That's 105 in dog years — but hey, who's counting?

February 4, 2015 • Posted in blindness, Blogroll, careers/jobs for people who are blind, guide dogs, Hanni, Seeing Eye dogs, Uncategorized, visiting libraries, visiting schools, Writing for Children by

Me, seven-year-old Hanni and our book when it first came out in 2007.

My retired Seeing Eye dog Hanni will turn fifteen years old this weekend! She was only five years old when I started sending Hanni and Beth: Safe & Sound out to agents and publishers, and now, ten years later, the book and its star are still going strong. Just this past weekend a brand new review of Safe & Sound came out on a dogblog called Reading with Rhythm, And the good news? They liked it! Here’s an excerpt :

This book presents a great picture of what it’s like to be a working dog. It’s about the job at hand, but the story is also about the relationship between Beth and Hanni. How they had to learn to trust each other because both their lives depended on that trust. How that trust was the foundation for a deep love. It’s a lovely tale.

The star of the Reading with Rhythm blog is a real-life Black Lab named Rhythm who visits schools and the Somervell County Library in Glen Rose, Texas, where kids come and share books with her and sharpen their reading skills. The latest Reading with Rhythm post reports that Electra, a guide-dog puppy, came along with Rhythm on a recent school visit…and so did a copy of Hanni and Beth: Safe & Sound! The review says our book was “perfect for 3rd-graders” and “suitable for all ages, young and old.”

Hanni will be celebrating her birthday this weekend with Nancy and Steven, the wonderful couple who adopted her when she retired, and this book review sure is a great way to kickstart that celebration. Thank you, Reading with Rhythm, and here’s to you, Hanni. As the Beatles like to say: “So glad it’s your birthday — happy birthday to you – oooo!”

Marsha On February 4, 2015 at 6:52 am

Happy birthday, Hanni!

Sheila Kelly Welch On February 4, 2015 at 8:46 am

Good morning, Beth,

What a lovely post to read first thing today. I feel as if I knew Hanni well even though I only was with her a little while. Today I’ll be going to the library with my second therapy dog, Tristan, so children can read to him. I am so happy to hear that Hanni is still enjoying her retirement. She has been a lucky dog — having two sets of wonderful humans to love her. Happy birthday, Hanni!

bethfinke On February 4, 2015 at 10:05 am

Oh, yes, and we are lucky humans, too!


Diana Conley On February 4, 2015 at 10:24 am

Comment link came up with an error. I hope Beth sees this……………..

I LOVE the book and my Granddaughter Olivia can tell the story. My reading it to her, talking about the pictures, is one of our favorite things to do. Happy Birthday Hanni!

Diana Conley

bethfinke On February 5, 2015 at 8:18 am

This review from olivia ranks right up there with the one from Rhythm. Thanks, Diana –I could read it loud and clear.


Karen Giammarese On February 4, 2015 at 3:28 pm

Hanni and Beth: Safe & Sound: AWESOME book; I love it! The story and illustrations are wonderful!!

Date: Wed, 4 Feb 2015 11:42:56 +0000 To:

bethfinke On February 4, 2015 at 5:01 pm

My guess is that you especially like that illustration of us at a ballgame, right?


readingwithrhythm On February 9, 2015 at 5:04 pm

Thanks Ms Finke!!! We love, love, love this book and I’m really happy to hear that Hanni is doing well!!!! 😛

bethfinke On February 9, 2015 at 7:21 pm

What a coincidence: we love, love, love your blog, Rhythym


Deborah Darsie On February 16, 2015 at 3:27 pm

I love Rhythm’s blog, thanks for introducing it to an uninitiated human.

Please pass along some birthday love to Hanni. She is a lucky dog to have had such an amazing life.

bethfinke On February 16, 2015 at 10:50 pm

Oh, you are sweet. And what a coincidence: Nancy, Steven Mike and I are lucky humans to have had Hanni play such an important role in our lives, too.


Leave a Response