‘Danny Dog’ rescue tale shared at 60 school assemblies

Carmel Valley resident Sid Shapira and his book “Danny Dog” reached a milestone last week at Sage Canyon School, recording his 60th school visit for his children’s book that shares the message about pet rescue, adoption and second chances.

At the April 25 assembly, Myrna Zambrano, district director for State Senator Toni Atkins, honored Shapira for his accomplishment. Each of his 60 school visits has featured a reading of his book and a visit from Danny, who happily receives a gentle pet from each student in attendance.

Shapira was inspired to write “Danny Dog” after he and his wife Sheryl adopted fluffy gray Shih-Tzu Danny four years ago.

Sage Canyon first graders with Danny.
Sage Canyon first graders with Danny. (Karen Billing)

In talking to the Emerald City Pet Rescue organization that saved Danny and cared for him while he was homeless, Shapira learned more about what the dog went through and felt his story should be told.

“He’s been such a wonderful addition to our family and brought us so much joy,” Shapira said.

The book tells how Danny was found wandering lost in a parking lot by a grandmother and her two granddaughters. They contacted the rescue group and Danny, then called Jing Jing, spent many days in a cage. He was taken in by one family who had to return him due to their dog not getting along with Danny. The Shapiras fell in love with Danny the second they saw him and gave him his happy ending, his forever home.

Shapira has now shared “Danny Dog” to schools all over San Diego, from Chula Vista to Carlsbad, Point Loma to Santee. He has also traveled with Danny to Seattle and did a Skype reading with a school in South Carolina.

A slideshow showed the audience how Danny enjoys playing with balls, chasing his two car sisters and receiving attention from neighborhood dogs and kids. When the slideshow flashed on several Sage Canyon students in Danny’s neighborhood, the kids cheered.

Shapira hopes “Danny Dog” encourages people to support rescue organizations and to adopt homeless pets but he also hopes it reminds readers of the power of believing in second chances.

“Everyone deserves a second chance,” Shapira said.

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