Matter of fact, that’s what you’ll hear on her answering machine when you call Tana Thompson about her brand new book, “Why Dogs Are.”
Hers is one of the dozens of examples of local talent featured in this year’s Holiday Market at Talladega’s Heritage Hall Museum, and one on the surface that bears a simple thought, but looking a little more deeply, a message for all ages, just like she says.
The setting for Thompson’s book is timeless, and the story, exactly what the title reflects.
Thompson tells readers of a little boy who can’t see or hear, and also, how he knows his family and that they love him from how they touch him.
But in heaven, God is wondering how to let this child named Brian know that he, too, loves him, and ponders out loud how to let him know.
God thinks about sending a rainbow, but there’s a problem.
Brian couldn’t see it.
And sending a bird to sing for Brian wouldn’t work, either.
Remember, Brian can’t hear.
Calling a meeting of his resources in heaven, which included the rainbows, the birds, the clouds and the blue skies, God finds an answer.
In his gathering, God spots a golden creature with big brown eyes and a goofy smile on his face and made a decision.
God gives the creature a mission, one that fulfills the wish to have Brian know how much he loves him.
God also instructs the dog to teach Brian two very important lessons, and gave the creature his official name - dog.
“That’s God spelled backwards,” God tells the newly named creature.
The mission is set, the story continues and readers learn the title of the story, “Why Dogs Are.”
The book is also available at all Griffin’s Jewelers locations, the Heritage Hall Museum Gift Shop and Holiday Market and also at The Pigeons Roost just off the downtown square in Talladega.
All proceeds from Thompson’s book will be donated to charities that train and support therapy dogs.
The Talladega author says that the character of Brian is based upon a composite of the many children who have attended school at The Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind in Talladega.
“How does a parent teach a child about concepts that are difficult to grasp even when no disabilities exist,” Thompson said. “My husband, Ken, and I had the privilege to know and work with children who had to learn to live with one or more disabilities, making us intensely aware of some of the difficulties that accompanied eyes that did not see or ears that did not hear.”
In addition to Thompson’s book, the 2013 Holiday Market, which is only open through this Friday at Heritage Hall, includes George and Linda Hartsfield, Cassie and Kenny Love, Lynnette Hesser and Steve Loucks, Adrienne Slater, Marion Yoe, Cathy Sorrell, Harvey and Julia Waits, Teresa Bussie, Beverly Strong, Sandra Holm, Nancy Lutchendorf, Joe Williams, Pinecrest Garden Club, Nettie Bean, Kim Gaddy and Gina Haynes.
The collection in the market includes paintings and holiday decorations, usable pottery in a variety of designs and quilting, and plenty of talent from the hands of the local artists.
Museum director Kelly Williams said the collection of offerings is one that should suit all interests and price ranges.
“The Holiday Market not only provides the opportunity for our patrons to find one of a kind, original fine arts and crafts, not only for themselves, or as gifts for the holiday season,” she said.
The Holiday Market remains open today and Friday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.