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

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Vampires and Werewolves are Out - Zombies are In

How do you create a trend or a fad? Is it accidental? Do focus groups sit around discussing what should be the next big thing? How do you figure out what the public will latch on to - and what they won't?

I'm voting for accident. In the early 1970's, an advertising executive named Gary Dahl was joking among his friends about the inconveniences associated with pets. They shed, they need to be fed, walked, and bathed. They get sick and die. He suggested that a good alternative to the average pet would be a rock. It was this conversation that would spawn the idea that would make Gary a millionaire...the Pet Rock.

I remember this fad very well. Not being able to afford to buy a pet rock, I went out and found one of my own. Perhaps you could say it was a feral rock. I could never train my feral rock due to its wild nature but I loved it just as you would one of the domesticated ones. Those were hard times but through it all...we had each other.

This leads me to the title of my blog post. Some of you may be thinking "What do rocks and vampires have in common?" "Why is she drawing me in; tempting me with vampires, werewolves and zombies just to ramble on about pet rocks?" Hang in there...I'm getting to it.

Last week during testing at my job, my colleagues and I had some down time with no students in attendance and with our grades for the semester competed - we had the time to talk about timely world events. And, as you would expect from a group of people with multiple graduate degrees, decided that we would devote this rare unscheduled time to a cerebral conversation about several important issues.

1. What should we eat for lunch?
2. Should we order in, or go out?
3. Why are vampires and werewolves the magic bullet in terms of popular fiction, movies and TV? Why not zombies?

This encouraged me to write an introduction (with apologies to the talented Stephenie Meyer), similar to a very popular book that you may have heard of. But, instead of vampires and werewolves - giving a voice to a less popular group - Zombies. Included in the book entitled "Dusk" that takes place in a foggy small town in the Pacific Northwest called "Spoons", is the following:

"Times had changed. It was a new era of diversity. Vampires and werewolves had been accepted into society. The E.E.O.C. had declared them an under represented group, granting them the rights to shop in the mall after midnight and mandating employers to allow required breaks during the work day to morph into canine form.

Blood was the new Snapple.

Being un-dead was cool, swapping species at a red light in traffic- even cooler. But for us, the previously dead, things had gotten worse.

Perhaps it was the smell of decay, or the fact that our limbs had the tendency to fall off from time to time. Where we had before been able to camoflauge our existence by blending into human society as cafeteria ladies and carnival staff - we were now targeted as different. And, as has been the way in the history of the world, different was the enemy."

A future love scene from "Dusk":

"I look into his eye, the other having fallen out leaving his brain exposed through the hole in its absence. Could I have ever imagined such passion?

"I know what you are."

He exhales, the putrid smell of decay arouses me in ways I've never known.

"Say it.”

I hold my breath, partially out of excitement and partially to control the nausea.


Something registers in his eye. He knows I recognize him for what he is. I am repulsed, yet my desire is almost palpable.

"Are you afraid?”


He comes closer, reaching out to touch a strand of my hair, his thumb falls off. I know I should be horrified - but at the same time it is just so endearing.

"You shouldn’t of said that.”

And he eats my brain.

Okay. I should get back to working on my lessons for the new semester. Besides, there are too many recent references to zombies in popular culture for me to create a new fad, or better yet, a multi-million dollar best seller based on teenage zombies. Zombies aren't sexy enough to generate a large following. How about a high school where everyone sings all the time, never goes to class, and dances in the cafeteria and in the gym during basketball games. There could be the popular captain of the basketball team meeting the smart new girl who is not only good at Science, but can also sing in a 5 octave range at the drop of a hat.

Nah. Something like that would never work.

photo courtesy of photobucket.com. The title Dusk courtesy of Alicia Voss.

1 comment:

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