Book Review: Circling the Waggins How 5 Misfit Dogs Saved Me From Bewilderness by C.A. Wulff

Many of you saw my blog post from April 15th, where I featured the book “How To Change The World in 30 Seconds” by C.A. Wulff.  She is one talented author! Today, I have the pleasure of presenting to you “Circling the Waggins, How 5 Misfit Dogs Saved Me From Bewilderness” also by Author C.A. Wulff.

circling the waggins

From www.yelodoggie.com

Living in a rugged log cabin in a National Park can be challenging for two middle-aged women; especially when one has physical limitations and the other’s mental illness is a wilderness of its own. Add in the daily trials of senior pet care, plus a mouse rescue gone comically awry, and it might just be a recipe for disaster. But even as the two women care for, and say goodbye to, longtime companion animals, a pack of misfit dogs enter their lives to keep them grounded. The couple find a new awareness and understanding of the experience of living.

You don’t have to be involved in animal rescue to appreciate this book, but if you are, you will love it all the more.  One of my favorite lines from this wonderful book happens to be at the beginning. When speaking about the animals that she has rescued and why she continues to do so, even after having her heart-broken when they pass, C.A. Wulff says: “They reminded me that joy comes in furry packages, and love is an eternal circle that keeps on waggin.”

Just when you think that you cannot bear to experience the loss of a beloved animal again, you find another, and yet ANOTHER, each unique, each special,  each needing love, and you learn that YES indeed you CAN (and you will) dedicate your life to an animal again.

If you love animals, you will love Circling the Waggins.

You will smile, nod your head in recognition and yes you will cry, you will be as moved by the dedication of C.A. Wulff and her partner Dalene, as I was.

The ONLY criticism that I have of this book is Wulff’s obvious lukewarm attitude about cats. I know that 99.9% of you who read my blog are die-hard dog lovers, most of you do not have cats, many of you do. Until Dakota came into my life in 2007 I was 100% TEAM CAT and TEAM CAT ONLY. Don’t get me wrong, I ADORE DOGS, I just feel that I understand and relate to cats better. So, passages such as these, upset me:

It’s not that I dislike cats. Cats are beautiful animals and make lovely pets. Perfectly fine pets for SOMEBODY ELSE to have. I have loved felines in the past, counting myself fortunate to have known them. But over the years, I’ve come to understand that I find relationships with dogs much more rewarding.

One of the things I dislike about our current group of cats is their blatant disregard for our furniture and carpeting. They remind me of wild and uncontrollable rock stars who trash hotel rooms. My role in the relationship with them has evolved into little more than a janitorial service.

I must be part cat because I felt my hair beginning to stand on end and my claws began extending. I had my first cat for 18 wonderful and MEANINGFUL years. He was my soul mate, he lived for me as much as I lived for him.  The unbearable devastation and pain I felt when he passed, was excruciating as all of us who have loved and lost beloved pets know. The above couldn’t be FURTHER from the truth IN MY WORLD.  I won’t lie. This passage and a few other cat references didn’t sit well with me.

The book also, for me, seemed to end rather disjointedly without obvious closure. When it ended, it was DONE and I was left confused about one issue in particular, whatever happened to Max? (the cat)

There is much in this book that I DID like:

  • It made me remember what it was like to care for a senior pet
  • What would I do if my dog or cat were to be diagnosed with cancer?
  • How do those in multiple pet households cope? (When I say multiple, I mean more than 2 pets)
  • It made me relive having to euthanize my “soul kitty”
  • It discusses the importance of spaying/neutering
  •  the love and dedication to animals that is clear by C.A. and her partner

If you have ever rescued an animal, loved a pet (dog OR cat) with your entire being, sacrificed for your pet, and experienced the unconditional love that they offer in return, you will appreciate Circling the Waggins and be able to relate to the “Circle Of Life” going on.

