Golden retriever inspires real estate broker to write children’s book


In August, local real estate broker Kimberly Davis officially became a published author with the release of her children’s book, “The Beach Adventures of Sassy Soby and Samantha.”

The 20-page, fully illustrated book tells the story of a golden retriever who befriends a starfish.

“It’s them playing at the beach and having a fun day,” said Davis.

But it’s something more. The premise, Davis said, is that we can become friends with anyone regardless of our differences.

“I look at the Supreme Court justices who have passed away, Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia,” she said. “They were best friends, but they were opposites in their views.”

She emphasized the importance of seeking common ground.

“Start with the things that are common between you, and you build on those common elements,” she said. “That’s where you learn friendship, basic respect, kindness, love.”

The Samantha in the book’s title is the starfish. Soby is based on Davis’ own golden retriever of the same name who passed away some time ago at the age of 13. In fact, it was her memory of the friendly dog that inspired the book.

“I was really missing her a lot, and I sat down one evening and just started writing,” Davis said. “I wrote the story in one evening. I did a very rough draft of it, and then I set it aside for a couple of weeks.”

She interviewed a couple of illustrators and showed them what she wanted, finally hiring Wendy Chase.

“I said, ‘OK, see if you can capture the personality of this dog in this book,’” Davis said. “And sure enough, she nailed it.”

The book was finished in about a month. Davis published it herself.

“It was a fun, whimsical, joyful project for me to have done,” Davis said. The book, she said, was her way to celebrate the real-life Soby, who was named after a restaurant in Greenville, South Carolina.

“She had personality-plus,” said Davis. “She was just very friendly and loving and always made friends. She was just a really sweet, sweet dog.”

“The Beach Adventures of Sassy Soby and Samantha” is actually the first in what Davis plans to be a three-book series. The working title for the second, which she is writing now, is “The Picnic At The Zoo with Soby and Friends.”

Though her book has only been available for two months, Davis has sold several copies. In November, she plans to do some book signings.

Davis is owner of Ponte Vedra Beach Realty. She moved to Ponte Vedra in 1988 and has lived here ever since.

To learn more about Davis’ book or to purchase a copy, go to


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