Dindy Robinson runs the Swimming Kangaroo Books publishing company with her husband Bill. Like her name (both her given and her company’s), she is quite the colorful character who also happens to be quite the animal lover.
She was kind enough to take time from her busy duties to answer my questions. Following below and in Part II are her answers.
Courtney Mroch: How did you come up with the name “Swimming Kangaroo” for your publishing company? (It is very catchy!)
Dindy Robinson: It’s from a family joke. We were carrying on a debate with a young man about evolution vs. creation and he made the statement that kangaroos got to Australia by swimming. After my husband and I picked ourselves up off the floor from laughing, we told him that kangaroos don’t swim —but the joke was on us, because they actually do swim and swim quite well (but not well enough to get to Australia from the Middle East!).
CM: You had mentioned that you had saved your local Animal Control tons of money thanks to your commitment to saving of strays. Do you end up keeping most of them, or do you find them homes?
DR: We end up keeping most of them. They just work their way into our hearts and our house, and we aren’t able to give them up.
CM: On your website you mentioned your love for animals and the fact that strays always come up to you. Has this been the case your entire life?
DR: Pretty much. But my parents never let me keep them. My husband is much more amenable—he figured out a long time ago that if he wanted to be married to me, animals were part of the package.
CM: You also told a story about a hamster that you rescued. How on earth did you spot it?
DR: I was driving home early one morning after taking my husband to work and I noticed a cat prowling down the street in “hunt” mode. As I drove faster, I saw something running in front of it and realized it was a hamster! The cat was ready to pounce, so I stopped the car and the hamster scurried down into a storm drain. I had a paper bag in my car so I got out and stuck my hand down the drain, holding onto the paper bag. The hamster crawled into the bag, and I pulled him out. He was the biggest hamster I’ve ever seen, a light cinnamon color and was, unsurprisingly, scared to death. His eyes were sealed shut from shock, but other than that, he was in pretty good condition. I took him home and he lived for several years after that. My daughters named him “Alley Oop”, and once he recovered from his ordeal, he became a very sweet little pet!
CM: Other than rescuing a hamster, what are your other favorite pet rescue tales? Any harrowing or hilarious ones?
DR: The funniest story is probably the one where we acquired our Chow/Lab mix, Atherton. At the time, we had a border collie mix named JoJo who was a sweet, wonderful dog with just one problem—he hated other dogs. Not only did he hate them, but he loved to fight them. He was quite a scrapper and only wanted to take on dogs who were bigger than he was. Because he was smart, he usually won. My husband was taking him for a walk one evening and as he walked by the elementary school that was at the end of the street, he noticed a little black lab puppy. The puppy was out there by itself and he latched onto Bill (my husband) and JoJo. He followed them quite happily. JoJo, however, was not happy. He kept trying to attack the puppy, and spent the walk snarling, barking, and pulling at the end of the leash. The puppy trotted along just out of Jojo’s reach, and try as he might, Bill couldn’t lose the pup. He finally came home, by a rather roundabout way, and stuffed JoJo inside the house. He left the puppy outside on the lawn, thinking that the pup would surely leave once there was no one to follow, but when he went out about an hour later, the puppy happily ran up to him. We ended up keeping the puppy and he and JoJo never did get along, so we had to keep them separated for the ten years Atherton was alive.
My favorite rescue story, however, is Frankie’s story. It’s too long to tell here, but I’ve written about it and it is available as a freebie at this link.
In Part II, Dindy introduces us to her crew…