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, October 25, 2010

To Every Thing There is a Season...or is There?

What do you do when you have no time to cry?

The days come. You know the ones... the dates that are carved into your heart. Days that deserve to be opened up like a box of old photographs, or a hope chest. Days where you should sit and sift through memories and smile and cry and remember...and most of all just feel.

Why is there no time to feel?

Is it American culture? Is it healthier to move on - forge ahead - be strong and resilient and look to the future? People tell us that all the time. Focus on the now, the immediate, the errands, the responsibilities, life.

But I don't want to do that right now. I want to sit and remember how the rain felt pelting against my face mixing with my tears while I stood at a grave on a crisp wet October morning some years ago.

I want to scroll through the text messages I sent every night connecting me somehow over the miles to someone who can no longer text me back. Days ago he did..and now he can't. I want to process this - but there's no time. At what distance does it become impossible to send text messages? To receive them? Can I measure it? If I could, I would because then maybe I'd understand. I sent some to him yesterday. At what point is that futile? At what point is that faith?

Life is for the living. It is a gift. It is a journey. It is all of these things and more. There is time to appreciate it - but there doesn't seem to be any time for allowing the pain that goes along with all of the joy to let the sorrow wash over you. It won't hurt you. You won't melt. But everyone's afraid of it. I want the world to stop turning just for a little bit - just long enough to let me feel it. I don't want to wallow - I want to cry and remember and feel....because I think only then can I heal.

But first I have to make dinner. Grade papers. Make a test. Pick up my son from school, coax my daughter into the bath, take out the dog, answer the phone, pay the bills and prepare to begin another day of life bright and early tomorrow where I will smile and perform and be productive because that is what is expected of me. I'm grateful. I'm lucky. I'm blessed.

But... I still just want some time to cry.

Photo courtesy of Jenny Ellerbee

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Your Life was a Gift to so Many

You broke into my house and put up a Christmas Tree - force feeding me holiday spirit.
You made me buy Halloween pumpkins and candy and told me to "get over myself". I did. You camped out on my couch and then my cat preferred you and didn't sleep with me anymore.

You would bring me coffee because you told me that I was too evil to be spoken to before I finished that first cup.

You were right.

You taught me how to wash my floor, leaving one side (yours) sparkling clean and the other (mine) dingy gray. When I asked you to help me finish you said "This isn't MY floor - I simply provide the knowledge and the tools!"

You used up all my hot water and then told me that since I was not a morning person it was in my best interest to have a cold shower to wake me up. You knew I didn't have enough money for groceries so you stockpiled bags and bags of bagels in my freezer so that I'd have enough for months - making bagels my major food group. When I wore my black skirt with the black vest and white shirt you asked me when I would be milking the cows since I had apparently decided that I was now Amish.

I changed the outfit.

The first time I met you, you said "So, you live in Peekskill. That's right past my house on the highway - so....I'll meet you out by the car everyday so you can drive me home; okay?" So...
we became commuting buddies. Then before driving you home, you made me empty all the old trash and paper cups out of the back seat before you would let me start the car. You even counted them...I think there were at least 15 or so empty cups.

You made me laugh harder than anyone ever had in my life before. You forced me to look at myself and see that I was looking at the glass half empty - and that it was the only thing getting in the way of leading a happy life. You told me to say yes to that date with the new math teacher, he was a good guy. He was...we've been married almost 18 years now. You cracked open my heart and enriched my life with your wonderful, pushy eternal optimism. You made me notice and appreciate things I would've never seen were it not for you.

You loved life with an enthusiasm and joy that I always admired. You didn't see strangers - you saw potential friends. You grew up, but never lost that childlike ability to see magic in all the things that the rest of us lose as we grow older. Your purity of spirit is something I can strive for, but I'll never achieve it because there aren't many like you here on earth. I think God only allows a few - just to show us what we're missing - to teach us about the real meaning of life and love and strength and joy.

I am so blessed that I was given the gift of knowing you - and if you can hear me from where you are - and when I close my eyes I think I can see you - with your head lying on your Dad's chest listening to his heart beat while he strokes your hair - finally holding the son he's missed for so long....there's something I want to tell you beside the obvious - that I love you and your friendship was a gift in my life that I will always hold close to my heart until I see you again...

...I want you to know, Frank....that the back seat of my car is totally clean - no cups anywhere.
And so is my floor.


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