Our Authors & Their Animal Families: Laura Koerber and Willie, aka Sponge Face

koerberPetslo

This series of blog posts introduces you to the animal families of our authors here at Who Chains You Books. As a company dedicated to animals, animal lovers, and their stories and missions, we thought you’d like to meet some of our animal friends, too. Enjoy!

laurakoerbercolorAuthor Laura Koerber recently lost her beloved dog Izzy (pictured left), so tells us the story of how she came about rescuing her new pup, Willie:

“From the moment I met Willie, he reminded me of a homely little gargoyle. He always has bed head—and bed body, I guess you could say, since the fur on the rest of him sticks out in random directions, too.

I call him Sponge Face, because his little furry mug is always wet; his face is completely flat, and he cannot drink without nearly drowning himself. His favorite way of sleeping is to mash his wet face against my thigh while we sit together on the couch. When not engaged in transferring dampness to me, he’s a menace to shoes and anything else he can pick up off the floor. He terrorizes anything that he can fit into his mouth.

pupyOh, and he eats poop, too.

He’s a shih tzu. I don’t know if this is normal for the breed or not, but I hope, for the sake of other shih tzus, that Willie’s attributes are not normal!

Willie’s former owner, a paranoid schizophrenic, died and no one noticed for six weeks except her crazy son. She lived in a cabin off in the woods. Her son’s response to her death was to kick a hole in her front door so her dogs could get out and that’s all he did. Just walked away and left the dogs alone. There were five dogs when the owner died.

Six weeks later, Willie was the only one left. He rescued himself by walking down the driveway to the dirt road and down the dirt road to the pavement—a distance of several miles through the woods.

A man driving along the paved road saw Willie in the ditch. He knew that no dog, especially not a little one, should be out there alone, with nothing for miles but commercial timberlands. So he scooped Willie up and took him to a friend of mine who has a reputation for rescuing dogs.

Willie stank. He was missing about half his hair and what he had left was full of fleas. He had eye, ear, nose, skin, and bladder infections. He was incontinent. He was old. No rescue wanted him.

My beloved Izzy had just died and I was not looking for another dog, but I took Willie in since no one else wanted him.

I confess that I didn’t love him at first. He wasn’t Willie to me. He was Not Izzy—the dog who was not my Izzy.

But time passes. I still love Izzy and grieve for him, but I love Willie too. He is over his numerous infections and has grown into a cheerful, affectionate, playful boy. It breaks my heart to think of him wandering down the dirt road through the woods, looking for help, after all those nights alone.

Now I’m so glad to have him here with us where he can live out his days, safe and happy.”

Laura Koerber is an artist and writer who lives on an island with her husband and dog Willie. Laura divides her retirement time between dog rescue, care for disabled people, political activism, and yes, she tells herself stories while driving.

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 also the author of The Listener’s Tale, I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found, Limbo, and The Shapeshifter’s Tale.

Advertisements

Books Addressing Dog Chaining? We’ve Got ‘Em. Ten, to be Exact!

Blacky (3lo)

Blackie, before his rescue, chained in filth.

Dog chaining is one of those issues that grabs an animal lover by the guts and clenches until all that remains is a lifeless hull, seeping out the last vestiges of hope in the goodness of mankind and muddying the field with its tears.

Too much?

Ever live next to a chained dog?

If so, then you know of which we speak…and you’re nodding your head along with us, screaming YES, YES! at your monitor. We hear you.

Chained dogs suffer in any myriad of ways—including a lack of food and water to go with the loss of freedom, parasites, and injury. But, on top of their physical distress, each and every chained dog is painfully ostracized from the human companionship he/she needs and craves.

And that, THIS—all of it—is incredibly WRONG.

Yet, so often authorities and those with power and control could care less about the plight of our companion animals rotting away in backyards all across America.

One of the ways to address this WRONGNESS? Education of ourselves and our youth, through books that discuss the issue and let us put ourselves in the paws of that dog for even just one moment in time.

