Interview with C.A. Wulff

The Booksme n wal

 What is your name, the names of your books, genre’s, age levels, and what are they each about?
C.A. Wulff.  I have written four books:
Born Without a Tail (2007) memoir (ages 12 and up) is about 20 rescue animals who have shared my life over the years.

Circling the Waggins: How 5 Misfit Dogs Saved Me from Bewilderness
(2012) memoir (ages 14 and up)  is the story
of two crazy years in our home when we lost a lot of longtime pets  but gained a whole new pack of misfit dogs who helped us
deal with those losses. We also found ourselves taking care of WAY too many mice in a rescue that went ridiculously wrong.

Parade of Misfits
(2013) humor (ages 12 and up)  is a mini eBook that is an introduction into my world. It contains selections
from ‘Circling the Waggins’, an introduction of the misfits and a previously unpublished essay.

How to Change the World in 30 Seconds: a Web Warrior’s Guide to Animal Advocacy Online (2013) how-to (ages 12 and up)
is a practical guide for anyone who wants to advocate for animals online, and is willing to commit to just  30 seconds a day.

Where can your books be purchased?

Born Without a Tail
amazon UK:

Circling the Waggins
amazon UK:

Parade of Misfits
amazon UK:

How to Change the World in 30 Seconds
amazon UK:

 Do you have a website, a blog, or both? If so, what are they?
I have both. My official website is
my blog is Up on the Woof  []

 What about social networking? Do you have any book or author fan sites?
I can be found on the following social networking sites:
Facebook author page:
Goodreads author page:

Why did you write your books?
I wrote BWaT as a way of working through my feelings about my favorite dog, my “heart” dog, who
was aged and about to turn 17.  As I began to write about him, I realized that his story was so much
bigger than him, because it included all of the animals I had ever loved, and all of the rescue animals
who had shared our home.

I wrote CtW as an outlet after having navigated almost a decade of depression while still having to care for
a houseful of animals. I needed to process everything that had happened and try to make some sense out of
everything, good and bad, and find a way to gain perspective. I realized it was this crazy group of misfit dogs
that helped me through that period.

Since CtW is a hefty book – 344 pages, I wrote Parade of Misfits as an introduction, so readers could get a
taste of what was in store in CtW. It’s sort of a companion book.

I wrote How to Change the World in 30 Seconds because animal advocacy is my passion, and I wanted to
show others — both novices and veteran advocates–how easy it is to use the Internet as a tool to save shelter pets.

Tell us a little about the animals in your books.
The animals in BWaT are pets and rescue animals that span 37 years of my life; there are dogs, cats, a horse and
even a skunk. Two of the animals in the book didn’t even belong to me, but made an indelible impact on my life.
The “star” of the book, if you will, is Dillon – an extraordinary dog who entered my life in 1987. The book is sort of
an overview about how I got involved in rescue, and how Dillon came to be such a central figure in a home where the
cast of animals was constantly changing.

The animals of CtW are 9 dogs, 3 cats and fifteen mice. The “star” of the book is Waldo, who entered my life in 2007, and
tells the journey of a puppy that I had not been emotionally ready for and how he worked his way into my heart. His story
includes the stories of the other rescue animals in our home, the ones we were losing due to their advanced ages, and the
new ones that were becoming a part of our ‘pack’ at the same time. The mice were uninvited guests that brought their own
challenges and comedy. In the end, our pack had restructured itself into these five misfit dogs that are the most insane, and
unadoptable animals known to man.

The animals of 30 Seconds are case stories of pets who were networked using the Internet as a tool. Their stories are
interspersed in the guide to show how the steps I outline saved their lives.

