Long-term visitors to the Tails website are no doubt familiar with Devin O’Branagan’s popular “Devin’s Tails” blog. Sadly, “Devin’s Tails” will no longer be published on the site, but there’s a bright side: Meet Jenny Kalahar, the newest Tails blogger, who will be taking over Devin’s slot with a twice-monthly column highlighting all the wonderful things about pets, rescue, and the joys of animal companionship.
Read on for Jenny’s own introduction to her blog–“A Twist in the Tale” and check back next Monday for her first post!
Talented author and good friend Devin O’Branagan has passed her twice-monthly column on to me for safekeeping. I’m honored to take her spot here, and I can’t thank her and Tails enough. Devin, you did so much wonderful work and writing for animals over the years that I can’t imagine how I will follow in your paw prints!
A little about me: I am a novelist, a poet, and a used and rare bookseller. I live with my husband Patrick, our seven cats, and a Jack Russell terrier mix named Weegee in an old schoolhouse full of books. When Pat and I had a bookshop in Ohio we fostered cats for the local shelter. They were free to roam the aisles and get to know our customers before choosing just the right person to take them home. More than fifty cats were adopted through the shop over those years. Other businesses in town also fostered cats, dogs, and rabbits, and because of this the local shelters were able to stay nearly kill-free.
When we moved to Indiana and no longer had a store I tried to promote the idea of fostering pets to small (non-food, not-too-busy) businesses, but without any luck. In 2012 I wrote a novel based on our experiences as an example of how much fun fostering in a shop can be. In the book I parallel a foster child’s experiences with those of the fostered cats. That novel now has a sequel, and I’m writing a third book in the series. I attend poetry-writing groups, play in a community band, blog, read, list our used books for sale on the Internet, and love digging around in flea markets and antique shops with Patrick.
Now that you know more about me, I’ll move on to an observation I had the other day. Waiting in line near me in the post office was a mother and her pre-school aged boy. He sighed and stared at the ceiling fan. He fidgeted with the string ties on the hood of his red snowsuit. All was tedious and boring there in the old post office.
And then a man came into the lobby with his own young boy. When the kids’ eyes met you could see excitement flickering between them like electricity. Oh, wow – another kid my size is in the building! The father let go of his son’s hand so that the boys could meet in the middle of the line. One of them had something fascinating in his pocket. The other boy had to find out if that something bounced. Laughs and squeals were exchanged, and soon they had an arm around each other like long-lost pals reunited. What pure, raw luck it was that another kid happened to come in just then to liven up an otherwise very dull afternoon!
Watching them made me think about the way most dogs will light up at the sight of another dog. Almost always, once the initial see-what’s-in-my-pocket-does-it-bounce phase has passed, the two are overjoyed at having each other to romp with in the park or on the beach. Everything on their body wiggles and waggles, tongues hang out in giant laughs, tushes are sniffed, and arms are thrown cheerfully around each other’s furry shoulders.
And that’s pretty close to how I feel about starting to write for Tails. Minus the tush-sniffing, of course. This is just pure, raw luck that I’ll get to interact with other pet-loving kindred spirits, and that we’ll get to talk about all sorts of lighthearted, whimsical animal topics. I plan to dig out the lesser-told tales of the humorous side of living with pets, working with animals, and heartwarming stories of rescues through true tales and fictional pieces. And I’d like to celebrate the joys that animal companions of any type and breed bring to us daily.
Tagged Jenny Kalahar