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Cirque de Puppy
Aerial fabric artist spins for dogs
Kyla Duffy practicing for her BlogPaws 2010 aerial performance.

Ever feel like your unique talents couldn’t possibly translate into helping animals? Well, Kyla Duffy could change your mind.


The first time I saw Duffy, who co-founded Happy Tails Books (which publishes collections of breed-specific adoption stories), was a few days ago at the opening reception for BlogPaws West 2010. (Over the next week, I’ll be writing about several of the dedicated and talented folks I met at the pet-centric blogging conference in Denver.)

When I saw Duffy, she was wearing a pair of artistically torn leggings and dangling upside down from a few pieces of fabric. (See video below.) Seeing and hearing Duffy twist and turn a few yards away, I got a much more visceral appreciation for her talent than I did watching the distant, polished Cirque de Soliel aerialists years ago.
Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, the audience didn’t see the slideshow promoting puppy mill awareness that accompanies her performance—and explained what she was doing there. While aerial acrobatics and rescue stories don’t exactly go together like peanut butter and jelly, I’m intrigued by the concept. Calling it “creative volunteerism,” sort of like volunteer vacations, Duffy is trying to do good through her creativity. And, I think it’s possible her performances could allow her to reach beyond the choir (i.e., folks like you reading this blog) to people who don’t yet know the challenges of pet overpopulation.

Duffy says she hopes to take her show and the road, and we’ll keep an eye out for her. Meanwhile, I’m wondering about what other surprising skills and talents are or could be put to good use for shelter dogs.

Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom. lisawogan.com

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