Paperback: 344 pages
Publisher: Barking Planet Productions (July 16, 2012)
I
SBN-10: 0978692861
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SBN-13: 978-0978692865

C.A. Wulff has generously offered my readers a $5 discount!

The estore url is:
https://www.createspace.com/3921424
and the $5 off discount code is:
QC3XD965

To purchase on Amazon  click here

You can follow Wulff on the Internet at:

www.yelodoggie.com

Up on the Woof blog: thewoof.wordpress.com

Twitter: twitter.com/yelodoggie

Facebook: C.A. Wulff

Published in: on April 22, 2013 at 1:00 am  Comments (35)  
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Book Review: The Rescue Team by Billi Tiner

When I  first met Author Billi Tiner  on Twitter and saw the cover of  The Rescue Team, the first thing that intrigued me about this wonderful book for youngsters in the “middle grades” or grades 9-12, was the cover! The cover features the two “stars” of this heartwarming and excitement filled book, Ellie, a Border Collie with an endearing “smile”  and a penchant for “spinning”, ( Shelties can certainly relate!), who was unceremoniously “dumped” off at a shelter when his owners discovered they were going to have a baby, and Toby, a silver-gray tabby cat, who was also treated less than admirably by his owners.  For those who read both of my blogs, do these two remind you of anybody?

 

to purchase in paperback or Kindle form, click on the book cover!

to purchase in paperback or Kindle form, click on the book cover!

That’s right! The two featured on the cover remind me of my Dakota and Cody!

Flat Cody and Flat Dakota that Mom had bought for trip

Cody and Dakota!

When I read the first few pages I was hooked!  There were many things that I loved about this book, but one of the main themes that I loved was the “pay it forward” message that Ellie and Toby display throughout the entire story. Having been rescued, they live their lives rescuing OTHERS, both people and other animals. Ellie, being a “working” dog, finds her “job”,  her  “purpose”  rescuing others with Toby the cat, working devotedly by his side.

There are delightful “messages” or “lessons” that are learned when young people AND adults read The Rescue Team. The “pay it forward” message is clear but there are more messages such as, the power of love, devotion, determination, trust, courage, hope, to name a few.

Another aspect of The Rescue Team that I found to be delightful, was how Author Billi Tiner has the animals that are in this book “speak” to each other.  There are examples of how they speak with their “eyes” throughout the book, sensing whether a person or an animal can be trusted, just by looking into their eyes.  The animals in The Rescue Team “speak” to each other when no humans are around, they also have an uncanny ability to “speak” to the humans, Anne Richards, who adopts Ellie and Toby, and Brent Davis, the EMT who rescues Anne,  (in more ways than one!)


Animals have an inherent form  of communicating  that humans who LISTEN  understand, be it a “smile”, a “spin”, a tail wag, a cat showing love through brushing up against a human, Tiner shows throughout this book that SHE is an animal lover by her obvious understanding of these “gestures.”

 The Rescue Team also teaches us  how, often our first impressions can be wrong, as exhibited when Toby the cat is startled by Tank, the “huge” dog with the “freaky” eyes (one blue, one brown) that sent Toby running up the first tree that he could find!

The Rescue Team is a quick read,  fast-moving, exciting, packed with warmhearted “feel good” moments and lessons that can be learned by both young people and adults alike.

Be sure to put this one on your MUST READ list!

 

ISBN 9781478318156

To purchase in paperback form click here

To purchase in Kindle form click here

Book Review: “Dogs Of Courage” by Lisa Rogak

I was honored to be given the opportunity to review Dogs Of Courage by Lisa Rogak.

Dogs of Courage is “the heroism and heart of working dogs around the world.”

Prior to reading this information packed book I was under the mistaken assumption that only certain breeds with certain “jobs” could be considered to be “dogs of courage.” I never suspected that a Chihuahua, or for that matter a Sheltie, would be a dog that could ever  earn the title of  Dogs Of Courage.  That mistaken thought reveals the cat lover in me, and shows just how much learning that I need to do to truly better  understand DOGS. Of course I LOVE dogs but I do admit that I am far less well versed about all things dog, than I am about all things CAT.

