When author and journalist Scott Fayner was trying to decide what his next project would be, he looked around him. And saw dogs. Lots of dogs.
That's because at the time, Fayner was working at a dog daycare facility. Talk about drawing inspiration from your daily life.
Fayner, a 1989 graduate of Newton North, said he grew up in Newton with dogs and knew a lot about dogs, so the idea just seemed natural to him.
"I wanted to help children learn from a young age about breeds and their characteristics and energy levels, so when they grow up they'll have a better knowledge about which ones to choose," he said. "If you have a breed like a Jack Russell Terrier in an apartment when you work all day they will ruin your house, and they end up in pounds, so it was a great project to help try to prevent that."
His new book, written with co-author Katie Bazaz, is called "The ABCs of DOGs", and takes children through all the different dog breeds from A-Z, with two dogs for each letter of the alphabet. On the last page is a place for children to imagine their own type of dog breed with the characteristics that they like the best.
Fayner met his co-author Bazaz, through their job at the dog daycare center. Although Fayner had experience with writing, Bazaz did not, and neither had any experience with publishing.
"Katie had never been a part of something like this, but and she was really great," Fayner said. "I never could have done this without her."
Through his work on the book, Fayner said the most interesting thing he learned was more about smaller breeds of dogs.
"I've always liked big dogs, so I looked at smaller breeds as one type, like they were all the same," he said. "But they really are not and have all different personalities."
"I also learned it's not easy to write a book," he said.
The book is currently on sale at Sooki in the South End, a women's clothing and boutique store owned by Fayner's mother, Suzan Griffith. Fayner said besides Amazon.com, the store is the only place where you can find his book right now, and based on how passionate South End residents are about their dogs, he thinks it's a good fit.
"The South End community is passionate about their dogs and treating them properly," he said. "It's a good way for young people to get started loving dogs, and maybe they'll want a career working with dogs one day."
And maybe it isn't just for kids.
"What’s funny is that a lot of adults read it and they’re like, 'I learned so much!'" he said.