A dog's tale

January 30, 2009
Shepherdstown Chronicle

If you've met one of them, you've probably met them both.

Carol Gallant and Charlotte, alias, "Charlotte the Wonder Dog," are usually together and both are well-known in the area through their community activities, including variety shows at the Old Opera House and nonprofit events.

Now, Gallant, a professional writer living in Harpers Ferry, has turned her hand to a biography of her unusual dog, and both will be at Four Seasons Books on German Street for a book signing from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Article Photos

Local author Carol Gallant sits with Charlotte. Gallant will be doing a signing of her book, ‘Charlotte the Wonder Dog,’ at Four Seasons Books in Shepherdstown this Sunday. Submitted photo.

"Charlotte the Wonder Dog" is "the adventures of a dog-pound mutt who finds her way to friends, fame and peanut butter." The story is told in some 110-pages with more than 70 photos of Charlotte, who has been described as "a walking cartoon" and a "stuffed bear toy."

Her resemblance to Little Orphan Annie's dog, Sandy, in the comic strip won her that role twice in productions of 'Annie" at the Old Opera House and at Musselman High School.

Gallant, who worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., as a congressional press secretary, has won a number of writing awards, including a Spotlight Award from for her first play, "Breathing Hard," which she directed last year at the Old Opera House. She said she decided to write a book about her beloved companion because over the years she witnessed the impact of this four-legged creature on humans, and because Charlotte deserves to have her story told.

"People automatically smile when they see this dog," she said. "And next comes the question: 'What kind of dog is that!?' Charlotte sometimes 'talks' to them and that adds to the moment.

"I am always pleased to tell them that she was rescued from the pound three days before she was to be put to sleep. I hope it encourages people to visit a shelter/pound to adopt a dog (or cat) when they read about this charismatic, compelling dog.

"And Charlotte, now 13 years old, deserves for her story to be told. As I say in the introduction to the book, we all love a good Cinderella story, and that a life well-lived, whether inside dog fur or an Adolpho suit, can remind us of deeper truths than the day's headlines reveal or a credit card provides."

The five-chapter book includes, "Somebody Cue the Dog," relating Charlotte's antics on stage, (including "Annie" having to chase her through the audience during one show), and "Driving Mz. Charlotte," which is a travelogue of her favorite spots to visit in Jefferson County. She is pictured, for example, outside of "The Lost Dog" in Shepherdstown. Ethan Fischer, a poet and Shepherdstown professor, wrote the Forward, "Dog Star and Jazzy Lady." A center-section of the book is all photos of Charlotte with friends in the area and beyond.

Other book-signings will be held in the area in February, including Feb. 13 at "The Anvil Restaurant," at the Harpers Ferry Library Feb. 21, and later in the month at "Valley Hardware" in Charles Town.

The Web site for the book, published by DogEar publishing in Indiana, is dcgallantbooks.com. Books may be purchased at the site for $27.99. In local stores, the books will sell for $25, and profits will go to the PAWS No-Kill Animal Shelter in Harpers Ferry.

 
 
 

 

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