Photo Courtesy of macmillan

Photo Courtesy of macmillan

I never realized until reading  Dogs Of Courage, that EVERY dog has the potential of being a “dog of courage” regardless of their breed, size or particular talent.

From Dogs Of Courage: While we smile (and cry) when we hear stories on the news about courageous dogs, we rarely learn “Why dogs go out of their way to help us.” and “how do they get that way? How are dogs able to perform tasks and work in tandem with the humans who are their partners?” Dogs of Courage answers those questions and many more.

What Is a Dog of Courage?

It could be your next door neighbor’s dog, it could be a dog that works with police or fire, a dog trained as a therapy dog in a nursing home or hospital, a dog that works in a prison, even a movie star dog such as Lassie.  A “dog of courage” can have any one of a number of jobs that you will delight in reading about in full detail in this marvelous book.

Did you know?

  • That the smallest police dog in the world is an 8 lb Chihuahua named Midge who hails from Geauga County, Ohio?  Midge has appeared on the Rachael Ray Show, Fox and Friends, CNN, MSNBC and other media outlets.
  • That many arson investigators and insurance companies think that Labrador retrievers are the best dogs for arson work?
  • That Newfoundlands are considered to be the best breed for water work?
  • That a Collie named “Kira” works as a psychiatric service dog?

Being from Michigan, I was particularly intrigued reading about a Golden Retriever named Landon who was brought into a family to help their 10-year-old autistic son, David.  Landon was acquired from Paws with a Cause, a nonprofit organization in Wayland, Michigan that trains assistance dogs to help people with disabilities. Landon ended up helping David with his communication skills and enabled him to open up more. Landon also helped David be better able to fall asleep at night just by being by his side.

I urge you to buy this wonderful book. If you are an educator, this would be a marvelous book to use as a learning tool in the classroom to teach students about how important dogs are in our lives, not just as our trusted and playful companions, but to enable students to learn about  the many jobs that a dog may have and how important they are in helping us to better function in our  daily existence.

From the publisher St.Martin’s Press: Dogs of Courage reveals the heartwarming and awe-inspiring stories of these hard-working dogs, from the training they receive to the ways we honor their sacrifices and reward their years of service.  Dogs Of Courage is an incredible story of the vital role that dogs play as working heroes, it is a must-read for animal-lovers everywhere.

About the Author:

Lisa Rogak is the author of The Dogs Of War: The Courage, Love and Loyalty of Military Working Dogs, the Edgar-and Anthony-nominated Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King, A Boy Named Shel: The Life and Times of Shel Silverstein,  and And Nothing But the Truthiness: The Rise (and Further Rise) of Stephen Colbert. She is also editor of the New York Times-bestselling Barack Obama in His Own Words.

ISBN: 1-250-02176-6

Mischief Master Class: A Book written by Dogs (two Cats and a Turtle!)…assisted by Annette Vivian

Hi everyone it’s Dakota, it’s Monday and you know what THAT means! It’s Mischief Monday!!

I can’t think of a better day to feature the new book by my buddy Snoopy, (of the informative, fun and adorable blog, SNOOPY’S DOG BLOG,)   Mischief Master Class A Book written by Dogs (two Cats and a Turtle!)…assisted by Annette Vivian.

snoopy book cover

Photo Courtesy of Annette Vivian

How did this book evolve?

For the rare few who DON’T know, my buddy Snoopy is the MASTER of Mischief! So much so that on his blog he has a regular Monday feature called the Monday Mischief Blog Hop which is sponsored by Snoopy, Alfie’s Blog, Luna Dogs Life and My Brown Newfies. This Blog Hop is so popular and has so many weekly submissions from various animals all over the world, that it only made sense that the concept would make a natural evolution, into a BOOK! Now, when you want to read about all the mischief that everyone has been up to, it’s right at the tip of your paws!

