Pippi the Black Lab and author of picture book Tails with Gig isn’t a slacker. She just has a short attention span for drudge work, especially when she knows she can count on her human friend, Gig Babson, to manage administrative tasks. Sure enough, the day before Pippi was scheduled to make a very important author’s appearance at Wellesley Books, it was Gig who was putting together doggy treat bags to gift to Pippi’s fans.
“I don’t mind,” Gig said. “Tomorrow we’re going to set up a table outside the store, sign books, give away dog treats. It’s going to be fun.”
When the big day came, crowds of people and pets lined up outside Wellesley Books to buy Pippi’s book and meet the star author, along with Gig (who provides dictation for Pippi in the book, and on Pippi’s blog); and Kathy Macdonald, the book’s illustrator.
Tails with Gig, follows Pippi’s escapades during the pandemic as she grows from a puppy to a young dog. There are food adventures, of course—tuna fish somehow goes missing (tasty, but Pippi would like to try out the packed-in-oil variety next time). Shoes are chewed. Messes are made. Important household items go missing. Just another day in the life of a young dog trying hard to be a very good girl, without losing her natural vivacity or lust for life (or for Moose, her boyfriend.)
Not that Pippi is letting success go to her head, but her book is currently in its third printing. The project is almost entirely a local affair. Watson Printing on Cedar Street handled the publication of the story. “They did a great job,” Kathy said. “The paper look and feel was essential, and when we got it back, the book looked really nice.”
An initial printing of 50 copies sold out almost immediately. Wellesley Books snapped up 10 to sell on consignment in the store. The rest were purchased by family, friends, and those who closely watch literary trends. After the first batch of books was gone, Pippi suggested they think bigger. Gig and Kathy agreed and put in an order for 200 more. Then another 200. “Welcome to the world of self-publishing,” Kathy laughed.
Pippi is currently trying to earn her Canine Good Citizen Certificate from the American Kennel Club. It’s a goal that so far has remained out of reach, much to Pippi’s mystification. “After you read my book, will you help me understand why I don’t yet have that Certificate?” she asks in her official promotional brochure.
Proceeds from Tails with Gig are donated to the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. If such generosity doesn’t get Pippi her coveted Canine Good Citizen Certificate, well then, that piece of paper is simply not worth chewing to bits. Pippi darling, you are such a good girl.
About Katherine L. Babson, Jr.
An avid hiker and life-long dog owner, “Gig” finds her life full of adventure with her pandemic puppy, Pippi, by her side. A retired attorney, a former Wellesley Select Board member and Town Moderator, Gig has served in Wellesley town government for over 50 years.
Gig is a graduate of Wellesley High School and received her AB from Vassar College, her MBA from Babson College, her JD from Boston College Law School, and an Honorary Doctor of Law from Babson College. Pippi’s adventures are chronicled on Facebook at @KatherineBabson.
About Katherine K. Macdonald
Outdoors woman, animal lover, and artist, Kathy enjoyed illustrating Pippi’s mischief. Kathy received her BA from Central Connecticut College, with a major in English and a minor in art. She received her MBA from Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College. She is primarily an oil painter and recently exhibited at PAAM in Provincetown, MA.
- The Swellesley Report, by the way, is self-published, too. If you like what we do and want to help, please consider making a completely non-deductible contribution
- Subscribe to Swellesley’s daily email