To that end, Who Chains You Books has excelled in creating tools for use in classrooms and libraries, for sale at nonprofit booths, and for family bedtime story reading. We’ve currently got ten published books that address dog chaining, with selections for both children and adults.

And, we offer wholesale discounts to nonprofits for resale in their work for the animals, as well as humane educators and independent bookstores.

Below is a synopsis of our current anti-chaining lineup, with suggested ways the books can be used to address dog chaining. Happy Reading!

happydogloHappy Dog Coloring Book is brand-new, and is intended as a workhorse for childhood education on chaining. It is an excellent tool to bring humane education into the classroom, and keep the kids attention on the issue while they color.

This book includes 25 pages of whimsical black and white drawings from illustrator April Pedersen grace this wonderfully thought out and caring coloring book about a dog named Ranger, chained in the backyard and—like all dogs—wishing to be free.

The coloring book also features 6 pages of Happy Activities for kids, including a maze, connect the leash, and draw a tail on the pup. Perfect for all ages from 3 and up, this makes an incredible addition to any and all classroom humane education efforts.

Happy Dog can be purchased singly or in bulk at discount prices. Purchasers can also get a FREE bonus download of 8 extra coloring pages!

In addition, this book is available for licensing to interested nonprofits. What does licensing mean? It means we will add your logo and contact information to the book, and provide you with the print-ready files to take to your local printer for even greater bulk savings, giving you the right to sell and distribute the coloring book in your area as a fundraising and educational tool. Contact us at info@whochainsyou.com if interested.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle

Want Higher Quantities for Classroom Use? Order Direct From Us.

capitolbookcover16loFighting chaining, and seeking inspiration and ideas? Read Tamira Thayne’s Capitol in Chains: 54 Days of the Doghouse Blues, a chronicle of the time she and others spent chained to a doghouse on the Pennsylvania Capitol steps, advocating for passage of a state law providing more humane treatment for man’s best friends.

The book gives an important overview of the issue, as well as some “outside the dogbox” thinking that just might inspire you with new and creative ideas to address chaining too.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle

aboutadogcover-loIt’s About a Dog views the life of a chained dog through an unusual set of eyes: Oliver the Owl, who narrates the story, and brings it to life in a way that is both poignant and far-reaching. This story is perfect for family bedtime, for  classroom humane education, and library storytime. It will reach anyone with a heart from age 8 to 108. The book is also available in audiobook, for those who prefer to listen.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Buy Audiobook

honeycoverloHoney’s Second Chance, from the Second Chance Series by author Brandy Herr, brings to life the true story of Honey, a beautiful golden retriever who spent all her days on a chain in Texas before her rescue by Second Chance Farm. Perfect for kids young and old, Honey’s Second Chance is a wonderful way to educate that a dog deserves to be a happy and beloved member of the family.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Buy Audiobook

Foster Doggie Insanity

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

Foster Doggie Insanity is a important read offering emotional support and ideas for doggie foster parents, with the author providing a 29-day chained dog foster diary as example of the hardships and joys that doggie fostering can bring.

When things go wrong as doggie foster parents, it’s all too easy to blame ourselves, and either quit or spiral into depression. Her goal is to allow you to go a little easier on yourself, in order to get back to the place where you can provide the safe cushion animals need to get back on their feet and find a new home.

This book is narrated in audio by Lee Ahonen, who does an excellent job of channeling the author’s emotions and style, too!

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Buy Audiobook | Watch Trailer

doggieherocover-loA Doggie Hero is Born, by Rocky Shepheard, is a good old-fashioned animal fantasy tale. Join “Worthless”—a chained dog who is rescued by his animal friends—as he, Sly Fox, and Otto romp through the woods in search of a new, and more loving, home. Will he find happiness and a new name in the end? Only time will tell.

The book is full of excitement and rich illustrations to thrill your audience and teach a lesson in compassion and humane treatment of man’s best friend.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Buy Audiobook

kingstethercoverlodropThe King’s Tether is a prequel novella in the Chained Gods Series, written by Tamira Thayne. In the author’s first jump into the fiction genre, she puts her fixation on chaining to use as the topic for a series of young adult books.

