|The story behind The Canine Commandments
Virginia Author Solves Donates All Net Proceeds From New Book To Animal Rescue
Ever since leaving his 'high powered' consulting career and moving to Orlean, Virginia, Bill Pursche has
spent an increasing amount of time doing pro bono and volunteer work for animal rescue groups and
humane societies, helping improve operations, raise money -- and even adopt some animals that no one
else would take.
As a break from traditional fund raising, he decided to write a book, and donate all the net proceeds to
dog and equine rescue. The result of his efforts, Lessons To Live By: The Canine Commandments has
now been published, and is meeting with great success.
The book describes a series of 'life lessons' learned from dogs. It begins with the story of how getting a
dog inspired the author to make a major change in his life, and escape the 'rat race' of the 100 hour
work week. Even though he had already left the city, the demands of successful consulting and
investing business had followed him to the country.
"On paper, it looked perfect," said the author. "Leave the big company, set up my own business, cut
down on travel, work from home." At first, everything went well, and he seemed on his way to
achieving the ideal 'balanced' life. But his prior success turned out to be a mixed blessing. "So many
people wanted me to do work for them," said Bill. "I got so busy -- as busy as I had been working in
the city, and was again traveling constantly. Then one day it dawned on me: I had everything, a great
career, a supportive family and a lot of friends, a beautiful place to live -- but my life was so filled up
that I couldn't have a dog. How could I think that I had achieved a balanced life when there wasn't
even time for a dog?"
So he went and got a dog. It was then that he decided to change his life to focus on writing, pro bono
and volunteer work. He would continue his business advisory services, but they would have to pass a
strict test -- the work would have to fit into his lifestyle, instead of dictating it.
Along the way he started to learn even more about dogs in general and his new dog in particular. "It
struck me that in some ways dogs have just as much going on in their lives as we do in ours, yet they
never seem to stress about it." These and other observations led him to craft a series of lessons that
could be gleaned from observing dogs -- the 'commandments of life' as dogs would write them.
"Some of the original 'commandments' had been part of a short story I had written many years ago,
along with another story that portrays how all the 'lessons' work, so it was only a short step from there
to the completed book," he said.
Not only are the book proceeds being donated, but the author has also set up a way for book
purchasers to 'direct' the donation from their book to their favorite participating humane organization.
Book buyers can simply go to a website (www.artfulgiftshop.com) where they will be able to choose
the organization that will receive the net proceeds from their online book purchase. The first
organization to receive a donation under this program was the Humane Society of Fairfax County (VA).
Vicky Kirby, President of the Society, said, "Lessons to Live By: The Canine Commandments is the
perfect book for our organization to endorse. It's a wonderful collection of funny and heartwarming
stories. This program to help animal organizations like ours is incredibly generous. We have already
witnessed first hand how sales of this book can benefit us and the animals in our care."
"There are thousands of humane and rescue organizations in the U.S.," said the author. "These
organizations are usually strapped for cash and are continually in a 'fund raising mode.' Often they have
to rely on once-yearly fund raisers and/or asking for outright donations, which are difficult to get."
Through programs set up by the author and the publisher, these organizations will be able to promote
Lessons to Live By: The Canine Commandments to their vast network, likely to number millions of
people. By promoting the book to their large lists of donors and supporters, the organizations will
receive donations for every book sold. Purchases made from traditional bookstores, as well as other
online bookstores such as Amazon.com and BN.com, will still result in donations, though these
donations cannot be directed to a specific organization.
"This is a fun and exciting way for humane and rescue organizations to raise money," predicts Bill. "I
have been working for rescue groups for many years, both as a volunteer and in helping to raise funds.
It is much easier to raise money by giving something in exchange for the donation rather than just asking
for money." Dozens of humane organizations participate in the program, and thousands of dollars have
been donated from book sales.
Details of the programs that humane and rescue organizations can join can be found at
The book can be purchased on line at www.CanineCommandments (which is the only way to make
directed donations, and which results in the highest donation per purchase) as well as on Amazon and