The Adventures of Gus: A Therapy Dog and So Much More
By: Cindy Cook Gant
Illustrated By: Beth Arnold DeMont
About the Book
Gus is a cute and cuddly puppy from a big litter of brothers and sisters. Gus is a black Goldendoodle, and he feels left out because his siblings are yellow. But when Gus meets a tall man and a lady carrying a baby, he goes home with them to his forever home. Even though it’s scary to meet new people and live in a new place, Gus feels very lucky and loved.
The Adventures of Gus series is based on the author’s real-life therapy dog. As a K–12 school counselor, Cindy Cook Gant brought Gus to help with Character Education guidance activities that engaged children in her Kansas school district. In honor of his loving spirit, The Adventures of Gus will instill good character, love, and kindness in young readers.
About the Author
Cindy Cook Gant was born in Paducah, Kentucky, but reared in Independence, Kansas. Her family enjoyed the comforts of a small town and all the community offered. The Neewalloah (Halloween spelled backwards) celebration was the “icing on the cake” in Independence.
Cindy realized in kindergarten she wanted to become a teacher. She attended the University of Kansas for her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and taught various K-8 grades.
Later, she completed a master’s degree in K-12 Counseling at Emporia State University. During the last eight years of her counseling career, she met and fell in love with Gus, her black Goldendoodle. Gus was by her side constantly and helped her tremendously with the Character Education Counseling Program as the school’s therapy dog. Gus was loved by everyone: students, teachers, staff, administrators, and the community.
After 32 years of being in education, she and Gus retired from the school system. Cindy and her husband, Kevin, live on their cattle ranch with their cattle, horses, and dogs. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren.
About the Illustrator
Beth Arnold DeMont learned at an early age that drawing on the kindergarten building in Ashland, Kansas, was not acceptable. She enjoyed doodling and serious art in the 7th grade, but the high school she attended did not offer art courses.
Growing up, Beth lived on a big cattle ranch and loved animals. She had an owl, raccoon, cats, and horses and considered them her friends. Ranching and rodeo were their lives.
Beth later enrolled in one art class at Garden City Kansas Community Junior College not knowing what a color wheel was, but then took a huge leap and enrolled at Fort Hays State University in the art education program. She learned quickly that she was behind the other students and was told by professors she needed to go into graphic arts.
Later, she taught high school and middle school art for 33 years in Kansas—she loved teaching! She also learned to be a researcher on art mediums and techniques. She taught with Cindy and Gus was a therapy dog, friend, and light at White City schools. He would often come to the art building and bring joy and giggles. Everyone loved Gus!
Retirement has brought exciting and new challenges for Beth, including this, her first job as an illustrator. She considers it an honor to be a part of the wonderful journey for Gus, Cindy, and all of the students and staff he brought joy to throughout the years.