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About the book

Bernie’s Escape from Ong Island is an exciting adventure starring Bernie, a beloved puggle (half-pug, half-beagle, 100% awesome) from Austin, Texas. Bernie and his human, Sammy, are taken on a journey to an exotic trash wasteland where their lives are turned upside down. Will Bernie, Sammy, and their new friends find a way home? Will they ever be free of the island and its polluted pitfalls?


Join Bernie and Sammy on this wild ocean adventure as they discover the truth about the dangers of pollution and how it impacts the world’s wildlife. A portion of all profits from Bernie’s Escape from Ong Island will be donated to organizations devoted to the cleanup of the ocean, reusing plastics found in our environment, and promoting a circular economy.

Available at



FREE lesson plans for teachers (or parents) to use in the classroom!

Music Video

Check out our music video. Song by Ken Johnson.


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Coming Soon... Eco-friendly Bernie Merchandise!

About the Author

Harris Family

Jessica Harris (formerly Vogel) has over ten years of experience in energy efficiency with a background in mechanical engineering, project management, construction administration, and extensive experience with utility energy incentive programs. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology and is now the proud owner and President of Harris Energy Solutions, a Women Business Owned Entity headquartered in Austin, Texas.


Jessica is also the proud mother of two children. She relocated to the Austin area with her husband from New Jersey. When she’s not working or writing, Jessica enjoys working out, spending time with her family, and hiking.


Jessica has a passion for protecting the environment and is currently working on a children’s book series to educate and encourage action addressing the dangers of plastics in the ocean, deforestation, and pesticide pollution. Bernie’s Escape from Ong Island is her first children’s book.

Help Bernie save the environment


Try to purchase goods you really need—everything from clothes to toys.
For example, on average, a piece of clothing will only be worn seven times before it is thrown away. Let’s break the fast fashion cycle by only buying what we need and loving what we have! Bernie treasures his treats, chew toys, and stylish dog shirts even more now.


When something breaks, try to fix it instead of running out for another expensive alternative.
You can also shop secondhand and even sell some of the things you don’t need anymore to others. Bernie gave his extra tennis ball to a neighbor dog in exchange for a bone the dog was tired of playing with.


Spend time researching what your local area offers regarding recycling programs. See how you can help further the cause! If there isn’t a recycling program nearby, start your own! Bernie and Sammy convinced their whole street to start separating recycled products out of their trash after describing their escape from Ong island.


Make lifestyle changes to benefit Bernie’s less-is-more plan! Act by becoming involved in your local government, agencies, and other organizations that stand behind environmentally conscious efforts. Sammy’s mother and father have been telling their work friends to make an impact with their wallets. If everyone stopped buying single use plastics, then large corporations would be forced to make more energy conscious alternatives.

Environmentally Friendly Corner

Who loves a good chalkboard sign? Who loves businesses driving sustainability efforts? Well, check out this signage from Island Joes! It was spotted this weekend down in Corpus Christi, TX by one of our followers and readers, Abby. People can use a pick-me-up after picking......

Here’s your gentle reminder that Daylight Savings is ending this Sunday. What do you do to help with time change transitions? It can feel challenging for all of us, especially those of us with young kids, so I wanted to share some tips that I......

The benefits of reading a book are seemingly infinite. Here are some of our favorite benefits that we have seen firsthand in our family. 📗 An improved imagination! 📗 Many children have a vivid imagination, and reading stories helps to develop that part of the brain.......

 For our 100th post, I did something extra special. Follow us on Instagram to enjoy a 100-photo reel tribute to the puggle that started this whole environmental journey: Bernie! 🐶🌎💞 Bernie, we all love you so much. We particularly love how you are an inspiration......

Hello friends, followers, and readers! What are you doing with your pumpkin this year? Surely, you’re making a jack-o-lantern…but what else? There is more to do with your pumpkin than carving it then throwing it in the trash. I’m here to ask you to consider......

As the weather cools (and the mosquitos go away), I love to turn off the A/C, open the windows and sit with my kids to craft. You guessed it, I also love to reuse things that I have around the home already. Here are some......