Edmonton author Wynne Edwards always had a love for writing – even though another career took center stage for many years.
Edwards will be paying a visit to the Mary C. Moore Public Library on Aug.19 to chat about her latest children’s title Goldie, Dog on the Job!
The special event, starting at 1 p.m. in the Read & Relax area, will also include local author Laurel Deedrik Mayne and RDPL’s service dog.
Edwards worked for nearly 30 years as a nurse and nurse educator. She also raised two children with her husband Bill before really launching to her next chapter- that of creative writing.
To date, her repertoire includes co-editing three anthologies, all published by Rowan Books: Taking off the Tinsel, Study in Grey: Women Writing about Depression, and Running Barefoot: Women Write the Land.
For many years she also wrote articles for the MacLeod Gazette as well, in which she would pen stories inspired by her growing up years in the community.
But her key focus in terms of subject matter was yet to come.
After her teenage son lost his eyesight, he began working with a guide dog.
And Edwards recalled how the dog changed her son’s life.
“Meanwhile, we had started volunteering at the Dogs With Wings Assistance Dog Society – a place that trains assistance dogs. We did that for years – boarded them and took them to their training every day.”
Since she was also delving more into writing at this point, she thought of creating a story that would help raise funds for the organization. The idea for a book was sparked, and A Dog for Uncle Peter was ultimately published.
Down the road, her creative vision expanded further.
Goldie, Dog on the Job! came next – a book about a service dog in training.
The book, released in 2022, is helping to raise funds for training centers for assistance dogs.
The book is a gem – it follows Goldie and his siblings’ training processes and differing assignments as they become full-fledged service dogs to help folks with all kinds of needs.
Goldie was raised by a young boy named Patrick’s grandma before being sent for specialized training. Years later, Goldie and Peter meet again, and ultimately, readers learn about not just the capabilities and skills of amazing dogs like Goldie, but also about their caring and incredibly loyal nature, too.
Wynne writes in a thoroughly accessible way, melding a finely-crafted story with a very informative look at how special these dogs are.
“I like storytelling, and I always liked to write – even as a kid.”
These days, she’s enjoying her visits with young readers.
“I usually do some reading, and I also really like to involve the kids in the conversation,” she said.
She loves to entertain youngsters, but it’s also about educating them, too. Edwards wants children and adults alike to know how amazing service dogs really are, and how they can make such a profound difference in a person’s life.
Another plus – the dogs can also serve as a kind of ice-breaker as some people feel uncomfortable when encountering a person with a disability.
“But as Edwards said, when a friendly dog is present, conversations can flow more freely and naturally. It’s really quite wonderful.”
In 2016, she landed a Philanthropy in Education Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
For those interested in purchasing a book, both Goldie, Dog on the Job! and A Dog for Uncle Peter are available from Edwards via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by texting her at 780-719-1148.