She calls herself “the crazy dog lady”, and although her life has revolved around dogs in one form or another, she seems pretty normal.
The Review met the bubbly author and journalist Laura Greaves and her two “tollers”, Novia Scotia duck tolling retrievers Tex and Delilah, at her Faulconbridge home.
“I was 16 and a family friend had just gotten one of the first tollers in Australia. I decided I wanted one,” Greaves, now 37, explained.
“But like Pringles, you can’t stop at one.”
It seems one book about our delightful canine friends is not enough either.
Dogs with Jobs is Greaves’ second book about dogs and it hit the shelves November 27.
The first one was Incredible Dog Journeys, and there’s a third planned for release next year.
“I’m fascinated by stories that highlight the canine-human bond,” Greaves explains.
“The more I know and love them and write about them, the more astonished I am by the sheer scale of what they can do.”
Her latest book is a collection of true stories about some of the hardest working dogs from around the world. There’s Figo the guide dog who puts his life on the line to save his master and plucky little TruMan who runs ultramarathons with his flamboyant owner.
Then there’s Frankie the labrador who comforts sick kids in a children’s hospice and Molly Polly the diabetes alert dog whose round-the-clock job is to keep her two young owners healthy.
There are 24 stories in total and it’s an inspiring and heart-warming read.
“They [dogs] are a gift we don’t deserve. They give us so much and they want nothing. Yet so many of us are so terrible to them,” Greaves said.
As the former editor of Dogs Life magazine, Greaves made use of her many connections with breeders and rescue organisations in compiling stories for her books.
“Most of the stories I found went into these books. There was a lot of research and Google searching involved,” she said.
Her dream later in life is to live on a property where she can give rescue dogs a good life.
“There would be blankets and cuddles ‘cause that’s what every dog deserves,” Greaves said.
But for now the former Sydney-sider is more than content with her little family – husband Mark, three-year-old daughter and two dogs Tex and Delilah.
Dogs with Jobs, published by Penguin, is available at most bookstores.
Greaves is also the author of three romantic comedy novels, Be My Baby, The Ex-Factor and Two Weeks ‘Til Christmas, all of which feature a supporting cast of cheeky canines.
Note: The author of this article is a proud pooch owner.