The series features immortals who shapeshift into dogs; as dogs, they end up chained and forced to guard keys to the destruction of two dimensions by “the bad guys”. Mwahaha. This series makes a fun and unusual read for teens through adults—and educates a bit along the way, too.

In The King’s Tether, you’ll meet Randulf, king of Perrin, living as a chained shepherd in a small Virginia town—yet in his sleep he remembers and yearns for a grander life that’s been lost.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Or Get Yours FREE! | Buy Audiobook

wrathcover-lodropIn The Wrath of Dog, the first book in the Chained Gods Series, you’ll meet Baylee, a young girl who is unaware of the part she’s to play in the upcoming war with those who are holding the king in chains.

When she encounters Randulf, a chained and angry shepherd living only two blocks from her, her life becomes more complicated than she ever imagined.

Reaching adulthood sure wasn’t what she thought it would be…

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Buy Audiobook

puddlescoverpuppy16webThe Puppy who Left Puddles on the Floor addresses many of the ways our best friends can be treated inhumanely, and as such is a wonderful all-round education tool.

Chance is dumped at the shelter because he leaves “puddles on the floor”. Even though he’s lucky enough to find another home, he soon ends up chained outside, as his guardian doesn’t want to spend the time teaching him. A twist of fate sets him free to seek a better life on his own. Will Chance finally find the loving inside home and family he deserves?

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Buy Audiobook

rescuesmilescoverlodropRescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories of Love and Liberation offers a look into the lives of rescuers and the living beings they hold dear. 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.

Four of the fifteen true life tales within feature chained-dog rescues and the happy endings they deserve.

This book won a Best Book Award from the Dog Writers Association of America.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Buy Audiobook

At Who Chains You we publish books for those who believe people—and animals—deserve to be free. Our mission is singular: 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 society.

Who Chains You Publishing brings you books that educate, entertain, and share gripping plights of the animals we serve and those who rescue and stand in their stead.

At our deepest levels, we explore what chains we humans must break within ourselves in order to free the animals. Visit us at http://www.whochainsyou.com.

Fundraising with Books: for our Animal Non-Profit Friends

To our Animal Nonprofit Friends:

Do you set up educational booths to promote your message for the animals? If so, our books (and our wholesale pricing for non-profits) will help you spread not only your message of compassion for all living beings, but also raise funds for your cause—which we know is crucial to keeping your nonprofit afloat.

allbookslo

We offer wholesale pricing of only $6.50 per book (with FREE Shipping for U.S. Nonprofits), mix and match, to nonprofits and independent bookstores—and every book is available for the program. There is a 10 book minimum order, after that the sky’s the limit!

To check out our non-profit pricing and order form, visit this link: http://whochainsyou.com/nonprofitorder.html

happydogloWho Chains You Books sells and promotes only books by and for animal lovers, rescuers, and activists. We offer titles for both children and adults, in topics ranging from dog chaining, to shelter rescue, to thought-provoking poetry, to tales of hero pets and the folks who save them.

We also feature an educational coloring book, illustrating all the ways children can get active for chained dogs. To learn more about our Happy Dog Coloring Books, visit this link: http://whochainsyou.com/happydog.html

P.S. Did you know we’re seeking story submissions of 1000-3000 words for our award-winning Rescue Smiles series? We’d love to feature one of your happy ending rescue stories!

MoreRScover18loYour participation raises awareness for your organization, your mission, and provides you with another fundraising avenue. Find out all the details to submit your story at this link. https://whochainsyou.wordpress.com/2018/03/08/does-your-animal-rescue-story-deserve-to-be-in-a-book-nows-your-chance/

We hope to hear from you soon, and as always, thank YOU for helping our animals friends. We know the work is hard, and we are grateful for all you’ve done for our four-legged, two-legged, furred and feathered friends.

