EchoComeHomecover-1My latest Megan Rix book has just been published by Puffin and is so close to my heart. ‘Echo come Home’ is the story of a stray puppy who gets trained as a hearing dog with the help of a boy called Jake.

I wear hearing aids myself and have seen some of the wonderful work that hearing dogs do in alerting deaf people to different sounds as well as the wonderful confidence booster and ice breaker that all assistance dogs (I think actually this should be ALL dogs) are.

I’ve been trying to teach my golden retriever Bella to find my mobile phone when it rings but we haven’t got very far yet. She loves running to it with me and the treat she gets given when I pick it up but so far hasn’t done so well independently – but we’ll get there.

She does however alert me when the doorbell rings – although I can usual hear that. But not when the visitor just taps on the door glass – then I need a dog to let me know someone’s there. She knows at night-time to push her wet nose on my arm rather than barking downstairs when she needs to go outside and I’ve taken my hearing aids out. And although I don’t praise her for barking when we’re out and about and she sees a cat I was pleased when she barked at a drunken man who came staggering towards us the other day. Traffy used to do the same thing when she was a puppy – although she used to think I needed protecting from a dumped shopping trolley down at the river and would bravely race in between it and me.

Do you have a protective pet or a helpful one?Traffy and Bella in Norfolk

I loved hearing about how one of my blog readers used to read to their chickens who listened attentively to them. And when we were filming at Woburn Safari Park last year elephant Chandrika helpfully lifted the ‘plate’ that had strawberries on it and gave it back to me for refilling – which I happily did – very helpful.

 

PS Congratulations to Imogen the winner of Travelling Books cover design competition. And thank you to Lily aged 9 for the lovely letter you sent but unfortunately it doesn’t have your school or address so I can’t reply.

PPS Look out for a chance to win a copy of Echo Come Home for yourself – coming soon. Or your teacher can win 30 books for your class by clicking here: http://worldbookday.com/competitions/win-a-class-set-of-echo-come-home/

Megan’s website is: www.meganrix.com Ruth’s website is www.ruthsymes.com