Now Out! I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found: Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary Rescue

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On the far side of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, halfway between the mountains and the ocean, stands the little town of Forks. In that town, in a quiet neighborhood of modest homes and shabby businesses, there remains a dilapidated pink warehouse.

Packed inside that warehouse, living in deplorable conditions, were once over 120 dogs. Some of the dogs were kept in crates piled high on shelves, arranged in rows along the walls, and shoved into corners behind heaps of garbage and urine-saturated straw. Some of the dogs were confined to wire-sided or glassed-in kennels. One was kept in an old horse trailer. Dead ones were stored in a cooler.

In one of the crates was a black dog named Daisy. This is her story.

It is also the story of the rescue of one hundred and twenty-four dogs—and one snake—from the Olympic Animal Sanctuary, the only large-scale dog rescue in the U.S. to be carried out with no support from local government. The OAS rescue was an epic narrative that extended over several years and featured small town politics, protests, assault, lawsuits, arrests, and a midnight escape, all played out to a nationwide audience.

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to our Charity of the Year

About the Author

laurakoerbercolorLaura Koerber is an artist and writer who lives on an island with her husband and her two dogs. Her first book, The Dog Thief and Other Stories (written as Jill Kearney), was listed by Kirkus Review as one of the Hundred Best Books of 2015. She’s the author of The Listener’s Tale, I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found, and the upcoming The Shapeshifter’s Tale, and Limbo. She is also a contributing author to Rescue Smiles.

Here are some of the author’s thoughts on the book, written to her FB page last evening:

Okay, so here it is at long last. Or it seems like at long last to me, since I started working on it about two years ago.

The OAS rescue was a tremendously meaningful experience to a lot of people and the meanings are as varied as the people. It is not one story. It is hundreds of stories.

It is a fundraiser for OAS rescues, as I’m donating all my portion of sales to those who took in the dogs. Also, any nonprofit rescues can order books at reduced cost from the publisher, set their own price, and sell the book as a fundraiser to their supporters and the public.

Interested in selling this book as a fundraiser for your nonprofit? All books are $6.50 for nonprofits and indie bookstores (mix and match), which includes shipping. You can order in bulk from our nonprofit ordering page here: http://whochainsyou.com/nonprofitorder.html

What is the book about? My goal was to use the story of Daisy’s odyssey through the Olympic Animal Sanctuary as an overview of what happened, but also as a vehicle for informing readers about hoarders, failed rescues, law enforcement issues, trainers and behaviorists, and actions people can take when they become aware of abuse or neglect. The people named in the book are the ones who were named in the press or on TV. About twenty dogs are mentioned as illustrations of various points made in the text, such as the condition of dogs when rescued. The book is written in first person as a narrative with some sections written more formally. There are lots of photos, courtesy of many people who stepped up along the way, and from the Forks police files.

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Photo by Ernst-Ulrich Schafer, http://www.ernstschafer.com/

Shari Forst provided a story about Cream to illustrate how a behaviorist works with a dog and I added a tribute to Old Man Tucker just because…I think I would have loved him if I had ever had a chance to meet him. There is also a piece written by Jim Crosby who did the evaluations of the final dogs which is included to show how a real professional evaluates a dog. The cover features a very lovely artistic shot from professional photographer Ernst-Ulrich Schafer.

The book is not a comprehensive chronicle of everyone, every dog and everything that happened. For example, it does not include the long process of placing dogs after they got to Arizona.

In the end, I wanted the book to be uplifting. I hope it will inspire people who are not active in rescue to get active. I do hope that the people who were involved in the rescue, even if they are not specifically mentioned, will know that I wrote it in honor of all of you. Thank you.

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to our Charity of the Year

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Who Chains You Books Welcomes Author Laura W. Eckroat, and her “Muffin Tail” Books

What happens when a book publisher goes out of business without a solid plan for this contingency? All their authors end up in limbo, having a hard time getting their books freed up to move elsewhere.

That’s what happened to our next author, Laura W. Eckroat, who published books with Tate Publishing; when the company went under, that left her scrambling to make sense of what that meant for her titles and her business as a writer.

But then she found us at Who Chains You Books, and we’ve been working steadily with her to get her “Muffin Tail” books moved over to our publishing label and into Second Editions, getting her back on the right track with her titles.

We want to give Laura a big welcome, and hope for smoother sailing for her and her books from this point forward!

Her first two books in the Muffin series are adorable, and perfectly appropriate for ages 3 and up. They will soon be available in coloring books, too. 

Went Out to Get a Donut—Came Home With a Muffin

By Laura W. Eckroat

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Went Out to Get a Donut—Came Home With a Muffin is a happy-go-lucky, singalong story of adopting a pup named Muffin. The colorful illustrations by Greg White perfectly complement a wonderful tale that will engage our smallest readers while teaching love for our companion animals. Suitable for kids aged pre-school and up.