Tamira Thayne
Publisher, Who Chains You Books

http://www.whochainsyou.com

Does Your Animal Rescue Story Deserve To Be in a Book? Now’s Your Chance!

MoreRScover18loFolks have loved the first book in our animal rescue series—the award-winning Rescue Smiles—so don’t miss your chance to have YOUR story touch hearts and lives through our second book—More Rescue Smiles, edited once again by Heather Leughmyer and Tamira Thayne.

Got a particularly-winning photo of your baby, too? Maybe you can even claim the cover photo spot!

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 was pleased to offer a look into the emotional lives of rescuers and the living beings they hold dear. Readers joined us for the heartwarming anecdotes, as Cinnamon stole Spice’s puppies, Alice stole everyone’s shoes, and a host of other animals conspired to steal our hearts.

You got 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, available in audio, paperback, and kindle.

Now we’re following up that success with More Rescue Smiles, and we want to include your stories! Every animal is invited inside our pages, from dogs to cats to chickens to rats—and of course every wild animal who calls our fields and woods home.

Stories between 1000-3000 words will be accepted, and we are taking submissions through May 1, 2018. So what are you waiting for? Send us along your entry today.

Submit your stories through our form here: http://whochainsyou.com/mystoryform.html

Got more than one story? Up to three submissions will be considered.

Got more questions? Drop us a line at info@whochainsyou.com, and we’ll be happy to help you out.

Happy Writing! We can’t wait to meet your rescue friends.

humaneed-lo

Release: Culpeper County, VA Publishing Company Wins Best Book Award for Animal Rescue Tales

RS-Maxwellaward

AMISSVILLE, VA (February 23, 2018)—A Culpeper County, Virginia book publisher, Who Chains You Books, was awarded the Maxwell medal in the Best Book: Human/Animal Bond category for their title Rescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories of Love and Liberation.

The award, presented in February by the Dog Writers Association of America, is the first for the young publishing company, which was founded in 2016 by Tamira Thayne—animal activist, book designer, author, and founder and former CEO of Dogs Deserve Better.

Since its inception, the company has already grown to 24 titles from various authors, with more in the works.

Those who love both animals and books now have an up and coming publishing company to fulfill their needs, as Who Chains You Books releases only books that promote the notion that both people AND animals deserve to be free.

According to their mission, they seek “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 society.”

“As a small publisher—only 1.5 years into our efforts to put out books by and for animal lovers, activists, and rescuers—every small milestone counts. Our first award tells us our work CAN make a difference, CAN bring awareness for animals and those who love them and work on their behalf. It brings us hope, and the will to keep going,” said Thayne.

“I am so excited to be filling this niche, because my passion lies with the animals and those who serve them,” Thayne continued. “Animal lovers need a place where they can read stories from like-minded individuals, stories that can delight, enchant, and inspire them to do more to save the animals in their community.”

Who Chains You Publishing offers books in a variety of genres, from children’s picture books to personal memoirs, educational books, and young adult fictional series.

To ensure books can make a meaningful difference for the animals, wholesale pricing is available to non-profits, humane educators, and indie bookstores.

For more information on current and upcoming titles from Who Chains You Publishing, visit www.whochainsyou.com. Tamira Ci Thayne can be reached at info@whochainsyou.com.

Three Free Books for Animal Lovers from Who Chains You Publishing

If you’re like us, you love a freebie. At Who Chains You Publishing, we’re working with our authors to give you a free taste of their efforts on behalf of the animals; you can now get THREE FREE SAMPLES when you sign up for our e-news through the special links, below.

And, yes, go ahead and sign up for all three without worries, because our system automatically removes duplicates—you’ll only get added to our e-news list once.

For the Little Ones (and our grown-up coloring friends too!):

happydogfreebanner

Eight adorable bonus coloring pages from Illustrator April Pedersen grace the pages of this FREE pdf. booklet. Print them out from the comfort of home and get coloring with the kids right away! Gives parents a great chance to reinforce the message that dogs are part of the family.

