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, February 7, 2010


Where is home?

Where the heart is? Any place where they have to take you when you go there? Be it ever so humble, there's no place like it?

On the range- where the deer and the antelope play?

Or, maybe it's true, like the phrase Thomas Wolfe made famous in his 1940 novel, that you can't go home again.

I've felt that way for a while now. I've even avoided going back because I'm so nostalgic by nature that it's practically painful. I resent the new businesses with their new names, the way they changed the exit ramp to the highway, how they finally rented the buildings near a field where I used to play. Even though it's an improvement, I have fond memories of when it was half completed because the builder went bankrupt, windows broken and empty, the field next to it was dirt, weeds, and litter - trash fluttering around in the breeze - we ran around and played among it.

An unlikely combination of decay and potential that I found oddly comforting.

Today I had to drive down, help some people that mean the world to me. Face the fact that nothing stays the same and watch someone I love struggle with a diagnosis that has already taken her away from me, and even worse; from her husband and daughter. I had no idea that the last time I talked to her, would be the last time she was in there. She looks at me now, and she's gone.

I arrived at the building. I pulled my car up to park next to the sidewalk and saw someone pull in front of me and start backing up to fit into his spot. I turned my car back on and slowly backed up a foot so he would have more room, but left enough space for the car behind me to get out. I was expecting the usual. A dirty look or a rude comment. I got out of the car and when I closed the door a man was standing in front of me. "Oh here we go." I thought.

"I want to thank you Miss. That was kind of you to back up for me." He smiled. It was a little disarming.

"You're welcome." I said. "I don't park in a city too often anymore. I'm a little out of practice." I opened my purse to fish out some quarters for the meter and I hear a voice behind me. It's a large man who looks a bit down on his luck. He smiles and I notice that his teeth are broken and missing, but for some reason I still like his smile. It's his eyes. He means it.

"No money in the meter today Ma'am. It's Sunday and it's free!" He gives me a salute and advises me to button up my jacket so I don't get a cold. Then he walks away quickly, whistling.

I start walking towards the building, buttoning up my jacket as I approach the door.

I've been home five minutes. And I know now, that no matter where I end up in this life and how much things change, the spirit of a place stays the same.

And I know Thomas Wolfe was wrong.


  1. Funny how going in to get a sub and saying Hi to Brenda (who has literally known me most of my life!) or looking over the river at that mountain that never changes even though the riverfront did, makes you remember that feeling inside. The sound of the train in the night still makes me feel like home. :)

  2. Em - you put that into words better than I ever could. Isn't it funny that you can love a place so much that others see as so imperfect? I think we embrace the imperfection, either that or growing up so close to a nuclear power plant affected us in some dangerous way! :)


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