Henderson High School in West Chester, plans to attend college after high school graduation to major in journalism. "I used to write my own stories, but (I had given that up)," she added. "Coming up for the idea with the book brought that back into my life - the passion of writing."
Those who would like to learn how to publish their own Dog Joy book or those who would like to order the book may visit http://www.DogJoyBooks.com. For more information, readers may email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or visit http://www.facebook.com/dogjoybook.