Want the full coloring book? Buy one copy on Amazon here, or get wholesale pricing on bulk orders for classroom or other use.

For Older Kids through Adult who Enjoy Tongue-in-Cheek Humor, of the Animal Variety:

RATGUIDE3DtransA Rat’s Guide to Owning a Human is a short, fun read, and written by and for rescue rats, of course! (They kindly allow human Heather Leughmyer to translate for them.)

From the Foreword:

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…

Get it in .mobi, .pdf, or .epub formats here.

You can get the print version (in full color) for $9.57 on Amazon.

For our Young Adult through Adult Readers:

kingstethercoverlodropThe King’s Tether is 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.

Description:

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…

To read the e-book, select the .mobi designator for kindle, .epub for Nook, Sony Reader, and iBooks, and .pdf for everything else.

The story is also available in paperback from Amazon at this link for $5.97.

Enjoy the first full-length novel in the series in paperback, audio, or kindle, The Wrath of Dog, here.

Our Maxwell Award for “Rescue Smiles” Arrived Today!

RS-Maxwellaward

You know how it is when you win your first award…you wait and wait for it to come in the mail, tell yourself it’s not a big deal, know it probably doesn’t matter to anyone but you, anyway…

Yet you still just can’t wait.

That was us, waiting for our Maxwell Award to come for Rescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories of Love and Liberation, which took the award for Best Book: Human/Animal Bond.

Because to us it DOES mean something. As a small publisher—only 1.5 years into our efforts to put out books by and for animal lovers, activists, and rescuers—every small milestone counts.

Our first award tells us our work CAN make a difference, CAN bring awareness for animals and those who love them and work on their behalf.

It brings us hope, and the will to keep going.

And for that we are extremely grateful.

So thank you, Maxwell Award, and those at the Dog Writers Association of America for reading our book and giving the nod to our efforts.

Thanks to our editors, Heather Leughmyer and Tamira Thayne, who pulled stories together for the book, and are already in the planning stages for our second one, More Rescue Smiles.

And most of all thanks to our story authors for trusting us with your tales and letting us share them with the world.

The book is available in Paperback, Kindle, and Audiobook, at this link: https://www.amazon.com/Rescue-Smiles-Favorite-Stories-Liberation/dp/1946044105/

We hope you’ll read it, enjoy it, and pass it along.

Want to submit your own rescue story for More Rescue Smiles? We’d love to see it! Submit here: http://whochainsyou.com/mystoryform.html

“Happy Dog!” Coloring Book Highlights Dog Chaining and Happily-Ever-Afters: Plus, FREE Bonus Coloring Pages

happydoglo

Happy Dog! Coloring Book

From Chained to Cherished

Written and Designed by Tamira Thayne
Illustrated by April Pedersen

25 pages of whimsical black and white drawings from illustrator April Pedersen grace this wonderfully thought out and caring coloring book about a dog named Ranger, chained in the backyard and—like all dogs—wishing to be free.

Ranger tells the kids about his hopes and dreams, and how he was ultimately saved from a life no dog should have to suffer. By the end of his tale, his fans will be smiling and proclaiming themselves to be Happy Dogs right along with him.

bonusThe coloring book also features six pages of Happy Activities for kids, including a maze, connect the leash, and draw a tail on the pup. Perfect for all ages 3 and up, this makes an incredible addition to any and all classroom humane education efforts.

The book can be purchased singly or in bulk for classroom use, birthday parties—you name it! Find out all your options here: http://whochainsyou.com/happydog.html

Purchase single copies directly from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1946044210/

happydogfreebanner

Plus, get a FREE .pdf Booklet with 8 additional coloring pages and activities by emailing your receipt to info@whochainsyou.com, or by signing up for our bi-monthly e-news through our page link: http://whochainsyou.com/happydog.html

About the Author:

tamijewelonyxloAuthor and designer Tamira Thayne rescued and fostered over 250 dogs, giving them the happiness they deserved instead of life on a chain, during her time leading Dogs Deserve Better—a nonprofit who freed dogs from chains and pens.

