There are dog people and then there is Amy Luwis. In dog world, Amy is a multi-hyphenate triple threat: author-cartoonist-advocate. As a life-long animal lover and co-founder of Adopt-a-Pet.com, Amy has worked tirelessly to make the world a better place for all of its living creatures.
Her latest endeavor is the forthcoming book For Dog’s Sake!: A Simple Guide to Protecting Your Pup from Unsafe Foods, Everyday Dangers, and Bad Situations, which hits stores on May 3rd! This little book packs quite a powerful punch, combining crucial information about your dog’s health and well-being with funny illustrations and cute infographics. Like this one right here:
From the do’s and don’ts of playing safe with bones to holiday hazards to what qualifies as a “good-looking poop” (yes, there is such a thing), this book has everything you need to help keep your pup happy and healthy.
We had the opportunity to speak with Amy and learn more about the book as well as her background in animal rescue. We learned a lot from this conversation… including that even obsessive dog lovers like us have a lot to learn!
Amy’s wonderful history of helping dogs traces back to her childhood roots. Growing up in the woods of Virginia, her family would often rehabilitate wildlife, including stray pups. Her father in particular instilled in her a love of animals. As Amy says, “I’ve always been drawn to — for lack of a better word — underdogs.”
“Underdog” is the perfect word to describe Amy’s inspiring work. It certainly fits her role in co-founding the non-profit Adopt-a-Pet.com. What started as a local online website with 50 shelters has since exploded into a powerful advocate for animals in need, now with over 16,000 participating organizations. According to Amy, their goal was and continues to be “to act as a strong, loud voice for homeless animals.”
Amy has lent more than just her voice to dogs in need. She’s also an accomplished illustrator. In fact, you’ve already been enjoying just a few of her clever, compelling drawings. To Amy, cartooning is not just about making someone laugh. It’s also one of the most effective ways to share a difficult message — to help find the humor and humanity in a painful or confusing topic.
After all, how else can you take something like heatstroke and make it informative, easy to understand, but also, like, pretty cute?
For her latest book, Amy combined her cartooning skills with a wealth of research and consultations with professionals, then translated it from smart-sounding medical jargon into something that the average human could understand.
Making dog safety accessible and enjoyable to everyday people was one of the central reasons Amy wanted to write this book. More often than we realize, well-intentioned pup parents like you and I cause inadvertent harm to our dogs, simply because we aren’t as educated about the hazards that threaten our four-legged best buds — hazards that are often lurking in our everyday routines.
For instance, did you know that human medications are the number one culprit of pet poisoning? Or that the beautiful snow globe from Aunt Margaret on your coffee table contains the lethal ingredient antifreeze?
I did. I knew both of these things. But only because I read Amy’s book.
While many dog health resources are already out there, none of them are like Amy’s book. Sure, some of us may own a thick, 400-page vet technician textbook (that we’ve never opened), and while these are full of excellent information — and guaranteed to impress any guests in your home — they’re also long, difficult to read, and devoid of illustrations. Although Amy would never say it (because she’s very polite), I will (because I’m rude): those books are boring! More importantly, their inaccessibility makes it less likely that a pup parent will pick it up and learn about their dog.
While dog parents seem like the go-to audience for this book, For Dog’s Sake! is really for anyone in the dog world — vets, dog-sitters, shelter employees, pup lovers, and hey, why not, any dog out there who can read. (And if you are a dog and you’re reading this, wow. Just… wow.)
There’s something for everyone to learn in this book. Even Amy was surprised by the knowledge she acquired through the writing of For Dog’s Sake! — like, for instance, how seaweed can expand up to 10 times its original size in a dog’s stomach! The most surprising thing Amy realized was how common it still is for dogs to be left in a hot car. Even with open windows, this is very dangerous. Luckily, the book tackles this topic and suggests several great ways to keep your pup cool on a hot day.
Amy has used her cartooning talent and love of dogs to help other causes, too. Take, for instance, Hilarity for Charity, the Alzheimer’s awareness organization co-founded by actors and dog parents Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller Rogen.
Like us, Seth, Lauren, and their pup Zelda are big fans of Amy and her latest book.
After learning about Hilarity for Charity, Amy and her husband, musician Bryan Aspey, created the below PSA. And, just as she always has as an animal advocate, Amy used humor, heart, and a hilarious dog to deliver a powerful message:
So, you’re not just helping your dog — you’re helping other dogs, too.
For Dog’s Sake! hits shelves and online stores on Tuesday, May 3. You can learn more about the book and Amy’s amazing efforts by visiting the book’s website — and you can order it right here! Your dog will thank you. In fact, all the dogs will.
Be sure to check out the book’s delightful trailer, below: