A West Plains woman who recently penned her first book will be on hand to sign copies at the first anniversary celebration of the Bark Plaza Pet Hotel in Houston on Saturday.

The hours are 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Bark Plaza Pet Hotel is operated by The Animal Shelter of Texas County.

Annie England Noblin is an English instructor at Arkansas State University’s Mountain Home campus. Her novel, “sit! stay! speak!” chronicles the experiences of a woman who moves from Chicago to a small town in Arkansas after inheriting a house from her aunt.

After relocating (in large part to escape the memory of a former fiancé), the woman finds a half-dead puppy in a garbage bag and is instantly drawn into the town’s drama. She ends up in the middle of one of the town’s biggest mysteries after nursing the dog back to health and investigating its origin, all the while restoring her aunt’s house.

An online review calls the book “a cozy read that’s full of dogs, romance and small-town charm.”

“I would describe it as being about a woman who saves a dog and how the dog saves her right back,” Noblin said.

A native of Koshkonong, Noblin has more than 10 years’ experience in the animal rescue field. She said her book was inspired by her experiences living in Helena, Ark. (in the state’s Delta area), while teaching for the University of Arkansas and working with a local rescue organization.

“The characters are all completely fictitious,” Noblin said, “but some of the side characters are definitely inspired by people I met in the Delta.”

Noblin, 33, became familiar with The Animal Shelter of Texas County (which owns and operates the Bark Plaza) after an incident involving a Boston terrier in 2013.

“It had been thrown out of a window near Memphis,” she said. “I took it to TASTC – they’re so good about helping people and animals, not just in Texas County, but from so many places.”

'sit! stay! speak!'

A board member of The Animal Shelter of Texas County has written a book and will sign copies at an event September 12 at the Bark Plaza Pet Hotel.

Working with the pound in West Plains, Noblin became even more familiar with TASTC.

“We had too many dogs at one point and the director was afraid some would have to be put down,” she said. “They swooped in and took them, and from then on I was often bringing dogs to them. Really, I was that annoying woman who always brings animals to the shelter.”

Noblin recently became a member of the board of directors for TASTC.

“So many rural areas don’t have the kind of facility it is and people who are willing to take action,” she said. “I really don’t think most people realize how much is done there.”

Event organizers said the Bark Plaza’s anniversary celebration will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and include demonstrations by South Central Correctional Center recreation officer Laurie Barnaba, who oversees the Licking prison’s Puppies for Parole dog training program. There will also be drawings for prizes and discounts on services.

Learn more about Annie England Noblin on Facebook or Twitter. For more about the Bark Plaza’s anniversary, call 417-967-3647.

“Sit! Stay! Speak!” by Annie England Noblin will be available beginning Tuesday, Sept. 8. It will be sold on and found on the shelves at most locations where books are sold, including Barns & Noble, Books-a-Million, Target, Walmart and the Book Nook in West Plains. It will also be available digitally from Nook and iBooks.

“I would describe (the book) as being about a woman who saves a dog and how the dog saves her right back.”


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