A Second Chance: Three-legged dog inspires Carmel author to pursue a passion for helping children


By Michelle Williams

A little dog in Carmel has become the star of a new children’s book series five years after narrowly escaping an uncertain future as a runt puppy born with only three legs.

Author and Carmel resident Carolyn Moore wrote “Chance, The Incredible, Wonderful, Three-Legged Dog and The New Beginning” to teach young children that value lies in the differences of each person.

Chance, a Yorkie and Maltese mix, got his name after Moore’s son, Travis, rescued the puppy from a man known as “Farmer Brown” in the book. Moore said that Chance was about to be abandoned in a field when Travis intervened, giving him a “second chance.”

“Disney sometimes will put a little sad twist on some things, but that was a little much,” said Moore, explaining that the true story was softened for the purposes of the children’s book.

Chance’s name has become even more fitting now that he has given Moore the opportunity to realize a dream of using her talents and passions to influence the lives of young readers. The book has already been picked up by Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com, and First Edition Design Publishing has sent promotional copies to 1,600 sites globally.

“I wanted children to know that you don’t have to be perfect to be loved,” said Moore, talking about her vision for the first book in the series.

Her idea started more than a year ago as a rough mock-up draft that she drew with a pencil and paper.

“My mother said it best. She said, ‘When I look at him, I just can’t imagine not having all the joy he brings to us because somebody would have thrown him out since he wasn’t perfect.’ And that’s the premise for this book,” Moore said.

Moore has already written the second book in the series and has plans for two more. The second book is planned to be released this spring and centers around Chance meeting new friends, which include humans, other dogs and cats.

“Your friends can come from all sorts of places and you can learn all sorts of things from people when they’re not exactly like you,” Moore said.

The third book in the series will be a holiday story, which she plans to release in time for Christmas.

Moore also creates the illustrations for her books. Without any previous graphic design experience, she learned to shoot high resolution images, use Photoshop and work with a digital pen and tablet tool.

“I just dig in when I have an idea for something and start,” she said.

Moore has also used her new design skills to create a custom doghouse-shaped structure to house the books. A small stuffed version of the three-legged Chance is sold separately alongside the books, completing the collection for young readers.

Moore is enthusiastic about setting up book readings at area schools and businesses. She consulted with several educators to create a “Resources for Teachers” section on Chance’s website at www.ChanceTheIncredible.com. She also plans to visit with high school writing classes.

“I have already used this book in my classroom to help expose the students to people with disabilities or who are just different from others. It sends a wonderful message that everyone is important and loved, no matter what their differences may be,” said Kim Hamilton, a kindergarten teacher at Deer Run Elementary in Indianapolis.

Moore plans to use the same publisher for the second book.

“It’s just a really fun endeavor,” she said. “I’m excited to keep it going.”

Meet Carolyn Moore

Favorite pastime: Anything outdoors and watching a baseball game.

Favorite local restaurant: Bub’s in Carmel for a burger

Favorite color: Red

Birthplace: Louisville

Favorite vacation location: I have been so many places, but I still love the tropics

Family: I have two sons. Travis is director of continuous improvement at Pixel Flex LED in Nashville, Tenn. Alex is a pro baseball player rehabbing with a great team of people around Indy and just about ready to start playing again.

Place of work: Eli Lilly in Indy. Medical information consultant.

Place of worship: Traders Point Christian Church

Most DVR’d TV show: Too many to count. I never have time to watch in real time!

Favorite quote: Bloom where you are planted.

Motto to live by: God who created the earth and placed the stars in the heavens gave you your talent. Use it!

Early morning riser or night owl? Both!! I don’t sleep very much!