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

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'll be on Shannon's Corner on WTBQ 1110 AM, 99.1FM Thursday at Noon

I will be on Shannon's Corner on WTBQ 1110 AM, 99.1 FM on Thursday August 20th at 12:05 pm. WTBQ is Orange County New York's, and Northern New Jersey's only independent radio station.Shannon's Corner airs every Thursday from 12:00 Noon til 12:30 PM. She is the author of the book "Parent's Guide to Hudson Valley Schools: Orange & Sullivan County" and is available at Amazon.com. She talks about our options and choices in all areas of our lives.

A graduate of the London School of Journalism, Shannon has lived most of her adult life in Manhattan where she earned a Certificate of Journalism from New York University and attended Columbia University.

Had so much fun chatting with Shannon - she's such a professional that she made me feel right at ease. I almost forgot I was on live! (ouch - maybe I shouldn't have reminded myself of that). Here is what she posted on her blog shannonscorner.com.

Thank you Shannon and to WTBQ for the opportunity to speak with your listeners.

- Lisa Duffy-Korpics is a local Orange County author and high school teacher who has written a delightful and compassionate book, Tales from a Dog Catcher (Lyons Press). Animal lovers and just those who love a good book will be entertained and charmed while reading this and learning about her days as a dog catcher and the surprising antics that she came upon. Lisa also wrote some of her delightful stories inChicken Soup for the Cat and Dog Lovers Soul. Listen in today to hear Lisa talk about her book and tell some of her lively tales and you will be glad you make good choices ~

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Walden Library

Chris and I had fun at the Village of Walden Farmer's Market today. We were too pathetic to sit out in the drizzle, so we sat inside the library where it was nice and dry. Too bad it rained, (I feel like I'm saying that a lot lately). Thanks to everyone for coming out, and of course to Ginny from the Josephine Louise Public Library who is such a great advocate for our books! Thanks go out to Haley for setting up too.
We'll be back in September at the Village of Walden Farmer's Market to try again - this time hopefully it will be nice out!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Book Review: Kansas K-9 Rescue Organization

Kansas K-9 Rescue is an organization based in Wichita, Kansas that provides and seeks foster homes for rescued dogs. They are an all volunteer organization and all donations are tax deductible. You can also adopt a dog from Kansas K-9 Rescue if you meet the necessary requirements. Below is a a review of Tales from a Dog Catcher from their August Newsletter. Thank you to Ruth Thompson and all of the people at Kansas K-9 Rescue, for a lovely review, but more importantly, for the incredible job you do everyday for the animals in your care. Click here for ways to get involved in helping today!

Book Review: Tales from a Dog Catcher

Author: Lisa Duffy-Korpics

The author of this book (Copyright 2009) worked her way through college as an animal control officer in a small town in upstate New York. The book is written in 22 chapters or vignettes that are independent of one another and could stand alone as short stories. In fact, some of the stories have been published in the "Chicken Soup" series of books. While the book is not entirely about dogs but also includes stories of cats, raccoons, turkeys and other creatures, it does seem to focus on dogs. It is an endearing collection that is touching, humorous, and uplifting, dispelling the "mean" dog catcher stereotype that some of us harbor.

The fact that each chapter is a complete tale makes the book appealing to those of us who don’t have time to stay involved in a book until the very last page in order to learn the outcome.

Two recommendations: Check this little book out at your local library (my copy was softbound), and keep your Kleenex handy when you read it! - Ruth Thompson - Kansas K-9 Rescue

Book Club Queen's Review & Interview with Nina Killham

Author Nina Killham's newest novel Believe Me is featured on the book blog Book Club Queen. You can also read an interview with Nina about Believe Me on the site. Nina is one of my favorite writers and I fell in love with her work a few years ago.
You can read Nina's interview and Book Club Queen's Review of Believe Me here... and while you're at it, you should definitely check out some of her other great books; How to Cook a Tart and Mounting Desire.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Grief and Loss - Sometimes Feeling Sad is the First Step to Feeling Better

There has been a lot of loss this summer. The news brings us more of it each day. My God daughter's four year old dog died suddenly a week ago from bloat. For those of you not familiar with that, if you've seen the movie Marley & Me, that was what sent Marley to the vet near death. He survived. Most dogs don't. The other day I was looking up something on the web about pet loss, and I found that my book was included in a suggested reading catalog on a Social Work site on the topic of grief. While that may seem odd for a book with a smiling dog on the cover, it really isn't. I was really thrilled to see that. Thrilled you say? Thrilled and grief in the same sentence? Let me explain.

