For one Elizabethton woman and her senior canine companion, their relationship is more than that of a dog and her owner. They’re also the creative team behind a popular Facebook page and have just released their first book.
Kim Tipton Brewer and Belinda Belle the Yorkie published their book, “A Dog at the Master’s Table,” last month just before Christmas.
The book is an outgrowth of Belinda’s burgeoning presence in social media.
Kim noted that Belinda has become a popular canine celebrity thanks to her Facebook fan page, “Belinda Belle Brewer,” which has more than 1,350 followers.
The Facebook page started out a fun way to interact with others.
“We post a lot of photos,” Kim said.
In addition, the Facebook page lets Belinda dispense love, encouragement and advice gained from living 14 years on this earth and having experienced several trying times of her own.
“We also post prayer requests for people,” Kim said.
A popular recent feature on the Facebook page was Belinda’s much-followed wedding to Cooper, a Bichon Frisé, this past year.
Kim said the book spun off from what they attempt to accomplish with the Facebook page.
Many of Belinda’s nuggets of wisdom are now compiled in the Christian living book, “A Dog at the Master’s Table,” which is based on the Psalms.
“People enjoyed her posts, and a lot of our friends on Facebook requested that we do a book,” Kim said.
The dog narrates the book in her own voice and invites readers to come along with her to a dinner with the Lord to feast on His wholesome and satisfying words.
Work on the book began last year, and it was published in December.
“The book is written in Belinda’s own voice,” Kim said. “Each chapter deals with different challenges in life, and how events in Belinda’s life relate to them.”
Kim said the book is relevant for all ages. “It’s suitable for kids, too,” she added.
The book will be featured for sales and book signing in a booth at the February Valentine’s Day event, “Hunka, Hunka Furry Love,” for East Tennessee Spay and Neuter.
“A generous percentage of sales made at the event will be donated to the spay and neuter program to help needy animals,” Kim said. Kim and Belinda hope to partner with other local animal groups, as well.
“Hunka, Hunka Furry Love” will be held Saturday, Feb. 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Tractor Supply in Elizabethton.
Kim, a 43-year-old Southwest Virginia native, has been an Elizabethton resident for nearly 20 years.
“I have family here, and I moved here in 1994,” she said.
Elizabethton is also where she met her husband, Jonathan. The couple have lived here for the past 20 years.
Kim is employed as an insurance agent for Jim Troutman Insurance on East Elk Avenue in Elizabethton. She is a member of Valley Forge Free Will Baptist Church and the author of the Christian blog, “Comfortable Words.”
Kim has owned several senior dogs and has learned a great deal about God and about the human relationship with Him through observing dogs’ relationships with their master. She said the book is the natural result of the combination of her love for God and for all His creatures.
She has had Belinda and a littermate, Bonnie, since they were babies. Bonnie died in 2011.
“We try to take Belinda everywhere because she’s lonely without her sister,” Kim said.
Belinda, who will turn 15 in May, enjoys visiting Watauga Lake and Roan Mountain State Park.
She also enjoys visiting with the ducks on the Doe River at the Covered Bridge.
“She also likes to go to the State Line Drive-In,” Kim said. “She just likes to get out and see things.”
Kim and Belinda would like to work together on a second book.
“I have plans for doing a follow-up based on the Book of Proverbs,” Kim said. “I think that would make a nice set.”
Greenies Dental Chews are one of Belinda’s favorite treats. “They’re really used to clean a dog’s teeth,” Kim said.
“She really loves them.”
Belinda also enjoys dressing up.
“She has quite a few outfits,” Kim said.
“A Dog at the Master’s Table” sells for $8. It is available at Amazon as a print edition and a Kindle book.
The 73-page soft cover book features several black-and-white photographs of Belinda.
Kim encourages people wanting to buy the book to go through the Amazon link on the page for East Tennessee Spay and Neuter, as Amazon will donate a percentage of the sale to the ETSN program.
Signed copies of the book will also be available for purchase at the “Hunka, Hunka Furry Love” ETSN benefit.