Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Found dogs make happy endings

‘To the Rescue’ warms the heart


By SABINA DANA PLASSE
Express Staff Writer

Photo by Diana Walker Volkl does search and rescue and avalanche work with Joe and Deb Hurlburt at Grand Targhee Ski Resort in Driggs, Idaho. Shadow gives a pet therapy visit to Helen Chavez, a Children’s Hospital administrative assistant in the Los Angeles area.

The Wood River Valley is a dog lover's paradise. Valley residents Elise Lufkin and Diana Walker took their love of dogs to a whole new level using their expertise and know-how to create a heart-warming book, "To the Rescue: Found Dogs with a Mission."

Lufkin is the author of "Found Dogs," "Second Chances" and "Not Bartlett's," and has been an avid dog lover her entire life. She has worked with a number of animal shelters, including the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley where she has assisted in socializing dogs to make them better adoption candidates.

Walker has been a contract photographer for Time magazine since 1979 and her images as a White House photographer during the Reagan, Bush and Clinton administrations have won her many awards. She has published two previous books, "Public and Private" and "Twenty Years Photographing the Presidency."

"To the Rescue" captures the stories of people young and old who all give more than just a good home to their adopted dogs. The featured dogs are certified therapy animals visiting hospitals, nursing homes and prisons. In addition, the book also presents stories about trained service dogs guiding the blind and deaf, search-and-rescue dogs, avalanche dogs and dogs that have learned to detect narcotics, bombs and even bedbugs in hotels and apartments.

Lufkin and Walker will give a book signing for "To the Rescue" at Iconoclast Books in Ketchum on Tuesday, Dec. 22, from 5-7 p.m.

All proceeds from book sales will be donated to animal welfare organizations.

Sabina Dana Plasse: splasse@mtexpress.com




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