New Kids’ Book Illustrates Why Dogs are Humanity’s Best Friends

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Authors Michael and Linda Amiri say ‘Shellie, the Magical Dog’ was inspired by their own entertaining pup.

Michael and Linda Amiri’s new book, “Shellie, the Magical Dog,” (, aims to entertain and inspire children the way the couple’s dog has inspired people in real life.

“Shellie really does have an extraordinary amount of character – everywhere we go she seems to be the life of the party,” says Michael of the charismatic Maltese. “Dogs are the perfect ice-breaker for human social engagements. Dogs like Shellie do much to show us our humanity.”

The colorfully illustrated book tells the story of how Shellie uses her magic to help out her family, which includes the dog’s “parents,” Michael and Linda, and her “brother,” 6-year-old Kelly. When Kelly has trouble memorizing a speech for school, it is ultimately Shellie, and her “magic belly that smells like strawberry jelly,” that helps him.

“Dogs help people with their problems – from service dogs for blind and disabled people to therapy dogs. They have a tremendous capacity to help people overcome emotional issues as well,” Michael says. “I never had a dog growing up – but I wish I had because I was extremely shy and a dog could have given me the confidence to interact with others.”

In the beach community where the Amiris live, Linda owns a hair salon, where Shellie serves as hostess.

“A lot of salons have a young, pretty girl as their hostess,” Linda says, “but Shellie is perfect as the small, cute and disarming dog that puts my customers at ease.”

Shellie is a little celebrity in the Amiri’s community – she even has her own martini glass when she needs water while the couple eats at their favorite restaurants.

About Michael and Linda Amiri

Michael Amiri grew up in New York City and became an actor in local theater productions and television commercials. Linda Amiri is an entrepreneur, the owner of a successful hair and nail salon. Their personality-plus Maltese, Shellie, is a popular community character, who puts in a full day of work every day as a greeter at her “mom’s” salon. She’s the inspiration for the first in a series of children’s books that will address topics and issues of concern to children.

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Ginny Grimsley
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