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

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Reading for Dog Lovers: A Post that Borders on Inappropriate and Contains References to Penguins and Sex

"Tales from a Dog Catcher is quite an enjoyable read....once I got past the title."
Gotcha! After not posting in so long I knew I need a flashy title to lure you in. I do promise I will not disappoint you.
I apologize to those loyal friends and readers who keep checking my blog, (and have likely given up), over the past few months. I've been incredibly busy with college search stuff for my son, chauffeuring my daughter around, and repairing cars that seem to be in a constant cycle of getting hit while parked!
     Add this to the changing curriculum standards in education that require someone whose been teaching for almost 20 years, to start changing everything they've done, (which seems to have proven successful for almost two decades but for some reason now needs to be different for reasons that have not yet been truly evaluated by any real data)...I guess you could say I've been shirking my blog duties. Okay...I'm done complaining now.
     "I just checked that author's blog...you know the one who wrote that book about dog catching? All she does is complain. If I want to read that I'll just write my OWN blog!"
     So, in light of the holidays...I will reduce my complaint index to an appropriate level. But...just one more before I start. I'm watching the news on this lovely Saturday morning. I looked up to see that a turkey vulture and a penguin are being featured on this morning news program. The Vet is explaining details about the penguin and the serious bifocal wearing host waits for her to pause between sentences and he says - in a very impressive and anchor-person sounding voice:
"So, as I'm listening to you, I'm waiting for this penguin to dance. Have you seen Happy Feet?"
     This is happening at the same time a news (news being a relative term apparently), scroll on the bottom of the TV screen announces something I missed but the words "penile enhancement gone wrong" followed by something about a student who wrote an article on premarital sex for his college newspaper resulting in him being suspended. Do you feel like we live in the 1950's? All of a sudden, what used to be acceptable opinion is suddenly cause for suspension? Premarital sex? In COLLEGE of all places? What about journalistic integrity? How can an article about premarital sex be "bad" at the same time a penile enhancement story is being scrolled across the screen - because obviously - this is breaking news?
     "What's wrong with this woman?! She writes these heartwarming stories and now she's talking about sex and penile enhancement? And...it's the holidays!!! I don't think I want to read anything she writes anymore!"
     Okay, I will revert back to more appropriate content....maybe I need more coffee. Maybe that's the problem. Maybe more coffee will make me stop - although it's more likely it will make me escalate so perhaps it's time for me to close and wish everyone a great weekend.
     I'm 3/4 of the way complete with the sequel to "Dog Catcher" and while it's still sweet and fun...it's a little edgier than the last one. If you want to drop me a line and let me know if that's okay with you...I would be most appreciative. If you're in the process of looking for a great gift for friends and loved ones - Tales from a Dog Catcher is a great idea, (if I do say so myself!), and is available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com and also at select bookstores in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Europe,  Asia, Australia, New Zealand and other locations across the globe. This book is not yet available on Kepler 22; that new planet discovered that shares many similarities with earth. If you're reading this on Kepler and would like this book to be available, (if indeed there are bookstores there), please send me an email and I'll contact Lyons Press to see if they can send a few boxes.
     "Now I know there's something wrong with this Duffy-Korpics, (she can't even decide on a last name), woman....she's totally off on some tangent. She seemed so well adjusted in the book. Maybe she's gone off the deep end?!"

     Happy almost holidays! 

Photo courtesy of publishersweeklyblog at PWxyz

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New Driver on the Road

I noticed something the other day....time flies by whether or not I work on curriculum or projects or unpack boxes or wash the floor and pick up after messy teenagers or constantly call teenagers who just received their licenses and are now out there in the world driving without me sitting next to them saying;

"BRAKES! "HEY, HEY, HEY...Tail lights dude....watch for those brake lights!" "That was a stop sign, just in case you didn't notice....oh, and by the way, that was a red light just because you didn't see the stop sign." Funny how those things pop up in the road...of all places. He is a 17 year old boy...but all I see when I watch him drive away is that photo at the top of my blog.

I'm working hard on an exciting project...in the waiting stages now so I'm trying to learn Sociology so I can teach it in September. I have Psychology down pat...enough so that I would actually feel comfortable teaching a college course in it - even the neuroanatomy. I remember back to my days in nursing school...loved this stuff...neurotransmitters, dopamine, acetylcholine, GABA, effect of serotonin reuptake inhibitors... all good. But sociology? I have some reading to do. All my course work outside of that was history.

