Animals are my life and have made me who I am. Through my writings and my everyday experience, I share my and other people's enlightenment amassed at the paws and hooves of our animal friends. When we spend time with our pets, they reflect back to us, like so many mirrors, qualities such as honesty, authenticity, courage, enthusiasm, positive energy, and kindness. And if we open ourselves up to those qualities of persuasion, we become like them. If we are attentive and receptive to the lessons our pets and other animal friends offer, we allow ourselves to be shaped in the most natural, the truest ways possible--ones that will benefit each of us, as individuals, and in our relationships with other people.
Gay Balliet-Perkins began her career at the age of eight writing a story about a jewelry heist in the African jungle. Always fascinated by language and her own imagination, Gay later pursued studies in English literature, graduating from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA and Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA with a Masters Degree and Ph.D. in English. She taught high school English for many years and went on to teach English composition and world literature at local colleges.
Her most personally satisfying accomplishment was seeing her books of adventures doctoring large and exotic animals--buffalo, horses, deer, cows, monkeys, tigers, and others--come to life. Compared by reviewers to James Herriot, she has entertained animal lovers with hilarious and poignant incidents of veterinary medicine in Touched By All Creatures: Doctoring Animals In The Pennsylvania Dutch Country (New Horizon Press, 1999), Lowell: The True Story Of An Existential Pig (New Horizon Press, 2000), Lions & Tigers & Mares-Oh, My! (White Glove Press, 2015), There's A Bear in the Basement (White Glove Press 2016), and The Celebrated Pet: How Americans Memorialize Their Animal Friends. As revealed through her books, her life with animals gives her many moments of hilarity with larger doses of humility. She feels animals endow their people with honesty and love that is pure and independent of self-interest. Understanding and living with animals, whether domesticated or wild, adds another dimension to life."
Balliet-Perkins has also written a book of women's fiction entitled Next! by Virginie Snow (2018). But her greatest literary accomplishment so far, she feels, is The Celebrated Pet: How Americans Memorialize Their Animal Friends (2020). Of this book she says, "I feel so close to the quirky, wonderful, courageous animals in this book. I feel as though I have come to appreciate and love them as much as their human companions had. This book has become the closest to my heart." Her advice for readers, "Live life with the animals and it will always be filled with humor, appreciation, and inspiration. Then love yourself, and everything else will fall into place."
The author has won first place in the National Writers' Nonfiction Contest for There's A Bear In The Basement (White Glove Press, 2015). She enjoys promoting her books locally and statewide, and expects to promote her most recent book, The Celebrated Pet: How Americans Memorialize Their Animal Friends. She often speaks about her adventures with animals to groups ranging from chapters of the American Kennel Club to attendees of the annual Horse World Expo in Harrisburg, PA, to members of the local humane society, Community College groups, and library clubs. Billed as ". . . a worthy successor to James Herriot" by Midwest Book Review, she has also been interviewed by Fox News and has appeared on several other radio and TV programs as well as NPR in Philadelphia.