BlogHer Talks to Julie Klam

5 years ago

In the midst of her whirlwind book tour for BlogHer Book Club pick Love at First Bark, we caught up with memoirist Julie Klam.

BlogHer: As I was reading the book, I kept thinking you have the patience of a saint. Have you always been a rescuer? Did you rescue pets as a kid?

Julie Klam: I wish I could say I was one of those kids who brought home the bird with the injured wing, but I didn’t get into it until I was an adult. I didn’t even know that rescue existed when I was a kid. Although, one time when I was about eight my brother threw out Mexican jumping beans that he thought were dead and I heard them hopping in the trash and I pulled them out. So I guess that was a rescue.

BlogHer: You and your husband seem to be united in your wish to rescue animals, even during the scene in which you were rescuing Morris. Did you talk about animal rescue during your courtship? Did he know how serious you were about it before you got married?

Julie Klam: I wouldn’t say we’re united in our wish to rescue animals so much as he lets me do it and tolerates a great deal of chaos and mess. I couldn’t do what I do if he wasn’t supportive but I think he frequently wishes I was into botany or something.

BlogHer: Clemmie. Fecal intolerance. How did you get through that?

Julie Klam: I didn’t really know what to expect, I mean I’d never dealt with it. One of the keys is not to think a lot about it before hand or during. You just do what you have to and afterwards you think, “jeez, that wasn’t so terrific.”

BlogHer: When you were talking about rescuing the black dog by the tracks, you said you’d never seen an animal so unattainable. “Unattainable” is a word I’d use to describe most strange dogs, that or “maybe wants to eat me.” Do you have any tricks for approaching a strange dog?

Julie Klam: If the dog is abandoned or alone, I talk to it before approaching and try to get a sense from its body language if it’s nervous or frightened or defensive. With Morris the Pit Bull, he was crying out in love to me (I know because I speak dog). The strays and feral dogs of New Orleans were new to me because I’d never met a dog who wouldn’t come to you with food. I mean my dogs could be in a deep sleep in another room and I open the refrigerator and they’re at my feet. “Cheese? Was that cheese I heard?”

BlogHer: How do you decide which dogs to keep and which to foster? How did you decide to keep your three current dogs?

Julie Klam: I always think it’s the dogs who decide. I never plan to keep any of them and then suddenly, they have a tag with my phone number on it.

We're discussing Love at First Bark right now in BlogHer Book Club. Join us!

Rita Arens authors Surrender Dorothy and is the editor of Sleep is for the Weak. She is BlogHer's assignment and syndication editor.

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