Local author, illustrator partner to create children’s book recognizing ski patrol dogs | SierraSun.com

Local author, illustrator partner to create children’s book recognizing ski patrol dogs

Megan Jost and Megan Butcher partnered for creation of Ski Patrol Pups.
Laney Griffo / Sierra Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. — For dog owners and dog lovers, they know how important a dog can be for themselves and their family. 

Truckee’s Megan Butcher saw the importance of dogs first-hand, since their dog Walter worked ski patrol with her husband at Alpine. When Walter died in August 2020, Butcher decided the best way to remember him and recognize the work he and other ski patrol dogs did would be to write a children’s book. 

Ski Patrol Pups follows the story of the puppy, Walter, as he and his friends learn what it takes to become ski patrol dogs.

Butcher studied journalism in college and has since worked as an event coordinator, but has always wanted to return to her writing roots. 

“I’ve always wanted to write a children’s book, I can think back to third grade when I said I wanted to write children’s books,” Butcher said. “And these dogs are so sweet and adorable and everyone loves them.”

Before Walter died, a video of him loading onto a chair lift went viral. After he died, the video was randomly recirculated and popped back up on Butcher’s feed. 

“It’s just sweet to see that his memory is still giving people joy,” Butcher said. “That video and this book is a way for Walter to live on forever.” 

As a parent herself and as a former first grade teacher, Butcher has read many children’s books. So when writing Ski Patrol Pups, she focused on writing a book that was enjoyable for both kids and parents.

Butcher is a mother of a 4-year old and it was through her child’s school that she met Megan Jost, another parent who also happened to be an artist. 

Jost is an architect and has also written and illustrated the ABC Tahoe and ABC Truckee books. 

“It’s been a fun process. This whole summer we’ve been working together to illustrate it and she’s been telling the story and all of Walter’s quirks,” Jost said. 

All the dog’s featured in the book are based on real dogs who work at Alpine and many of the illustrations in the book are watercolor recreations of photos featuring those dogs. 

“She’s very, very talented,” Butcher said. 

While the book is an ode to Walter, it’s also a way to recognize the joy ski patrol dogs bring to people and the hard, important work they do each winter. 

Butcher and Jost are working with Alpine Avalanche Rescue Foundation which is a nonprofit that raises funds for avalanche rescuers and safety awareness teachers. They also wanted to work on a second book following the dogs in their work life. 

When Ski Patrol Pups hits stores, it can be found at Word After Word in Truckee and will be available for purchase at Palisades Tahoe. 

To learn more about the book, visit http://www.skipatrolpups.com

To purchase Jost’s art, visit https://colorsbymegan.com.

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