Elizabeth was very busy setting everything up for the bookshop at Word on the Water a couple of weeks ago. Packing up all the books and fixtures that need to be transported is one thing. But Elizabeth does a whole lot more work than just that stuff, too.
She’s been lucky the last couple of years. Her brother Malcolm, who I also have adopted as one of my two-leggers, has been here for a visit each time Word on the Water has been on, and he has been able to help her on the muscle end of the venture: transport and set-up/take-down detail. It’s really something to watch two-leggers cooperate and work together like that.
Which got me to thinking maybe I could help out, too. But how? I can’t pack books. I can’t help carry stuff because they use boxes that don’t fit in my mouth. Elizabeth says I can supervise, which is really just to make my tail thump. Supervising is something I view as a bit of a lame job. I know it’s very similar to guarding, but somehow it lacks the substance and import of guarding. With guarding, I know that at any time I may need to spring into protective action to save my two-leggers and/or their estate. That’s very important work. Supervising? Well… not so much. Still, I do it because it makes my two-leggers happy to have me lie quietly while they work.
Every event Elizabeth sets up a bookshop for she makes a lot of small things to sell or promote her shop. Things like bookmarks and cards and brochures. She uses her photographs and computer to print them up on heavy paper, then she trims them all with a sharp piece of metal. It’s a lot of work. Finicky, time consuming, hard on her back work. I don’t know why she does it all except that she seems to like the end result. I know all this because I supervise the process.
This time while I was supervising, I was also wondering how I could help or be more useful. And I came up with a great idea. I bumped Elizabeth on the knee to get her attention.
“Could we do some little ones like that together, Elizabeth? Maybe we could put some of the photos you took of me on them.”
She sat down and thought for a minute. She’d been working on her famous magnetic bookmarks. They open up and grab a page where the reader stopped, holding the place like a two-legger’s paws hold things between them.
That gave me another idea! “We could call them BOOK PAWS…”
“No, no! That’s a great idea, Stella. I was laughing because your title makes a great pun!”
Pun? What’s a pun? Must be a two-legger thing, ’cause I don’t get it. But if it puts a smile on her face, then I know I’ve made my two-legger happy!
“We could give the money you earn on them to It’s a Dog’s Life, if you like. If yours sell well, then maybe we could add new ones to the line from time-to-time featuring photos of some of your friends at the shelter or in foster homes.”
“Oh! That’s good. Maybe if people saw how beautiful they were, they would love them and take them into their homes!”
Elizabeth and I began selecting photos and making templates on her computer that evening. We came up with an initial run of twelve designs featuring my puppy photos, and she launched them at Word on the Water. We gave some to Lil to put in the Author Gift Bags, which were given to each presenting author. The remainder sit on the book hospital counter at her shop, right beside the till so everyone who buys a book sees them. She’s just finished putting them on the website so people further away can order them, too! And every time someone buys one, all but the cost of supplies to make them goes to It’s a Dog’s Life to help my friends there.
I hope you feel as good about this as I do. And that you will either drop by the shop to buy one, or order one through the mail. If you mail-order, then you’ll also need to pay the cost of mailing, but Elizabeth says she can send it for the price of a regular letter, so it isn’t expensive at all (the site assumes parcel postage, so she’ll reimburse the difference when she mails the bookmarks).
If you’d like to buy a BOOK PAWS, click on the link. You can order whichever ones you like best! You can send them to your reading friends with your Christmas Cards this year and give my lonely friends at It’s a Dog’s Life a treat at the same time. Now, that’s a tail-thumping good idea! ~:o)=