So...my son drives. He's preparing for his senior pictures. And I think I'm having a mid-life crisis. Good news: all the crunches and push-ups it's inspiring me to do...bad news: the empty nest syndrome is starting to encroach upon me. My daughter has four years more, starts high school i September. High school. September. I need a drink.

What can we do...just enjoy every moment while we have it. Enjoy it. Invest in it. Let it go because we can't stop it even if we wanted to....and in the meantime connect with old friends and family we miss....not lose sight of what's important.

And moisturize. Never forget to moisturize.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Stay Tuned

I know...I haven't updated this blog in so long that several politicians have had sex scandals in the interim...oh wait...that was only a week ago.

School is winding down and I'm working on a side project I'm very excited about - and the sequel is probably at least halfway there even though that will have to wait a little while longer. We're moving into our house - finally - after living in an extended stay hotel for 3 months. The movers have decided that they can't move our belongings until a week or so after we close, so we're going to camp out in our house with just a sofa and a grill. Who needs anything else anyway!

Just one adventure after another here in my world. More to come soon - when I get some rest and my creativity returns.

photo courtesy of remotebizbooks.com

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How Do I Love Thee? Let me Not Count the Ways

Americans overuse the word love. I know this to be true since I heard it on TV last night; on a high profile network no less. So of course, it must be true.

I don’t think Americans, or anyone for that matter, overuse the word love. Maybe I don’t think it’s used enough? What's more, who decided that it’s overused? Who decided the scale we should measure love by? Perhaps there should be an organization designed to determine the amount of love one should feel in different situations. Perhaps something like “The Ministry of Love”. No, that sounds too provincial or like an album cover... in America it would probably be called “The Department of Love”, much like the D.M.V. but less confusing and with shorter lines.

Who’s to say that the woman making dinner for her five young children after working an 8 hour day doesn’t love her microwave? Why can’t we love our favorite movie, or a color, or certain type of Pinot Grigio?

“Here my darling, I’ve been saving this wine for a special occasion. I really intensely like it and I’m sure you will be exceptionally fond of it too.”

“Oh, yes” She takes a sip. “I absolutely find it way beyond adequate!”

The thing about love is that it truly is indefinable. It means something different to whoever is feeling it. Feelings are intangible things by nature, so therein lies my problem with people telling us that we should have a limit on it.

Maybe the word should be reserved for the absolute peak of experiences, the most reverent moments, the most important rites of passage. Maybe it should be reserved for permanence, a word not to be taken a chance on something potentially temporary? Does love fade away? Yes, sometimes it does. Is love sometimes taken away? Does it cause us to run towards things, or sometimes to run away from them as well? Yes, I suppose that’s true. But isn't the chance worth it?

Does love change? Absolutely it does…the love a child feels toward their parents is a complicated and cyclical thing – beginning with intense need, moving along to admiration, than to disappointment that no one is perfect, and with any luck moves back to admiration and respect once again. Love affairs begin with chemistry and excitement, the physicality, the peaks and valleys are volatile, exciting and addicting. When they level off into maturity, some may think that they’ve fallen out of love but if they’re lucky, it’s turned into something deeper and solid. Can those we love die….our brains know the logic to this, but our love doesn’t.

So how can the word love be overused? It can appear, disappear, change, be given or taken away, it can be brief; it can be inconsistent, misunderstood, simple, complex, fleeting or forever. What it can’t be is defined. I watch my children sleeping and I remember them as babies and I know I will always see them that way as they grow taller than me . I loved them then and now, sometimes it’s easy, and sometimes it’s painful, but it’s still love. My mother told me that love was an action, not a word. I think she knew that I'd need to remember that when she was no longer here to guide me when I became a parent myself. She gave me a memory of selfless love.

On the first warm day of spring when I sit outside on my deck, with my dog on my lap, among the trees and quiet in the sunshine…I feel it. What do I love? Trees? Sunshine? Peace? My dog? My deck? It doesn’t matter. I can’t define it and I don’t want to…I just love it. I don’t want to rate or measure or count the amount of times anyone should say it. It’s not my job, and it’s not the job of the news to tell us this either.

