Publisher: Authorhouse (February 1, 2017)
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.2 x 11 inches
Shipping Weight: 14.2 ounces
All About Hopkins
Hopkins was Jennifer’s graduation present from her parents, Joe and Patti Winfree, when she completed her degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in 2004. She traveled to the countryside of Virginia, outside of Richmond, to pick him out of a litter of new lab puppies when he was just 6 weeks old. He captured her heart when he stood out from the pack, exploring the land on his own, while the rest of his brothers and sisters chowed down ferociously on their dinner. They made the hour long road trip back home with him tightly wrapped in a blanket, sleeping soundly. From then on, Jennifer and Hopkins were the best of travel companions.
They traveled and settled their lives in many different areas: Richmond, VA, Charlottesville, VA, Washington, DC, West Palm Beach, FL and then to their final, forever home: Knoxville, TN.
** Side note from Jennifer:
This picture to the left was an incredible moment captured on camera. We had to say goodbye to Sir Hopkins on September 27, 2016 at 3 pm. This photo was taken just minutes after his last breath. The beach was his favorite place on Earth. He is literally shining down on us and my family is blessed with the perfect guardian angel. Until the Rainbow Bridge, my love...
Inspiration Behind the Book
A Hultz family vacation to the “Forgotten Coast” in September 2016 was an incredibly bittersweet moment in time for Jennifer. They had not been on a family vacation in over a year and a half, and never had had one with all three children. They were desperate for quality, relaxed time together and the vacation did not disappoint. The Hultz twins were at such a great age for discovering new things. At two and a half years old, every new experience was the ultimate high for everyone. It was also their baby's first time ever seeing the beach!
The “Forgotten Coast” led them to experience almost all of the must haves of being at the beach: beautiful sunrises and sunsets, crabs, sharks, seagulls, dolphins, stingrays, pelicans, sea turtles, building sandcastles, playing volleyball, sunbathing and relaxing, having lunch under an umbrella, fishing, surfing, and roasting and eating s’mores right on the beach.
Everything was such a momentous activity for the kids, much of it being their first memorable experiences at the beach. Jennifer was in awe of the joy seeping from every pore of her children’s bodies. Nothing could dampen the light of this trip... Until that moment they got the devastating phone call from back home. Hopkins was sick. Suddenly, without warning... too sick to survive an immediate trip back home. Jennifer and her husband, Mark, had to make the gut-wrenching decision to let Hopkins go be at peace, without them at his side. Fortunately, one of Jennifer's best friends, who had known Hopkins since he was a puppy, was able to be with him and FaceTime them during his last moments. Jennifer and Mark sat on the beach and talked to Hopkins, letting him know how much he was loved and appreciated, and were there with him during his last breaths. The anguish, the tears, the sadness, the love enveloped Jennifer and Mark.
In this moment, Jennifer knew she needed to honor Hopkins, their joint love of the beach, and her three beautiful children in a children's book. Hopkins Goes to the Beach was born on September 27, 2016, the day Hopkins left this earthly life, and set out on his heavenly journey as their guardian angel.