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The Dog Thief and Other Stories Paperback – September 16, 2016
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About the Author
Jill Kearney is an artist who lives with her husband and two dogs on an island in Puget Sound. She is retired from teaching and currently works part time as a care provider. Jill writes stories drawn from her experiences as an in-home care provider and a dog rescuer in the impoverished rural southwestern corner of Washington state. “I began writing almost as a compulsion,” she said. “I met people and animals and got into situations that just demanded to be described in story form.” Most of her stories concern the lives of people like her clients who live on the margins of society. “I get stories by standing in line at the Food Bank,” she said. Other stories come from dog rescue experiences. “I’m interested in the lives of people who feel like they don’t matter to anyone.”
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This collection of short stories could also be seen as a homage to all domesticated animals and the almost blind trust they put in humans – which we rarely understand or appreciate. It makes us aware that domesticated animals have a life and personality of their own and are not just there to fulfil a selfish purpose on the part of their owners. In our daily lives we tend to overlook – by preference or disinterest – a shadowy side of our own society … the abuse of animals. These stories should do more than just prick our consciences. The parts relating to abuse are particularly depressing, giving very clear insights into the mistakes people make – perhaps unthinkingly – in their every day life when dealing with animals.
Animals, though, are not the only central figures in these stories. Their owners figure prominently. The author captures their feelings and situations in descriptive prose, their everyday lives being portrayed with the same precision as those of the animals, while adding depth to the stories.
This not a happy book and doesn't pretend to be one. It depicts raw reality. Despite the overwhelming gloom around the stories, however, the author succeeds in casting a ray of hope for both – owners and animals. I feel she offers a substantial contribution to showing up abuse and bringing about improvement.
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Reviewed By Lit Amri for Readers’ Favorite
The Dog Thief and Other Stories by Jill Kearney is a collection of short, humbling tales about the relationship between humans and animals either living on the fringes of society, struggling with some kind of hardship or simply decrepit, boldly taking readers into uncomfortable situations and places. The multidimensional characters are people that you know exist out there. Along with them are the domesticated animals, trapped in the same dire situations, until fate intervenes with some interesting consequences. The collection starts with The Dog Thief, where rescue attempts for several dogs from their inept owner seem hopeless until two of the characters make bold decisions. The second story is Sparrows, about two siblings－an ill, drug addicted woman and her crippled younger brother－ who welcome a stray dog into their hard lives when they found it in their garage.
The twelve stories in the collection are narrated with sharp prose and concerned with the many themes of life such as love, death, friendship, regret, and fear. Some of them are not entirely focused on tragedy, but are nostalgic moments instead in stories such as Arnie’s Last Ride, and Beverley and Jim, in which the characters are elderly people. With the swift-moving story lines, Kearney’s collection offers informative insight from her experiences as an in-home care provider and a dog rescuer. For any readers who have seen or been through the same situations, the tales in The Dog Thief and Other Stories will definitely strike many chords. They are thematically poignant, highly engaging and thought-provoking; a commendable work from Kearney.
I loved her stories. Touching human stories, most will capture your heart. The stories are usually about people and how they relate to dogs and their feelings surrounding that relationship.
Thank you Jill for helping Safe Haven Rescue in Yerington NV. And giving me reading pleasure.