WHAT “MUFFIN” LOVERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE SAYING …

“… Came Home With a Muffin will win the hearts of children of all ages. The story behind the story is equally engaging and charming. It will become a favorite for dog lovers everywhere.” — Carolyn Hedgecock, Author Locker Letters

Went Out to Get a Donut is a fun book to read to your child while at the same time introducing the importance of adopting and rescuing animals. Mrs. Eckroat helps start the conversations with this book.”—Sherwin Daryani, Operation Kindness

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to Our Charity of the Year

What’s in the Corner? A Muffin “Tail”

By Laura W. Eckroat

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Kids and adults alike will love this mystery “tail” as Muffin the rescue dog discovers what’s in the corner of her suburban backyard while she “protects” her family, too. What’s in the Corner? A Muffin “Tail” is Muffin’s second adventure and is sure to spark the imagination of children of all ages. Suitable for kids ages pre-school and up.

“Laura W. Eckroat has done it again. Muffin has done it again. What have they done? Answer: They have teamed up to tell another Muffin “tail”—a humorous little song about what Muffin, the rescue dog, from Went Out to Get a Donut, Came Home with a Muffin, sees in a corner. What’s in the Corner? A Muffin “Tail” is a book that will charm all who read it or have it read or sung to them. This is a book that you don’t want to miss.”—Katherine Boyer, librarian, book reviewer

Buy on Amazon | (Sorry, the Kindle Version hasn’t gotten Approved Yet) | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to Our Charity of the Year

About the Author:

DSC_1125Laura W. Eckroat is the author of A Simpler Time, Daisy: A Life Cycle Series, The Life of Bud, Went Out to Get a Donut, Came Home with a Muffin, and What’s in the Corner? A Muffin “Tail.”

Laura was born and raised in Whiting, Indiana. She has lived in Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Texas. She now resides in Wisconsin with her husband, Steven, and their two rescue dogs—Muffin and Shadow.

Mrs. Eckroat is an elementary school teacher, and a lifetime Chicago Bears football fan. She enjoys gardening, reading, writing and doing fundraisers for dogs.

About the Illustrator:

Greg White attended Southern Nazarene University, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication.

His passion for visual storytelling led him to the field of illustration, and he now works as a freelance artist and illustrator, specializing in children’s books, comic books, and poster design.

He now resides in Oklahoma City, where he has illustrated over 200 books.

It’s Here! Rescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories of Love and Liberation is Now Available

You can color us excited…Rescue Smiles is HERE!

Rescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories
of Love and Liberation

Edited by Heather Leughmyer and Tamira Thayne

The heart of the animal rescue world lies in its stories—of freedom, of love, and of sacrifice by those who not only acknowledge but embrace the human-animal bond and its wondrous gifts.

In our first rescue story compilation, Who Chains You Books is pleased to offer a look into the emotional lives of rescuers and the living beings they hold dear. Join us for the heartwarming anecdotes, as Cinnamon steals Spice’s puppies, Alice steals everyone’s shoes, and a host of other animals conspire to steal our hearts.

Through these tales, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes peek into the relationships between rescuers and not only dogs and cats, but horses, goats, pigs, rats, mice, and birds, in this delightful first installment of Rescue Smiles.

We hope you’re as captivated by the kinship between human and animal as we are. With contributions by: Laura Koerber, Tamira Thayne, Reg Green, Heather Leughmyer, Joe Maringo, Patti Lawson, Sarah Barnett, Barb Michael, Sunny Aris, Christopher Barnekov, Gayla Evans, Kat Soul, Rachel Ogden, Melody Whitworth, and Liz Woloski.

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to our Charity of the Year, Unchained Melodies

The book is available wholesale for animal rescue nonprofits and independent bookstores. Visit our wholesale page to learn more and place your order today.

Connecting with our Illustrators: Meet April Pedersen

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As part of our Who Chains You Books First Anniversary Celebration, we’ll be bringing you a “Connect with our Authors, Illustrators, and Narrators” Series, so you can learn a little more about the animal lovers we represent, and why they’ve taken on the challenge of bringing the plight of the animals to life through creative writing, art, and interpretation.

We’ve given each of our authors, illustrators, and narrators a list of questions to answer. They are free to answer any of our suggested questions or substitute their own—staying on the fun, surface side of life, or getting as deep as they’d like. Feel free to ask them questions in the comments area, and we’ll ask them to drop by and answer.

Q. Give us your ‘official’ bio.

adoptingadelecoverloApril Pedersen is a freelance illustrator, mainly of rubber art stamps, but also of logos, magazine cartoons, and books. April is the illustrator of our highly-acclaimed Adopting Adele book, and also the upcoming Brave Benny, about a bat.

Q. Where did you grow up and what was your favorite thing you remember about where you grew up?

I grew up in Alaska, Nevada, and Oklahoma. I have fond memories of watching fireflies blink on and off
during the summer nights when I lived in Oklahoma.

1Q. What made you want to become a book illustrator?

I loved drawing from the age of 4—as most kids do—but I just stuck with it, and never really thought about doing anything else. It’s who I am.

