“The Owl and I Looked at Each Other for Awhile, and Then I Got Up and Wrote ‘It’s About a Dog.'”

This week Who Chains You Books—publishing titles by and for animal activists and rescuers— put out our first new book since going public with the company in July. Check out our first five titles and more about us on our website at http://whochainsyou.com.

maggie with lad and andy in courtyardIt’s About a Dog author Maggie Couch shared with us a little about her personal life, as well as what motivated her to write the book. We hope you’ll enjoy this look into one of our authors and then pick up her book in paperback or on Kindle for your collection.

Hello, dear people.

My name is Maggie Couch, and I love dogs, I wrote a book about a dog, and here’s what led to it.

I had a full and fulfilling life as a social worker and ESL teacher living in Massachusetts, New York City, Connecticut, Barcelona, and Colorado. Life was grand, and there was no room in it for an animal companion. Growing up, our family didn’t have dogs or cats—though I marveled at the deep, loving, almost spiritual connection I saw between my father and any dog he met along the way.

In 1991, I became very sick with Fibromyalgia, a condition then known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The fatigue was crippling and the cognitive mist was overwhelming. Life as I knew it was over. I was left with no definition, no sense of self. I became lonely and frightened, living in poverty and isolation.

One day my dear doctor suggested I adopt a dog to help motivate me to become more physically active. I went to a high-kill animal shelter and asked if they had any particularly needy dogs who were on death row. I was introduced to a small, one year-old terrier mix who had lived his life neglected on the end of a short chain. He was emaciated and terrified. I didn’t feel the deep spiritual connection I had witnessed in my father, but I named the dog Doxology and took him home. He saved my life. The first night we were together, I told him he was to sleep in his little bed on the floor, not in my bed. Dox kept jumping up on my bed; I kept putting him back on the floor on his bed. Over and over it happened, and finally I gave in. Dox slept in the crook of my knees every night for the next 15 years.

I tried to do volunteer work, but the unpredictability of my symptoms did not allow it. One day, I read an article about fostering shelter dogs. That was 20 years and 114 foster dogs ago.   I have collages in my bedroom with photos of all the dogs (and cats) who were in our home over the years, and every night I say goodnight and tell them I love them, even though many have long-since died. I believe those who have died are in a far better place and will never know hunger or cold or chains or loneliness ever again.

Currently, my two dogs and one cat live in Aurora, Colorado where we foster all sorts of dogs and cats in a topsy-turvy but happy home.

lad-andy

Laddie front, Andy back

Laddie is the patriarch dog. He was a feral mixed-breed dog found in the woods and spared death row by the kindly staff at Adams County Animal Control who saw in his frightened eyes a gentle and kind soul. I visited him in his kennel at the shelter for seven straight days before he let me touch him. He stayed glued to the back of the kennel and would not make eye contact. That was eight years ago, and Laddie is now happy and trusting.

Andy is a miniature Australian shepherd who was purchased from a breeder (don’t get me started!). When Andy got to his new home, he peed on the floor (the audacity!) and was immediately confined to a small crate for three years. Andy is clingy and barky and insecure, but I think he knows he is safe and well-loved.

toby

Toby, a stray rescued by the author

Toby was a stray neighborhood cat whom I trapped and took to be neutered, courtesy of the Denver Dumb Friends League. He recuperated in a bedroom in the house. When he was healthy, I took Toby outside. He walked around the house, jumped the fence, and came right back into the house through the dog door. We didn’t adopt Toby; Toby adopted us, and he is a delight. We keep welcoming foster dogs into our home, and life is good.

aboutadogcover-loMany years ago, one night I was having difficulty sleeping. I looked out the window and saw a large owl in a tree in my back yard. The owl and I just looked at each other for awhile, and I got up and wrote the book “It’s About a Dog.” I rewrote it a gazillion times and then tried to find an illustrator, had no luck, and put the pages up on a shelf where they gathered dust.

The wonderful animal activist Tamira Thayne decided to publish the book, and here we are today! Tamira and I both believe that if even one dog is released from a chain in a yard and given a loving home, then It’s About a Dog will have been a huge success.

Thank you so much for reading my story and its background, for caring, and for sharing.

—Maggie Couch, author of It’s About a Dog

It’s About a Dog is available at the following outlets:

To buy on Amazon in paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Its-About-Dog-Maggie-Couch/dp/1536961051/

To buy on Kindle or read as part of Kindle Unlimited: https://www.amazon.com/Its-About-Dog-Maggie-Couch-ebook/dp/B01JZZSBG0/

To buy on our createspace site and donate $1 to Unchained Melodies: https://www.createspace.com/6483118

Who Chains You Books offers special pricing on all our books to nonprofits who would like to sell them to educate and raise funds for their work for the animals. To inquire further and order your books, drop us an e-mail at info@whochainsyou.com.

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