Tales from a Dog Catcher

Tales from a Dog Catcher

"In the tradition of James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small and John Grogan's Marley & Me, Tales from a Dog Catcher is a humorous and heartwarming collection about love, laughter, loss, acceptance, and fate, in the world of an animal control officer."
- Publishers Marketplace"

...Writing in a style reminiscent of James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small, she recalls her experiences in 22 vignettes that dispel and replace stereotypes with an image of a compassionate individual concerned with animals and people alike. Like Herriot, she is a gifted storyteller and an astute observer.... At times amusing and heart-wrenching, this memorable book deserves wide readership. Highly recommended for public libraries. "
- Library Journal (starred review)

... In Tales from a Dog Catcher, she brings together these experiences in a magical book that is funny, touching, and heartrending by turns." - Amazon.com

"This is a wonderful book. I had a hard time putting it down. I was laughing and tearing up, sometimes at the same time! I didn't want it to end..."-Nina Killham, Bestselling Author of Believe Me, How to Cook a Tart, and Mounting Desire

"Having good writing skills isn't a prerequisite for getting a job as a dog catcher, but the two certainly make a good combination for the author of Tales from a Dog Catcher...Some stories are funny - some may move you to tears. I may be barking up the wrong tree, but I think they will appeal to animal lover's and even those who don't care for pets will enjoy reading about the eccentric people involved in these tales from a dog catcher." ...Phyliss Davidson - INFO Metropolitan Library System Magazine. Oklahoma

"Summer reading! Enjoy tales about hero hounds, crazy cats. Great dog books just made for Summer Reading! ... Here's a list of some of our favorite books ... Tales from a Dog Catcher by Lisa Duffy-Korpics is a collection of real stories about people and the animals they encounter...this book is in the tradition of "All Creatures Great and Small" by James Herriot. The stories are funny, sad, uplifting and even silly." ...Laurie Denger - Dayton Daily News. Ohio

"...In Tales from a Dog Catcher," author Lisa Duffy-Korpics recounts her years as an animal control officer in a series of fascinating and engaging stories...the stories can be funny and heartbreaking, often simultaneously...However, there is no shortage of entertaining encounters. Animal lovers will appreciate the candid tales, and enjoy a new perspective on an often unexamined profession."...Dog Channel.com

"Lisa's numerous on-the-job adventures are compiled in this collection of sad, charming, delightful and humorous short stories. ...Animal lovers of all ages will appreciate Lisa’s recollections of her memorable encounters with domestic animals and injured wildlife in the beautiful Hudson Valley." ...Rachelle Nones - Tri County WOMAN magazine. New York

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Book Hound: Dogs in Black and White Review

A nice review from Tanya Turgeon from Fetchdog.com, your one-stop shop for all things dog! I really enjoyed reading this review...it was different than many others in that it really explained the role of an animal control officer and clarified the differences between the vision people have in their minds, and what a "dog catcher" really does. Thanks Tanya, for a great , incredibly well written and articulate review. Tanya should think about writing a book...she definitely has the chops! If you check out her website above, you'll see that this is a multi-talented young woman who can not only write, but also acts, models and even performs in a circus! She's done some work for the Big Apple Circus, which has its headquarters right down the road a bit from my house! It's a small world. You can read the review below or here, for the direct link to the Fetchdog.com blog.

Tales from a Dog Catcher

REVIEW by Tanya Turgeon

The Lyons Press, 2009 - 252 pages - $16.95

The words "dog catcher" conjure in my mind a cartoon stereotype of a middle-aged awkwardly burly mustachioed man in khaki shorts and matching button-down short-sleeved shirt wielding an oversized butterfly net. He is constantly warring with the neighborhood dogs who always end up oustmarting him, a la Heathcliff or Lady and the Tramp. I have since been educated by Tales from a Dog Catcher, written by former Animal Control Officer Lisa Duffy (now known as teacher and author Lisa Duffy-Korpics), who turns out to be the farthest thing from male and burly.

Curious if the difference between a "dog catcher" and an "Animal Control Officer" had to do with age, gender, size, and demeanor, I consulted my old faithful friend Wikipedia who informed me, "Gone are the days of the big bad dog catcher. Today Animal Control Officers focus more on educating the public on proper animal care, and rescuing animals from dangerous or abusive situations." Apparently my mental image was simply out-of-date. Relative to the book, this statement should appear in bold on the cover, that's how precisely it summarizes the experiences of Lisa Duffy.

The stories are quite self-sufficient and a few have already been featured in some of the Chicken Soup books, which is an indicator of the tone they take. As the antithesis to the old school dog catcher, ACO Duffy is most often armed with soothing words and dog biscuits as she saves animal after animal (including an endearing one-legged duck), empathizing wholeheartedly, and often being brought to tears by situations beyond her control.

If some of the animal encounters are odd, like a flock of turkeys marching down a steep embankment toward a busy roadway, the human confrontations are more so. One woman is told to feed and water some kittens, so she of course pours water all over them. Another insists on putting down a perfectly healthy Schnauzer so he can be buried with his owner, her recently deceased uncle.The only enemies in Duffy's life are negligent and abusive owners, who are reponsible for frustrating and often heartbreaking circumstances.

While I expected more nit and grit from such an insider view, I respect the realistic and honest writing. Besides who am I to judge when I so thoroughly misconceived the role of a dog catcher at the outset? At one point, ACO Duffy tenderly pets a beautiful German Shepherd whose life of abuse has led directly to euthanization. "You're misunderstood," she says.

So it seems has been the role of the dog catcher.

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The Lyon Press, Guilford,Connecticut
The Lyons Press is an imprint of The Globe Pequot Press
Cover design by Georgiana Goodwin
Cover photographs © Shutterstock

Printed in the United States of America
US $16.95 / CAN $19.95
Tales from a Dog CatcherDuffy-Korpics © 2009
Dewey: 636.7
Dogs — New York (State) — New York — Anecdotes. Dog rescue — New York (State) — New York — Anecdotes. Duffy-Korpics, Lisa