Laura T. Coffey, author of “MY OLD DOG”

Laura T. Coffey—the author of “MY OLD DOG: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts,” which touts the virtues of adopting senior shelter dogs—recounts going to school (including college) in the Tampa Bay area and her extended stints at what’s now The Tampa Bay Times as part of the career path that lead to her current job as a writer, editor and producer for the website of the “Today” show, explains how she teamed on the book with photographer Lori Fusaro, whose gorgeous photos punctuate the vignettes Coffey has written, spotlighting elderly dogs that have extraordinary stories and/or their humans who themselves often have extraordinary stories. Coffey elaborates on some of those stories, including that of David Rosenfelt and his wife Debbie Myers, who live with 21 older dogs tumblr_o2edudIGNx1qdn02xo1_1280(and that number has been as high as 42!), and actor George Clooney, who was so nervous about the initial visit going well with his potential adoptee, a cocker spaniel named Einstein, that Nekohe rubbed turkey meat balls on his shoes. Although there is an array of dogs covered in “MY OLD DOG” across such sections as “Finding The Good Life,” “Healing,” “Helping,” 12688181_1125293140836830_126852027854040389_n“Retiring With Purpose,” Coffey addresses the link between these canines, and observes there’s now an adopt-a-senior-dog movement, not just in the U.S., but internationally. Coffey touches on Neko Case, who wrote the book’s forward, and Dr. Marty Becker & his daughter Mikkel Becker, who wrote the afterwords. (,

TLC logoALSO: I was slated to speak briefly with RaeAnna Saks, founder of The Little Cats Rescue, but she was having phone troubles, and couldn’t be reached for the interview. In her absence I summarized what we likely would have discussed: That Saks is contending with some medical challenges that require her to temporarily alter the way the organization operates—including needing to find homes for about 30 of the cats who live there. But for those unable to adopt one or more of these cats, there are other ways to help, such as volunteering or donating. (

COMEDY CORNER: Greg Fitzsimmons’ “Adopting A Dog” (

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” Neko Case’s “I Want A Dog,” instrumentals

 NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Norma Tanega’s “Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog”


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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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