Front Seat Dog
Former hippie turned dedicated teacher
A Chill Dude With His Eyes on Broadway
Titan St. Pierre
and Gentle Transdog
of French Descent
Lives With Her Grandparents 'Cuz Her Mom is in Prison
Samson Solomon Silverman
Manhattan Born, Manhattan Bred
Carter and King
Two Brothers but
Four Times the Trouble
Not Defined by His Disability
And she tells you of her front seat dog-ness at least once each episode. She’s also a drama queen. You should have seen her the day Spencer left for college. The tears! The sobbing! Throwing herself on the floor and wailing! Fortunately, her teacher, Miss Edna, told Roxanne and the other students at Bark Palace School all about college and that Roxanne would see her big bro sooner than she thought.
While it may seem that Roxanne is somewhat self-centered, there is no one whose heart is bigger. She will do anything for a friend. She can keep a confidence, is punctual to a fault, will provide support and encouragement, always volunteers for the hard jobs, and always follows through on her commitments.
Her goal in life is to help young people deal with life’s ups and downs—mostly the downs—so they will be better able to cope with these challenges when ultimately confronted with them. She desperately wants to go to college and it is her mission to encourage young people to attend as well.
No teacher loves her students more or could be more understanding and tolerant than Miss Edna. It’s amazing how this former hippie, with long hair and embroidered, bell-bottomed jeans, turned into her mother, wearing a string of pearls, earrings, and sturdy walking shoes. She occasionally blows a whistle to keep her charges in line—especially those two mischief-makers, Carter and King.
She has a keen fascination for the natural world and loves taking the dogs in her class on hikes, camping trips, and to the beach. First and foremost, however, she understands the importance of kindness, civility, and inclusion, and tries to instill these characteristics into her students.
A little known fact about Miss Edna is that she is an expert synchronized swimmer and was almost selected to represent the USA at the 1978 Doglympics!
Jaylen Abrahams goes with the flow. His middle name might as well be “Chill” as he’s so laid back. He sings, he dances. He’s taking acting lessons so he can be a “triple threat” and make it in musical theater. You’ve heard of Hugh Jackman? Lyn-Manuel Miranda? Leslie Odom, Jr. and Neil Patrick Harris? Pretty soon you’ll add Jaylen Abrahams to that list.
Jaylen is very much looking forward to the Songs of the ‘60s Singing Contest when he can really show off his pipes and perhaps help the dogs at Bark Palace take first place. Jaylen has braces all over his teeth but it doesn’t stop him from smiling big!
There’s an awful lot packed into Titan’s small frame. Titan thinks deeply about so many important issues. One day, when Miss Edna asked the class what special things they wanted to learn about this year, Titan’s response was “cats,” to the consternation and puzzlement of the other students. His explanation? “We live in a global society and there are all kinds of people and animals in this world. The more we know about others the better the chance that we can live peacefully together.”
Titan’s parents are French and he will occasionally use the language to say a word or two. Although he generally likes to meet challenges head on, Titan has a secret. Roxanne suspects he would like to share it and eventually—gently—coaxes him to do so. Fortunately for Titan, his friends are very accepting, helped to be so by Miss Edna.
I’m amazed at Tuna’s resilience. While a bit of an alarmist, who screams for “Miss Edddnnaaaaaaa!” whenever something goes awry, she’s really a very happy dog. Like Titan, Tuna has a secret. Only Miss Edna knows why she lives with her grandparents. It’s because her mom is incarcerated. Tuna leaves Bark Palace early every Tuesday to visit her mom in prison.
Tuna is a bit embarrassed by her name and has frequently thought about changing it. She loves the names Taylor and Tenney! However, she wrote a love letter to Subaru’s Teen Barkley and is afraid his response—with his returned declaration of love—won’t reach her if she changes her name. Tuna was so happy when Roxanne joined the group at Bark Palace. Until then she had been the only girl—aside from Miss Edna and, possibly, Titan.
Tuna has at least a dozen bandanas of all colors and patterns and likes to wear a fresh one every day.
Nice dog, that Silver. He’s been having trouble getting used to the ‘burbs after moving here for his mother’s job. And when his sister was killed by a drunk driver it didn’t help. He’d be much happier among the concrete, honking horns, and skyscrapers of New York City. But he loves being at Bark Palace and really appreciates the way all the dogs support each other.
Silver is serious about going to college. The others laughed when he told Miss Edna he’d like to learn about money this year. But what he really wants to know is how to save money for college, especially since he wants to go to medical school as well.
You’ve heard of the Sprouse Brothers? The Weasley twins? Now we have Carter and King. They were both mischievous and magical from birth but they are big Harry Potter fans and there’s no doubt that Fred and George have influenced them greatly. Like Roxanne, they have hearts of gold, but their kindness almost always has a bit of mischief thrown in. When Newt couldn’t make it down the steps in his wheelchair, Carter and King were the first to volunteer to carry him. Somehow, they both managed to balance bananas on their noses while doing so. Newt was a little worried but enjoyed the banana the twins shared with the group.
Sometimes their mischief isn’t so comical. One day, Miss Edna caught them smoking and vaping behind the school. Carter blamed it on King. And King, of course, blamed it on Carter. Miss Edna didn’t care who the instigator was. Their 100 hours of community service involved a presentation to other schools about the dangers of vaping and smoking.
Carter and King live with their foster parents whom they refer to as their “guardians.”
Newt is the youngest and newest member of the group. He’s still a puppy but his company is enjoyed by all. He has needed the aid of a wheelchair after being hit by a drunk driver but his life is certainly not defined by his disability.
Newt’s pretty easy going and loves hanging out with the older students. He has difficulty with some of the academic subjects but he’s been getting help from Miss Edna and from a secret tutor. He sometimes displays a wisdom far beyond his years. Most of the time, however, he is simply the happy, active little pup that he appears to be.