Author and historian Kate Kelly runs a website, America Comes Alive, dedicated to telling little-known stories from America’s past. Each summer, throughout July and August, America Comes Alive celebrates the “Dog Days of Summer” with three new dog stories each week for eight weeks, from service dogs and military dogs to President’s dogs and dogs in show business.
“Owney, the post office dog that became a mascot for the U.S. postal service in the 1880s, was the first dog I wrote about,” says Kate Kelly. “After Owney, I came upon all sorts of stories—Sergeant Stubby, a pit bull who accompanied a military unit throughout World War I and came home safely. There are also stories of dogs with all sorts of jobs, and of course, the series has to include some Hollywood dogs like Toto and Lassie.”
A few of the dogs that are schedule for 2013 are a dog trained to help scientists track and find endangered species, comfort dogs who are used to calm crime victims or those testifying in court, and Abraham Lincoln’s dog, Fido. There will also be several stories about dogs during the Civil War.
“This is the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, and in my research, I have been finding that though there was no official canine corps in the 1860s that dogs were a vital part of many regiments during this time,” says Kelly. “Readers will be amazed and amused by these stories.”
“The series has been a great way to open a window on America’s past,” says Kelly. “The first seeing-eye dog was not introduced to the U.S. until 1929. The story about how Morris Frank devoted his entire life to make certain his dog was accepted in public places—from buses to restaurants and on airplanes—brings a whole new understanding to Americans when they see a guide or therapy dog with someone on the street.”
Readers may read the stories on the website www.AmericaComesAlive.com, or sign up to receive the stories by email.
In addition, Kate has just released a new book, You Lucky Dog! From Homeless to Famous… True Stories of Amazing American Dogs. The collection is an uplifting compilation of true stories about homeless dogs that survived and thrived against the odds. Kate captures their very souls in moving descriptions of the devotion, loyalty and trust that changed both the fortune of these very special dogs and the lives of their human caregivers. There are also heart-warming stories about dogs like Toto and Benji as well as a few presidential dogs.
You Lucky Dog! is available in both print ($8.99) and as an ebook ($2.99) from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords and can be ordered through independent bookstores.
Kate Kelly is the successful author of more than 35 nonfiction books. She is a contributing blog writer to The Huffington Post. Her website AmericaComesAlive.com and monthly e-letters celebrate Kate’s love of American history and America’s dogs. She is an engaging speaker and has appeared on Good Morning America, World News Tonight, The View, CBS Early Show, CNN and MSNBC.
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