“When I got my first dog when I was younger, dog rescue was not a big topic that was talked about,” Katherine Schwarzenegger said this week in an interview with PEOPLE Now. “I didn’t know about that option. So I wanted to teach kids about it.”
Enter Maverick and Me, the 27-year-old’s third book and first foray into children’s literature. The picture book follows the story of Maverick, a dog dumped on the side of the road and rescued by a stranger, and instills the notion of “adopt, don’t shop” in young kids.
“There are so many amazing animals that are available for adoption that people don’t really take into consideration,” Schwarzenegger said. “And I personally think they have so much more love to give. They are so appreciative for everything.”
Maverick happens to be the name of Schwarzenegger’s own dog, a mixed breed she rescued when he was just weeks old. “I’m so attentive to him … he’s my little baby,” Schwarzenegger, who shops for her pup on Amazon Pets, told PEOPLE Now (he even joined her on her press tour!).
Schwarzenegger’s parents, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and television journalist sMaria Shriver, both grew up on farms, and “are really big animal lovers,” the author says. While she grew up with some farm animals of her own, “dogs were always a staple,” she shared.
You can follow the real-life Maverick’s many adventures on Instagram @maverickschwarzenegger.