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Oliver (Ollo) is a six-year-old Chihuahua mix. We adopted him on 30th of October, during the last "sale" day at our local humane society. My husband and I had a choice. Buy a mud-covered anti-social dog, who wanted nothing to do with us, for $25; or walk out knowing he could be euthanized the next day. Needless to say, he was the best twenty-five bucks I've ever spent. Oliver is adept at off the leash training and is a certified Canine Good Citizen.


Patch (Pal) is also a rescue. We adopted him from a breed specific rescue in May, 2017. The now-closed puppy mill bred two blue merle Aussies together, most likely knowing the risks, resulting in a litter with a double merle gene. Patch is a product of lousy pairing, and due to that, he is completely deaf and visually impaired. He is now a symbol of our advocacy towards #adoptdontshop and an active member of the Deaf Dogs of Oregon.


When we adopted patch, we knew he was deaf

Traditionally, I write genre fiction, but our puppy sparked my imagination. My toddler is currently in speech therapy. When our family started therapy we knew we wanted to get Riley a companion animal. That's when we met Patch. Having a deaf dog raised challenges, and having a deaf dog, and an at-the-time non-verbal toddler raised more. Our first dog, Oliver, taught Patch what it meant to be a dog in a family environment, and how to be a companion, which is the topic of this book.

Riley is blessed to have two furry best friends. I hope this book becomes a treasured-memoriam for Oliver and Patch in the years to come, more loving known to their favorite toddler as Ollo and Pal

the illustrator

Mark Niño Balita

"The moment I saw his work, I knew he was the one I had to work with." - author j l gipson

Balita manages Niño Balita Illustrations in Lipa, Batangas, (Philippines) and is a self-employed freelance cartoonist.

You can find more of his work below:

"I have always been passionate in expressing myself through art. Ever since I picked up the pen, I have never stopped drawing and bringing my ideas to life. I do believe that if you put your heart in whatever it is that you do, there is no limit in what you can accomplish."

- Balita