There's A Bear In The Basement
Set in contemporary America’s colorful Pennsylvania Dutch country, the Balliets’ is a timeless world seemingly untouched by modern life. Filled with lush scenery, vividly-drawn Dutch folk and, of course, the strange and tender animals of a local zoo and numerous farms, Balliet dramatically recounts medical emergencies and narrowly averted disasters. More
From the author of Touched By All Creatures: Doctoring Animals in the Pennsylvania Dutch Country and Lowell: The True Story of an Existential Pig and Lions & Tigers & Mares—Oh, My! comes another riotous book of veterinary adventures.
There’s a Bear in the Basement serves the reader a cocktail of humor, inspiration, and literary engagement. Set in contemporary America’s colorful Pennsylvania Dutch country, the Balliets’ is a timeless world seemingly untouched by modern life. Filled with lush scenery, vividly-drawn Dutch folk and, of course, the strange and tender animals of a local zoo and numerous farms, Balliet dramatically recounts medical emergencies and narrowly averted disasters.
On the lighter side, she describes adventures with a spiteful, spitting llama named Sambuca; revelry at the annual pot-bellied pig festival, Pig Stock; and veterinary medicine showcasing raccoons, deer, turkeys, and many other unusual, sometimes eccentric, animals.
Readers will be charmed by Henry, the rooster, so protective of his goat herd; Minchi Ho, a pot-bellied pig who charms from his owners a cozy nest in the barn alongside the family’s show horses; Clampit and See-No-Evil, two of a family of baby raccoons with their own tree-stump “palace”; Thunder, a horse who battles all odds and wins; Struttin’ Feather and his mate, Hot Wings, two wild turkeys with an attraction for human company, and many other wonderful and odd animal characters.
From the first page, Balliet unites the series of narrative vignettes of day-to-day vet life with the carefree spontaneity, fun, honesty, and humor experienced through life alongside animals.
Gay Balliet is as Pennsylvania Dutch in her heritage and character as many of the animal owners in her books. After receiving her Ph.D. in English from Lehigh University, she taught college English, but her love of writing along with her love of animals finally lured her into writing narrative nonfiction for young adults and adults who share her love of nature and animals.
Balliet enjoyed promoting her books during talk-radio tours for TOUCHED BY ALL CREATURES and LOWELL as well as NPR radio out of Philadelphia. Likewise, she appeared on PA Cable Network, on GOOD MORNING, PHILADELPHIA, and on WGAL-TV out of Lancaster, PA. She has spoken about her books and her life with animals during the annual HORSE WORLD EXPO in Harrisburg, PA; the local humane society gala; the Lehigh Valley Writer’s Guild annual meeting; at events for horse nutrition and wellness and the Canine Learning Experience; as well as numerous bookstores.
Balliet’s mission statement is as follows:
Our interactions and relationships with animals distinguish us as people. How humans relate to their pets and what wisdom we allow animals and our pets to impart is what truly makes us young or old-spirited, civilized or barbaric, tending toward integrity or dishonesty, being compassionate or detached in our relationships with other people.
Neither technology, education, religion, politics nor human community define us nearly as well. However, the way in which we react toward, treat, and embrace the wisdom of our animals is the prime revealer of great character in humans.