Kona the guide dog tells her tale in new children’s book

Comox book signing featuring Paul and Kona Thursday; Courtenay book signing Saturday

Paul and Kona are seen here working by the estuary on a nice summer day.

Kona is a beautiful yellow Labrador retriever.

Her best friend is Paul Horgen, local resident and chair of the board of the Comox Valley Project Watershed Society. Kona is a guide dog and she assists Paul in his daily activities.

Many people do not know how guide dogs are trained or how to behave around a blind person and a guide dog.

Horgen decided to take on a project to change that.

“About two years ago I began writing a book entitled Tales of Kona the Guide Dog. This is Kona’s story and she tells it to the reader as the book’s narrator,” said Horgen.

In the book Kona takes us through her life up until her seventh birthday. You meet her Mom and her 10 brothers and sisters, five of which have become guide dogs. You see how Kona was trained, now helps Paul, and that when she has her harness off, she is just a regular dog who loves to play, dig holes at the beach, and even visits Santa.

“Paul, through this wonderful tribute to Kona, has captured the dedication, love, and devotion of Kona,” says William Thornton, executive director of BC Guide Dog Services. “The book also demonstrates to us the wonderful way that a successful guide dog partnership can enhance not only the life of a visually-impaired guide dog user but also all the lives of those around them. I am quite certain, the Tales of Kona will captivate young readers, as well as parents, teachers, and others that will be reading the book together at home and in school.”

Kona and Paul will be at the Comox Museum today (Dec. 11) from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and will be at the Courtenay Museum on Dec. 13, from noon  to 3 p.m.

You can meet Kona and Paul, purchase a book for a holiday gift, and have it autographed by both Paul and Kona.

The book costs $30, which includes tax. There also will be readings from the book by Caila Holbrook, the online voice of Kona. (Hear Caila read the first chapter at http://talesofkona.com/#/the-book.) And perhaps even a special reading by Jim Gillis.

The book is available locally for pickup at a reduced cost of $25; or can be purchased online and sent to you by mail for $30. In addition to the local museums, the book will also be available at a variety of local outlets, including:

• Comox Valley Animal Hospital

• Van Isle Veterinary Hospital

• The Broken Spoke

A portion of the sales from this book will go towards BC & Alberta Guide Dogs Services. Another portion will go towards Comox Valley Project Watershed Society.

For more information, visit http://talesofkona.com or contact Pieter Vorster via talesofkona@gmail.com.