Lesley J. Rios, the author of ”Once I Had a Dog”, was diagnosed with cancer in January 2021. As she was fighting with determination and courage, Lesley received the dreadful news that her 15-year-old dog, Roxie, was declining in health. One day in March, Lesley returned home from radiation treatment to hold her dog one last time.
Lesley Rios dedicated her book to the memory of her dog, Roxie, and the outstanding physicians and surgeons who treated her at VCU Massey Cancer Center. Lesley reflects on her special memories with her faithful companion by celebrating and lamenting the loss of the bond she experienced with her dog. In Once I Had A Dog, Lesley shares a message representing courage, strength, resilience, love, and loss with children and adults.
No matter how bittersweet, memories are gifts that live in people’s hearts and thoughts, growing more vivid and unforgettable with each loving interaction. Lesley Rios recalls memories of Roxie, her cherished dog, that passed away during the most trying time in her life.
The best part of memories is that they become a permanent part of the person who has them and is theirs to keep. It’s unnecessary to own showy electronic devices that, despite their grandeur and glamour, are actually frail and reliant on electrical pulses to function. To reflect, a person only needs to close his eyes and travel back in time whenever and wherever one chooses.
Lesley’s former coworker in education, Marie Blocker, who currently resides and works in Frisco, Texas, provided the book’s illustrations. With realism, a delicate color palette, and honesty, Ms. Blocker has depicted her friend’s story, effortlessly evoking feelings of warmth and compassion in the reader.
Parents can read Once I Had a Dog by Lesley Rios to children ages 3-5, and school-age children can read the book independently. Adults can discuss with children an inevitable experience such as the loss of a pet while being reminded that the wonderful memories they have of their devoted and adoring friends will live on in their hearts forever.