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Good Dogs, Great Listeners

A Story that Knew its Way...

In Summer 2013, JoAnn and Joel Bacon knew they wanted to publish a children’s story about their daughter Charlotte. They turned to their close friend Keith Spencer to help them, and he gave his heart and soul to the project. Together, they contemplated…  Who to author? Who to illustrate? Who to 

publish? They considered many options, but nothing felt just right. “There needs to be a connection,” was a sentence used frequently…  and they did not mean the sort of connection that comes through resources, but through the spirit.


That same summer, somewhat out of the blue, Frieda B. author Renata Bowers was invited by organizers to attend the LLC K-9 Comfort Dog Conference in Chicago with her sister Jen Marr, a Comfort Dog Handler. While there, Renata had lunch one day seated next to a woman and her two young boys. They talked, they played, they discussed dogs, and they read Frieda B. stories.


Little did Renata know that this woman was a good friend of Joel and JoAnn Bacon, nor that the business card Renata gave her would find its way into the Bacons’ hands. For not only were the Bacons looking for an author, they were fast becoming strong advocates for the use of Comfort and Therapy Dogs. Renata’s card made its way into Keith’s hands, and he felt led to reach out to her.


They soon discovered Keith knew her sister, Jen, through her work with Comfort Dog Addie. As they talked, Keith felt a 

connection with Renata, and the connections continued to pile up, and they all involved dogs and kindness. Who’d have dreamt that the answer to the Bacons’ search would be brought to them by Charlotte’s greatest love….dogs?



At Renata’s initial meeting with the Bacons, they immediately found a shared love and vision for Charlotte’s story. It wasn’t long before Renata and Frieda B. illustrator Michael Chesworth were on board, creating Good Dogs, Great Listeners. Frieda B., LLC partnered with the Bacons to help with the process of self-publishing… to ensure this story will always belong to the Bacon family.


Renata is fond of saying that a story knows its way. In this case, it’s not a stretch to believe that Good Dogs, Great Listeners received a little nudging from a little girl whose bold spirit and love for dogs inspires us all.

A Story that Found its Way...

Newtown, CT, has struggled since December of 2012, but the sadness in Newtown has gotten a little bit better because of therapy dogs that came to visit from around America.  My life has gotten beter because of these therapy dogs.


My name is Guy Bacon and I am 11 years old.  I am a student at Reed Intermediate School (RIS) in Newtown, CT. This book is about some of the most special therapy dogs that visited me and my friends at school and helped lick the tears away from our faces.


I was surprised to see the dogs on the first day of school in January, 2013.  I remember that I was standing in front of my desk when Drago walked into the classroom.  He was the first dog that I saw and got to pet.  I felt very calm and relaxed whenever I touched any of the dogs soft, fluffy fur. They also made me very comfortable when they would lick and nuzzle me back.

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