Local author, pooch teach children about rescue pets

Al Miller brought the story of rescue dog Fraggle — and Fraggle himself — to Belle Terre Elementary teacher Donna Giglio's first grade class.

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When Belle Terre Elementary School first-grade teacher Donna Giglio taught her 17 students about pets last month, she was looking for a way to make the lesson real. Local author Al Miller, her neighbor, was able to do that.

Miller had self-published a children’s book about his dog, Fraggle, who’d been rescued from a puppy mill. Designed to raise awareness about abusive puppy mills without being too graphic, the story, “Fraggle’s Second Chance,” is written in first-person narrative through the eyes of puppy Fraggle. The story detailed the dog's anxiety as he was separated from his mother and held in the confined spaces of the mill.

So on Sept. 26. Giglio brought Miller and Fraggle to the class to share the story — the latest installment in a regular author visit program that Giglio started about 15 years ago.

“The children were very excited,” Giglio said. “(Fraggle) sat in his little doggy carriage, and the children were so anxious to touch him and hold him, and they were so touched by the story. ... Now they can say, ‘Hey, I can be an author, I can write.’”

Miller signed books for the children.

“Once we do the author study, they’ll go to the media center and they’ll check out the author’s books, and they’ll be so excited,” Giglio said. “They really do make that connection. ... It is a rewarding experience for them, and they carry it forward throughout the year.”


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