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

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Coming Soon...The Sequel to Tales from a Dog Catcher

"I'm ready for more Tales from a Dog Catcher!"

It's taken a number of years. Two thirds of the book has been completed for a while, (pre-final edits), but finally...the sequel to Tales from a Dog Catcher will be coming soon!

Right now it's still a work in progress - but since so much of it has been sitting on my hard drive for years while I was busy with other projects and issues, it shouldn't be too long before it's available. I'm very excited - and I hope you are too. 

Mysteries will be solved. There will be action and adventure, bloodshed (mine), experiences with the super natural, rescues, close calls, reunions, lessons learned, revelations realized, bravery in the most unlikely places and even a possible love interest - and of course as usual -  the requisite odd "only in Annesville NY" situations abound.  They could possibly be more outrageous than the stories from the first book. You be the judge!

You'll laugh more, you'll cry, but most of all I hope you enjoy another set of adventures with the clumsy well meaning animal control officer from Annesville Police Department as she fends off violent joggers, gets stuck in an underground sewer pipe, is sent to the hospital after being attacked, recruited to spy on a motorcycle gang, bumps into a TV legend and more as she experiences a wide variety of humilating but hysterical situations in her efforts to help the animals and people of a small town along the Hudson River. 

Most importantly - the strong and unconditional bond between people and their pets is the major theme throughout the book. I'll keep you updated and I thank you for your continued support. 17, 5 Star Reviews on Amazon, 135 3.8 out of 4 Reviews on Goodreads.com, Library Systems across the world - I can't thank you enough. Your support continues to mean a great deal to me.

Thank you to my readers across the globe. I hope to create another book you will love just as much as the first. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

For All my Twisted Sisters...

I just received a letter from a reader who had been touched by "Tales from a Dog Catcher" in a way that was very different from the usual reader email I get.

This reader touched my heart because she understood firsthand the chapter "Odd Blessings" which is the only chapter in the book that mentions and explains the background of my scoliosis. I included it because it played such an important role in my life in myriad ways - many very positive.

For those of you who read the book, or know me personally, you know I had scoliosis surgery as a teenager and went through braces and casts and all the other exciting adventures one had to go through in the late 70's to treat it. Thankfully there are now amazing newer treatments and surgical options that allow someone with the need for scoliosis spinal fusions with instrumentation to be able to keep their ability to twist and move normally. These improvements also prevent the problems that resulted down the road for those of us with the original Harrington rod surgeries when we began to hit the 30 year mark post surgery.

I realized today that I hadn't mentioned any of this in my blog and that some of my readers who aren't my usual readers, animal lovers or people who enjoy heartfelt stories - but perhaps people who have also traveled the the same road that I have in reference to scoliosis, may need this information.  So this blog entry isn't too funny or profound, but necessary. I hope that there are others who can benefit from feeling that they weren't alone during that time. There are indeed many of us from that era - and I want to thank you Ana, for letting me know how much that chapter meant to you...from our shared experiences from youth to now...we really do truly live parallel lives!

I feel an explanation as to why this blog hasn't been updated as it should ...it also may help others who share my story, or at least get me out of trouble with those who think I've been lazy or irresponsible...although the jury's still out on those last two reasons as well!

In October I had another spinal surgery to fuse the rest of my spine and repair some of the damage caused by the initial 1978 procedure. No one could see that down the road the state of the art surgery for scoliosis in the 1970's would create further problems in the future. At that time it was a miracle that I'll always be grateful for. With that said; I've been "oddly blessed" again by an amazing team - a neurosurgeon and orthopedic surgeon who work together to take on the complicated spine problems us "scoli's" develop as we age when many other major hospitals and orthopedic surgeons are resistant to take the chance.

I am forever grateful to Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Seth Neubardt M.D. and Neurosurgeon Dr. Jack Stern M.D., PhD. of Brain & Spine Surgeons of NY, for being able to not only repair the immediate damage but also halt the progression of my flat-back syndrome which would've resulted in an additional incredibly dangerous and invasive surgery down the road. I went for many consultations and by the time I found them I had lost the ability to walk any further than a few feet. I was using a wheelchair. No doctor would take this on without two separate invasive surgeries that would've resulted in a year-long recuperation with a questionable success rate for someone my age.

Instead - I had surgery in October and was back at work full-time in January back in the classroom!

