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Canine tales 

As warmer days emerge, it’s time to get outside, get moving and get active again. Dog lovers can take the family pet on a long stroll through the fields where the pooch can check out all the new spring scents. 

Berea author and Blue Grass Energy member Todd Moberly also keeps dog fans entertained with his heartwarming collection of canine tales, Kingdom of Dogs. Though the book is a collection of short stories, the characters, setting and theme intertwine, reading more like a novel or memoir. 

His characters are so realistic, full of personality and quirks, their language peppered with the dialect of the Kentucky countryside, that it is easy to forget the book is a work of fiction. 

As one of Moberly’s characters would say, “As sure as God made little green apples,” readers will certainly hear a turn of phrase or two from their rural childhoods. 

The stories are narrated by Clay Hall, a young man who goes to live with his grandparents on their farm in the fictional central Kentucky town of Fordville. He takes with him a special pup, given to him by his dad before his death, that serves as a bridge between life before and life after. The importance of that relationship between a boy and his dog sets the stage for the remainder of the book. 

For some of the tales, adult Clay is the storyteller, as if sharing a fireside look back in time with an eager audience. In others, readers are in the action with young Clay as family and community folk relay memories and wisdom to him, teaching him and shaping him into the adult he will become. Always, though, a dog shares the spotlight— from Great Uncle J.B.’s locally famous hounds, Flot and Jet, who won over even the most uptight townspeople to Walker’s Lead, a dog whose death almost made a man homeless. 

Throughout, Moberly’s imagery sets the time and place. Take his description of J.B., who had “somehow gotten enough money together to buy a ‘piece of a truck ’… that ran for all of three months before it was parked for good alongside the others.” Without describing J.B.’s homeplace, one can imagine a ramshackle house beside an empire of junkers. 

Moberly, a retired history teacher, calls himself “a dog-lover who at the present time has no dog!” If his characters are any indication, that will soon change.

Profits support the Galilean Home 

Kingdom of Dogs, Old Seventy Creek Press, $19.95, can be purchased from the author; email 

Moberly has dedicated Kingdom of Dogs to the Galilean Home, a nonprofit in Liberty, with all profits from the book’s sales, as well as sales from his two previous works, benefiting its ministry. The Galilean Home cares for children of all ages from all over the world who have been abused, neglected, rejected or are in need of medical treatment, helping those who need help and loving those who need love. 

Learn more at Facebook: Todd D. Moberly, Author. 

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