Shelf Full of Books welcomes author Suzanne Burke with a guest post today. Suzanne is the author of Logan’s Secret (click to see review) and Logan’s Mystical Collar (review will be posted on the 12th of May.
My Insight into Greyhound Rescue
By Suzanne Burke
Life is funny sometimes as you look back on the past; life has a way of changing your perspective in a profound way. For instance, for most of my life I thought I was a “cat person” - no real interest in dogs until I had a life-altering experience with a lost greyhound.
It must have been fate as I was tending my garden on Thanksgiving Day 2000. A speedy greyhound suddenly raced by. At the time, I had no idea what rushed past until a young girl stopped in a car, obviously distressed that the dog she was dog sitting had escaped from its backyard. She told me it was a greyhound and his name was Zeus. What a mighty name, I thought. I ran to the back alley behind my house looking for him and at the far end saw an incredibly elegant dog staring at me.
I yelled his name and he raced toward me at top speed grinning ear to ear. I was immediately smitten. I never forgot that day and my first ever greyhound encounter. From that moment on I was hooked!
Two years later in 2002 I decided to adopt a retired racing greyhound, inspired by my memories of Zeus, the greyhound who had crossed my path on Thanksgiving years earlier in that most unusual way. After researching the Internet I found a local adoption group, the Greyhound Adoption League of Texas, and met my first greyhound, Allie, whom I eventually adopted. After experiencing this wonderfully funny and docile breed, I jumped into volunteering and fostering. Throughout the last 14 years I fostered and rescued greyhounds in dire circumstances, including one greyhound named Sam.
Sam was a sweet strong fawn-colored male with a positive and confident air. He loved everyone! I became involved with him through a search and rescue event that would last six weeks in the spring of 2005. This event was a test of patience and faith for many volunteers who spent countless hours posting missing dog flyers, searching through woods and brush in a lake community in Dallas, Texas, which turned up nothing during the six week time period. Volunteers with the Greyhound Adoption League of Texas never gave up hope of finding the beloved greyhound named Sam.
As a last resort, four weeks into the search, a large humane trap was set up at the edge of a patch of woods in the lake community in hopes of capturing Sam. Volunteers were scheduled to replenish the trap with the most alluring home-cooked food morning and night, only to find wild animals caught each morning. One morning a raccoon and her babies were captured and of course released. It was a true test of patience, ending in frustration each morning when Sam did not appear.
One evening a volunteer and I were scheduled to bait the trap. As we finished our chore and took a rest on a park bench to watch the sun set, we noticed a unique formation of a cloud. It wasn’t just any formation, but one I will never forget. The cloud was shaped in the form of a greyhound’s head with its unique long needle nose and relaxed ears. We both wondered if the cloud had meaning and both of us walked away that evening with a funny feeling that something was about to change.
The following day at noon, I received a phone call from this volunteer screaming in my ear that they had found Sam – on a ranch thirty miles from the lake where we focused our search. How in the world would a greyhound end up thirty miles from the area we were receiving sightings?
From this extraordinary experience, I knew one day that I would be writing Sam’s Story.
Logan’s Secret tells of this true-life story told from the greyhound’s perspective. It is about a dog named Sam that wanted nothing more than to experience the retired life of a pampered greyhound. Sam went through unbelievable challenges and odds to find his forever home. This is a story with a happy ending where a greyhound with one wish for a happy retired home comes true and is given the new name of Logan.
The story became popular with dog lovers and children and I was asked by many to write another story about Logan. A concept idea was formed, and I decided to start a book series teaching children about the different historical periods in which greyhounds held importance. The stories are time travel adventures to periods such as Ancient Egypt and Medieval Europe to pique the interest of readers to not only teach history, but they also teach decision making, positive thinking, courage, and perseverance.
Logan and the Mystical Collar, which is the second book in the series, teaches not only lessons about how to deal with bullying, but also historical facts about Ancient Egypt in an interesting and fun way for children. Book three in the series titled Logan and the Phoenix, has just been completed and is expected to launch this summer.
Logan and the Phoenix, set in the medieval period is an exciting adventure that includes a wizard, dragon and a king who have to work together to save a kingdom from an evil black mist that has plagued their lands. Lessons of bullying, jealousy, and unfair judgment are just a few social issues for children to learn how to overcome.
More stories are on the horizon to teach important life lessons and history for readers. Logan’s Secret and Logan and the Mystical Collar are currently available on Amazon.com. To learn more about the stories, the greyhound’s history, and about this breed as a pet, visit www.greyhoundstories.com.
About the Author:
Suzanne Burke, a native of Richmond, Virginia currently lives in a suburb of Dallas, Texas, with her retired racing greyhounds. She has more than ten years’ experience working with the greyhound breed as a volunteer for the Greyhound Adoption League of Texas. Suzanne also has more than 15 years’ experience in the information technology field in project management and technical writing.