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Ginger's Promise

Excerpts from Sunny's Story

Sunny tried to wake me the night Ian died.

The night before Ian died Sunny, our family beagle, climbed four flights of stairs and jumped on my bed. But Ian’s words had rocked me to sleep that night. “Mom I want to see the doctor in the morning. I need to take care of my problem.” It was the first good night’s sleep I had in the five months since I learned Ian was addicted to drugs. Sunny’s message was undelivered.


When I awoke for my morning run at 6am I went downstairs and heard Ian’s TV was very loud. I went to turn the TV off and that’s when I found him. After we talked the night before Ian went downstairs and did the drug one more time. Ian died in his sleep – he didn’t have a second chance. My cries for help were heard two blocks away.


Years later, I was sitting on my deck with Sunny and my best friend. I looked at Sunny and said, “If Sunny could talk – he would have a lot to say.” That pivotal moment is when I decided to write the book from Sunny’s perspective.


I made a promise to Ian the day he died to do everything in my power to prevent this tragedy from happening to another family. I established the Courage To Speak® Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving young lives.


Sunny’s Story has been purchased by many people in over 40 states and is read at dinner tables with children, parents and grandparents. It is part of the Courage to Speak Foundation Drug Prevention Curriculum for Grades 4-12 taught in many schools and is a stand-alone book for elementary, middle and high school students and parents.

Ginger Katz watching on as children read Sunny's Story.

If only.

If only our pet could talk – could warn us we’d lose our son to drugs.

Sunny’s Story is narrated through the eyes, ears and mind of Sunny, the family beagle, and tells of the ups and downs of his life with his young master, from the moment they met at an animal shelter to Sunny’s anguished yelps watching his best friend succumb to drugs. Written by Ginger Katz, a mother who lost her son Ian to a drug overdose, Sunny’s Story helps families talk openly about the dangers of drugs.

Ginger and Larry Katz with the Elementary School children who read her book as part of their class.

The Story

Sunny finds a new home
00:00 / 00:24
Sunny notices a change
00:00 / 00:37
Ian starts smoking
00:00 / 00:40
Sunny meets Ian
00:00 / 01:07

Sunny's Story - A Drug Prevention Storybook


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