SALISBURY — Twenty-seven writers from 12 states and four countries have been honored with inclusion in the book-length anthology, “The Year’s Best Dog Stories 2021.” The new anthology is a joint project of Secant Publishing in Salisbury and The Greyhound, an indie bookstore in Berlin.

Several authors from the Mid-Shore made the final cut, including Jim Coleman of Ridgely with “Nellie and the Big Dog,” which will make you laugh and recall feisty, small dogs you’ve known; Michelle Stone-Smith of Hurlock with “Life with a Senior Dog,” which will bring a tear to your eye as you remember good times with former four-legged friends; and Loralie Lawson of Chestertown with “Names by Arne S Lawson,” a touching, first-person — er, dog — account of finding a forever home.

The book is available on all major retail channels and can be ordered online from Secant Publishing at bestdogstories.net or purchased in-store at The Greyhound.

The online description of the book says, “A dog’s antics can make you laugh. Its cuddles can melt your heart. Its mischief can push your buttons. In short, a dog is rather like a well-written story. With little warning, it can sneak up on your emotions and take you to an unexpected place.”

The all-original stories in the new book run the gamut from humor to tragedy, with occasional dashes of mystery, suspense and tall tales thrown in for good measure. The special agonies and losses of a year of COVID pandemic are a recurring theme in several of the stories. All of them feature some form of communication between dogs and humans.

“We have a tale for every dog lover and every mood,” said Ron Sauder, publisher and editor.

This year’s international roster of contributors follows, with the Gold Medal and two Silver Medal finalists listed first:

Ray Chatelin, Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada: “Brahms” (Gold Medal)

Benjamin Fine, Stamford, Connecticut: “If It Was You Dad” (Silver Medal)

Renée Rockland, Ellicott City, Maryland: “No Dogs Allowed” (Silver Medal)

R. C. Davis, Iowa City, Iowa: “Blakie”

Ian Inglis, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK: “Robbie”

Bud Scott, Salisbury, Maryland: “Suzy”

Susan Yaruta-Young, Blue Hill, Maine: “Black Dog Alley”

Richard Kroyer, Flagstaff, Arizona: “Kyle’s Delirium”

Loralie Lawson, Chestertown, Maryland: “Names by Arne S Lawson”

Michelle Stone-Smith, Hurlock, Maryland: “Life with a Senior Dog”

Karen Walker, Cobourg, Ontario, Canada: “Jeff”

Steve Wade, Dublin, Ireland: “Waiting for the Boy”

Sarah Gifford, Rock Hall, Maryland: “How Sadie Trained Her People”

Angela Glenn, Hampstead, Maryland: “The Dog Days of Making a Family”

Lisa Romano Licht, Congers, New York: “Before I Go”

Myrna Johnson, Nacogdoches, Texas: “I Was Eighty-Two When I Got My First Dig”

Sally Basmajian, Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada: “The Moon and the Sun and Errol Flynn”

Jenni Cook, Fayetteville, Arkansas: “Through the Tulips”

Eleanor O’Mara, Oxford, Maryland: “Yard Dog”

Lynn Davis, Berlin, Maryland: “Romeo Rusty”

Amy Soscia, Dayton, Maryland: “Death Row Dog”

Jim Coleman, Ridgely, Maryland: “Nellie and the Big Dog”

Andrew Kleinstuber, Frankford, Delaware: “Chesapeake”

William Falo, Marlton, New Jersey: “Mollie’s Rescue”

Chrissie Rohrman, Indianapolis, Indiana: “The Va Cume”

A.A. Hein, Pacific Palisades, California: “Rapid Paws”

Theresa Murphy, Towson, Maryland: “Marty the Misunderstood Beagle”

The contest was judged by six independent judges — Joan Cooper, David Healey, Kenton Kilgore, Judith Reveal and Lizanne Waterman, all of Maryland, and Bonnie Feldstein of New York.

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