Latke, the Lucky Dog is available at your local Judaica store, or online here.
Read about where Ellen got her inspiration for Latke below:
“Where does your inspiration come from?” It’s a frequent question I’m asked. And the easy answer is “life.” The more satisfying answer is, “ family, students, friends, nature, books. If you observe and listen, inspiration is everywhere.”
For Latke, the Lucky Dog, the inspiration was right at home. Our own shaggy haired, medium sized, golden brown Jazzie gave us14 years of laughter, fun and challenges.
When Jazzie arrived at our home, she was an adorable, fluffy puppy. Being the diligent “parent,” I enrolled the two of us in “Puppy Pre-school.” Jazzie quickly became the star of the class. “Wow!” I thought. “This training will be a piece of cake.” Of course, once we were home, it was a different story. As I walked in the kitchen one morning, there on the floor was a book with all the corners chewed to bits. I recognized the book immediately. How to Train Your Puppy. This was certainly my first sign as to just who was really in charge.
Our Jazzie, just like Latke, really did chew up one of the kids’s favorite dreidels. Our Jazzie really did tear open Hanukkah presents. (see photos below) And our Jazzie, just like Latke, eventually learned the rules. (Well, most of them anyway) Given the opportunity she would eat the sufganiyot, no matter what the rules were! And like Latke, my children always came to Jazzie’s defense. They loved her no matter what.
Anyone who’s had a pet, knows they are more than animals. They are family members. And of course, we all know exactly what they would be saying if they could talk.
So when I got ready to write a story with a dog as “the star,” I had all the material I needed. I thought it would be really fun to use voice of Latke. (Because they do talk, right?) Mostly, Latke, the Lucky Dog is a story of unconditional love. Just as Jazzie gave us, just as we gave her.