Hi Dr. Ellen and Dave:
My sister, her daughters, and grandchildren were in Williamsburg this week. I had lunch with Claire, my sister, before she left and she reported that the Willi book is a huge hit with Maggie, her 5 year old granddaughter.
In fact, when they were in the blacksmith shop, Maggie snuggled up to her mom and whispered, "That's the man in the Willi book."
So Paige asked him if he knew Willi and he reported that in fact, he did. He carries dog biscuits in his pocket for when Willi comes to visit him!! And he pulled a biscuit out of his pocket!!!
Maggie was thrilled! And I am thrilled, also! What a famous pup!
Do you know where the Gulf of Mexico is? Here is a shot of Dr. Ellen and Dave in a Boston Whaler off the west coast of Florida.
They are taking time off to enjoy the Florida sunshine before Dr. Ellen has to get busy on the new WILLI book about the Kennedy Space Program. Keep watch for updates about that!
Sometimes WIlli has to dress up for her roles. She wants you to know that being so famous has its downsides, and this is one of them.
But– she really is a good sport about it most of the time.
Just wait until you see her in her NASA space suit! Her next book, you see, will be about the Kennedy Space program!
That Willi, she gets into all kinds of fun! And she knows so many musical friends...not to mention Dave and Dr. Ellen. Remember Lance and his Fifes and Drums? And dear Jock at Bruton Parish? Music is truly the language of the heart.
Do you know how to make music, too?
A lovely third grader in Washington, DC is sharing Dr. Ellen's book with Rawls Byrd School Media Specialist, Mrs. Viky Pedigo.
It looks like the American Girl Doll, Felicity of Williamsburg, is enjoying it, too!
Dr. Ellen, the author of WILLI GETS A HISTORY LESSON, is well known in Virginia as an experienced family therapist, public speaker, and photojournalist. She was a member of the psychology faculty at Thomas Nelson Community College from 2000-2005, and in prior years served as adjunct faculty at the College of William & Mary, Old Dominion University, and in Eastern State Hospital's psychiatric residency program. In addition, she was a senior staff psychologist with the Colonial Community Mental Health Center in Williamsburg, a post which she held for many years.
She has a doctorate in Education and counseling psychology from the College of William & Mary. Today she is an international photojournalist with major projects in South Africa, Namibia, Singapore, Australia, Suriname, Provence, Costa Rica, and Ecuador over the last decade. She is currently spending time in the United States on projects in Virginia, Florida, and Tennessee.
But Dr. Ellen is perhaps most well known for her 14 years as president of the Williamsburg Area S.P.C.A. (now known as the Heritage Humane Society) where she established a program of orphaned wildlife rescue services, and raised public awareness about the welfare of all animals.
As the head of the S.P.C.A., Dr. Ellen talked to lots of school children about animals; especially about what to do (and what not to do!) when you find an orphaned animal. She would do this often, bringing with her 5 or 6 baby squirrels or even baby birds or raccoons or fawns who were found without their mothers. Boy, was that fun!
Her interest in writing children's book comes from a life-time of environmental advocacy. A strong supporter of 'Wildlife Warrior' Steve Irwin of Australia, Dr. Ellen realizes that education is the key to our Planet's survival. She tries to help spread the word to children who, one day, will be in leadership positions that will affect the very future of our planet.
Besides, she says, kids are just plain fun to be around. (Oh, and animals, too, says Willi!)
Watch for more of Dr. Ellen's childrens book in the future! The next one is going to be about 'Little Edgar, the Squirrel' who lived in Dr. Ellen's household for seven years until his death. He was crippled by a fall from his nest during a hurricane, and needed help with eating since his teeth were severely damaged. You will love him!
Willi is a 12-year old spayed female dog, so she can't have puppies. She has never had any puppies.
Is your female dog spayed, too? She should be, just like Willi! A healthy female dog can give birth many times during its life, bringing into the world half a dozen puppies each time. The problem is that there just aren't enough good homes for all of the puppies being born to all the dogs out there. Each year, in fact, 10 million dogs and cats are put to death in animal shelters across the United States for exactly this reason.
We 'spay' female dogs and 'neuter' male dogs. These are the terms we use to describe fixing dogs so that they can't produce any more babies.
Remember Doley from the WILLI book? Doley is a neutered male dog. Good, huh?!
Willi and Lance Pedigo are very good friends. Lance is Drum Major for Colonial Williamsburg's famous FIFES & DRUMS and you met him in the WILLI book. Here they are pictured together along side the mighty James River near Jamestown, Virginia, where Willi's story begins. Lance is the handsome fellow in the middle with the drum (of course)!
Have you ever seen the Fifes and Drums perform? What are you WAITING for?