As I’m sure was also the case with many of you, some of my favorite books growing up were about animals. From ‘Runaway Bunny’ to ‘The Pokey Little Puppy,’ I always found stories more engaging when a furry friend was the protagonist. A new children’s book of this variety starring a skilled and loyal police dog was written by the officer who works with him.
Jeff Froelich, a Jefferson County, NY sheriff’s deputy, spent his lockdown pretty productively. Froelich, inspired by his K9 partner, decided to write his story down. He started writing in March, and the book hit shelves just a few weeks ago.
Released in October 2020, the book tells a story of Abel, a Belgian Malinois. Named after the first-ever sheriff of Jefferson County, Dr. Abel Sherman, Abel first joined the police force back in 2016. North Country Kennel Club made a generous donation to help purchase him for the department.
After completing training, Abel earned the skills for drug detection, tracking, and handler protection. He’s very good at his important jobs.
As for Froelich, he hails originally from Baltimore, Maryland and spent 20 years in the U.S. Army. Froelich retired from the service in 2008 before joining the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. Three years on patrol later, the deputy was selected for his department’s elite K9 unit.
The rest, as they say, was history. And it’s also an enjoyable children’s book!
About “I Am Abel”
The story of Abel is told through the dog’s perspective, Froelich explained to WWNY. He hopes young people will connect with the pup’s story and point of view.
“[Children] have to go to school, he had to go to school. They have to do homework, he has to do homework. They have to practice their things and he has to practice his things too, so the kids can really relate to it.”
The proceeds from the book will go to a non-profit organization called Protecting K9 Heroes. The organization provides ballistic vests and first aid kits to police dogs and their handlers across the country.
You can purchase a copy for yourself on Amazon, though stock is understandably low. A description of the story states:
“Join Abel, a remarkable, fun-loving Belgian Malinios destined for greatness, on his journey from puppyhood to Deputy Sheriff K-9. Watch as he learns the value of hard work and the true meaning of partnership. You just might learn a thing or two, too!”
The hardcover book spans 30 pages. If you have children (or nieces and nephews, neighbors…) this sounds like the perfect thing to pick up and read with them.