NITO MEETS CHLOE
The Tale of an Assistance Dog of the West
By Judith M. Newton with Illustrations by Sue Blackburn
The story of how an “assistance dog” helps a little girl in a wheelchair.
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Nito, an “assistance dog” and a member of Assistance Dogs of the West, has a new assignment. He has just been matched up with Chloe, a little girl in a wheelchair and is looking forward to this new experience. He soon learns how his training helps Chloe at home and school and he becomes an important and loving member of Chloe’s family in no time at all.
For people with disabilities, assistance dogs make a huge difference both physically and emotionally. Since 1995, over 100 Assistance Dogs of the West dogs have been placed, promoting greater independence and self reliance, and offering unconditional love and companionship. These remarkable dogs function as bridges for people with physical and psychiatric disabilities--starting conversations that help to educate the general public.
Helping to raise, care for and train assistance dogs through Assistance Dogs of the West educational programs provide mainstream and at-risk elementary, middle, high school and juvenile detention center students as well as youth and adults with developmental disabilities a unique opportunity for learning and growth. All student dog trainers gain knowledge, build responsibility and compassionate awareness of people with different abilities, and make concrete contributions to their community.
The author, Judith Newton, served as Executive Director of the Special Education School in Paris, France and was Director of Youth and Adult Programs for the Montgomery County, Maryland, Association for Retarded Citizens. While working at the Children's Foundation in Washington, DC she advocated for children's food programs at congressional, state and local levels. Her volunteer work includes 15 years as a docent at the National Gallery of Art. Moving to Santa Fe seven years ago, she became a docent at both the Georgia O'Keeffe and New Mexico Museum of Art. Having always wanted to write a book for young children, inspiration came from her board involvement with Assistance Dogs of the West. And from sweet Chutney, who always wags her tail.
The illustrator, Sue Blackburn, started drawing and coloring after 25 years of being "grown-up". During her grown-up period, she graduated from Richmond Professional Institute with a degree in Art Education and earned her Master's Degree in Elementary Education from the University of New Mexico. Sue taught elementary grades for 14 years in Virginia, New Mexico and Guatemala. She and her family are dedicated travelers, and while living in Hawaii she started doing her "kidscapes". They were an instant success and she has since sold her bright, happy drawings to people from all parts of the world. Especially popular are her colorful Mexican drawings, kid-infested banyan trees of Hawaii, and the winsome pueblo children of New Mexico. Sue does over 100 family portraits every year, designs posters, magnets and Christmas ornaments. She has illustrated several books.
For more information about Assistance Dogs of the West, please go to www.assistancedogsofthewest.org or call (505) 986-9748.
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