Stray dog in Ghana leaves mark on author’s heart

LIMA — Throughout the course of life, one trip or interaction can have a lasting impact on a person and change them forever. This is true for one author who wrote a children’s book about the bond between a young girl and her dog. Lima native Sophie Starr shared her story and new book at the Lima Rotary Club on Monday afternoon.

“My goal was to write a book where children can look at the fun pictures, laugh and have a good time,” Starr. “When adults read the book I hope they can get a message out of it as well.”

The book titled “Roman to the Rescue” tells of the journey between a canine and her owner. In real life, Starr said she met a stray dog on a mission trip in Ghana. The dog named Roman and the people of Ghana left a mark on her heart. During the trip, she decided to bring Roman home to the United States.

“One thing I noticed (while on the trip) from people who had such little access to health care and other resources that could have been available to them was their faith,” Starr said. “The joy and openness they showed me was life-changing. It was incredible for me to see the joy emitting from these children who were playing soccer with a flat soccer ball, who were missing teeth, and who had little to nothing.”

Starr also said the trip helped her during a hard time in life. She hopes the book inspires others on their journey as well.

“What I would want people to take away from it (the book) is that you can change,” Starr said. “You do not have to be the way that you are now forever. Whether you are 5 and you have a bad temper or whether you are 80 and you are bitter and resentful. You can always choose a different way to think, live, and be — we’re not defined by our mistakes.”

The book is available for purchase at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Starr said she has two other books she hopes to publish.

“Something else that is really important to me is giving back in the same way Roman gave me,” Starr said. “A portion of every purchase is donated to animal rescues worldwide.”

For more information visit “Roman to the Rescue” on Facebook.

Reach Precious Grundy at 567-242-0351.