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Entries in animals (3)


A Quiet Shelter There anthology out and Publisher's Weekly Review

It's here! A Quiet Shelter There, a benefit anthology for Friends of Homeless Animals(FOHA), contains speculative stories all about companion and service animals. 70% of the proceeds go to FOHA, but other animal shelters/rescues can purchase it at a discount if they would like to use it for their own fundraising.

Publisher's weekly just reviewed it, and with a lovely comment about my story.

Right now, it's just out in paperback. Ebooks coming.




Cover Reveal: A Quiet Shelter There Anthology

Squeeee! The cover art for A Quiet Shelter There just arrived in my inbox, and is absolutely perfect for a collection of speculative fiction (fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal, etc.) stories all about animals. This is a benefit anthology for homeless animals, and I am honored that my story, "Charlie", will be included. To see all the contributors, click here. You will see the very talented Cat Rambo among them.

The cover for A Quiet Shelter There was designed by Heather McDougal. The anthology is forthcoming from Hadley Rille Books, edited by Gerri Leen.


Adopted Whales: Saying Goodbye and Saying Hello

I metNimpkish Photo: Carla Richards Nimpkish while I was whale watching from a boat off the coast of Vancouver Island. In fact, he swam right under our boat—and let me just say, he was huge! Nimpkish, a resident killer whale, was well known to the crew of the boat—identifiable by his tall, straight dorsal fin. Other whales came and went, but Nimpkish seemed to hang around with us that afternoon. It was a special experience.

For my birthday that year, I was given a Wild Killer Whale Adoption of Nimpkish as Nimpkish ID Photo: Fisheries and Oceans Canada(DFO)a present. My brother asked me if my whale would send me a photo and letter every year, but Nimpkish wasn't great at correspondence. However, I would check the Blackfish Sounder, the member newsletter, hoping to read about him.

Nimpkish was a Resident Killer Whale, which means among other things that he had a tight-knit matriarchal family pod, a smaller predictable range along the B.C. coast, and ate mainly fish. In contrast, Transient Killer Whales roam over much larger areas, have looser social structures and primarily eat marine mammals.

I recently learned that Nimpkish disappeared, and is presumed dead. When Nimpkish disappeared, his mother, Scimitar, spent a lot of time swimming alone and calling for him. In what has been, to researchers, anRainy Photo: Lance Barrett-Leonard, Vancouver Aquarium unexpected reaction to Nimpkish's death, she is now spending time on her own, or in the company of the A36 sub-pod of males who had lost their mother, and were without a matriarch. Scimitar is the matriarch (and great-grandmother) of the A12 sub-pod.  

 Adopting a wild animal isn't the same as having a companion animal that lives with you, but I cared about Nimpkish, and it made me sad to hear he was gone. Although, I like to think that maybe Nimpkish decided to run off with a trampy transient.

In honour of Nimpkish, I have adopted Rainy. Rainy is a young calf from the A12 sub-pod, and is Nimpkish's niece or nephew. Researchers have not been able to tell yet if Rainy is a girl or boy. I'll keep you posted.

Rainy ID Photo: Lance Barrett-Leonard, Vancouver AquariumVancouver Aquarium's Wild Killer Whale Adoption program supports important whale research and conservation. Find out more at about the adoption program, and about killer whales at

Do you have any experiences rescuing, adopting or volunteering with wild animals? I'd love to hear about them.