Q. Tell us one thing about you that nobody knows. Until now.

I still like the Rubik’s cube (but I’ve forgotten how to solve it).

Q. Tell us what you love most about illustrating?

I enjoy seeing an idea become a visual manifestation. Seeing the illustration in print or on a website never gets old for me either.

Q. Do you have pets? How many and what are their names?

Currently I have two “mystery snails”, Otto & Turbo, plus a betta fish, Jackaby. I previously had tree frogs, goats, a horse, and a cat.

Q. Where would you travel for your dream vacation, and why?

I’d pick the South Pacific islands, where I could lounge around, peer into tide pools, and read a stack of great books.

Q. If you could wave a magic wand and make one thing better for animals, what would it be?

Have a mandatory “be kind to animals” curriculum, aka humane education, in all public schools.

Q. Tell us what your favorite book of all time is, and why.

I’m gonna go with The Time Machine by HG Wells. I would love to see what thousands of years will bring. This novel opened my eyes to thinking about the far future, the present, and the past.

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Sneak peek at one of the Brave Benny illustrations

Q. What’s next for you with Who Chains You Books?

I recently finished illustrating Brave Benny—it’s in line for publication now—and I might be illustrating a third, too, we’ll see! I look forward to seeing Brave Benny in print.

Connecting with Our Authors: Meet Heather Leughmyer

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As part of our Who Chains You Books First Anniversary Celebration, we’ll be bringing you a “Connect with our Authors, Illustrators, and Narrators” Series, so you can learn a little more about the animal lovers we represent, and why they’ve taken on the challenge of bringing the plight of the animals to life through creative writing, art, and interpretation.

We’ve given each of our authors, illustrators, and narrators a list of questions to answer. They are free to answer any of our suggested questions or substitute their own—staying on the fun, surface side of life, or getting as deep as they’d like. Feel free to ask them questions in the comments area, and we’ll ask them to drop by and answer.

meHeather Leughmyer is the author of Adopting Adele, A Rat’s Guide to Owning a Human, and If Your Tears Were Human, and co-editor of Rescue Smiles, to be released this Friday, August 11, 2017.

She is also the founder of Happy Endings Rat Rescue, and a graduate of Indiana-Purdue University with a B.A. in Writing and Linguistics.

Writing has been a passion of hers for as long as she has advocated for animals.

She lives in Columbia City, Indiana, with her husband, daughter, and several animal companions.

ratguidecoverlodropQ. Where did you grow up and what was your favorite thing you remember about where you grew up?

I grew up in Sidney, Ohio and then moved to Warsaw, Indiana when I was 17. One of the things I liked most about growing up in Sidney was that I could get from my house to anywhere in town by walking or riding my bike, and it was safe to do that.

Q. What did you least like about your childhood or where you grew up?

Probably the small-town mentality. There were a lot of cliques and being different wasn’t necessarily seen as a good thing.

Q. What made you want to become a book author?

I have loved writing ever since I could write. I remember making a miniature book about my hamster when I was around 10. I still have it. Creative writing class was always my favorite.

Blank white book w/pathQ. What steps did you take to finish your first book? How did you make it happen?

My first book was an anthology of poems that I had been writing for a few years. They were in response to the animal cruelty and the suffering I had seen, read about, or heard about. I combined all of the poems I had written about farmed animals and added photographs by my friend and photographer, Vanessa Sarges into one book and If Your Tears Were Human: A Collection of Poetry for Animals in Agriculture was then published by Who Chains You Publishing.

Q. Tell us one thing about you that nobody knows. Until now.

My secrets stay safe with me…:)

Q. Tell us one weird talent you have that you wish you could make money from.

I can ride a unicycle. I taught myself to ride it in the 4th grade.

Q. Tell us what celebrity you’d love to be for a day, and why.

Any celebrity who is on vacation in some exotic place I could never afford.

adoptingadelecoverloQ. Tell us what you love most about writing?

I love how writing helps me deal with my feelings and emotions in a healthy and productive way.

Q.  Do you have pets? How many and what are their names?

Lots! I have 2 dogs, Bindi and Bailey, 1 cat, Jasmine, 2 gerbils, Tom and Jerry, and 6 rats, Cupcake, Chip, Shiloh, Raven, Riley and Max. Since I do rat rescue, the numbers are constantly changing.

Q. Tell us your weirdest pet story. 

Most of my stories are more cute than weird. I love interspecies relationships and I’ve seen a few firsthand throughout the years. I once had a cockatiel who fell in love with my cat. He would constantly circle around her serenading her with a mix of all of the songs he knew to try and get her attention, but she wasn’t impressed.

I also had a rat who liked to eat with my 2 dogs and 1 cat, a gerbil who fell in love with a spiny mouse, and a mouse who fell in love with a rat. I also had a dog who would take care of all of my rats, especially when they were sick.

Q. Where would you travel for your dream vacation, and why?

I love Hawaii. Perfect weather, the ocean, beaches, and beauty everywhere.

