CENTREVILLE, Va. (WDVM) — A local children’s book author is teaching the next generation how to do good in the world, while also making a change for thousands of animals, too.

Ed Ehlers’ children’s books, “Lily and Lucy” and “Deer Oh Deer,” are based on real events involving his two dogs, Max and Tucker. While on their usual walk in the woods, Max and Tucker helped Ed discover and rescue stray dogs and a deer trapped in tree roots. Part of the books’ proceeds go toward the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation and the Wildlife Rescue League. Their message to young readers? Pay it forward.

“Take the time to help a friend, help a stranger; pick up that piece of trash, go step out of the way to go help somebody,” said Ehlers. “You have no idea what sort of ripple effect will occur.”

Ehlers chose the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation in honor of a former volunteer and friend, whom the book is also dedicated to. Peter helped Ed foster and adopt out the puppies before his death, a few months later.

“He was a big influence on our lives and lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of lives with the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation,” Ehlers said.

Max and Tucker are also certified therapy dogs; not only do they travel around for story time, they also visit youth centers and adult day care programs to brighten people’s days.