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

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from Tales from a Dog Catcher

Thanksgiving - a time to be thankful.

For my loyal readers; it's probably been pretty obvious that I've been going through some sad times. I know I'm not alone - but times like these cause my mind to drift back to those holidays filled with people who are no longer here - about the holiday plans I looked forward to this year that were completely planned around someone I lost in the past few months. I look around my circle of people close to my heart, and I see empty spaces - the list growing too quickly for comfort.

Tales from a Dog Catcher has been reviewed as a book that has encouraged people to be more reflective, grateful for things they'd overlooked. It's been reviewed as a good book to help those dealing with grief. In a way, that's sort of ironic. Maybe I need to read it again myself. I didn't write that book to elicit and manipulate emotions that I didn't feel myself. That book is me - the me underneath my sarcasm, humor and purposeful facade. I need to remember that.

Today I'm looking forward. It may not be something that's easy but it's something I have to do. For not only myself, but for those people in my life who are no longer here - but would be the first ones to tell me to "get over myself"...to live while I can, enjoy everything while it's here and be totally present. Today I give thanks for my family, sitting here with my brother and sister in law in their warm welcoming home with my husband, children, neices and my mother in law. I'm thankful for my family and friends back at home. For those I see everyday, for those I only get to see every few months, and for those I haven't seen in years.

Thanks to my readers for giving me an opportunity to share my stories and reflections, and for your kind and insightful comments and questions. I'm slowly moving on the sequel and I hope it comes to fruition - there are still yet tales to tell.

I wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving, filled with laughter, great food, family and friends. Time to reflect on what you're thankful for - and time to reflect on not just what you've lost, but what you have to gain by opening your heart to the amazing array of possibilities that presents itself to us every day with the simple act of a sunrise.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Dog Catcher. :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Until We Meet Again...a Eulogy for my Guardian Angel

It is an enormous struggle to find words that express great love, because love is so vast, so intangible. It is beyond description. So I tried to find a way to describe Laila in a way that would truly illustrate who she was and how she lived her life.

And the word I finally came up with was an angel. An angel on earth that walked among us. But that in itself is a word that I believe needs explanation, because there are so many things that angels do. So I looked up the definition of an angel in both secular and biblical references and here is what I found.

A kind and lovable person

One who manifests goodness and selflessness

They are revealers, who show us what we are sometimes too blind to see

They are guides, who take our hand and guide us when we’ve lost our way

Providers who provide physical needs to others like shelter and food to the homeless and hungry

Protectors who keep you away from danger….and deliverers - who pull you out of danger once you’re in the midst of it

They strengthen and encourage those around them

They are those who God chooses to use as intermediaries to answer prayers.

Laila was all of these things. And what makes this so incredibly amazing is that while she was growing up – there were many times in her life where she could’ve used her own angel to guide her through the many difficult roads she had to travel. How could such a beautiful gentle soul endure so much pain in her young life – and become someone who embodied everything that is good and selfless and kind? She became a loving wife to Frank- I believe with divine intervention since he is an angel in his own right, and together they created a life together and a marriage that lasted for 45 years. She was a wonderful mother – who protected and guided and loved her children beyond measure.

She opened her heart, and her home to others who were less fortunate. You may wonder why I am the one writing this? It’s because I was one of them...one of the less fortunate. Many turn the other way when they see a child being abused or mistreated – especially when the last thing they need is another mouth to feed – another problem to deal with – but she didn’t. Maybe it was because when she needed someone to help her when she was that age – there had been no one willing to do it for her.

35 years ago she took my hand and promised me "I'm not going to let anyone hurt you anymore" and in that moment became more than a friend, or my neighbor...she became my mother...she revealed a future I couldn’t see, protected and delivered me from danger, and changed the course of my life.

I’m not the only one with this kind of story. Looking around at the wake, at all the people sitting around in chairs honoring and celebrating her life, I realized that if it were not for her and of how she lived her life – some of those chairs would've been empty - not because of choice, but because the people sitting in them wouldn't have been alive to be there …the one my own father sitting on being one of them. If that doesn’t explain who she was, and how her legacy of love lives on. Then nothing can.

Her sharp sense of humor would surprise you sometimes. She’d put a plate of food in front of us and one of us would say;

“It’s hot”

And she’d say “Well – yes…it wasn’t cooked in the refrigerator!”

As children, she would encourage our mischief and delight in our laughter. I remember helping to make meals with Janie, while dancing and singing to the Blues. She’d pretend she didn’t know what we were up to – but I know now that she always did. Half the time she was the co-conspirator.

She could stop your tears and make you laugh – and then make you forget about what you were crying about in the first place.

She was an exceptional Mom.

Laila leaves her loving family, her devoted husband Frank of 45 years, her beautiful daughter Jane and her husband Kurt, her lovely daughter Donna and her husband Jeff, six grandchildren, including her beloved grandson Tommy, who along with her wonderful daughters Donna and Jane and her best advocate and wonderful son-in-law Kurt, sat with her until the end. She is also survived by her devoted sister Gloria. She was predeceased by two children, three brothers, and her beloved Pekingese Shadow, all of whom are finally together again.

Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death – they would be asked two questions, and their answers would determine whether they could continue their journey in the afterlife.

The first question was; “Did you find joy?

The second question was; “Did you bring joy?”

And that is how I know where she is now.

Ancient Eygptian Quote attributed to Dr. Felice Leonardo Buscaglia Ph.D

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