Holli Pfau, author/animal activist


Holli Pfau, author/animal activist

Holli Pfau, author/animal advocate

She’s gone to the dogs, literally …

Film Fest is a wrap and life is back to somewhat normal around Telluride. We’re packing school lunches, nabbing a lunch-hour hike with a pal, stopping by the bookstore to reserve a copy of the forthcoming J. K. Rowling adult fiction “The Casual Vacancy,” prepping the guest room for the last biggie festival of the season, and walking the dog.

If you’re four out of five for the above because you don’t have a dog, you can up it to a full house by adopting a beautiful dog that Black Canyon Animal Sanctuary brings to the Wilkinson Public Library, Friday, September 7,  6:30 p.m., for an author event furrier than usual.

Durango-based author Holli Pfau, hosted by Between the Covers and Telluride Animal Foundation (TAF), plans to read from her inspiring memoir, “Pure Gold: Adventures with Six Rescued Golden Retrievers.” It’s a tribute to her four-legged buddies Nikki, Bodie, Sophie, Tucker, Daisy and Chatter, the latter, the youngest, joining her parent for the event.

Holli’s organization (and calling) started life as a 200-word creative writing assignment describing her dogs and her participation in the Parade of Rescue Dogs at the Golden Retriever National Specialty show in Snohomish, Washington. It is now a hardcover fundraising vehicle for the local shelter in the towns that she visits to spread the story behind the ever-growing challenge to find “forever homes” for abandoned dogs. It took Holli four years to complete the book but she says “the journey has been more than worth its weight in gold.”

We at Between the Covers first met Holli at a trade show. She was standing behind her table, stacked thick with copies of her one and only book, a very different sight than the variety in publisher booths, which where marketing support was in evidence. Holli simply smiled her signature smile at Bobbi and me and drew us in to her happy and complex world. “From rollicking adventure to bedside vigils in hospitals, from confident, assured partnerships to disastrous outings in the show ring,” Holli has been seen it all and has put to paper an engaging story that will provide reading pleasure for lovers of all things dog.

In addition, Holli’s selfless donation of $2-per-book-sold are a “golden opportunity for humane societies, shelters and rescue organizations to raise funds for placement programs.” Friday’s lucky beneficiary is TAF (aka the Thrift Shop on the corner of Aspen & Main).

Holli refers to “Pure Gold” as a “valuable asset to rescuers because it shares the joy and success that six rescued and second-hand dogs achieved in their new lives.”

Alongside her personal perspective, Holli’s resume provides additional street cred.

Holli co-founded a nationally recognized program of animal-assisted therapy (AAT) at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, CA. She worked as a rehabilitation therapist, wrote a training manual, and supervised 40 volunteers and their dogs. She then designed and taught classes in AAT to health care professionals for their continuing education credit. The program has been featured in local and national media, including CBS Evening News, as a model in the field.

Nikki Kelley, outreach coordinator for TAF, is thrilled that TAF is not only a benefactor of Holli’s ongoing mission of helping people appreciate the gifts and challenges of life with rescued dogs, but also providing “the perfect dog” for adoption right then and there courtesy of the Black Canyon Animal Sanctuary.

We are talking about a one-stop shop: a companion and a book that will take you from “what have I done” to “why didn’t I do this earlier?”

Spread the word.

Friday, 6:30 p.m, the Program Room at our 5-star library.

Bark it from the mountain tops.

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