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Local resident makes good on promise to cancer patient

CARLSBAD — Telling a story through the eyes of a dog was no small task. But making good on a promise to a local girl battling leukemia, Nancy Stanley wrote a story about the life of her dog Truffles.
It has been a year since Michelle Butler, a popular high school student from Carlsbad High School, lost her battle with leukemia. Stanley kept her word to Michelle and on Dec. 1 held one of many book signings at Barnes & Noble in Encinitas for her recently published book.
“Pillow With a Heartbeat” is the heartwarming story of the life of Truffles, Stanley’s chocolate poodle.
The book follows Truffles from his early days at “Patsy’s Puppies,” to when he found his “purpose” as a therapy dog.
The story is based on real-life experiences, including Stanley’s own involvement with therapy dogs. As one of the first people to bring therapy dogs into hospitals in the early 1980s, Stanley earned recognition from then-President Ronald Regan.
Stanley, a La Costa resident, met Michelle through her involvement as a “wish grantor” for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. The friendship between Stanley, Michelle and Truffles grew during the time the three spent together.
Truffles, Stanley said, provided comfort and friendship for Michelle while she battled the horrific disease.
“They had a language all their own,” Stanley said. “To see them together was heartwarming and their closeness was undeniable.”
Stanley said the family thanks Truffles every day for all the months of joy he brought to Michelle.
“I dedicated ‘Pillow With a Heartbeat’ to Michelle,” Stanley said. “Her name will live on through the eyes and voice of her little friend Truffles. His story will make you laugh and cry as he warms his way into your heart.”
“Pillow With a Heartbeat” is available on