It's no secret that Montanans love their dogs. One Montana woman is showing that love by making her dog the star of children's books she writes.
Rubix Ruckus Reubenstein came into Jennifer Nitz's life about six and a half years ago when she was working in West Yellowstone. Rubix is a rescue, and the two would go hiking to get to know each other when they first met. Nitz renamed Rubix as part of the bonding process, she says he played a part in choosing his theatrical name.
When I said 'Rubix,' he jumped and spun and just looked at me like it was the greatest word in the world," Nitz said. "Ruckus, because he does know how to cause one. Rubenstein, a spin-off of Einstein because he's so smart."
Nitz took pictures of Rubix during their bonding hikes, and she realized his entertaining name and wide-eyed curiosity made him the perfect candidate to star in a children's book. Nitz is a licensed EMT, has a background in environmental education and has experience as a tour guide. She's not an author by training, but she wanted to share her love of the outdoors with kids through Rubix's experiences.
"I think just seeing things through his eyes is the same way as, you know, a child would see the world," Nitz said. "Just introducing kids to the outdoor environment and other animals."
Nitz has written two books about Rubix's adventures, and she helps him "pawtograph" them with a paw-print inside the cover. She hopes kids and adults who read Rubix's stories will get excited to learn about the animals and wilderness that he loves.
Nitz and Rubix will be at Fact and Fiction books in Missoula for story time and a "pawtograhing" session on Saturday, January 19.