I felt that whoever included it among the self help books for grieving must have really read every page, and understood exactly what I was trying to do. They got it! There is a lot of loss in the book. Some like that about it, while there are some readers who don't. I think that some weren't prepared for it, since many of the stories are humorous and heartwarming - yet they are true stories, and as such, reflect the realities of life's inconsistencies. Yes, there are many happy endings, but sometimes they aren't the happy endings we envision. Sometimes in life, we don't understand why things happen and often we become angry and disappointed and wonder why? While writing this book, there were chapters that were so difficult to write that I would have to take a break from them. I would be sitting at my computer with tears streaming down my face and my daughter would ask "Mommy, are you okay?" and my husband would tell her. "She's fine, don't worry, she's just writing."

A friend of mine who read the book prior to its official release date didn't understand why I was shifting from happy, to funny to heartbreaking within the chapters. He thought it was rather random, and thought that maybe putting them in categories would be better. I explained to him that it was the polar opposite of random, it was extremely deliberate. I wanted to run the emotional gamut. I wanted a happier chapter to follow a very sad one...as soon as someone felt that they were too sad to read anymore, they would laugh out loud at something else and continue on. As soon as all seemed futile, there was hope. This was all done on purpose because I wanted, more than anything else, for the reader to feel. There is sadness in truth, as well as laughter and joy - but most importantly - there is always hope. I am honored that this could be a book that may help someone who is grieving. Sometimes having a good cry is cleansing and makes us feel less alone. Sometimes even feeling sad is better then the numbness that can paralyze you when you are grieving. Grief is a topic I am very familiar with, and some of the most unlikely books have helped me through the toughest of times. I would be honored if mine can possibly do that for someone else someday.
photo courtesy of Psychology Today.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Book Marks: Times Herald Record Newspaper, NY

Bookmarks: Local authors

Lisa Duffy-Korpics of Walden,

Yanique Beliard Michel of Fishkill

Title: "Tales From a Dog Catcher"

Author: Lisa Duffy-Korpics of Walden

Author background: Duffy-Korpics is married to Jason Korpics and they have a son, Charles, 15, and daughter, Emily, 12. Formerly a dogcatcher for the City of Peekskill while attending college for four years, she is now a government and psychology teacher at Valley Central High School in Montgomery and a writer. Her stories have appeared in eight "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books.

Publisher: The Lyons Press of Guilford, Conn., an imprint of the Globe Pequot Press

Genre: Narrative nonfiction; some bookstores and Web sites place the book under "Memoirs."

Summary: The book is about Duffy-Korpics' adventures as a dogcatcher in Annesville (which is the original name of Peekskill, hence the Annesville [traffic] Circle). Unlike today where animal control falls under the town and/or village, Duffy-Korpics worked with the Police Department as a peace officer. She was in charge of a four-square-mile area, which actually gave her lots of material to write about. The names of the humans have been changed as well as some of the animals'. Duffy-Korpics said oddly enough she remembered all the names of the animals she tried to help. The humans were tougher to recall. "I think it was less about the animals and more about dealing with the people."

Best chapter and quote from the book: Duffy-Korpics is a softie when it comes to animals. In the chapter "Odd Blessings," she writes about frequently listing the animal's age as younger than they actually were so that they would be more adoptable. Also, if the adopters were poor, she didn't ask them for the $10 rescue fee. She would list the animal as a "stray" on all paperwork. As she says in the book, "too often I had found that this fee — or inability to pay it — got in the way of doing the right thing."

Maureen was a receptionist at the local shelter, processing all of the animals' paperwork and fees. Duffy-Korpics describes Maureen as "about 5 feet, 90 pounds of pure steel." Maureen always gave the author a hard time, saying things such as "ah, of course another 3- to 5-year-old terrier mix, who — at such a young age, mind you — already has cataracts and gray hair. It must be that rare accelerated aging disease again. Your city should really test its water ..."

