The Wentzells, Lisa, Scotty and Scott, of North Yarmouth, were honored by the state Legislature after “A Dog and His Boy” was published. Contributed / Lisa Wentzell

When North Yarmouth mom Lisa Wentzell released the children’s book she co-wrote about her son, Scotty, a year ago on Valentine’s Day, she wasn’t sure what to expect.

She hoped “A Dog and His Boy,” about Scotty, who has a rare chromosomal disorder that causes developmental delays, would help foster the inclusion and acceptance of people with disabilities. She didn’t expect that it would have the reach and impact that it has had.

Scotty and Lisa Wentzell sign books together after a school presentation. Contributed / Lisa Wentzell

“It’s been pretty amazing,” Wentzell told The Forecaster. “I knew the book would do well, but the response to it has exceeded our expectations.”

Since The Forecaster talked with Wentzell last February, she, her husband Scott, and Scotty, 23, and his stuffed dog Spillway have been on a whirlwind of events across the state, including the Statehouse in Augusta, where they were honored on the Senate floor with a legislative sentiment.

“Essentially, it’s an expression of support from the state,” Scott Wentzell said. “That was pretty exciting to go up there and get presented that.”

Over the last year, 9,000 copies of the book have been printed, he said. Orders have been sent to France, Italy, Japan and even Armenia. Last year, Central Maine Power bought 600 copies to donate to libraries and schools across the state.


The message is universal and timeless, Scott Wentzell said.

“I feel like with this book, Scotty is now immortal,” he said. “His story will resonate for years. It establishes his place in the world and his mark on the world, which was a big question mark for a long time.”

Scotty, who has Dubowitz syndrome and communicates using an iPad, is now famous and proud of it. He’s participated in everything from school presentations to podcasts to talks at Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, where he passed out mini versions of Spillway, his beloved and constant companion who is also the book’s narrator.

Kids often send drawings and notes to Scotty, telling him they’d like to ride bikes or go skiing with him, his mother said.

“I think he inspires people,” she said. “He loves meeting new people and being around new people.”

It’s also important for kids to understand that meeting someone with disabilities isn’t scary, she said.


The family’s next few months are packed with book-related events. At the end of this month, the Wentzells will host a “Ski with Scotty” run at Sugarloaf to help support inclusion and adaptive skiing, and Scotty will defend his gold medal at the Special Olympics Alpine Winter Games.

In March, which is Disability Awareness Month, the family will travel around Maine to host presentations and spread awareness about inclusion and friendship.

Another book about Scotty’s adventures with Spillway could be a reality sometime in the future. Scotty is involved in many activities, so there are many possibilities.

Co-author Heidi Bullen told The Forecaster she would love to write another book with Wentzell.

“We’ve been thinking about what that would look like,” she said. “That overall message of showing kindness to those that are different from us is so important.”

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