Duke, the great surfing dog known for his special tricks and flips, gets a stomach ache right before his first surfing competition. Luckily, his quirky fairy dogfather comes to the rescue and teaches him many skills he can use to cope with anxiety. This children’s picture book is complete with memorable jingles to remember the skills by, as well as a parent’s guide with several tips and thoughts on how to talk to children about the different anxiety coping skills discussed in the book. Intended for children ages 6 and up.
Once there was a dog named Duke who loved to have fun. He loved to play fetch with Papa Pup and read funny books with Mama Pup. Every day he played frisbee with an awesome pack of dogs at the duck pond. Most of all, Duke loved surfing.
Duke started surfing when he was only 8 weeks old. He loved feeling the crest of the waves beneath his paws and the wind in his floppy ears. Sometimes he waved his paws in the air and sang his favorite songs at the top of his lungs while he surfed.
Other times he raced against his sisters and brothers to be the first one to the beach. When Duke turned 3 he started doing some crazy tricks on the surfboard. He fell a lot while he was learning them but he had a lot of fun.
Recently, Duke joined the Santa Bernardo Surf Team. The other dogs on the team were pretty cool and his coach was nice. They practiced hard together to prepare for what would be his first competition.
Duke woke up the morning of his first surf competition with a major stomach ache. “Mama, I don’t feel so good,” he complained. “I don’t think I can go to the competition.”
“That’s too bad you don’t feel well.” Mama felt his forehead. “Are you sure you don’t feel well enough to go? You don’t have a temperature.”
“Yeah. My stomach hurts and my head feels funny. I’m sure I can’t go. Besides, what if I fall and get last place? Then the other dogs would laugh at me. And what if the sharks show up to the competition? And didn’t the weather forecast say there might be a thunderstorm?”
“Hmmm…” said Mama. “You might be feeling anxious or nervous about the competition. That can cause stomach aches. I think this calls for our fairy dogfather.” She went to the cupboard and pulled out a glowing tennis ball. She bounced it three times on the floor, rubbed some peanut butter on it, and then barked ten times in various pitches.
Poof! Out of the ball popped a crazily dressed hound dog.
“Never fear! Sir Barks-a-lot is here!” he sang in a silly voice. He then looked at Duke and smiled. “I heard Mr. Fear snuck up on you and is causing some stomach aches that are interfering with your surf competition.”
“Yeah, I guess so,” Duke said. “Can you help me?”
“Can I help you? Can I help you? Who do you think I am? One of the rejects that tried out to be Cinderella’s dogfather? How do you think I earned my golden Fairy Dogfather Association badge? Of course I can help you! I can teach you some powerful tricks, but the practice of them is up to you. Just like sports, tricks don’t help much without lots of practice. Got it, dude?”
To learn what anxiety skills Sir Barks-a-lot teaches, buy this children’s book and parent’s guide through one of these options:
Thank you and happy reading from author Tanya Lindquist, illustrator Tatyana Glebova, and all the dogs here at Family Ninjas!
© 2018 Tanya Lindquist All rights reserved.
Published by Tanya Lindquist / Family Ninjas
No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.
Disclaimer: This post does not provide therapeutic services. Please seek the help of a licensed professional if anxiety is more than is manageable or safe.