Now she is the founder of Who Chains You, publishing books for those who believe people—and animals—deserve to be free. She is the author of Capitol in Chains, Foster Doggie Insanity, The Wrath of Dog, The King’s Tether, The Knights Chain, The Curse of Cur, and the co-editor of Unchain My Heart and Rescue Smiles.

About the Illustrator:

aprilpedersenApril Pedersen is a freelance artist based in Reno, Nevada. She is partial to frogs, geocaching, science fiction, video poker, and chess. April is the illustrator of the Happy Dog! Coloring Book, Adopting Adele, Brave Benny, and Bravo’s Freedom.

Excerpt from Award-Winning “Rescue Smiles” Shows Storytelling at its Finest

rescuesmilescoverlodropOur 2017 release Rescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories of Love and Liberation earned a best book distinction in the Human/Animal Bond category of the Dog Writers’ Association of America Annual Awards. The book features 15 stories offering a look into the emotional lives of rescuers and the living beings they hold dear.

In grititude for this honor, we’d like to share with you an excerpt from one of our featured authors, Laura Koerber, and her delightful tale of an unusual bond in “The Bandit and the Engineer.”

The Bandit and the Engineer: Alice

by Laura Koerber

Stray

The little dog crouched beneath the tangle of blackberries and salal and waited. The man banged the front door open, strode across the lawn, and flung himself into his SUV. The brake lights flashed, the engine hummed, and the car rolled backward into the street where it reoriented itself and vanished in a puff of exhaust.

She wrinkled her nose: bad smell. Then she waited. The door opened and a woman hurtled out. She had her arms full of stuff, which she dumped on the hood of her car while she fished for her keys. Then she looked over toward the little dog under the rhody.

They made eye contact. The little dog tensed, but this eye contact was part of the morning routine. Then the woman flung her stuff into the car, slid in, and blasted off in a swirl of noise and exhaust fumes.

The two people left at the same time every weekday morning. The little dog knew their routine because she had been watching them for months. She didn’t know the names of the days of the week, but she knew the pattern of days when they departed early in the morning and days when they didn’t.

As soon as the woman’s car was out of sight, the little dog emerged from the brush, scurried across the street, and dived into the safety of the forsythia hedge. She burrowed through the side yard shrubbery and popped out into the backyard where she was greeted by the moist smell of food. In one bound she was up on the deck and had her nose in the bowl.

The food was there every morning, and if she was quick, she got to eat it all. If she wasn’t quick, the cat got it first. Sometimes the crows got it. The crows she could chase off, but the cat was downright mean. She gobbled and snuffled with one eye out for the ferocious beast; but luckily, there was no cat today.

She stepped back from the bowl, licking her lips. What else could she find on the deck?
Water—there was always water in the bowl. The cat didn’t drink much, and didn’t mind sharing. The little dog was thirsty so she drank deeply. Then she had a quick look around.

Some bags of something that smelled nasty (fertilizer), a large potted plant that the cat had peed on, the smell of the human and cat on the doormat, and the scent of human on a pair of shoes. She sniffed carefully. She liked the warm human smell. She picked one shoe up. The fabric was soft in her mouth (canvas deck shoe). It had a sharp taste, very human (sweat).

She ran with the shoe in her mouth around the house, across the street, and into her private passageway through the berry canes and salal of the undeveloped lots. She felt safe in the comforting embrace of the forest. Her pace slowed. She had to hold her head up high to keep the shoe from snagging on the ferns and forest litter. She stopped by a fallen tree. The roots, ripped out of the ground, formed an immense fan shape, and were overgrown with moss and ferns. At the bottom of the fan in the dirt was a hollow which she had enlarged and deepened. She dropped the shoe into the hollow.

A fat drop of rain struck her one upraised ear. She heard the singing of the rain in the treetops; then she felt a wet sting on her nose. She wriggled down into her burrow.