Thank you Dr. Neubardt and Dr. Stern and the entire staff at the Brain & Spine Surgeons of NY. For anyone on the east coast with similar issues - I highly recommend them. They're not only incredibly talented, but professional and accessible. During Hurricane Sandy, Dr. Neubardt had no power for two weeks, yet he still found the time, during the height of the storm, to check up on me at home from his cell phone.

On a side note - I found a scoliosis Barbie online! I could've really used that as a kid. How cool is that?!
Or creepy...
I think I'll go with cool.

photo courtesy of me :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Photographer that Gave Amazing Gift to the World...Needs Some of our Love Now

Hannah Stonehouse Hudson and Jim Hudson (c) 2005
Hannah Stonehouse Hudson touched the world. She probably touched your heart and you didn't even know it.

Especially if you are a reader of this blog  - because so many of you are animal rescuers, animal lover's and basically just beautiful compassionate people who understand that animals have souls and that it is our privilege and responsibility to care of them while they're here. To make their lives happy and safe and escort them from puppy or kitten hood to the harder years when they experience a myriad of problems that we all will face some day, if we aren't already facing them now. We can tell someone when we hurt. They can't. Hannah captured this in her famous photograph below. Unfortunately, Hannah lost her 34 year old husband, Jim Hudson, to a tragic accident on January 26th, 2013. .
John Unger and his dog Schoep in Lake Michigan
(c) Hannah Stonehouse Hudson 2012

Please click on this link to help Hannah with expenses and support which she needs now. She not only lost her husband but his business and income and there are so many things she has to deal with now, she needs any help to make this even a tiny bit easier. Below is an article about the accident and more information on the Hudson family.

Wisconsin angler, husband of 'John and Schoep' photographer dies after snowmobile goes through ice
Twin Cities Pioneer Press. (c) 2013.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Joy. Three Letters. Short Word...Huge Meaning

Joy. Three letters. short word. One often used during the Christmas Holidays. Joy to the World. Something uttered when a new life enters the world. Joy? Well, it's the word on my mind and in my heart  - and one that I feel requires a real effort that won't leave my mind these days.  It's not a small word. It's a huge word and it's connotations, legacy and overall arching effect it has on the lives of those who understand what it truly is - is probably at the core of meaning that all of us, in some way,  are searching for.

My brother-in-law Joe was someone who illustrated joy. Not just at holidays or at fun events, photo opps or family gatherings. He exhibited and understood and shared this joy with anyone he came into contact with. Someone with an impressive education and a brilliant mind. A prestigious career and an ability with the written word that puts mine to shame. And, you'd never hear him talk about it. He'd been published in multiple magazines and law journals. He was voted one of the top attorneys of 2012 by New York Magazine. But he never told anyone about it. I only found out after he was gone. He wouldn't of told me anyway and if I'd asked about it he would've poured me a glass of my favorite wine that he went out of his way to order anytime he knew I was coming. He was a busy man, but he always made time to make people feel special. When my book was published my friends and family were so happy for me...he, someone who had been published multiple times, a highly respected lawyer at a prestigious firm, a busy Dad who spent most weekends working with community youth groups, .well he went nuts! He got me this crazy orange scarf that looked like it came from Hollywood...and a large pair of expensive sunglasses "as to avoid the paparazzi" like that would ever happen. My relatives were happy, but he brought more to it. He brought his joy.

He fought a valiant battle against Pancreatic Cancer for almost 7 months. He went from healthy, fit, active, and fine to terminally ill in a blink of an eye. You looked at him and said "No. It can't be. This is some huge misunderstanding." His faith was amazing....I can't even begin to explain how awesome his faith was here because it belies understanding. I still can't stop thinking that God made some huge mistake....but those thoughts here would insult what he believed and I need to work on that. He was lying in bed after Hospice came on massive doses of pain killers while texting me while I was at a hospital the first rough night after reconstructive spinal surgery in October...almost 2 months to the day he would die. He made me laugh, he gave me advice. More than that...he thought of ME. Why? I would be fine. This in comparison to Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer is nothing...less than nothing, but it didn't matter. He wanted to connect with me to make me feel some relief. If he could he probably would've come over and poured me a glass of that rare red wine he searched for to have for me because I once made the comment that "I really like this wine." That's all you had to say to Joe and you can bet that the next time you were around him....he'd have it for you.

