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

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.


  1. I hear ya. A great blog about a very difficult decision. I'm schizophrenic sometimes, being over protective and then letting them do something that a rational person probably wouldn't let them do because I'm trying so hard not to be neurotic.

  2. Thanks Nina - I do the same thing - go between being neurotic in one way and then equally neurotic in the other! There's a show here - you may not get it in the UK, called "I Survived". Terrible tales of people who survived the unsurvivable...horrific stories of abduction, etc. I was so addicted to it that my family erased it off of the TIVO and told me I could no longer watch it. I guess you could say they grounded me.

    What is the answer to this? I just don't know. I don't think anyone does.


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