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, August 6, 2012

You Are Not a Blogger! Accurate Criticism from Luann and an Attempt to Right this Wrong.

I received an email from my best friend Luann who in essence sort of summed up this blog lately with one word. Boring.

Impending Storm. (c) Eric Metzler. 1950's
She's right. I have neglected this blog and I am truly sorry. The simple fact that she still checks it shows you what a loyal friend she is. Never one to mince words as evidenced by her accusation above - I am going to try and write something here that is not boring. Since this is a blog for a nonfiction book, I suppose my post should be nonfiction as well. So, in reference to my exciting life at the moment - I decided to write a brief description of yesterday as it really happened...then I will attempt to jazz it up.

Sunday, August 5th 2012. It was a stormy day. My husband asked me to check accuweather to see how close the storm was. This involved finding the live radar site, refreshing it at intervals since it would freeze, and then tracking the coming storm on the screen as it approached. Apparently I did not do this quickly enough, or well enough, as Jason seemed irritated at the speed at which I was checking the track of the storm. The dog sat on my lap. Finally, the storm arrived and he closed all the blinds in the family room to go stand in the kitchen, where he opened the blinds wide, to watch the storm standing up, several feet away from where he was sitting when he was waiting for the storm. For some reason he felt this made sense.The storm came. There were several comments made about the storm. It ended.

Sunday August 5th, 2012. The darkening sky was ominous. Something in the air hinted at what was to come - the stillness, the absence of sound, a thick, almost palpable sense of dread settled in among us. Watching the approaching storm clouds we knew we were powerless in the path of this monster. Our faithful dog, relying on primal canine instinct, never left my side. She was protecting me as best she could from the impending onslaught. (Not really. She had no clue. She's a pug. The only thing probably going through her mind was "I am comfortable here. Why are you moving around. Since you're up, can you fetch me a snack?")

 My husband, pacing back and forth approached me suddenly and said

 "The radar. Go to the radar!" 

Knowing that this was the only thing we could do as we lay in wait for the inevitable, I quickly punched in the website for accuweather. The computer slowly started trying to load the page. We watched as the circle spiraled - attempting to bring forth accuweather.com - I felt it was mocking us.

"Why?!" Jason yelled, shaking his fist at the sky, (well, ceiling actually...we were indoors and there's the ceiling and then another floor above us, followed of course by the roof unless you don't consider the attic, which of course you should if you're trying to be accurate.) He became increasingly agitated, his pulse visible in the veins of his neck.

"Hit refresh!" He bellowed. (I've always wanted to use the word "bellowed". It's not often one gets the opportunity to use that word. I just may use it twice.)

"I did!" I bellowed back. (See.)

Finally, the page for accuweather.com came forth, (much more dramatic than"loaded" don't you think?), and the truth was laid out before us. Any hope that we would avoid this storm was stripped bare. (Stripped and bare....how about that. I'm SO like that 50 Shades of Grey writer except that I'm not a gazillionaire.)

In the same instinctive way men of past generations have prepared to save their families from the wrath of mother nature, Jason battened down the  hatches. (Read "closed the blinds."). The wind picked up, whistling through the trees, ( I really couldn't hear the wind because the windows were closed.)

"Don't look!!" I bellowed. (That was too much wasn't it? Twice was good, three times not so much.) I cried.

"Why?! WHY!!!?" Jason yelled, cursing the storm. (This is actually the truth. I told him that this was akin to that line about it being futile to curse the darkness which I thought was not only an astute observation on my part, but also pretty witty. He did not seem to find me as witty as I find myself and just looked at me and said "Huh?".)

The storm was upon us, wailing against our home - and then almost as suddenly - it was gone. We hugged each other, knowing that next time, we might not be so lucky. (That didn't happen. What really happened is that it was still raining in our yard, yet the sun was shining in the field behind our house and Jason, for some reason, did not approve of this. I think he said something to the effect of; "What the hell is this?")

We grasped hands and silently walked out to survey our territory. (We have like a HUGE amount of land...almost the size of Vatican City. I think it's like almost an acre!) Jason put his arm around my shoulder and said "Look, the sun is shining for us.". (Actually he stayed on the deck suspiciously eyeing the horizon and I said something like "This is cool." and walked down to stand in the sun shower, expecting him to follow and join me in appreciation of this rare and rather unique situation. He did not. Rather he asked me if bees can fly in the rain and I said "I don't think so." Thinking back on this I probably should've said "I don't know", because I really don't know. When people ask you about bees you should probably know what you're talking about. I'll note that for next time.)

As I turned back to watch the storm clouds receding and sun beaming through the light rain, Jason beamed at me (read "glared"), and gave me a knowing look. Yes. We had survived...and we would survive again. He pumped his fist in the air in that easily recognizable gesture of triumph used in many Rocky movies and I smiled. We had not only survived, but thrived. (Don't you love that trite sentence? If you Google it, it comes up all over the place. That's how much people love that sentence.). We would see another day I thought, watching our reflection in our private lake, (okay, it's an above ground pool..but it's one of those oblong ones so it's pretty close to a lake), noticing that my reflection was too thin - I reminded myself that I should eat more, (HAHAHAHAHAHA!).

Our faithful dog galloped through the yard, joyfully claiming her land back from the storm that had threatened to take it all away. (Actually, as you know...she is a pug. She doesn't gallop. She trots around sniffing and snorting, but that doesn't really create the same visual impact.)

Jason once again raised our flag, in symbolic recognition of our victory...and I knew...and he knew....and the dog knew....and AMERICA KNEW!!!!!, (that was good, right?),  that we'd overcome great odds. (We have a flag pole, but no flag. The people we bought the house from took the flag with them. Who does that? Anyway, I keep reminding myself I have to get a flag.). In silent homage, to those who weren't as lucky as us, who perhaps had lost satellite reception or worse...cellphone signals...we stood silently watching the flag wave in the wind. Yes. Life was good. Indeed.

(In reality I turned to talk to him after he asked me about the bees to find that he'd run inside. He ran back outstide...and those of you who know Jason, know that he really does run everywhere..and sprayed behind a piece of vinyl siding where there had been a huge bees nest. "WATCH OUT!" he yelled. "YOU SHOULD BACK UP AND GET AWAY FROM THERE AFTER I DO THIS. THEY'RE GOING TO FLY OUT OF HERE!". He sprayed and flew up the stairs back onto the deck and into the house. One bee sort of crawled out of the siding, like he'd been napping, and then walked back in. I think I might've even seen him yawn a little bee yawn.) Jason came back out and looked sadly at the siding.


Okay Luann. How'd I do?   :)

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