Q. If you could wave a magic wand and make one thing better for animals, what would it be?

Everyone in the world would stop eating them. Billions would be saved from suffering just like that.

Q. Tell us what your favorite book of all time is, and why.

I don’t really have a favorite because I like so many. I really liked The Girl on the Train. This was probably the most recent book I read and loved. I like any book I have a hard time putting down.

Q. If you could live anywhere in the world, were would you live and why.

This answer is the same as my dream vacation. Hawaii, for all the same reasons.

rescuesmilescoverloQ. What’s coming up next, more books for you?

Yep! We’ve got our next book, Rescue Smiles, coming out this week. We enjoyed picking stories with lots of different rescued animals, and we ended up with 19 unique tales of love for you to enjoy.

I also have another children’s book, Brave Benny, coming out this fall from Who Chains You.

I hope to just keep writing and see where it leads me!

 

Connecting with our Authors: Meet Laura Koerber

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As part of our Who Chains You Books First Anniversary Celebration, we’ll be bringing you a “Connect with our Authors, Illustrators, and Narrators” Series, so you can learn a little more about the animal lovers we represent, and why they’ve taken on the challenge of bringing the plight of the animals to life through creative writing, art, and interpretation.

We’ve given each of our authors, illustrators, and narrators a list of questions to answer. They are free to answer any of our suggested questions or substitute their own—staying on the fun, surface side of life, or getting as deep as they’d like. Feel free to ask them questions in the comments area, and we’ll ask them to drop by and answer.

dogthief-chosen-loLaura’s Bio: Laura Koerber is an artist who lives on an island with her husband and her two dogs. She has always entertained herself by telling herself stories. As a child, she used to like going to bed because she could lie awake under the covers and run movies in her head. Later, as an adult, she enjoyed long distance driving for the opportunity to spend hours writing novels in her imagination. Now Laura divides her retirement time between dog rescue, care for disabled people, political activism, and yes, she still tells herself stories while she is driving. Her first book, The Dog Thief and Other Stories, (written under the pen name Jill Kearney) was listed by Kirkus Review as one of the One Hundred Best Books of 2015. She’s also the author of The Listener’s Tale, out now from Who Chains You, she has a story called “The Bandit and the Engineer” in Rescue Smiles (out next week from Who Chains You) and three other upcoming books: I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found, The Shapeshifter’s Tale, and Limbo.

Q. Where did you grow up and what was your favorite memory from growing up there?

I spent most of my youth in Iowa. My favorite thing about growing up in Iowa was getting out of there in the summer. My dad was a college professor and had the summers off, so we spent our summers on long rambling camping trips up and down the Rocky Mountains, along the Gulf coast of Texas or out to the Outer Banks. Anywhere but Iowa.

Q.What did you least like about your childhood or where you grew up?

Hard to pick one thing: ninety-nine in the shade with one hundred percent humidity, poison ivy, mosquitoes, no-see-ums, chiggers, dear flies, tornados…

Q. What made you want to become an author?

Boredom. I spent a lot of time driving out to see my parents and driving back again, about a three hour trip one way. I started writing a fantasy novel in my head for entertainment. Then I thought, “Gee, I just wrote a novel in my head.” So I wrote it down. It wasn’t bad. It was OK. So I started writing short stories, and discovered that some of them were actually good. I have now written three fantasy novels, a non-fiction book, and a collection of short stories. I think I am done and will go back to painting. (At least until the next idea strikes.)

listenercover-loQ. What steps did you take to finish your first book? How did you make it happen?

I just wrote and wrote and wrote. I was in a mad rush to get from one end to the other because I had never written anything before and didn’t know if I could do it or not. Once I got it all down, I began revising and editing and revising and editing. I kept that up for a couple of years.

Q. Tell us one thing about you that nobody knows. Until now.

My earliest memory is of throwing up in bed. I don’t think I have told many people that, mostly because it has never come up in conversation before. So now you know.

Q. Tell us one weird talent you have that you wish you could make money from.

Reading. I read a lot. I would love to be paid to read.

Q. Tell us what celebrity you’d love to be for a day, and why.

Trump. I would give all of his money away, resign him from the Presidency, and enroll him in a mental health program.

Q. Tell us what you love most about writing?

I like creating things. I have pretty much the same attitude about writing as about painting, drawing, gardening and cooking. I just enjoy making things.

Q.  Do you have pets? How many and what are their names?

I have two. Jody, a German Shepard/collie mix and Izzy, a maltipoo.

Q. Where would you travel for your dream vacation, and why?

Iceland. Except for the whale-hunting, they have a superior culture to ours…and the countryside is gorgeous, a cold blue Eden.

Q. If you could wave a magic wand and make one thing better for animals, what would it be?

I’d ensure that humans would learn to behave like the intelligent form of life we claim to be.

