Tears filled the corners of her eyes as Montgomery author Lynn Stacy-Smith read excerpts from her first book “Love, Laugh, Woof” about her love for the many dogs that carried her through her life.
More than 20 seniors sat and listened Tuesday to the heartfelt stories and information she has written in her self-published book, which came out in September 2016, while at the monthly senior entertainment event at the Montgomery Village Hall.
Stacy-Smith recalled when she was 5, a stepdad came into her life and along with him came his dog, Snoop, and two brothers. A shy girl, Stacy-Smith said Snoop became her best friend and the two played, ran in the yard and she would throw sticks to fetch. She said she got into trouble for throwing sticks for him because Snoop was her stepdad’s hunting dog and on a hunting trip Snoop brought back a stick instead of a bird.
Since she published her book, Stacy-Smith has attended dog expos, reached out to book and pet stores and was recognized in “Modern Dog” magazine in the Christmas 2016 issue, but Tuesday was her first actual reading and discussion about her book. She said she had nerves, but those were quickly dispelled when her daughter reminded her that she was to speak about her book, and her passion for dogs.
Stacy-Smith was originally from New Jersey, but now lives in Montgomery with her husband, Chuck, and children Jake, Paige and Molly, as well as two black labs named Tinker Bell – dubbed the silly dog – and Jackson, with a serious look on his face, always.
“My dogs have been my best friends and amazing companions. It’s such a miracle because we are so different from each other, but so close. A lot of people treat dogs like small humans, which is a disservice, because dogs are awesome on their own,” Stacy-Smith said.
Stacy-Smith said there were many things that led to the creation of this book. She said she is not a dog trainer or expert, nor claims to be, she just has had life experiences that have given her knowledge and the drive to share in order to create an all-around good pet owner.
She had a corporate job, but was tired of the rat race and missing time with family, so with a background in English, decided to write for dog food company Canine Caviar Pet Foods Inc. out of California, where she learned about canine nutrition. She was on the verge of starting a social media management company with friends when her true destiny came to her.
After browsing online, she found a rescue dog that needed a foster home, a lab named Destiny who was found in Puerto Rico with a bag around her snout, tied to a tree and left for dead. Her husband was not keen on another rescue, but Stacy-Smith knew she needed this dog.
She nursed Destiny back to health and this once malnourished and frightened dog now asked for snuggles and went to a forever home in Oswego. She loves her labs, but she credits that chance fostering of a rescue dog from Puerto Rico as the inspiration of the book.
“It was no coincidence that this dog’s name was Destiny. I didn’t want to start a social media company. I wanted to write a book about my experiences with dogs, about my passion for dogs and to teach people about dogs,” Stacy-Smith said.
The “Love, Laugh, Woof” mission says it’s for helping dog owners create a happy, healthy, holistic lifestyle for their forever dogs.
Stacy-Smith clarified that the holistic part did not mean nontraditional medicine, as she believes in vaccines and traditional medicine, but a more holistic approach to mind, body, home life (chemicals used in the home) and food.
She adds that a part of the book focuses on the increased dog population in shelters due to owners surrendering them, and explains that dogs are expensive, poop a lot, require food and medical care, so not everyone was meant to be a dog owner, and the value in recognizing that before the purchase or adoption.
“We have dogs and people need to be resigned to the fact that a dog is a part of the family,” Aurora resident Sharon MacDonald said.
Another strong point of the book deals with breeders and what to look for in a breeder and the choice of adoption and learning what type of dog will fit within the family dynamic.
Stacy-Smith said she is ready to branch out into more public speaking engagements to educate the public on dog ownership. She has a blog called lovelaughwoof, and she can be found on Facebook at Love, Laugh, Woof Forever Dog Owners and Love, Laugh, Woof.
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