Love Like Louie is a heartwarming story of a girl and a lost dog, and the ‘character do-over’ they both experience.
Sixth-grader Emi wants to be anyone other than Emi. She hopes that trying out for the school play will change her life, earning her a place among the popular kids. But her shyness is overwhelming. On top of that, she is no longer speaking to her best friend, Grace, who has now made friends with the “mean girls.” And there’s the mystery of a note that Emi carries everywhere with her.
After yet another bad day at school, Emi meets an abandoned, skinny, mangy lost dog with an attitude, which melts Emi’s heart. Her parents make it clear she can't keep him. But Emi works hard to help him and learns right away that in order to help him, she must choose to love this unlovable dog—not an easy choice.
At school, Emi unfolds the tales of the lost dog, Louie, during lunch. Soon, one by one, kids gather to listen, enthralled by Emi’s amazing gift of storytelling. She shares each day how, with the aid of a shelter close by, she’s helping Louie build trust. Helping Louie, though, means Emi will have to give him up soon so a loving family can adopt him. And letting go proves to be more difficult than she imagined. But then something happens that changes them both forever.
The grandmother and granddaughter duo, Danise DiStasi and Evi Sobb, wrote Love Like Louie based on the true-life tale of their adopted dog, Louie. Middle-grade children will relate to Emi and the other children, and will experience their own character do-over, thanks to the tale of Emi and Louie.
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN:
Some time ago I started blogging about my rescue pup, Louie, and his challenging behaviors, which then turned into a leadership book. The overarching message in our leadership book (Soon to be renamed) is that leaders need to be loving people, first and foremost. This message of love began to evolve and generate more interest, and my heart started to break for children.
Sadly, many children today do not understand what it means to love and be truly loved. I decided to change that. What better way to share the message of love than through a story of a shy girl and the transformation of an unlovable abandoned pup. While we hear people openly talk about the word love, whether in the marketplace or the community, few people know and understand what authentic love is and how to be a genuinely loving person.
Children understand love even less. And yet it is the greatest need humans have and one we cannot live without, try as we might. My 10-year-old granddaughter and I started writing this story at the end of 2017 and are on the second revision. We hope to launch the book on September 18th with the assistance of a PR firm, Weaving Influence. It will be quite an endeavor to reach that goal, but it is essential to do so at the beginning of a new school year.
Love like Louie's message is a heartwarming, realistic story of a young girl who finds an abandoned dog that displays many challenging behaviors. She makes a difficult choice to love him in order to try to help him and build trust. Because of her circumstances, she realizes she has to give him up so that a loving family can adopt him. As she works with the dog and the shelter that helps find him a forever home, she experiences a transformation while she slowly comes out of her shell, thanks to her learning the valuable lesson of love. Sprinkled throughout are lessons of life, love, and even leadership.
WHY LOVE IS IMPORTANT
The importance of this message for this age group is so critical. The takeaways are:
* Love is not some lofty idea or a warm fuzzy feeling
• It is about being a loving person
• Love depends on how we view others, whether as objects or beings. When we see people as objects, it is easy to be mean to them, or worse—bully them
• The characteristics of a loving person are patience, kindness, truthfulness, trustworthiness, etc. People who love others are not prideful or boastful; they don’t hold grudges, they are not rude, and they never give up.
PLEASE JOIN US ON THIS INCREDIBLE ADVENTURE
We hope you join us on this great adventure. We are just beginning this endeavor and invite you to come along on this journey with us to spread the message of true genuine love. Help us distribute these books to schools and other youth organizations.
Risks and challenges
This is quite a change from the leadership blogs and material I've written over the last twenty years. But every time I share the message of love, I see how it resonates with others, children and business people alike.
Not everyone will like this message. It takes strength to love others. But I think it is a critical and bold message. It goes against what Hollywood and social media portray as love yet this message transformed a real-life rescue pup and its owners. It will transform others, as well.