Nito Meets Chloe.
Nito Meets Chloe
By Judith M. Newton
Illustrated by Sue Blackburn
When Judith Newton and her husband moved to Santa Fe in 1999, they set out in search of the perfect family dog. Upon discovering that some canines don't graduate from the non-profit Assistance Dogs of the West training program, the Newtons adopted a "release dog" named Chutney and became active members of ADW. Unlike other service agencies, ADW recruits young trainers from area elementary, middle and high schools; juvenile detention centers; and programs for people with developmental and physical disabilities.
Nito Meets Chloe is one of three books Newton wrote as a way to share the successful message of ADW. The main character is a runt puppy named Nito (it means "tiny" in Spanish), who becomes a service dog for a girl in a wheelchair. He helps her get dressed in the morning, accompanies her to school, even brings her a towel after her swimming lesson.
Not only is this a fun story for kids of all abilities; it does a terrific job of showing how Chloe's classmates come to respect the role of an assistance dog, something many able-bodied people don't understand. "They don't pat me, because I have work to do," Nito says. This book makes a great gift for dog owners and anyone who's ever wondered about just what guide dogs do.
Nito Meets Chloe, Nito's Tale and Nito and Chloe Get an Invitation are available at www.assistancedogsofthewest.org.