It comes, it goes, it’s difficult, it flows, it’s hard to find and it’s right behind you at the same time waiting for you to find it back. Don’t define it. Don’t analyze it. Just turn off the news…and be grateful for it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lovely Review from a Reader

Thank you Lori for such a nice review.

Lori's review
Apr 05, 10

5 of 5 stars
status: Read in 2010
A really well-written book. Being an animal patrol officer, at least in the way that this author handled the position, is one of a community,(in the cases of both pets and pet owners),caregiver. Many of these tales bring tears to your eyes--some sad endings and some happy endings. We receive insight into the vast efforts given on behalf of the APOs, the Police Department and the animal shelters to make the lives of animals suitable to their needs--in terms of environment, relationships and at times to each other. Fascinating

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Laugh While your Roof is Caving

It's not really caving in...not yet anyway. Here in New York we are getting our 23rd snow storm in the last few weeks. Okay, it's probably the 5th or 6th, but it sure feels like more. On top of all that snowy joy we are going to get an inch or so of ice to seal it in real nice.

Nature's equivalent to seal-a-meal.

Instead of writing, or catching up on cleaning or the multiple tasks lying around just waiting for me to work on, I've found a better way to deal with this weather related house arrest. Re-reading some of my favorite fiction, especially a book that makes me laugh harder every time I read it. Nina Killham's How to Cook a Tart. It's not a cook book - although after you read a few pages you'll probably be hungry. Here is a partial description from the NY Times Book Review:

JASMINE MARCH, the zaftig heroine of this wickedly funny first novel, is a Washington cookbook writer who pines for the days of Louis XIV, ''when men were gluttons and proud of it.'' Jasmine herself has a prodigious appetite: her husband, Daniel, fell for her when he spotted her eating a tarragon chicken croissant with near orgasmic rapture. Jasmine moisturizes with olive oil, perfumes herself with truffle oil and has explored the erotic potential of snail butter.

On the book's first page, Jasmine discovers a corpse (the tart of the title) sprawled on her kitchen floor, bludgeoned to death with a rolling pin, a homemade brownie stuffed in its mouth. The book is nominally a whodunit, but the madcap, faintly macabre plot is really just a vehicle for Nina Killham's witty social observations.

I own this book, as well as Nina's other two, Mounting Desire and Believe Me, however since I'm packing to move they're in a box in my bedroom where I can't get at them. This was easily fixed by downloading it onto my Kindle.

My son is now shoveling the deck so the next round of snow and ice won't be too much for it to handle. My daughter is shoveling a walkway for the dog since we'll lose her in the drifts otherwise. I'd be out there too if I didn't have the spinal infrastructure from hell - so I'd better go clean or pack something before everyone hates me. After I'm finished though - I'm going back to the Kindle.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Day in the Life of Phoebe the Pug

Phoebe's Schedule

5:00 AM – Snore. Open eyes when Man yells upstairs for me to go out. Fake sleep. Grumble and moan when he yells again. Go outside. Bark loudly when done so Man can bring me back inside. Go back to sleep.

5:10 AM – Yawn, stretch, look soulfully over at Woman who is getting up at this inhumane hour. Go back to sleep.

5:15 AM – Go downstairs and bang bowl around with head so Woman will get the hint and stop making her coffee and get me breakfast. Have a few bites. Go to Boy’s bedroom door and push door with head and snort. Give up and go upstairs and back to sleep with Girl.

6:15 AM – Growl, bark and attack the blankets when Woman wakes up girl.

6:20 AM – Yelp, growl, bark, whine and spin around like a demon dog when Woman tries to wake up Girl again. Sigh and get up. Pace back and forth making sure to weave in and out of human’s legs. Stay close to human’s legs to keep them warm. Get yelled at when they trip.

6:30 AM – Go downstairs to Boy’s room again. Push door with head repeatedly. When it opens immediately run under Boy’s bed and start eating objects found under bed. Get yelled at.

6:50 AM – Take position on top of sofa staring out window on to street. Observe humans leaving and getting in their car. Bark at them like you don’t know who they are.

7:01 AM – Go back to sleep.

9:00 AM – Get up and eat. Go back to sleep

11:00 AM – Dive bomb unsuspecting cat. Chase cat until she runs upstairs but don’t follow, (too much effort). Go back to sofa. Sleep.

12:00 PM – Sleep. Wake up and bark at falling leaf. Bark at elderly couple taking their walk, bark at cars driving past house – made them go away. Go back to sleep.

