OSSINING, N.Y. -- Linda Griffin, an Ossining resident and former teacher, is now an award winning author.
She won second place at the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards in the pet/animal category for her book "Adopting Ginger." The Purple Dragonfly Awards recognize excellence in children's literature.
The book is about 10-year-old Emma and her family as they decide to adopt a dog, Ginger, and make the nervous dog feel like a part of the family.
Griffin based the book on her daughter's experiences adopting a dog named Ginger.
"He was frightened at everything," Griffin said. "He refused to walk up and down the stairs. He wouldn't eat, he would hide. Now he's a very happy dog. He's the best dog a family could have, he's wonderful."
The patience and kindness that Griffin's family showed Ginger is what helped him become a beloved member of the family and inspired Griffin to write the book.
"I want families to know shelter dogs make awesome pets," Griffin said. "It's wonderful to have a dog, but it's an enormous commitment and responsibility."
The back of the book features discussion questions for families to talk about when it comes to raising a pet.
"There are some good lessons children can learn from it," Griffin said. "Having a dog requires a lot of love and patience. The family showed incredible kindness in dealing with her. They practiced positive reinforcement and gave her hugs. She started to feel safe. She really turned around.
Griffin self published the book and had her niece do the illustrations. Griffin, who previously taught for 35 years at an elementary school in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, has also written a parenting book addressing early childhood problems.
When it comes to adopting a dog, Griffin said families should know the financial responsibility and time that comes with it.
"Who is going to watch the dog when you go on vacation?" Griffin said. "What about medication and trips to the vet?"
Families should also get dogs from a shelter. Ginger and Griffin's dog Sophia both came from the SPCA in Briarcliff Manor.
"You are saving that pet's life and making room for another animal," Griffin said. "It's very important."
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