Having worked with kids in a therapeutic setting, I was always fascinated by the manner in which children will relate to animals when they are experiencing distress or uncomfortable feelings. This is what drove me to use Roxie as a character that would allow kids to discuss their own feelings in a safe and non threatening way.
Both real and fictional animals have been used for years to assist children and teens who are struggling with difficult situations, emotional issues, kids who are on the autism spectrum has shown to benefit from equine and canine therapy.
In the story and first book, the focus is about finding and moving to a new home. Roxie begins her journey with trepidation, but finds that she can “talk” to the adults who she trusts, which gives her confidence that her adoption will work out.
Kids can be encouraged to suggest feelings that Roxie, or her sister Mina, might have as they navigate through the story. Kids will generally say the animal, in this case Roxie, is feeling what they are feeling. This allows them to be honest and clear about their worries, fears and dreams.
Parents, step parents or adoptive parents and grandparents can engage with a child using the book and using the talking points that were developed by a therapist. Additionally, Roxie is a “real life” dog, not just an animated image, and children can email Roxie and share their experiences if they wish.