Animals are near and dear to my heart. In 2007, I had the privilege of working at our local animal shelter. From this experience I got an idea to write a book for my Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls series—a young adult teen psychic series—now in the hands of a few reputable traditional publishers via my agents at Walden House (Books & Stuff). It was through my love of animals that I met fellow author and kindred spirit, Jan Flores, who I found loves our furry friends just as much as me. Jan has had some wonderful experiences, especially with shelter dogs, and I asked her if she’d be so kind as to share them with you. Take it away, Jan…
Five years ago, I walked into our local animal shelter and changed my life forever. It wasn’t easy. In fact, volunteering to walk shelter dogs was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I know that will probably sound silly to a lot of people: after all, what’s the big deal about walking dogs? Put a leash on and go.
For me, it wasn’t that simple. Blessed (or cursed) with a writer’s super-active imagination, I didn’t know what would be waiting behind the reception desk, locked away out of sight of the public. I pictured rows of dogs in wire kennels, unloved, unwanted, dropped off by owners who abdicated responsibility because the dog was sick, or old, or injured, or ill-mannered, or just something to be thrown away because it was, after all, only a dog.
I’ll admit it: I was anxious—scared that I’d make a fool of myself by bursting into tears as soon as I saw the dogs; sure that I wouldn’t be able to turn away from all those sad faces, begging for rescue. I was positive I’d have nightmares about frightened and confused dogs, who didn’t understand what had happened to them, or why.
Then I saw a poster that made me feel like a coward, writing checks to assuage my conscience, donating money instead of time so I wouldn’t have to see what I didn’t want to know. The poster showed a dirty, skinny little dog with a huge chain hanging from a studded collar around a neck that looked too frail to hold it up. I couldn’t look away from the depth of pain and hopelessness I saw in that dog’s eyes. The caption under the picture read:
You might not be able to help all the lost dogs in the world, but you can help the one in front of you.
That day I walked into the shelter and volunteered to walk the dogs.
Janis Flores was born in Montana, and raised in Colorado and California. After graduating from college, she received her license in Medical Technology, married Ray Flores, and they moved to northern California—she to supervise a laboratory, he to establish his horseshoeing business. She found time to take a class on the short story, but instead wrote her first book—a Gothic suspense titled HAWKSHEAD, which was subsequently published in hardcover by (then) Doubleday and company. Thirty-four novels—from historical to contemporary mainstream—followed.
SWEETER THAN WINE, published by Musapublishing.com, is her first ebook.
The award-winning TOUCHED BY FIRE has now been reissued in ebook form.
Both titles can be found at:
SWEETER THAN WINE:
TOUCHED BY FIRE:
You can find Jan on her website: www.janisflores.com
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/janfloresauthor
On Twitter: @JanisOFlores