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San Angelo Lifestyles

Meet Millie

Written by Taylor Grimm
Photos provided by Kathy Priest-Smith

A Q&A with Kathy Priest-Smith, author of Millie’s Great Dane Adventures

A tackling hug from a Great Dane wasn’t exactly what Kathy Priest-Smith’s husband had in mind after driving across the state to adopt one. The 126-pound dog nearly knocked him over, calling to attention behavioral issues every dog owner will experience at some point. Despite the need for obedience training, Kathy was not willing to give up on Millie. In fact, she loved her so much that she wrote an entire children’s book about her: Millie’s Great Dane Adventures. The San Angelo author is now well into a 10-book series chronicling the tales of their furry family members.

What gave you the idea for this book? 
I took care of my daughter’s Great Dane, and when she left I missed her so much I contacted the breeder about getting one. She told us about Millie, a 15-month old in need of a new home. I think really, we needed each other because my mom was diagnosed with cancer and Millie had to leave her home because of cancer. I call that a ‘God thing.’ God brought us together for a reason. I started making notes about everything that happened to Millie. When I read my notes, I had so many emotions and thought about what a great story it would make. I wanted to share our story and shed some light on the rehoming issues many large dogs face. 

What do you hope young readers will take away from this story?
Mainly I want children and their parents to spend time together reading my book, and learning about Great Danes. I hope they see that with every drawback of owning any dog there is a silver lining. Millie finds the best time to lick you or shake her head launching slobber into the air. She sheds some but will also sit side-by-side with you on the couch and watch television and snuggle.  If you own a dog, enjoy the good and the bad. That being said, not all pets in families work out. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out, with the timing or the people. I want them to know that getting a puppy isn’t the only option, there are a lot of great rescues that have dogs of all ages. The family really needs to sit down and carefully consider the factors in getting a dog. 

I also want the reader to be excited about my book and the events in the book.  I hope they come away with new thoughts, ideas and reading skills. I have used large words in my book to challenge the young readers and to give them a chance to pick up a big word they can use often.  There are lots of words in my book, but I want the reader to read up and read past their expectations.

Kathy is proud to announce a portion of revenue from each book will be donated to a rescue benefitting either Great Danes or German Shorthair Pointers. You can find your copy at various San Angelo locations such as: 

- Eggemeyers Country Store

- Cactus Bookstore

- College Hills Animal Hospital 

- Pure Hearts Pets

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Digital Issue Summer 2022