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, March 24, 2010

Things Overheard In the Hallway

"I don't know why everyone says this Atkins Diet is so great. All I've been doing is eating bagels and this cutting carbs isn't working."

"Did you buy the organic water? You should, it's low in fat and has less calories."

"I can't stand the judgemental people on the bus. They criticize everybody....I hate all those stupid girls, they're mad ugly too."

"....and that's how you wear a banana"

My school is crowded. The hallways are insane with traffic and it takes forever to get from one end of the building to the other. Some hallways are so busy at certain times of the day that it's truly gridlock. I used to get frustrated. Sometimes angry. I started doing the serpentine thing, looking for gaps in the crowd to cut in front of people or even at times...yes, this is bad.

I've used my book bag as a weapon.

I make it look like an accident. It's not personal. It's business. I have to get to class, after all - I'm the teacher.

Recently, however, I've decided to calm down and accept things. It's an ongoing process and while there's many areas of my life where I really still need to work on my whole zen-like acceptance self improvement trend - I've found that I've really started to enjoy the crowded hallways once I started opening my ears and catching these little tid-bits of conversations. I'm sure I'm taking them out of context - but that's the beauty of it. I don't want to know the rest of the conversation!

Of course if it were something serious or harmful, I would make a concerted effort to intervene, but as long as we're talking about wearing "bananas" and organic fat free water, I think it's safe

So for the time being, I'm going to relish my time stuck in the hallway as my own somewhat distorted path to reaching Nirvana.

photo courtesy of Glendale High School (not my school - ours is even more crowded!)

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Lies of Childhood

There comes a time in every child's life when they learn that much of what we've been telling them is a lie. There are indeed monsters everywhere, and they're not all fuzzy and blue and like cookies. They're not misunderstood green ogres, waiting to be drawn out by a talking donkey who will help the world see that they were wrong...that ogres are nice after all.

We want them to run, ride bikes, play outside with their friends - yet even though the sun is shining and everyone is laughing, it's there. It's always there.
Where are these monsters? Everywhere. What do they look like? Us.

What is the correct balance between teaching them to recognize danger and creating a life for them based on suspicion?
I've been told that I'm overprotective, almost irrational. I watch the news too much. I don't allow my daughter to walk home from the bus, or even down the block to visit a friend. I've made her nervous and fearful. I've taken some of the joy out of her childhood and replaced it with terror.

The sun is shining. There's sidewalks, tree lined streets, people walking their dogs. My
neighborhood is quite idyllic. So when do I allow her to walk alone a few blocks in a lovely village, When she's older? All of her friends are already allowed. When she's a teenager? That time came, and passed.

So I let up. I let her walk two blocks to a friend's house.

And it didn't matter. The monsters drive. They follow you and ask you to help them find their lost puppy. She handled the situation well - just like we've always told her to. But now she's even more afraid...and so am I. When will it be okay? Will it ever be? What's going to happen when she's in college and I'm not a few minutes away? Will it be okay when she's grown?

There's a line from the book
Beloved by Toni Morrison that seems to partially answer my question. "Grown don't mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What's that suppose to mean? In my heart it don't mean a thing."

When will it be okay? My heart says never, but my head says someday - because it will have to be. When will I be at peace with her going off places on her own?

For that answer I'm listening to my heart.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Snow-icane 2010

So...here's some unsolicited advice.

Don't ever make fun of weather forecasters. Don't blog about them on your laptop and mock them from the safety of your living room saying things like:

"Ha, yeah - Winter Storm Warning! Maybe we'll get an inch of snow again and we'll have to shovel...WITH A SPOON!"

"Are you even a meteorologist? I think not....you probably have a degree in Communications and a minor in Perfect Hair and Teeth!"

"Here's the real weather forecast...go outside...look around...judge for yourself."

They can hear you. And it makes them angry...so they call in favors, maybe program the computer models in such a way to - I need a real strong term for this - an Old Testament type term would be good here - I know! They SMITE you!

Smite: to strike sharply or heavily..to attack or afflict suddenly and injuriously..to deal a blow

We've been smitten with snow here. Probably about 50 inches they're now saying. (...and by they're, I mean those witty, intelligent, and accurate meteorologists on television. They are SO talented. Don't you just love them? I know I do!)

Trees are down all over. Roads closed. Wires down. We just got our power back on after 20 hours without electricity or heat - and we're the lucky ones since most of my immediate area is still out. I feel a little guilty about that. I don't think I'm worthy of having my power back before other neighborhoods since...well, you know....there's the whole smiting thing.

They're calling it a Snow-icane, a Snow Hurricane, Snow Slam 2010!
Okay, I made that last one up. C'mon...that's funny right? It sounds like a World Wrestling Federation Event!

I should stop now. They may be listening.

photo courtesy of my backyard 2010
Smite courtesy of the Old Testament, Bible.
"Judge for yourself" courtesy of Luann Nolen - loved that line and had to use it.
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