Author Dean Lombardo and The Protective and Therapeutic Power of Animals on Our Children and on Us

 dean lombardo


Dana here. I am so happy to introduce Dean Lombardo today. An author with Clean Reads, he is a passionate believer in the benefits animals can give to those in need of healing. But instead of me telling you about it, I’m going to give the floor to him.

Dean Lombardo:  I’m a firm believer that domestic animals provide a social and emotional support system for people in need, particularly children. A pet seems nonjudgmental to a child, and is perceived as comforting, raising the child’s self-esteem and making it easier for the child to express his or herself.

Whether it’s a cat or dog, horse or pony, or even a pig or goat, pets literally provide that warm and fuzzy affection that a troubled child might need when he or she gets home from a bad day at school or team practice.

You’ve heard that dogs are man’s best friend, and this is true with children as well. Our canine friends follow us around, play with us, beg from us, lay with us, and protect us by barking, growling, and acting as a deterrent against home entry or attack.

Cats play with us, entertain us, cuddle with us, soothe us with their purring, and keep our homes safe from rodents and other pests.

Horses, ponies, and donkeys, in addition to serving as steeds and work animals, are beloved by the majority of owners, adult and child alike. Riding these animals not only gets us from one place to another but also gets us outside and in tune with nature, away from an addictive digital world that would otherwise hold us prisoners.

Horses can have a magical effect on people, especially kids, which is a major reason they are used in child enhancement programs such as PEGASUS. Horses don’t care who were are, what our background is, or how popular we are in school. Children with disabilities benefit from the emotional, motor, and sensory sensations that come with horseback riding, and the child can learn to care for the animal through patting, petting and brushing.

And then there’s the donkey. Donkeys make us smile, and they make us laugh. Many of us grew up on Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, and my own kids were entertained by the hilarious character from Shrek known simply as Donkey, voiced by Eddie Murphy. Donkeys also are said to be able to predict the weather, and provide protection for farm animals from predators such as coyotes. Like horses, they can kick pretty darn hard and even mountain lions have been dispatched by their hooved blows.

Adults, too, can benefit from animal therapy. Dogs can provide a sense of security, serenity and healthy exercise for PTSD sufferers, including soldiers and victims of violence, abuse, and other traumatic experiences. Dog can be trained to respond to the needs of the PTSD sufferer, preventing further physical and emotional harm, bravely leading the way around the unknown corner, quelling our fears. The elderly enjoy the companionship of pets, such as dogs and cats, and the physically handicapped can be guided and otherwise assisted by their canine friends.

My own outlook toward life has changed for the better since I provided a home for a feral, barn cat, now named Padme. With definite Turkish Van genes in her bloodline, Padme displays all of the characteristics of the breed: she likes water and is loyal to one person in the household: Me. When I’m brooding late at night, she leaps on the bed and falls asleep on my chest and she soothes my troubled mind and soul.

In my latest novel, “Donkey Sense,” eleven-year-old Timmy Unterkanz has lost his father to illness, is in a strange new town, and suffers from extreme teasing and bullying. There’s no Fairy Godmother to come to this boy’s rescue, but there is a rather special donkey named Pedro. Pedro offers Timmy companionship and confidence, and helps him to relate better to other children, such as Kelly, who finds similar comfort in the ponies she rides.

So whether it’s under the fluff of a purring cat, against the greedy but reassuring bed-hog pressure of a dog, or atop the sheen or mangy coat of a member of the equine family, each one of us can ease our troubled minds and hearts with the companionship of a pet.


Wow. So glad you stopped by, Dean!


Here’s a look at Dean’s book, Donkey Sense.


donkey sense

Eleven-year-old Timmy Unterkanz suffers the death of his dad, and then extreme bullying in a new town. Timmy’s in serious trouble – that is, until Pedro steps in. You see, Pedro’s not your ordinary friend and bodyguard. He’s a talking donkey and he’s got a feisty attitude, similar to that of his owner, a former Texas ranch-hand named J.T. Atkins. Pedro and Mr. Atkins teach Timmy the ropes, like how to defend himself when there are no adults around. Timmy also meets Kelly, his eccentric voice of reason and confidence. Timmy’s safety and happiness will come down to one final showdown against his tormentor, the bully Eddie. Can Timmy turn his life around by proving to girlfriend Kelly – and to himself – that he’s not going to withdraw from a sometimes cruel world? That he’s going to be as feisty and stubborn as a donkey.


Points of Interest:

There’s this dogma out there that to build their brand authors have to stay in one or two related genres and write for a single age group. It’s refreshing to see this myth being dispelled by authors such as James Patterson, J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman and others. Authors are storytellers and with the proper research they should be able to spin a compelling yarn with the appropriate tone for any age group.

Donkeys have always fascinated me. They seem less popular than horses and represent an underdog of sorts. They’ve been used to protect livestock due to their aggressively defensive behavior toward predators. Donkeys have also been assigned with the ability to predict the weather – for example, finding their way to shelter just before a storm hits.

I know from growing up in a tough city – and from just about every angle you can imagine – that bullying doesn’t only occur when an adult is around to intervene. It can happen anywhere at almost any time, often when the victim is alone and hence outnumbered. In addition to schools and parents preaching zero tolerance for bullying, kids and their animal friends need to bond together using the buddy system. It takes a special soul to stand up for the unpopular new kid, and this book explores that.


Purchase Links:

Amazon Kindle:

Amazon Paperback:

Barnes and Noble Nook:

Barnes and Noble Paperback:


Apple iTunes:



More About the Author:

Author Webpage:

Facebook Page:

Dean Lombardo blog site:

Twitter: @DeanLombardo1


Thanks Dean!


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