Courtesy photo Local author Ashleigh Rose Bottorff interacts with her rescue dog “Sami Two,” at their Interlochen home.
Rescue advocate publishes book on experiences, animal care
INTERLOCHEN – A lifetime of adopting and loving rescue animals has given local author Ashleigh Rose Bottorff wisdom and inspiration to share. This she has done in her self-published animal lovers' guide “Amazing Grace, Our Littlest Hero.”
Grace is a rescue cat whose story, along with those of other rescued animals, is told in heartwarming detail. The book also contains practical animal care information.
“I love animals; I'm a farm girl,” Bottorff said.
The book comprises seven sections beginning with rescue tales.
“All animals: dogs, cats, a barn owl, a snapping turtle – there's even an algae eater in there,” she laughed.
Prevention being worth a pound of cure, Bottorff devotes the next chapter to the importance of spaying and neutering. “I quote a lot of statistics,” she said.
The author hopes to inspire others to do rescue work.
“There's a chapter on animal welfare groups and how you can help,” she said. “I've worked for two vets and an animal shelter.”
Bottorff is selective about recounting those experiences.
“I have not included any of the abuse horrors because I wanted it to be all-age friendly. There's also a chapter on feral cats, and how you can help,” she said.
For the traveling interspecies family, “Amazing Grace” includes a chapter on pet-friendly accommodations. Another chapter helps people take the best possible care of their animals. The final chapter is simply a poem written by the author.
“That honors all the abused animals past, present and future, and those who help them,” she explained.
“I'm just a messenger,” Bottorff added. “Every time I run into somebody, they've got a story.”
One such encounter brought the book's namesake into Bottorff's life.
“I was riding my bike and stopped to talk to someone walking her dog. She said that a mama kitty had had her kittens out in the woods and was fighting for her life and the babies' lives.”
Over the next month Bottorff made daily trips to feed the family in the wild before they trusted her enough that she could live trap them. She adopted all of the kittens and their mother whom she named Grace.
“When I first got her she was so traumatized you couldn't get near her. Now she'll crawl up in your lap and purr,” Bottorff said.
Bottorff lives in Interlochen with her German shepherd “Sami Two,” and multiple cats, all of whom are rescue animals. She has committed to donate 15 percent of the $12.95 book's proceeds to spay/neuter programs. Book orders and questions can be sent to Bottorff at firstname.lastname@example.org