Kyla Duffy, Founder and Co-Editor of Happy Tails Books. Kyla fell in love with dogs after becoming an emergency foster for a Boston Terrier with kennel cough. She lives in Boulder, CO with her husband, two rescue kitties, ex-puppy mill breeder Bill, and a perpetual stream of foster dogs. She enjoys rehabilitating the tough cases, and helps them build up muscle and confidence on long hikes through the beautiful Colorado Front Range.
Kyla is an entrepreneur and athlete, who retired from professional snowboarding in 2001 to pursue more “leisurely” activities, such as adult gymnastics, high-flying trapeze, and aerial fabric. She holds a BS in Marketing, a BA in Spanish Translation, and an MPS in Organizational Leadership. After years of business ownership experience, she founded Happy Tails Books to raise awareness of and funding for dog rescue efforts. She enjoys the creative and philanthropic nature of Happy Tails Books, and is always excited to share the passionate stories written by dog-lovers whose animals have clearly changed their lives.
Kyla has recently also founded Up For Pups!, a non-profit (pending) organization that promotes good pet ownership and responsible breeding practices through unforgettable community lectures. Visit the Up For Pups! website to learn more or to book Kyla to come to your organization and give a presentation.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Anything with my dog, Bill. He spent two years sitting in a cage as a puppy mill breeding dog, and for many months he wouldn't move at all. I never thought he would be much of a dog, let alone a dog who hikes off-leash. But these days 2 1/2 years later, Bill is a mountain goat. It brings me infinite joy to watch him climb the rocks on our favorite hike or leap through the snow like a gazelle. We call him a "carabill." His story is at http://happytailsbooks.com/about/#bill
If you could come back as a dog or a cat, which one would it be & why? That's a tough one. Would I be born into a loving family? There are so many cats and dogs living on the streets or in small cages. I wouldn't want to be either of them. Were I to be born into a loving family, I'd want to be a dog. I'm too active to be a cat, and dogs still get to lie in the sun.
What is your pets most treasured possession? Bill's most treasured possession is the one that's in his mouth. It doesn't matter what it is, and if he doesn't have a furry audience, he doesn't treasure anything. However, as soon as another dog shows interest in something, THAT'S his most treasured possession. And don't try to take it from him... You'll get an earful!
Your proudest achievement so far? Life has been good to me, and I'm lucky to have already been a part of many exciting endeavors. At 15 I became a professional snowboarder, which was very exciting for a kid! I went on to college and have since earned two bachelor's degrees and a master's degree. About a year and a half ago I founded Happy Tails Books to help raise awareness about animal rescue and adoption. We've since published about 15 books and donated $15,000 back to rescue organizations. My husband and I are on our 38th foster dog, and I was just hired to be the catcher for an all-female flying trapeze troupe for a few gigs in Europe. Really looking forward to that. Lots going on. Life is good!
Who are your heroes in real life? My mom and dad, for sure. My mom was a professional ice skater, and she had been through a lot of hardship in her life (many unexpected, untimely deaths, including the death of my sister at 12 years old). Nevertheless, she is daring, friendly, and not afraid to love. She's the best mom ever, supporting me in all that I do. As for my dad, he was really depressed a few years ago - so sad and unhealthy that I didn't know if he would actually achieve his dream of moving to Colorado with my mom. Well they did. After selling his business and moving, he has really perked up. Additionally, he's found joy through road biking and is much healthier and happier these days. I swear my parents are saints with some of the stuff they put up with from me. I've been know to just pop by, toss some dogs into their house, and say, "Blah...blah...a few hours..." before zooming out the door. Thanks Mom and Dad!