Stories all have happy endings

Thanksgiving is often the time to reminisce about blessed events we experienced. Los Osans Jackie Gardener and Kathy Sherman request you recall your favorite story associated with a pet or encounter with any animal sporting a tail.

“We would love to include your favorite animal story for our new book, ‘Happy Tails of S.L.O. County,’ ” Gardener said. “No matter what kind of tail you have we believe every tail has a tale to tell. And all the proceeds will support (canine) units for the Sheriff’s (Office), the animal shelter, Atascadero zoo, Wild Bird Sanctuary, and 4-H scholarships.”

Gardener has heard numerous stories over the 17 years she’s groomed pets in Los Osos. She always hoped to help fund a sheriff’s canine unit. Sherman is one of her customers and has publishing industry expertise. Timing was right to partner on a book.

“We are looking for people who want to help animal-related projects,” Sherman said. “We’re accepting stories that are faxed, mailed, emailed we’ll even interview and write it with you by phone or visit.”

Gardener added, “We want to produce a book with happy stories told by residents of the happiest place on earth, San Luis Obispo.”

Grooming by Jackie is next door to Lemos Feed & Pet Supply on 10th Street. “We work closely on referrals,” said Gardener, who explained that Mike Lemos has put up posters in his stores countywide.

He also had an animal story.

Lemos has an aussie buffalo. Every morning he has his coffee outside, watching it. One year, he and his new aussie, Jack, were getting to know each other’s whims. Lemos noticed that Jack was more skittish than normal. For good reason! A rattler was coming too close. That morning, Jack, no doubt, saved his life.

Then there is Pekee, who gets jumping-jack happy seeing the weekly laundry basket. One day while buried in the pile, the picture-perfect pekingese came up with panties for a bonnet.

One owner of chickens tells about their lookalike contest.

Gardener loves to tell how she wrangled a small cattle herd debating which way to cross the road. She stopped her car, waved at traffic to halt and directed the Madonna-owned herd to safety. “Watching John Wayne movies finally paid off.”

Happy, inspiring, warm tales of dogs, cats, peacocks, horses, fish — any tale with tails is welcome. Call the editors at 528-1031 or 528-8127.

“I walk around Los Osos with my Bailey,” Sherman said. “Everyone I meet I ask for a story. They love to contribute to groups but don’t always know how. We smile when we relive those moments. And reviving those smiles with stories will benefit others.”

Reach Judy Salamacha at judysalamacha@gmail.com or 801-1422.