His daughters can write their memories of him, the importance of Christ in his life and in his death, his love for his family so much better than I can. He did an amazing job of describing his spiritual and physical journey in his own words on 

J. Joe Korpics Walking with God through Pancreatic Cancer

The last entry is December 15th 2012, written by his youngest daughter Mallory. It is extraordinary...just like her.  He was diagnosed in May of 2012...but he had had this for many years and it had never been diagnosed accurately. Pancreatic cancer is like that...once you have symptoms there isn't much anyone can do.

I can't adequately describe the 28 years of marriage to his college sweetheart who always remained the love of his life so many years later. You could see it in their faces, how they were with each other, how they always sat next to each other and cuddled and held hands and especially how respectful and in awe of each other they still were after three children and many years of marriage. They had so much fun together too. His daughters inherited his talent with words...I can not write his eulogy nor would I try. I just have to write something and since his death on December 14th, we've lost so much more than we imagined. My husband lost his only brother and his best friend, my mother in law sat and nursed and loved and watched her firstborn son pass away in front of her. She talked him through it, encouraging, calming, making him smile, easing his way out of this world and into the next. She is so much like him. One of the kindest and strongest people I've ever known. I am in awe of her and her strength and faith. I am so sad for his sister and his brother who are stunned and going through the motions of what we have to do when we are the ones who survive. I ache for his daughters and especially for his wife who spent the larger part of her entire life with him at her side. They grew up together. I worry about her everyday.

I could go on and write how much I love all of my family. My two sister in law's who are more like real sisters to me than anything an "in law" would stand for. My beautiful, smart and happy joyful nieces who will have a hard road ahead of them but they have his joy and his intense faith. That was one of the many gifts he gave them...the one that right now and in the months to follow will provide them with what they need most. Strength. Faith. Clarity. Love.

I see it in all the photos and videos. I saw it at the funeral when they got up and spoke so eloquently about what their Dad meant to them and what he taught them. Megan made me cry but not because of sadness but because she was so profound...exhibited depth and a profound grasp of something unfathomable that I am in awe of her too. I am only his sister in law, but that man taught me so much and continues to do so everyday. These are hard lessons though, one's I'm not doing too well at at the moment... but that would also be his way. He wanted you to work hard to understand God's love for us, even through sorrow and pain and doubt...that's what he wanted most. For all of us to know God's love. 

This is the first thing I've written since he died. I've gone through a lot the past year and the silence where he used to be... making everyone else laugh...is deafening to me. The phone doesn't ring anymore every time something happens during a football game. He won't be sitting on my deck this summer relaxing and listening to hours of his favorite music...him and his brother's favorite past time. No more meetings down in the city to see a play or go to Chinatown for soup dumplings....he won't be pulling up in our driveway in his convertible with a huge smile on his face. His absence is a black hole in our lives right now. 

But the message I got from all of this was to write. Write what I ask myself? 

I'm filled with emptiness right now....I can hardly write a post-it  or a text to my son or daughter. I haven't wanted to. I haven't cared enough to. I was angry at so many things and all I could think of were words of anger and that wouldn't have been what someone like Joe, a person who really understood joy, would want for me.  So, Joe...this blog entry as sad and humorless and probably not even incredibly interesting to anyone other than those of us who went through this the past year...is because of you. It's because I have to start  grasping hold of what you understood and I never did. I can't say I'm moving on ...but I'm moving ahead. For my husband and mother in law and sister in law, and your nephew and niece who are also struggling so much now.. They are searching for their own way to navigate their grief.  Especially for  Diane, Megan, Mallory and Cara. They will have to move on now that all the others surrounding them have moved on to their regular lives and own problems. That is the hardest part of loss. But,  I'm going to write. More as time goes one but I'm going to write again....maybe nothing about animals and I apologize to those who only want me to do that but I have to forge new roads and explore this gift that sometimes allows me to give others a bit of Joy. 

Small word, Big meaning. It doesn't come as a fact of life. It doesn't wait for you....it comes when you call it. I'm whispering it it right now and maybe someday I can at least possess a third of the amount of Joy that Joe had in his life. I think he knew something that the rest of didn't...the way he met his fate and how he was so concerned with not himself, but for those who would be left behind. He knew something...I just know it. Something he couldn't tell us and I'll just have to wait for him to tell me someday unless I figure it out myself. Right now it's beginning with this. A blog entry that has nothing to do with animals or to make you laugh or even feel something heartwarming. It's full of pain actually...but you have to walk through that to get to the joy. 

These are my first steps.

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