2:30 PM – Wake up and jump all over Boy. Lick Boy’s face. Go outside and run circles around front yard. Come back inside. Try and get back into Boy’s room to eat more small objects. Chew on some headphones. Get thrown out of room.

2:45 PM – Mailman arrives. Bark, snort, wail, jump on and off the couch, grab throw pillows with teeth and whip them around. Good – made him go away. Go back to sleep.

3:00 PM – Wake up and greet Girl. Jump on her lap and look in her book bag. Stick head deep in bag and extract tasty items like gum, candy, pencils or paper. Get yelled at. Go back to sleep.

3:15 PM – Wake up and greet Woman. Wag tail and snort. Stand in front of bowl and act like she forgot to feed me. Eat food forgetful Woman puts in bowl. Go back to sleep.

5:00 – 7:00 PM - Nap on sofa. Go in kitchen to see what’s cooking. Sit down and look pathetic . Drink water like I spent the day in the Sahara. Make sure to splash water onto the floor. Go investigate something good in the trash. Get yelled at. Go in bathroom and eat tissues. Go back to sleep.

8:00 PM – Greet Man. Wag tail and snort. Pretend I haven’t eaten to get another snack. Watch big box with lights. Go back to sleep.

9:00 PM – Yawn and stare at humans so they go upstairs to bed. Moan and sigh and walk with head down when being taken outside. Bark when done and race back into house. Jump on unsuspecting cat when she walks by sofa. Get hit in head by cat. Push Boy’s door open with head until door opens. Dive under bed and make lots of scraping and snorting noises. Get picked up and taken out of room. Nap on couch to wait for bedtime.

9:31 PM – Go upstairs to bed. Spread out on side of the bed on Woman's pillow. Look surprised when she moves me. Grunt and sigh and dig around the blankets for a good spot. Spread out and stick paws into human’s eyes, ears and back. Go to Sleep.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Love for No Reason by Marci Shimoff & Carol Kline

Love for No Reason by authors Marci Shimoff and my friend Carol Kline, was just released and is already bound for the NY Times Bestseller List! With endorsements from people such as Dr. Oz, Mariel Hemingway, Jack Canfield as well as authors John Gray (Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus) and Marianne Williamson (A Return to Love), both #1 New York Times bestselling authors, Love for No Reason is certain to become a classic.

Our attitudes, experiences and sometimes even the way we were raised can affect our ability to give and accept unconditional love, yet it's something we all seek. The kind of relationships we have with our young children and pets is often based on this exact thing - unconditional, non-judgemental love with no expectations. What if you could perpetuate this type of love into all your relationships and interactions? What if you could learn how to incorporate this into your relationship with yourself? Marci and Carol explore this and more using both current scientific research on the biochemistry of love as well as spiritual and cultural wisdom from around the world. They've created a 7 Step Program designed to help people with:
  • Healing yourself of destructive behaviors like workaholism, self-sabotage, and addictions. (Yes, even these have a lack of love as their root cause!)
  • Recovering quickly from the most stressful situations.
  • Becoming the kind of parent you've always wanted to be—more patient, understanding, accepting, encouraging, and loving than you already are! (And it's never too late for this … no matter how old your kids are.)
  • Boosting all areas of your health—physical, mental, and emotional—as well as increase your longevity, lower your blood pressure, and reduce the risk of depression.
  • Enjoy more meaningful, lasting, and fulfilling relationships—not only with others but with yourself as well.
  • Becoming more patient and accepting, while still finding the wisdom, drive, and confidence to go after any changes that truly matter to you.

Marci and Carol have collaborated on many projects before. They co-authored the NY Times Bestselling Happy for No Reason, and several Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Marci Shimoff was a featured teacher on The Secret. Carol Kline was the author and editor of Chicken Soup for the Cat & Dog Lover's Soul - the book that started my journey as a published writer. Her guidance, support and ever-present sharp sense of humor (even at 2 am in the morning editing with me over the phone!), helped me build the confidence and experience I needed to pursue the dream of writing my own book. I've just started reading Love for No Reason on my Kindle and it was difficult to put it down to even update my blog! Here in New York we are digging out of a snowstorm - how fortunate for me that school is closed today - so back to reading!

Love for No Reason is available at Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, and all major book stores.

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