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There are certain things you know you’ll get from a Bob Madgic book. You can count on thorough research and attention to detail. The facts will be arranged in a compelling narrative. And subtle bits of the author’s personal enjoyment in the subject about which he is writing will infuse flavor to the mix.
Nowhere is this more true than in Madgic’s latest book, Ebby’s Tale: From Shelter to Stage, which chronicles the remarkable journey of rescue dog Ebby, a terrier mix, from frightened loner to Cascade Theatre stage star.
Madgic, a retired Bay Area educator who moved to Shasta County more than 22 years ago with his wife, Diane, will mark the book’s release with a series of book signings in early October. Ebby, star of the book, will accompany him.
At 107 pages—including eight pages of photos—Ebby’s Tale is an easy read and a definite recommendation for dog lovers, who will resonate with characteristics of their own canine companions in the descriptive pages.
Madgic begins the book with an entertaining recount of past family pets, from Sabrina, the cat who disappeared during a cross-country move, to Meko, a terrier mix who lived with the Madgics for 18 years. After Meko’s death, it would be four years before the couple said yes to another dog.
When they did, they said yes to an adventure that would mark a notable transformation in 1-year-old Ebby (short for Ebbetts Pass), who came to them as Gypsy, a dog fostered by Susan Marshall of Cottonwood (Marshall has a first-person chapter in the book, sharing her perspective of Gypsy’s rocky start with the Madgics, culminating in a third-time-was-the-charm visit prompted by Marshall some time later).
Diane Madgic plays a key role in Ebby’s Tale, working diligently to help the young dog earn first the American Kennel Club’s “Canine Good Citizen” designation, then go on to become certified as a Therapy Dog and a Service Dog.
The author is very candid about “Ebby’s dark side,” as one chapter is titled, noting that “despite being a well-trained and friendly pet, Ebby has deep-seated issues that haunt her.” Under certain circumstances, generally involving perceived threats to her food or space, the usually “calm and compliant” Ebby can become “an aggressive bully,” writes Madgic.
The book relates the couple’s quest to modify Ebby’s behavior, citing research and methodology learned from various experts (including Cesar Millan, the renowned “Dog Whisperer”).
Their time and work paid off. The heartwarming thread through Ebby’s Tale is the Madgics’ commitment to work with her, to encourage her “good side,” and to explore her potential for new challenges and adventures.
Local readers familiar with recent Cascade Theatre productions “The Wizard of Oz” and “Mary Poppins” (both produced by Jana Pulcini-Leard) will enjoy reading the behind-the-scenes details about Ebby’s roles in both, as Toto and Willoughby. These include an entertaining account of when Ebby realized on stage during “The Wizard of Oz” that her leash had become unhooked.
Ebby will reprise the role of Toto in U-Prep’s fall musical production of “The Wizard of Oz” in November.
In the book’s conclusion, Madgic notes that Ebby’s Tale is a reminder that “one should never hastily judge a runaway stray dog as I did”; that dogs can have their behavior reshaped; and that investing time and commitment in a dog can reap rich rewards for the owner(s).
Marshall, Gypsy/Ebby’s foster caregiver, states in the postscript that Ebby’s tale inspired her to start her own rescue service for dogs and cats. Readers will find the overall story informative and inspirational. As Stanley Coren, author of The Intelligence of Dogs and How Dogs Thinks, says, “Ebby’s Tale is an uplifting story that proves good dogs are not born but are made by the people they live with. The fascinating journey from a rescued ‘Gypsy’ to roles on a musical stage makes a really entertaining must read for dogs lovers.”
To order a copy of Ebby’s Tale signed by Ebby and the author ($15 each),
contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The book is also available at Enjoy the Store and Happy Tails Barkery.
Bob Madgic and Ebby will be at the following book signings:
• Oct. 3 (Tues), 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Enjoy the Store (1475 Placer St.)
• Oct. 5 (Thurs), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Happy Tails Barkery (202 Hartnell
Bob and Diane Madgic will talk about Ebby’s background and training, and
Ebby will perform her routine and tricks, during the following programs:
• Oct. 12 (Thurs), 7 p.m., Redding Library: AAUW
• Nov. 15 (Wed), 10:30 – 11 a.m., Elks Lodge: Redding Newcomers
Other Bob Madgic books include The Sacramento: A Transcendent River, A Guide to Fly Fishing the Sacramento River and Shattered Air: A True Account of Catastrophe and Courage on Yosemite’s Half Dome. A documentary film is in the works on Shattered Air.
4.03.2014 – Ebby’s Tale: A Rescue Dog Finds a Home