Q. Tell us what your favorite book of all time is, and why.

I don’t have one all time favorite. I have many I love and would recommend, here’s a few: Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey, The Dream of Scipio by Iain Pears, and Across the Wide Missouri by Bernard De Voto.

Q. If you could live anywhere in the world, were would you live and why.

This would also be Iceland, because the landscape is primeval, as if time had just begun.

Q. What’s next for you?

I’ve got three more books coming out, hopefully all this year, the first of which is I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found, which delves into the Olympic Animal Sanctuary abuse, following the path of a dog named Daisy. Here’s a blog post I wrote about the book, if you haven’t seen it: https://whochainsyou.wordpress.com/2017/07/17/old-wounds-and-a-new-book-thoughts-on-her-upcoming-olympic-animal-sanctuary-book-by-laura-koerber/

I also have two other books in the pipeline to be published this year, they are: The Shapeshifters Tale, which is the second in the “Our Side” Collection, and Limbo, a novel about souls waiting to move on.

Connecting with our WCY Authors: Learn More about Tamira Thayne

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As part of our Who Chains You Books First Anniversary Celebration, we’ll be bringing you a “Connect with our Authors, Illustrators, and Narrators” Series, so you can learn a little more about the animal lovers we represent, and why they’ve taken on the challenge of bringing the plight of the animals to life through creative writing, art, and interpretation.

We’ve given each of our authors, illustrators, and narrators a list of questions to answer. They are free to answer any of our suggested questions or substitute their own—staying on the fun, surface side of life, or getting as deep as they’d like. Feel free to ask them questions in the comments area, and we’ll ask them to drop by and answer.

kingstethercoverlodropTamira’s Bio:

Tamira Thayne is the author of The Wrath of Dog, The King’s Tether, Foster Doggie Insanity, and Capitol in Chains, and the co-editor of Unchain My Heart and Rescue Smiles (forthcoming). In 2016 she founded Who Chains You, publishing books by and for animal lovers, activists, and rescuers.

In her empathy for the plight of the chained dog, she pioneered the anti-tethering movement in America, forming and leading the nonprofit Dogs Deserve Better for 13 years.

During her time on the front lines of animal activism and rescue she took on plenty of bad guys (often failing miserably); her swan song culminated in the purchase and transformation of Michael Vick’s dogfighting compound to a chained-dog rescue and rehabilitation center.

capitolbookcover16loShe’s spent 878 hours chained to a doghouse on behalf of the voiceless in front of state capitol buildings nationwide, and worked with her daughter to take on a school system’s cat dissection program, garnering over 100,000 signatures against the practice.

Now that she’s retired from the front lines of animal activism, she’s writing about dog chaining and other animal issues through her paranormal Chained Gods series.

“Getting to Know You” Questions for Author Tamira Thayne:

Q: Where did you grow up and what was your favorite memory from growing up there?

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Me, my two brothers, and my parents lived in a drafty old farmhouse outside the little village of St. Augustine, PA, from fourth grade through eleventh. The farm was idyllic in many ways, consisting of 108 acres with woods, fields, a small creek, and a pond. We got to do the things that so many remember from those years growing up in the 60s and 70s—have sled riding parties, swim in the pond, play in the creek, and ride bikes around the farm.

My little brother and I used to ride our bikes for hours on end; we created a slalom course around the house, down to our barn, and then back again. One time I had a sled riding party with a bunch of my tween friends, when we hit a bump and everyone flew off the toboggan. Our black lab Gally was running alongside us and somehow landed on my head in the mayhem. We slid down the hill together, Gally on top of me with my face dragging along the ground underneath. Needless to say, I was pretty scraped up, and I was so embarrassed to go to school all the next week.

I spent hours on end with my cats at the farm—especially a very shy cat named Streaker, who didn’t warm up to anyone in the family except me. I’d snuggle with her each day in the hay mow, and of course sneak her treats and food.

I was tasked with feeding the dogs and cats each day, and it always made me happy to watch them eat and know they weren’t going hungry. Still to this day I can’t stand seeing an animal hungry or suffering without food and water.

Q. What did you least like about your childhood or where you grew up?

catsdogAlthough our farm could have been construed as idyllic, the same couldn’t be said about my childhood. What was hardest for me in all of it was watching the animals suffer, and feeling helpless to stop it.

I witnessed a lot of animal death—the chickens, cows, and pigs on the farm, as well as animals hunted on the property. The message I received was “It’s just the way it is. Deal with it.” And I believed it, for many years.

I remember one time the preacher came to hunt deer on the farm with my father, and my father killed a bunch of deer and piled them in the corner of the barn so the preacher wouldn’t see them. (Because only one deer per season was legal.)

None of our animals were allowed to live inside the home with us.

Our ‘hunting’ beagle Maggie lived on a chain, but I never saw her allowed free to train or hunt until the day my brother lost her in the woods. I often wonder what happened to her…did she die out there, did she find a family who gave her the love she deserved, or did she find an even worse family who didn’t even feed her? I’ll never know.