It took awhile for her to rearrange the shoes to her satisfaction…

Wonder what happens to Alice and how she meets up with the Engineer? Continue your delight in Rescue Smiles, available in both paperback, kindle, and audiobook at these links:

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Buy Audiobook

 

As Dogs Die in the Cold, Humans Flaunt Their Lack of Morality, Compassion

By Tamira Thayne

husky

A dog the author was eventually able to free from her frigid prison

“Don’t read the comments…don’t read the comments,” I muttered to myself, as I angrily and helplessly perused a particularly gruesome article about a dog frozen solid on a Toledo, Ohio porch, just days after Christmas.

http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2017/12/28/Dog-found-frozen-solid-on-central-Toledo-porch.html

After all, everyone knows most online commenters crawl from the boggy swamp each morning and slither back into its putrid depths as even daylight flees their remonstrances.

It’s madness to entertain the notion of reading this swill.

I read the comments.

“WHY do I read the comments?” I muttered to myself, as the next wave of anger crawled up my gullet and lodged in my thyroid, causing the death of millions of necessary cells and an immediate need to increase my dose of levoxyl.

One might reason that no one could logically argue that a dog left to freeze to death, curled up on the porch of an abandoned home, was within the bounds of humane treatment.

Yet online commenters—suffering from an obvious lack of morality and compassion—would once again cause me to lower the bar on what I perceive as the most subhuman level of societal dreghood.

Besides the whole gamut of “It’s just a dog” comments, one particularly egregious human posited that—because people are so much more important than dogs—if the guy had run into financial troubles, it followed that he would choose himself over the dog.

This was met with an odious amount of agreement from the peanut gallery of her fellow bog-dwellers, and I was forced by my remaining unexploded blood vessels to comment that a moral obligation to take care of humans in no way precludes the very same moral obligation to care for the animals we’ve taken responsibility for.

I also told them they were sick people. Sick, sick people.

Because they are.

In truth, though, I almost envy these heartless beings. Might it not be nice to be entirely unmoved by the plight of others?

To not hurt for the dogs left outside in the cold winter months? To not feel the excruciating and needless death of this poor creature as a black mark on the collective soul of our society?

Sometimes I wish I didn’t care. It turns out that caring is exceedingly painful.

Last night it dropped to 11 degrees in Culpeper County, Virginia, and below zero in many areas of the country. It’s set to dip even lower as the week goes on.

What do I do with this pain?

Even before I officially began advocating for backyard dogs in 2002, I remember the heightened anxiety I experienced on cold winter nights, and the very real fears for the survival of chained and other dogs left outside to fend for themselves in temperatures that would freeze a human within moments.

Now that I’m off the front lines of animal rescue, I find myself continuing to experience extreme anxiety in the severe cold, the knowledge of what these dogs must survive never relinquishing the space it has carved into my spirit.

As I walked to my chilly bedroom last night, changed into my flannel jammies, and threw on my space heater for a few minutes to warm up the room, I tried to push the pain aside so I could free myself (and maybe them?) in dreamland.

I shivered at what I perceived as the frigid touch of my blankets, feeling immediate shame that I could tolerate so little cold while the dogs didn’t even have the luxury of losing themselves in sleep, spending their 14 hours of darkness locked in a battle for basic survival.

I put myself in their fur for just a moment, feeling the wrap of the chain around my neck, the cold metal flash-freezing to my exposed skin, my hopeless and fruitless search for someplace, anyplace, within the reach of my tether to provide even a moment’s escape from the subzero windchill. I would huddle in the corner of my drafty house, wishing for bedding that didn’t exist, and a kindness and empathy from my guardians that would not be forthcoming.

I was depressed, despondent, terrified of death’s approach.

But I was just a dog, after all.

I pulled myself from the vision. The air around my bed was heavy with suffering, both mine and theirs, and I was wrapped in a cloak of misery.

What do I do with this pain?

That, I still have no answer for.

 

delilahchainlo

A blind dog the author eventually freed, too.

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.

Tamira 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.

Tamira’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.

In 2016 she founded Who Chains You, publishing books by and for animal activists and rescuers.