Written by Mary Awad Friday, 04 July 2014 00:00
On July 9, local Glen Cove author Mariah Leal will be hosting a workshop at Bayville Public Library to talk about her series of children’s books, The Adventures of Piper. They revolve around a Bull Mastiff puppy named Piper as she is taken into her new home and learns how to live and interact with people and other animals.
Leal writes to educate others about puppy training and socialization in order to promote fruitful training and handling of dogs. In the United States there are an estimated 4.7 million dog bites a year and half
of them involve children; out of all the dogs that are put into shelters, 90% of them have had no training. Leal hopes to decrease these statistics.
“When I began going through the research, I was astonished by the statistics,” said Leal. “Piper and I are really trying to spread the message and educate children so we can cut down on dog bites. We want to protect dogs and children so they can have well-behaved companions that won’t end up in shelters because people are getting frustrated with uneducated puppies.”
After a car accident left Leal disabled and unable to return to work, she adopted Piper to act as her service dog and was inspired to combine her passion for writing and love of dogs to help people realize the importance of dog care within the home. She hopes that her workshop will educate both children and parents on the significance of puppy socialization.
“My first workshop was in Locust Valley and I was surprised with the amount of interaction and participation I got from the children. They were really great and I got great feedback from adults and children
who love the book. We’re hoping to reach out to other libraries and schools to educate people.”
The Adventures of Piper is a series of five books and two have been released thus far: Piper Gets a New Home and Piper’s First Experiences. Leal has completed the other three books in the series and already started her next project, a book about Piper’s adult years where she tells children the benefits of owning a dog.
“I want to show kids that there are a lot of positive aspects about owning a dog. Family activities, walks for charity, competitions, dog parks, there are so many ways that dogs can help people. Piper gave me a gift to be able to use my knowledge and experience to teach children about how great dogs are and how to take care of them.”
Leal has lived in Glen Cove for the past 20 years and takes Piper to Morgan Park for some fresh air and exercise. She will be at Bayville Public Library on July 9 and again with Piper on July 16 at 2 p.m.
Registration for the event is now open. For more information about the event, go to Bayville Library’s website at www.bayvillefreelibrary.org. For more information on Leal and Piper, go to www.mariahleal.com.