Alumna’s family join forces to celebrate their unique dog Alan in newest book

A purple background with pink circles on with a graphic of Alan the dog in the middle of the canvas. It reads 'Alan the Wonky Dog' underneath the graphic.

Johanna Handley graduated with a degree in Economics and French in 2001 and pursued a career in marketing upon completing her studies. Over the years she developed a passion for writing.

Alan a dog with a slight facial deformity which slightly skewes his snout to one side and his owner Johanna.

Johanna’s career has allowed her to travel the world and work in places including Paris, Berlin, Dubai and Qatar. Johanna continued to write whilst pursuing her marketing career and had her first Young Adult Thriller, The Burning of Juniper Slaide, published in 2016. Her first publication was well received and secured Johanna her first three-book deal with UK publisher Rudling House. In addition to her book deal Johanna has also sold the film and television rights to a London-based production company which has started developing a 10-part TV series script based on the book.  

The alumna’s writing portfolio expands into children's books which she has published both independently and traditionally. Oscar the Oryx is one of the book series published by Johanna which explores moral concerns and aims to teach children to navigate various issues such as social inclusion, healthy eating, and sustainability.  

Many of Johanna’s books are focused on furry friends, with her most notable book featuring her family dog, Alan. Johanna found her dog Alan in the middle of the desert in Qatar alongside his family. When rescued by the alumna and her family, Alan was only a puppy, born with a facial deformity which gave him a look slightly different than the average dog.  

Alan quickly captured the hearts of Johanna and her family when they adopted him in 2019. His charming character went on to steal the hearts of many more after he featured in a TikTok video which went viral. After his breakthrough Alan rose to fame and has accumulated over 2 million followers on TikTok and Instagram. Johanna’s book 'The Story of Alan the Wonky Dogis a chapter book that tells the story of the family finding and adopting Alan. The book is a project designed to help raise funds for animals in need and find homes for dogs like Alan. The book, written by Johanna, is a collaboration of Loughborough alumni. It was illustrated by her husband Daniel Strutt who graduated with a degree in Ergonomics in 2002. The couple’s daughter Darcie also supported with the creative direction of the book.  The book cover of ' The Story of Alan the Wonky Dog' and orange front and back cover with a graphic of Alan standing in front of stacked logs and its blurb on the back.

Johanna shared her thoughts when first meeting Alan. She said: 

When I found him as a puppy, trying to survive in the Qatari desert, I fell in love with him straight away. I knew I had to adopt him and find homes for the rest of his pack, too.” 

She also shared some glimpses into Alan’s popularity on social media: 

He has appeared on ITV's This Morning, and Good Morning America in the US. He has been 'interviewed' by many newspapers and magazines both in the UK and abroad, and he has this wonderful ability to make people smile.” 

Check out Johanna’s books on Amazon and more of Alan on Instagram and TikTok.