A local 'Book of Happiness' mixes therapy tips with adorable pups exploring the North Shore, and proceeds will go towards SAINTS Rescue.
We could all do with some cheering up in 2020, which is why a dog-loving Vancouver business owner has created a 'book of happiness' to share some joy and help people navigate through the tougher days.
Katy Wilson, owner of Furkids Pet Care in North Vancouver, enlisted the help of experienced Registered Clinical Counsellor Helen Whitehead to create 'Dog Therapy: The Book of Happiness', which combines candid photos of local dogs exploring the North Shore with useful therapy tips.
The book is available on Amazon Canada, USA, Europe and Japan, with 50 cents from every copy sold going to SAINTS Rescue, a local end-of-life sanctuary for senior and special needs animals that have nowhere else to go.
The photos, taken by Wilson, feature a number of local dogs enjoying the spectacular forests of West Vancouver, and are accompanied by advice to inspire and help develop acceptance, self-compassion and self-soothing strategies to cope with the challenges we all face.
Although Wilson's clients at Furkids have always loved the photos she sent of their pups, the idea of this book came about when COVID suddenly left the business woman with more time than usual.
"Suddenly I had spare time on my hands, along with the stress and anxiety of losing business, and COVID itself. I'm not used to having spare time and I'm not very good at relaxing, so I decided it was time to get working on a book!," explains Wilson
"I wanted to do something more with it than just the pictures, and add another element to help people deal with the impact of 2020. That was when I decided to involve a therapist, so it was a double boost - the visual imagery of adorable dogs, along with the written boost of advice from a therapist.
"It was a lot of hard work as I had to learn about the software and design aspects, but I loved every minute!," adds Wilson, who moved from Scotland to Vancouver 13 years ago.
The book has been receiving glowing reviews since it's release, with one reader describing it as "perfect for every dog lover or really just anyone who needs to have their spirits lifted."
Wilson has been delighted with the reaction so far and shares why the support from locals means so much to her.
"I'm so pleased that people are loving it. The dogs bring so much joy to my life, I want to be able to share that with others. I feel so lucky to get to hike dogs every day for a living, and they really are like therapy to me."
Another source of happiness brought by this book is knowing that proceeds from every sale goes towards SAINTS Rescue, something that was very important to Wilson.
"A dear client of mine, Yumi, passed away in May this year. She was a huge animal lover, and I know her reaction to the book would have been incredible. I wanted to do something in her memory, and what better way than donating to an animal charity, especially SAINTS which is such a deserving cause," she explains.
If you'd like to purchase a copy of Dog Therapy: The Book of Happiness, or learn more about the book, you can find more information here.