Founded in 2001, the Sara & Two C-Dogs Foundation was established by Paretsky to help organizations dedicated to supporting women and girls. With the advice of her hard-working board, this private foundation has most recently funded: literacy and giving voice to the underrepresented (Aunt Lute Press, Literature for All of Us); athletics and confidence building (Girls in the Game); education (Project Exploration/Sisters4Science); the arts (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, Musicians Club of Women); housing (Sarah’s Circle); and, in particular, reproductive health (Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood of Illinois, Chicago Abortion Fund, Emma Goldman Clinic, Midwest Access Coalition).
In many ways, Paretsky’s detective, V.I. Warshawski, is a reflection of Paretsky herself. As the New York Times writes about Deadland, “Paretsky is justly praised for referencing vital social issues in her mysteries…V. I. remains the most vivid participant in this case, stubborn as a mule — although she sees herself as another animal entirely. ‘Pretend I’m a dog,’ she advises a new acquaintance. ‘Half Rottweiler, half pit dog. I’m loyal but fierce.’ And valiant. Don’t forget valiant.”
What’s in a name? Sara’s husband, Courtenay, served in the Royal Navy during WWII. He liked to call himself a Sea Dog, reflecting FDR’s wartime code name for Churchill. When Courtenay and Sara started the foundation, they had their second Golden Retriever, Cardhu. Courtenay and Cardhu. It was easy to morph a sea dog into a C Dog. The downside – all subsequent dogs have to have names that start with “C.”
Note: Sara & Two C-Dogs does not accept RFPs. The Two C-Dogs board suggests and evaluates potential grant recipients.