Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Michigan & Rookie - Press Release

K9 Officer’s Remarkable Story of Service to Community and Country:

Barbara Marshak                             Joaquin Guerrero
Author/Speaker                               Precinct 131,
952.215.2390                                    President/Founder
Barbara@BarbaraMarshak.com                 989.233.8612
www.BarbaraMarshak.com           tal196@aol.com

Minneapolis, MN, August 22, 2011: As America prepares to mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the inspiring story of K9 Officer Joaquin Guerrero and his German shepherd partner Rookie is set to be released in this time of remembrance and reflection. Michigan and Rookie: Guardians of the Night shares Rookie’s unwavering service at Ground Zero, and his impact with hundreds of thousands of school kids across Mid-Michigan. Told in the POV of this K9 hero and his partner, the book shines a light on the life of a working police dog.

It’s been said there is no bond greater than between a K9 handler and his partner. In Saginaw, Michigan—a city plagued with gang violence—Officer Joaquin Guerrero sensed God’s call to work the dangerous night streets with his K9 partner, a ninety-pound German shepherd police dog named Rookie. With Rookie as his mascot, Guerrero created Precinct 131, an educational program to keep kids from turning to gangs.

On 9/11, Guerrero and Rookie responded to Ground Zero to help in the search efforts. For seven long days the pair worked “The Pile” with a never-give-up spirit. Because of Guerrero’s unusual first name, a battalion chief nicknamed him “Michigan” for his home state. Following Rookie’s service at Ground Zero, he was included in two studies that tracked the health of 9/11 search-and-rescue (SAR) dogs. An MRI revealed a large cancerous tumor on Rookie’s jaw, most likely from toxins in the crushed tower debris. Despite everyone’s efforts to save Rookie, he died in 2004 and received an honorary memorial service.

“Rookie’s story is just one of a thousand that could be written about a working police dog in America. My hope is to bring recognition to all K9 handlers and their faithful partners,” says Guerrero.

Guerrero partnered with author Barbara Marshak to tell Rookie’s story. “As I thought about the best way to share the bond between man and dog, the idea came to give Rookie a voice,” says Marshak. “Parts of the story are told from Rookie’s perspective.”

Guerrero’s stirring story of goodheartedness and faith was featured in the episode “Native American Heroes” on Hidden Heritage, a documentary-style television program on the cable network RFD-TV in 2010 and received the show’s highest Nielsen ratings.

Guerrero has made thousands of public appearances with his dogs since the inception of Precinct 131. He continues Rookie’s legacy today with Rookie II, another K9-trained German shepherd, having served his community for 22 years. Guerrero’s desire for 2011 is to adapt Precinct 131, now 13 years strong, into Operation Broken Arrow and bring the same type of anti-substance abuse program into Native American communities and schools.

A sought-after K9 trainer/instructor, Guerrero also founded the Apache Acres Training Facility and Kennel in Hemlock, Michigan, where he teaches obedience and K9 training.

Michigan and Rookie is a cop story, a Ground Zero story, a dog story, and a faith story.

Michigan and Rookie: Guardians of the Night
By Joaquin Guerrero
As told to Barbara Marshak.

Beaver’s Pond Press, Minneapolis, MN
September 1, 2011
ISBN 13: 978-1-59298-420-6
$19.99 USD
Available from Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Amazon, and fine booksellers everywhere.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Michigan and Rookie - Book Launch!

Joaquin and I are pleased to announce the launch of Michigan and Rookie: Guardians of the Night September 9-11, 2011 at Indian Summer Fest in Milwaukee! Held at the beautiful lakefront Henry Maier Festival Park, this 3-day festival is the largest Native American celebration in the country. This year marks the 25th anniversary for Indian Summer Fest, a regular stop on the annual tour schedule for Brulé. 25 Year Anniversary logo

Yes, equally exciting to announce, Brulé will be performing throughout the day at the main entrance! Thanks to an invite from Paul LaRoche and Kathy Summers, Joaquin and I will get to set up shop with the book right next to them. Brulé is also scheduled to perform a full concert both Friday and Saturday nights at 8:30 on Miller Stage. As everyone who has already seen Brulé knows, their hauntingly beautiful music and live performances create a contagious excitement wherever they go. Their concerts are described as an experience in “sight, sound, and soul”; a two-hour show that features their unique blend of contemporary Native American sounds and rhythms. Each song is accompanied by beautiful choreography and breathtaking American Indian dancers wearing traditional regalia.

Brule' in concert

American Indian dancers in traditional regalia
Joaquin first saw Brulé in concert back in 2009 when he was going through a difficult period in his life. Their stirring and soulful music bought a sense of healing to Joaquin and after reading Paul’s biography, Hidden Heritage: The Story of Paul LaRoche, Joaquin contacted me about writing his memoir. As it turned out Paul was so moved by Joaquin’s story that he featured Joaquin and Rookie in the episode “Native American Heroes” on his weekly television program Hidden Heritage on RFD-TV. Joaquin’s episode earned among the highest Nielson Ratings for RFD-TV in 2010.

Paul, Joaquin, and Rookie
Taping the episode "Native American Heroes"
I feel honored to have written both Paul’s and Joaquin’s story, a journey that’s allowed me to spend time on the pristine and beautiful Lower Brule Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, and to ride shotgun in Joaquin’s police car on his regular nightshift in Saginaw, Michigan. Writing both stories has enriched my life immensely, and it is my hope and prayer that everyone who reads their books will be enriched as well.

We’d love to have you join us at Indian Summer Fest for three full days of American Indian arts, music, pow wow, and more. For details, go to: www.indiansummer.org

For Brulé’s current tour schedule, go to: www.BruleRecords.com

We’d love to see you at our book launch in Milwaukee, Friday-Sunday, September 9, 10 & 11!

Barbara & Joaquin