Some dogs (and people) do

Published 10:20 pm Thursday, April 14, 2016

By Tonya S. Swindell

Recently I drove to Suffolk Public Library. While my oldest son completed a homework assignment, I relaxed by perusing books on a wide variety of topics in the nonfiction section.

With assistance from a librarian, I found a book filled with unique photos and interesting details about people who are homeless in various parts of the country. Vivid images and intimate descriptions reminded that individuals who are homeless are human.

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I used my library card to check out: “Fred Herzog PHOTOGRAPHS”; “Monsoon with Photography and Texts by Motoi Ichihara”; and “BLACK — A Celebration of a Culture” by Deborah Willis. I also borrowed books about art, ABCs and 123s for my younger children to enjoy. Before leaving, I picked up a list of Suffolk Public Library classes and events.

As soon as I got home, my younger son, who is very creative and enjoys making things by hand, used diagrams from a book to draw a cat and an alien head. My daughter grabbed a rhyming book with a pretty princess on the cover, then sat on my lap so we could read it. My youngest son asked me to read a book about a plump and cuddly, tan-colored puppy named “Sid.”

“Some Dogs Do,” written and illustrated by Jez Alborough, tells how Sid felt so happy that he flew to school, instead of walking. He told his friends and teacher his wonderful news about flying, but no one believed him. Sid felt sad about it, so he went home and told his father.

Dad listened while placing paws on his son’s shoulders. Then he asked Sid if he could keep a secret. Before his son could answer, Dad flew into the air just like Sid had done.

Father revealed the secret of flying: “Some dogs don’t fly, and some dogs do.” He told Sid that belief makes all the difference.

After reading “Some Dogs Do,” I realized how important it is to receive opportunities for encouragement, exploration and enjoyment. So the following week I took three of my children to the Chuckatuck library for “Color Explosion.”

Miss Frances, a very patient teacher, encouraged a small group of kids to explore the color wheel and enjoy color mixing. They also combined food coloring, baking soda, vinegar and glitter. Friendly librarians helped us check out books that could be returned to the downtown, North Suffolk or Chuckatuck locations.

As a result of attending a book swap at North Suffolk library, I was able to keep Bibles and reference materials that had been donated by people in the community. Finding those treasures encouraged me to explore and enjoy God’s Word, while continuing to write inspiring articles.

Other patrons may be encouraged to pursue interests, explore new topics and enjoy events offered by Suffolk Public Library. Active participation may lead to new achievements and greater belief in one’s capabilities.

People who believe are more likely to achieve. Some dogs (and people) do, when given the opportunity.

Tonya Swindell writes a blog for and a teacher for Kingdom Building Equipping School ( She can be reached at