Our black lab Gally mostly ran the farm, but he ended up chained sometimes too when he couldn’t behave himself and stay home. We had a momma cat named Misty with kittens who lived in the barn, or huddled outside our front door waiting to come in. When my parents weren’t home, I would sneak the cats and Gally into the house, which was why they all ended up sitting right outside the door. After my mother complained about the cats sitting there for months, my father killed them all—including my beloved Streaker—leaving only one cat alive. I didn’t speak to my father for two months.

Is it any wonder I would grow up to want to protect the animals?

Q. What made you want to become an author?

Foster Doggie Insanity

Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips & Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent

I’m not sure WANT is the word I’d use. When I first became an author, I NEEDED to spread the word about chaining, and writing and editing books was a good fit for me.

Long before I formed Dogs Deserve Better to advocate for chained dogs, I got my B.A. in Visual Arts and spent 15 years as a graphic designer and book designer. From that I learned the ins and outs of book design and publishing, so it was only natural for me to write and design books for the cause when I was with Dogs Deserve Better.

After leaving the organization in 2015, I was struggling emotionally and didn’t know where I wanted to go from here. I spent a year in therapy trying to get to the bottom of the trauma I’d gone through, and exploring what would bring me happiness while still advocating for the animals.

Every time I thought of writing more of my own books (maybe fiction this time!) or putting out books by other authors for the animals, I got a thrill of excitement, which told me this was an avenue worth exploring.

I finally decided to go for my dream of writing fiction that encompassed the animal issues that mean the most to me, and help other authors too by publishing other books that advocated for animals. That’s when the idea for Who Chains You Publishing was born.

The name of the company was and is very personal to me, and reflects not only on my love for the chained dogs, but also forces us as humans to take a look at the things that hold us back from making the most difference for the animals.

I can certainly say today that there are still many things that hold me back, even after all these years of trying to be better for them. It’s humbling, really.

Q. Tell us one thing about you that nobody knows. Until now.

wrathcover-lodropHmmm, this is a good one. I’m sure there isn’t much that my husband doesn’t know, and maybe some close friends. Or people on my Facebook page. Ha!

I’ve got one thing, though, that people who don’t pay attention or interact with me on a weekly basis wouldn’t know. So here goes:

I’m a Pokemon Go addict. Yep. People on my FB page could know that, since I post about it on occasion, so it’s not a total secret.

I heard about it when my son and his girlfriend came to visit for the weekend last year after it first came out; my daughter immediately started playing it with them, and all three of them were catching pokemon in our kitchen while we talked.  The next day I was driving us to the movies and dinner, and they were all playing and discussing it, and I felt like the odd woman out.

I thought, this is kinda silly that I refuse to play because I’m “too old” when I could bond with my kids over it. So I joined up…and shortly thereafter both my kids quit playing.

Ha! But not me. I’m Team Instinct, or known to me as Yellow, and I’m currently a level 36, which isn’t too shabby. Now that the Gym raids have started, I’ve joined up with other like-minded folks in Culpeper, VA, and I go out to catch the legendary Pokemon with them a few times a week. I felt very self-conscious at first about my age (I’m 53), but there are folks of all ages raiding together, and if I want to catch the legendaries, I’ve got to suck it up and get out there anyway. So I did.

Last weekend a bunch of us were standing outside a store in town waiting for a raid to begin, when a store owner just a little older than me asked what we were doing. Someone told him we were playing Pokemon Go, and he said “You all need to get something better to do.” I felt like a teenager being criticized by an adult, woohoo!

My husband dislikes that I play, too, and he often asks if I’ll still be playing when I’m in the nursing home. I guess we’ll see, won’t we?

My immediate goal is to get to level 40, and after that, who knows if I’ll hang it up.

Q. Tell us what celebrity you’d love to be for a day, and why.

I’m gonna go with Angelina Jolie. Why? Because I can’t figure her out. I’d like to know what really went down with Brad Pitt, what it’s like to have that much money, and if she’s really into the causes she embraces. I mean, don’t get me wrong…even if she’s not into them, she makes a difference just by showing up, so I would never knock her for it.

I remember being accused of being “fake” about dog chaining at one point, and I thought, well—even if that were true—if I’m showing up and doing the work I’m still making a difference on behalf of chained dogs regardless of my motivation.

Angelina reminds me of someone I used to know, though, or thought I knew, and it’s only intrigued me further as to what she’s really like inside her own mind. I guess I’ll never find out…

Q.  Do you have pets? How many and what are their names?

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Khronos, aka Buddy (Joe’s nickname), aka His Puppiness (my nickname)

Yes, I’ve always had pets, even when I wasn’t supposed to. When I was young and in the military, I was always finding stray cats and feeding them and trying to find homes for them. I fostered about 250 dogs when I was with DDB, and today I finally consider myself in ‘retirement’ mode when it comes to pets.

I’ve committed to fostering once a year (dog or cat), but other than that, we’re keeping our animal family small. Right now we have one dog named Khronos, and three cats, Una, Tootie, and Vivian.