Now, tell us a little about yourself.
I am a native Ohioan, the granddaughter of Italian and German immigrants. I attended Kent State University and the Cooper
School of Art, and worked as a professional graphic designer for 18 years  with a short foray toward the end of that period
into comics.  In 2000, everything kind of slid sideways and I spiraled into a debilitating depression that almost killed me.
As I began to emerge from that rabbit hole, I took a different direction and began writing.  Since I’ve been volunteering in
rescue for more than 26 years, I used those experiences as a focus. I am currently a contributing editor at,
reporting on animal welfare issues, and I write two columns for the examiner: one as the Cleveland Pets Examiner, and one
as the National Animal Books Examiner. I also maintain a blog about dogs, “Up on the Woof”, and I spread my love of dogs
through my yelodoggie art. I reside in a log cabin in one of Ohio’s national parks with my lifemate and 5 dogs
and attribute my love of animals to having been raised by Wulffs.

 If you haven’t answered this already, do you have a job besides writing?

Are you working on any new books? If so, tell us about them.
I am working on two children’s books and a collection of humorous essays about dogs.

Do you do a lot of reading? And what are a few of your favorite books and authors?
I read ravenously. I enjoy a wide range of genres, but there are some authors that I seek out
on a regular basis: Terry Pratchett,  Carolyn Parkhurst, Bob Tarte, Spencer Quinn, Temple Grandin and
Garth Stein to name a few.  My favorite book of all time is S.E.Hinton’s “The Outsiders”, but I don’t think
she ever matched the brilliance of that book in any of her subsequent novels. Some other favorites have been
Thud! (Pratchett), The Art of Racing in the Rain (Stein), The Dogs of Babel (Parkhurst), and Kitty Cornered (Tarte).

Besides the animals in your books, do you currently have or live with any other animals?
No. Right now it’s just the five  misfits: Waldo, Rocket Boy, Taco, Lammy-Lamb, and Maria.

Based on the fact that there are many rescue pets in your books, what can you tell us about the importance of animal rescue?
Stories of animal cruelty and abuse seem to be increasing daily, the perpetrators are becoming younger, and the crimes more
heinous. On top of that, our American shelter system is a mess, and animal cruelty laws are not tough enough.   The problems our
companion animals are facing are so huge and so complex that advocates  are needed in greater numbers than ever to champion them
on every front. There are hundreds of ways to get involved, depending on how much time a person is willing to devote. Even 30 seconds
a day can save the lives of shelter animals.
For people willing to devote more time, there is work to be done in crafting better laws, in humane education, in developing spay &
neuter programs, in restructuring our shelter system into a no-kill solution, in transporting shelter pets to rescues, the list goes on and on.

Are there any interesting or little known about animal rescue that you could share with us?
There’s a saying in rescue that saving one dog won’t change the world, but it will surely change the world for that one dog. Except that just isn’t
true. The truth is that saving one dog most certainly changes the world. It changes everything. First, it changes YOU, because once you
save an animal it awakens an empowerment in you. You come to realize that you can affect change wherever you apply yourself. Secondly,
it changes the world for that animal, who has been given a second chance at life…and there is nothing more joyous and grateful than an
animal who has been saved. They become loving and faithful companions. They protect and comfort their families. They teach the children
in the family to love and respect animals. They bring hours of joy and laughter to their people keeping them healthier in body, mind and spirit.
And there is always the possibility that a dog you save will become a service dog, or a therapy dog or a search and rescue dog. There’s no way
to measure the impact you can have by advocating for just one animal.

 Is there anything else related to animal rescue, pet care, or animal shelters that you could share with us?
I’ve always got something to share about animal rescue, pet care and shelters. If you subscribe Up on the Woof, you’ll find quite an array of
subjects. But if I can leave you with just one thought, it’s this: we are their voice.




About animalsandmagic

I am an author and publisher of children’s fiction, as well as an artist, and photographer. I also enjoy reading, playing video games, watching TV & movies, and more. I love animals and currently have a toy poodle named Merveille, and a Mini Rex rabbit named Kojikaki. Many of my pets over the years have been rescues from shelters. I also have selective mutism, and social phobia and am a big supporter of mental health awareness as well as animal rescue.
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