Author Susan Beattie, a native Palm Beach resident and former elementary school teacher, is back in the classroom with a new purpose. Beattie is presenting her documentary, “The Making of Luke’s Story” to students of all ages in Palm Beach County schools.
Recently she visited a fourth-grade class at Panther Run Elementary School, where she once taught, to share the documentary, a reading of the book and a surprise appearance of Luke with his trainer.
On Monday, April 7, she will return to promote April is for Authors month. Unfortunately, she will be without Luke, in order to interact with numerous students in other grade levels.
The short film takes its viewers through the process of writing the children’s book, Luke’s Story: A Rescue Puppy’s First Year on Palm Beach & Worth Avenue, from inspiration to publication. The film also highlights the artist/illustrator and graphic designer at work on the book. There are scenes from Big Dog Ranch Rescue with clips of founder Lauree Simmons and volunteer Melissa Pippel, who rescued Luke. Beattie worked with the G-Star School of the Arts to make this documentary.
Luke’s Story: A Rescue Puppy’s First Year on Palm Beach & Worth Avenue is based on the true story of Luke, an abandoned, sick puppy, rescued by Big Dog Ranch Rescue. Luke survived against all odds and was adopted by Worth Avenue jeweler Gregory James. Luke became a door greeter, where he dons his signature red tie and shakes his paw with customers.
Beattie also discusses the responsibilities of pet ownership and the importance of supporting dog rescue organizations through fostering, adoption, volunteering, donations of supplies and money.
The book is currently available for sale online at www.lukesstory.com, at Gregory James Jewelry (209 Worth Avenue) and at Classic Bookstore (310 S. County Road).
ABOVE: Students at Panther Run with author Susan Beattie.