Q. Where would you travel for your dream vacation, and why?

I want to travel to Wales, because my family history on both sides stems from that region, and I want to see if I’ll feel anything magical like “Aw, my roots have finally found their way home!”

And then, of course, while I’m there I might as well check out the other sights in London and the suchlike. I guess I need to go in the summer, because I don’t like being cold.

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Q. If you could wave a magic wand and make one thing better for animals, what would it be?

Duh. This is an easy one for me. I mean, don’t get me wrong—I want freedom for ALL animals, and I want us as humans to stop eating them. (Why? Because we CAN.)

But Dog Chaining has been my issue for so many years that if I get one wave of a magic wand, it will HAVE TO BE USED TO FREE EVERY DOG FROM HIS/HER CHAIN OR PEN AND GIVE THEM A LOVING, INSIDE, HOME AND FAMILY. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Dog Chaining Needs to End.

Q. What’s Coming UP for You? What’s Next?

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The author with her beloved kitty, Tuna

Well, I’m loving doing the publishing so much…except it’s not yet paying any bills. I’m not ready to throw in the towel, though, so I do some design or consulting and even some notary work on the side trying to make a little money to fund my dream of making Who Chains You a viable publishing company on behalf of animals and those of us who fight for their rights.

My main struggle with doing it all is finding enough time in my day to write the next books in my Chained Gods Series AND publish works by other authors too. I haven’t yet found the balance, but I will keep working on it.

I do know that I feel happy when I’m designing and publishing books for others and bringing such a huge smile to their faces when they see their work in print. For an author there’s no greater joy than the day you hold your very own printed piece in your hands. I like bringing that gift to others.

So I will continue to write, design, and publish both my books and others for the foreseeable future.

That’s my plan, and I’m sticking to it.

Grab our FREE Book, The King’s Tether, in Honor of our One Year Anniversary at Who Chains You Publishing

Who Chains You Books is Celebrating our One Year Anniversary from now through August 15th, and we’re giving away LOTS of Goodies for YOU!

At Who Chains You Publishing, our mission is a simple one: to amplify the voices of the animals through the empowerment of animal lovers, activists and rescuers to write and publish books elevating the status of animals in today’s society.

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Our second 1st Anniversary Giveaway is from author Tamira Thayne, author of The Wrath of Dog (out in paperback and kindle, and coming soon in Audiobook, too!) Foster Doggie Insanity, and Capitol in Chains.

The King’s Tether is a short story at just over 6,000 words, and can be read as a stand alone piece or either before or after The Wrath of Dog to lead into the series or discover more of Wrath’s backstory and how he ended up chained and feral.

This prequel story is part of The Chained Gods Series, a young adult paranormal venture into the world of shifters, immortals, mindlinkers, and earth-dwellers who come together to save not one but two dimensions.

You can buy the paperback for $5.97 on Amazon.

But why do that when you can get it FREE in .pdf, .ePub, or .mobi (Kindle) just by signing up for our bi-monthly e-News?

The King’s Tether is a short, intriguing read, and will be especially engaging for animal lovers and activists with an interest in paranormal fiction.

Excerpt:

 

In a rare moment of inactivity, the dog rested his head on his front paws. The thick logging chain weighed heavily across his body as he pulled his back legs from beneath the oppressive steel. His eyelids drooped, and even though his feral mind urged him to remain vigilant, told him he was in constant danger, sleep had its way with him anyway.

With sleep came relief.

In the waking state his mind knew only bloodlust and revenge, his body hunger and thirst, and his heart pain and sorrow. In slumber his consciousness freed itself from its bonds, and he revisited an immortal life once known—only to lose the beloved memories upon reawakening.

The ultimate cruelty.

He dreamt of a woman. It couldn’t be just any woman; according to the Prophetess, he would know her when he saw her. His brain, his heart, his mind—they all called out for her, whispering of bonds and mating rituals and a shared future that was theirs and theirs alone.

A kick to the ribs lurched him from the dream, and the woman slipped away from him, again…

 

Get Your FREEBIE Now
http://whochainsyou.com/kingstetherfree.html

Happy Reading!

Old Wounds and a New Book: Thoughts on her Upcoming Olympic Animal Sanctuary book, by Laura Koerber

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Debris piled outside the pink shed in Forks, WA where many dogs lost their lives.

A note about an Upcoming book from Who Chains You Publishing: I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found, by author Laura Koerber.

Laura has put out the following statement about the meaning behind the work she’s done to bring this story of Daisy and what she and the other dogs went through there:

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Author Laura Koerber

“I am almost done with a book about the rescue of the Olympic Animal Sanctuary dogs.

For some people that sentence is very meaningful and will trigger an emotional response: heartbreak, rage, love, awe, gratitude…

For others, that sentence means nothing, but I hope to change that.

