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Northwood teacher pens children's book in support of animal rescue charities
A TEACHER from Northwood has penned a children's book in support of two animal rescue charities.
Linda Flynn (pictured), head of English at St Martin's School, is the brains behind Hate At First Bite, which will raise vital funds for Animal Rescue Care (ARC) and the Mayhew Animal Home.
The book, aimed at six to nine-year-olds, tells the story of Dude, a rescue dog who embarks on an adventure to the circus, after striking up an unlikely alliance with a cat.
Ms Flynn, who has previously had eight educational books published, said: "As a teacher, I have always had a passion for both reading and writing and it is something that helps me to relax.
"After I got my third dog, Bertie, from the Tibetan Terrier Association, I went to visit the Mayhew Animal Home, based in north west London, which re-homed nearly 800 dogs, cats and rabbits last year.
"I was really impressed - the staff have a difficult job and their dedication inspired me to make a contribution.
"I also wanted to help ARC, which covers a wide area in Middlesex, and has taken in more than 300 pets, including rabbits and guinea pigs.
"The Dogs' Trust gets so much publicity but there are lots of other re-homing organisations and I wanted to do my bit to help them."
Ms Flynn, who also has another rescue dog, Marley, a Hungarian Puli, also wants to use the book to promote a more positive image of pooches in need.
The mother-of-two, who has also written short stories for adults and teenagers, said: "When I received Bertie, he had a few issues - he appeared to be completely deaf and in pain, and it seemed to take him years to follow even the most basic instructions that my dogs learned in weeks or days.
"But thanks to the help of a fantastic vet, his hearing has been now restored.
"Obviously rescue dogs do have problems sometimes, but despite that, he is an incredibly affectionate dog and he loves his home comforts."
As well as her latest tome, two of Ms Flynn's short stories will appear in a collection for youngsters, to be published this summer, in aid of the Children's Hospice Appeal.
So does she agree with the saying that everyone has a book inside them?
"The most important thing is to read as much as possible, to get lots of different ideas and discover your own narrative," Ms Flynn added.
"It's really fulfilling to know that something I enjoy doing so much is also making a difference to the lives of so many animals."
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