However, Maureen never changed the paperwork and Duffy-Korpics observes, "Inside her tiny body was a great big heart; it may have been surrounded by several layers of igneous rock, but I knew it was there nonetheless."

First-time literary advice: "I think the mistake people make is they just send out the manuscript without sending it to a specific person and getting the spelling of that name right. The Writer's Market will tell you everything you need to know. It's a lot of work, but I try to enjoy that side of it. If you want to do it the traditional way, you have to have a (tough) skin and know that it's not personal (when they reject you)."

Availability: This book is available globally in English. Online at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, borders.com and target.com. It's also available in major bookstores, department stores and libraries.

Price: $16.95

Upcoming work: Duffy-Korpics is finishing more chapters for a sequel about her dogcatcher days. She would also like to write a young-adult book.

Upcoming events: Duffy-Korpics will be a guest on WTBQ's "Shannon's Corner" at 12:05 p.m. Aug. 20.

Visit her blog at www.talesfromadogcatcher.blogspot.com.

Friday, August 7, 2009

St. Baldrick's Foundation - Raising Awareness about Childhood Cancer

St. Baldrick's is an organization that devotes itself to battling Childhood Cancer of all types. Rather than focusing on one type of cancer, or just their own organization, St. Baldrick's helps send these funds directly to places that fund research and fellowships to fight all types of Childhood Cancer. The school I work at has been a large supporter of this organization, with teachers shaving their heads or growing a Mohawk or other similar incentives to reach a higher goal of donations each year. What makes this fundraiser different than others, at least around my neighborhood, is that it is run primarily by students. They take the initiative, plan, organize and publicize each year to reach a higher goal than the last. We've had a lot of graduates this year who were very active in recruiting interest in St. Baldrick's, particularly a young lady named Brenna Brown, who is probably the most altruistic person I've met in a long time. She's headed for college very soon and I keep encouraging her to think about a Public Administration program since she's such a natural at this sort of thing. I could really see her running a non-profit organization in the very near future, plus she makes a mean apple pie! (which she taught me to make, and after only five times, I got it right!).

So, it is with these thoughts that I wanted to bring some attention to St. Baldrick's today, and if you click on the link above it will take you to a Mom's story about daily life with her son, who has been battling childhood cancer for four years, a large majority of his life. There are multiple ways you can get involved, and not all of them involve shaving your head! You can access the main site at www.stbaldricks.org

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Indiana on My Mind

I've been sending shout-outs, (do they still say that...is that some early 90's word? I don't care...I liked the 90's better than now lately anyway...so shout-outs it is!) to Libraries that have purchased copies of Tales from a Dog Catcher for their readers. I decided to start with the libraries that were the furthest from New York because it just fascinated me that so many miles away in a totally different part of the world, somebody, somewhere could be reading about Charlie the cat who held me hostage, or Bobby and Brownie, or the many emotionally wrenching experiences that made this job as difficult as can be, or the hysterical "too strange to be true" stories that had such an impact on me even all of these years later. Now that I've said all of this, I would like to draw attention to many of the wonderful library systems that have been incredibly good to me and ordered multiple copies of Tales from a Dog Catcher on the faith that their readers would enjoy it and check it out again and again. So, tonight's honored Library System will be the entire state of Indiana!
The first libraries that purchased Tales from a Dog Catcher were from Indiana, and with amazement I watched it grow and grow until multiple library districts in Indiana ordered copies. When I check to see availability, it is often checked out or on hold...another thing that makes my heart sing!

So, check out the state of Indiana's offical site...their information site for visitors and tourists. Thank you Indiana Libary Directors for taking a chance on my book and trusting the April Library Journal Starred Review. There may be more, so please forgive me if I leave anyone out, but thanks go out to the library systems of: Fort Wayne, Bluffton, Huntington, New Castle , Mishawaka Penn Harris, (which has a ton of copies!), Bremen, South Bend, Carmel, Columbus, Indianapolis, Terre Haute, Bloomington, and Merrillville.

Someday I would love to come and visit - Indiana sounds like a place that I would really enjoy.

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