My reaction is complex and varied. On one level, it is a story. An amazing and inspiring story about protests, assault, lawsuits, arrests and an attempt by the abuser to run away with over one hundred dogs packed in a semi truck. On another level, it is a reality, the reality of a great wrong that was done, a wrong that was righted for some, but not for all. And the victims, the dogs that experienced the wrong, are getting old and dying off. I can’t think of them without oscillating between anger, tears, and gratitude. I don’t want their suffering to be forgotten.

After all, the OAS dogs are by no means the only ones to have suffered in the hands of a hoarder, or a failed rescue or a puppymill. There are thousands of dogs and other animals suffering the same kind of abuse right now as you read this. And all over the US, local authorities either refuse to act or actively support the abusers.

The rescue was done because of activists using Facebook. Yes, the notorious social media, supposedly a fever swamp of vindictive inaccuracies. The whistleblower alerted the world of the abuse through Facebook and hundreds of people got organized and engaged in a wide range of activities to free the dogs by using Facebook. People wrote consumer fraud complaints, organized protests, communicated with local officials, raised money, and, after about a year of effort, freed the dogs. Freed the ones that survived.

That’s the part that hurts my heart. Not all of them survived.

Goodby Mario, Lexy, Rocket. I am so sorry Phoenix, Doc, Suki and Malakai. Run free, Dixie and Abel.

But I don’t want their deaths to be for nothing. The OAS rescue is a model that other people could use against abusers in their vicinity. The book is, in a way, a recipe, a how-to guide.

The title is “I Once Was Lost, but Now I’m Found”. The book follows the life of one OAS dog, Daisy, before she was sent to the Olympic Animal Sanctuary, while she was incarcerated there, her trip on the truck to Arizona, and her return home to a family here in Washington state. Along the way the book includes information on hoarders, rescues, trainers and behaviorists, difficulties with law enforcement, and other issues of interest to people who care about the well-being of animals.

The author plans to donate her proceeds to animal groups caring for the rescued dogs.

We’re Giving Away our First FREE Booklet in Honor of our One Year Anniversary at Who Chains You Publishing

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Who Chains You Books is Celebrating our One Year Anniversary from now through August 15th, and we’re giving away LOTS of Goodies for YOU!

At Who Chains You Publishing, we bring the work of animal lovers, activists and rescuers to your doorstep through books highlighting successes, missteps, and the brightest imaginative endeavors of those who love animals and fight on their behalf.

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Our first Anniversary Giveaway is from author Heather Leughmyer, creator of Adopting Adele (now out in Audiobook, too!) and If Your Tears Were Human.

The booklet is called “A Rat’s Guide to Owning a Human”, and is a tongue-in-cheek look at how a rat might deal with  selecting a human to “own.” At only 24 pages, the mini-book is a quick but amusing read, and is beautifully designed and full color throughout.

You can buy the paperback for $9.13 on Amazon.

But why do that when you can get it FREE in .pdf, .ePub, or .mobi (Kindle) just by signing up for our bi-monthly e-News?

A Rat’s Guide to Owning a Human is a short, fun read.
Written by and for rescue rats, of course!

(They kindly allow human Heather Leughmyer to translate for them.)

Description:

While owning a human can sometimes prove to be a challenging experience, it can also be very rewarding if you know how to handle them. As a rat, you can’t imagine living your entire life without whiskers and a tail; it’s understandable, therefore, that you could find this lack in others so disconcerting that you’re not interested in giving them a chance.

Bipeds often get a bad rap, though, so it’s important to remember that not all humans are cut from the same cloth. The key lies in finding the human who is right for you, and ensuring that they do not share their homes with legless creatures of the reptilian variety.

Once you think you have found the right hominid, keep in mind that consistency and patience are very important when cultivating a human—they don’t always learn as quickly as we do. Don’t be discouraged if training proves to be more difficult than you initially thought. Bipeds can be temperamental and/or lazy; however, this should not deter you from owning one.

Once properly broken in, a human can be enjoyable to have around. With a little rattie elbow grease and our tips, you will have a loyal companion and—most importantly—will never again have to worry where your next meal is coming from…

Get Your FREEBIE Now!
http://whochainsyou.com/ratsguidefree.html

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In addition, we are giving away five paperback copies of The Dog Thief and Other Stories in a Goodreads Giveaway, listed through July 24th.

Make sure you sign up on their site for a chance to win one of the five books!

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/243279

Kirkus named The Dog Thief one of the best indie books of 2015. “This collection of short stories and a novella explores the complexity of relationships between people and animals in an impoverished rural community where the connections people have with animals are sometimes their only connection to life.”

“Decrepit humans rescue desperate canines, cats and the occasional rat in this collection of shaggy but piercing short stories. A superb collection of stories about the most elemental of bonds.”

To buy the book in paperback or Kindle (audio coming out ASAP) visit this link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1946044008/

adoptingadelecoverloHeather’s children’s book highlighting the plight of a rescue rat has been making some waves, and just came out in audio this past week.

Check it out at any of the following links:

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to our charity of the year | Buy Audiobook

Happy Reading!