As the saying goes, a dog is man’s best friend. Former award-winning Asheville Citizen-Times reporter James Michael Shea took things a little further. Rather than adopting a shelter animal or a Teacup Poodle, he purchased a 75-percent wolfdog.
“I never really planned to get a wolfdog,” Shea said. “It was one of those things that just happened. That said, it was the best thing that ever happened to me.”
Shea wrote a memoir about his experiences with Sequoia called Plucking Wolf Fur: A story of one arm, one dog and an American family. The book is sold locally at Malaprop’s. On Saturday (March 23), the bookstore is holding a book signing with Shea. The event takes place from 3 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.
Set against the backdrop of the Western landscape, the book is a coming-of-age tale.
“I really poured my heart out in this book,” Shea said. “If I was going to write about my life with Sequoia, I wanted to be honest. People who have read the book say they are touched.”
While living with Sequoia, he realized that owning a wolfdog was no joke. Wolves are stronger than pitbulls and faster than most other dogs.
“Sequoia was an athlete,” Shea said. “I remember when we went to the dog park, she would run alongside other dogs. She was faster than them and just toyed with them. For fun, she would jump over the top of them while the animal was running at nearly full speed. She always looked back at me with a grin afterwards.”
Those who are planning to attend the event can bring their dog. Malaprop’s is pet friendly. Dogs are allowed in the bookstore but not the café.
Besides Malaprop’s, Plucking Wolf Fur is also available for the Kindle on Amazon.