First Comics News: When did your love and caring for animals start?
Susan Bulanda: I learned to walk holding on to my mother’s dog. I cannot remember a time when animals were not important to me or part of my life.
1st: What trait about animals most comes to mind for you?
Susan: I am always amazed at how much alike we are with animals, especially emotionally.
1st: What is “Soldiers in Fur and Feathers: The Animals That Served in World War I – Allied Forces” about?
Susan: All of the animals that were involved in WWI. The variety of mascots was the most surprising thing I learned.
1st: What type of animals served in World War I and what jobs did they do?
Susan: There were many types of animals that served on the front lines and as support, dogs, horses, mules, oxen, pigeons, and even goats.
1st: Why did you decide to write this book?
Susan: I love history and how animals have helped people from the beginning of time. You can find many instances in the Bible about animals and the human animal bond.
1st: Who would enjoy reading “Faithful Friends”?
Susan: This is not an easy book for some people to read since it is about the pets of the Holocaust victims. Some of the stories are sad but the important thing about this book is that everyone that I interviewed thanked me for caring enough to tell their stories and giving them closure. However, there are a few amazing stories that have happy endings, such as the one about Nicholas.
1st: When training a dog what is the most important thing to remember?
Susan: To treat a dog with respect and not try to bully or use harsh methods.
1st: What has been your most memorable experience working with animals?
Susan: That is hard to say. I have had so many. But one of the special dogs for me was my SAR partner, Scout. SAR was the most rewarding work I have done with dogs.
1st: What is a ethologist for those who do not know?
Susan: An ethologist is someone who studies animal behavior.
1st: Why is it important for people and animals to work together?
Susan: There are so many benefits that we get from animals. Owning a pet will help people stay healthy, ease loneliness, help people connect with other people and the list goes on.
1st: Are animals better off left in the wild or being domesticated?
Susan: God created some animals to be wild and some to be domesticated. Those that are wild are better left in their natural environment and those that are domesticated cannot survive well in the wild. We can help the wild animals by not destroying their environment. It is a hard balance between preserving their way of life and expanding ours.
1st: Will you be writing another book in the near future, if so can you tell us about it?
Susan: I am working on a few books right now. One is about SAR dogs, another is a book of short stories and I am trying my hand at children’s books.
1st: What pets do you have?
Susan: Right now I have two dogs, a Parsons Russell Terrier and a Border Collie, and five budgies.
1st: Any words for all the people who read your books?
Susan: Mostly thank you for reading my books!
Susan Bulanda, M.A.,CABC, Certified Member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), Former Vice President and Dog Chair Person (IAABC), Lecturer. Author of: Faithful Friends: Holocaust Survivors Stories of their Pets; God’s Creatures: A Biblical View of Animals, READY! Training the Search and Rescue Dog, Ready to Serve,Ready to Save: Search Missions, Boston Terriers, Scenting on the Wind: Scent Work for Hunting Dogs, The Canine Source Book.