When I first heard about Alison Sawyer Current’s book, I was intrigued not only by the fictional tale but by the author’s true-life experiences helping dogs and cats of Mexico. She has helped more than 12,000 animals on to a second chance at life through her nonprofit Isla Animals, which offers low-to-no-cost veterinary care and pet education, plus arranges adoptions through her Dog Gone Foundation.
Her book The Dog Lady of Mexico tells the tale of the fictional Rose, as she, her husband and pottery studio, move to Isla Mujeres (an island off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula) for a life of tranquility and inspiration. Instead they find starving, neglected and abused cats and dogs that wander the streets. There were no veterinarians in the area, and many of the people couldn’t afford veterinary care or cars to take their pet to the veterinarian. Thus begins Rose’s journey that leads to a passion that changes her life forever.
My first question for Alison was why write a fictional book instead of a biography about her own inspiring life?
“I have incredible respect for people who write a biography, to share that much of yourself,” she says. “It just wasn’t possible for me.” Alison tells me, however, that all the stories in the book are true, though times and names and some events have changed. “The spay and neuter clinic at the end of the book was created by putting together all the most interesting experiences I’d had over many years,” she says.
This is Alison’s second book, her first being No Urn for the Ashes. She has another book in the works though it’s not about rescue. “As far as the rescue,” she says, “I have more incredible dedicated volunteers than ever before, and we hope to get bigger and better every year to help as many animals as we can.”
The Dog Lady of Mexico is available through Amazon. Part of the book sales proceeds will go to Isla Animals. For more information about the rescue, go to islaanimals.org or @IslaAnimals on Facebook. Alison says people can help through monthly donations or “just spreading the word that these animals need help makes a difference,” she says.
Covering the pet world for more than 25 years, Melissa L. Kauffman has been an editor/writer for a wide variety of pet magazines and websites from the small critters to parrots to cats and dogs. Her advisory team of rescued pets — dogs Tampa Bay and Justice and parrots Deacon and Pi-Pi — help keep her on top of the latest and greatest pet health research, training and products, anything to give keep them in the high life they are accustomed to. Follow Tampa and his crew on Instagram @tampa.bay.pup.report while Melissa can always be found working on the next issue of Catster and Dogster magazines at caster.com and dogster.com.