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Jimmy’s Tree — A Children’s Book by Joe Ozier

The True Life and Death Struggle of an Abandoned Family Dog

Written for Ages Between 2-10, but suggested for the kid in everyone.

Jimmy’s Tree: The story of an abandoned dog who bit the hands that loved him. Due out in 2018, Jimmy’s Tree reveals the truth behind a family dog, who was left to suffer and die. After months of living alone and in fear, Jimmy fought to eat and survive while living in the hole of a tree. Thankfully, Jimmy was spotted by a kind volunteer from a local dog rescue while she was cleaning her car.  She saw him run into the tree so she came back that evening and eventually trapped Jimmy and took him to a nearby shelter. Having turned feral, he snarled or bit the loving volunteers who just wanted to help him.  Seeing no real progress, Jimmy was deemed an “institutional” dog and was never made available for adoption. Jimmy was discovered by Joe 19 months after his rescue from the tree. Joe Wasn’t Looking to Own Another Dog Excerpt from Jimmy’s Tree: “I first met Jimmy in the spring of 2013, when I volunteered for seven months as a Dog Trainer at a local shelter in Fresno, California. Jimmy was only one of a few dozen dogs I helped to be better prepared when they got adopted. After hearing Jimmy’s story about being abandoned at a car wash, it saddened me because he had already been living in the shelter for 19 months. Deciding to catch jimmy was one thing…catching him was another. Jimmy was going to be my next dog to help, but I quickly found out I had to catch him first. He was skinny, distressed, and quite aloof. He was also very fast, and had sharp teeth. I hadn’t even noticed his amazing tail because it was filthy, droopy and lifeless, because he always dragged it in the dirt.”

Jimmy Wouldn’t Let Me Near Him

“I spent some time just trying to catch him so I could put my leash around him, but he was quick and dodgy. Jimmy wouldn’t let me near him, so I enlisted the help of a fourteen year-old female volunteer. She helped me corner Jimmy so I could throw a blanket over him, then hold him down with my shoe, just to get a leash past his snarling and biting face.” Jimmy's Tree | Fresno, Clovis, Chowchilla, Madera, Visalia, Tulare, Hanford “Since Jimmy’s adoption on June 12, 2013, I’ve taken him with me to a hundred of my Shea’s Lounge children’s book sales & signings. Now I’ll take him with me to his own Jimmy’s Tree book signings. He’s been petted in stores and local Pop-up vendor events and at book readings all around the Valley. He’s even been is several schools that allowed dogs. Having people love on Jimmy was a big part of my rehabilitation and socialization program for him. I knew that he was worth the time and trouble and patience it took me to get him domesticated.”

Illustrated by Sheila Sanders

Jimmy's Tree | Fresno, Clovis, Chowchilla, Madera, Visalia, Tulare, Hanford

Sheila Is the Owner of Pet Portraits by Sheila & Sheila’s Art Studio. Contact Sheila When You Want the Best Painting Possible of Your Pet. 559-284-1041

Jimmy Had Been Dumped at a Car Wash as a Young Innocent Dog

This Portrait of Jimmy was painted only 3 1/2 years after his short time spent with me.  As a Puppy, Jimmy had been dumped at a car wash.  How could anyone expect a young innocent dog to fight and survive in a world of animals and hostile life? Unfortunately, that’s the problem…the people didn’t care if Jimmy would survive or not. Jimmy had little chance against the animals that had already been surviving in that harsh environment way before he ever arrived. When Joe first found Jimmy, a Pomeranian and Terrier (possibly Dachshund) mix at a local shelter, he was the one of the many dogs who always ran to the opposite side of the pen and wouldn’t let anyone near them. Jimmy's Tree | Fresno, Clovis, Chowchilla, Madera, Visalia, Tulare, Hanford

No One Could Pick Him Up

With the exception of one or two volunteers, no one could actually pick him up or to even get near him. Jimmy was at ARF for 19 months and probably would have died of old age or from a nervous driven heart attack. Jimmy was always so edgy and tense and quite unhappy. I used to call him Jumpy Jimmy because he was so nervous, but not anymore!  Now Joe calls him “The Chicken” because his old deep feral fears have subsided into simply being a little nervous.

He Bit Me Numerous Times and Drew Blood Every Time He Bit

With the help of a young volunteer girl, they cornered Jimmy so Joe could throw a blanket over him. He held him steady with his boot just long enough to put a leash over his snarling, snapping and fully frightened biting face! He was quite scary to say the least. During his transformation, Jimmy bit Joe numerous times and drew blood every time he bit. Joe learned about those previous 19 months of Jimmy living at the shelter, and biting many of the volunteers.

Unfortunately, Many People Don’t Look at Dogs as Family Members

Jimmy is like many…many dogs in America, who for any number of reasons, find themselves dumped on the streets or into shelters. Once there, it is hard for them to survive or to get placed into another home. Most end up starved, or killed by cars or bloodies up from dog or animal attacks. Unfortunately, many people in America really don’t look at dogs as family members. Some see dogs as expendables and of something they can simply return or casually dump out on a country road if they don’t work out.  The reasons may be as simple as “just Because”, or for any number of things that all boil down to maybe finances and a lot of poor reasons and excuses for treating a dog this way. Unfortunately, Dogs don’t simply match peoples expectations miraculously through some sort of “Vulcan mind meld”. Dogs need intervention and interruption of their own ideas and raging worries. Real connection comes when Dogs get their directions and rules and understandings from proactive humans! Dog owners  MUST ALSO BE DOG Trainers. Your dog must sense that your presence and leadership are clear and concise and fair, and that your training and techniques are administered in ways that are easy to follow for dogs and their people.  This is where Way of a Dog comes in!

This is where I come in!

See Jimmy’s transformation from fearing the leash to learning how it helped him to connect with me and to all the good things he has received since. all of this was accomplished by simply teaching him how to be Calm, Relaxed & Submissive.  Where he is lead depends on the owner.  So remember…Don’t Fear the Leash!

This is the video documenting Jimmy’s transformation…in June of 2013.

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