PUPS MAKE GREAT READ, 7/10/09
Palatine Resident Becomes Accidental Pet Author Four years ago, Labrador Retriever Val joined the hundreds of Louisiana residents, animal and human alike, displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Labrador/Viszla mix Brandy’s first home was a kill shelter, followed by a home wrecked by divorce and later by a family who put her in a cage for 10 hours a day.
Today, the two enjoy a quiet life in the suburbs and are the stars of their caretaker Ilene Fine’s new series of books chronicling their escapades: Brandy and Val, Brandy and Val’s Favorite Things, and Brandy and Val’s Special Story.
Fine’s first book was written as a gift for a learning-disabled friend in Denver. Fine, who lives in Palatine, was unable to bring the dogs to visit, so she wrote the book instead. The easy-to-turn tabs as pages and photos of the two dogs inside made the book a hit with her friend and sparked the idea to publish it and make it a series.
“They make a good pair together….They’re the yin and the yang,” Fine says of Brandy and Val.
The proceeds of Brandy and Val’s Special Story, the tale of how the dogs were rescued, go to charity. Both dogs also keep busy as pet therapy dogs in the Chicagoland area.
Fine will have a reading with Brandy and Val on Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Des Plaines Public Library, 1501 Ellinwood Ave. For more information, visit BrandyAndVal.com.
Reprinted from Tails Magazine, Chicago, September 2009
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