My buddy Snoopy is a 2-year-old Bearded Collie who considers himself to be the “Master of Mischief”  That title didn’t come easy.  In order to attain the title of “Master of Mischief” you must have enormous skill and creativity! Snoopy has made it his mission to help all animals get the title of “Master of Mischief” by compiling this pawsome book!

But what exactly IS “Mischief? I’m glad that you asked!  Here is the definition that I found online:” It is “Playful misbehavior or troublemaking”

Snoopy feels, and I agree, that with so much seriousness in the World and in our jobs (did you know that Snoopy is a registered therapy dog? That’s some SERIOUS stuff!) it is important to incorporate some play in your day and what better way to do that than through creating some Mischief!

How Does The Mischief Master Class Work?

From Snoopy: “you must keep in mind some basic principles/rules/codes. If you stick to these principles, my experience tells me you’ll be a Mischief Master in no time!”

This book will be your greatest “go-to” to hone your mischief-making skills! You will LOVE the fun examples/stories shared by animals from all over the world (and their 2-leggers). The colorful photographs will make you wag your tail with delight!

Some of my favorite “Principles” in Mischief Master Class are:

Look Cute-Freddie of the blog BASSET MOMMA  has that skill learned, paws down!

Forgiveness is Easier Than Permission-shown by the sock stealing antics of Alfie the Entlebucher Mountain Pup. Visit him at ALFIE’S BLOG.

My Handiwork

My Handiwork

Stand Tall, Be Firm-shown by none other than yours truly!! Yep! I’m in the book too! I tried so hard to protect my territory from the dogs across the hall that I tore up our door wall! Just for the record, I was so adept at this feat that the dogs have MOVED!

The Art Of Negotiation– remarkably displayed by our turtle friend Kroten, of the blog UNDERNEATH THE SHELL, who will eat anything and everything!

Don’t Underestimate The Little Guy, The Big Dog Isn’t Always The Top Dog-shown by Roxy and Torrey of the blog ROXY THE TRAVELING DOG, as well as  Snoopy himself with a hilarious intro to this chapter about Snoopy and his “sheep.”

Learn To Count– one of my faves, and highlights how my buddy Snoopy can count! Yep!  By learning to count he knows just how long he can stay on the forbidden bed before his Mom counts to THREE to get him off. He even includes a link to the video in his book (links to many other videos are in the book as well). Check out this one of Snoopy, you’ll see why it is a fave of mine!

The last principle we are going to share with you, (you will have to buy the book to see the rest), is showcased by Emma  of the blog MY GBGVLIFE and that is: Don’t Be Shy- Ask For What You Want where Emma was determined to have a special birthday pawty for her sister Katie and took matters into her own paws!

snoopy book photo

Photo Courtesy of Annette Vivian

Check out some more mischief that is in this great and FUN book!


Once you finish reading Snoopy’s Mischief Master Class, you will have “learned that no matter who you are or what you are, Mischief is for ALL!”

You will even have your own “Mischief Master” Certificate in the book, like mine!

Yeah I forged Snoopy's "pawnigture", hey, I read the book and contributed Mischief! I earned it!

Yeah I forged Snoopy’s “pawnigture”, hey, I read the book and contributed Mischief! I earned it!

 

Now,  go tell the person in charge of the money in your house to hurry up and pawchase this fantastic book! Better yet, YOU create some mischief and grab their credit card and order it yourself! BOL!!

Did you know?

 Snoopy  and his Mum are generously donating 50% of the book Profits to Therapy Pets Support Charities

To purchase Mischief Master Class in paperback click here

To purchase the Kindle edition click here

ISBN-13:978-1481159920

Wanna follow Snoopy?

You can find him on Facebook by clicking here

Twitter @snoopysstory

On his blog: SNOOPY’S DOG BLOG

About the Author

Snoopy lives in Northern California with his Mum, Annette Vivian, and the rest of their family. Annette Vivian, born in the Isle of Man, British Isles, qualified as an Accountant and Project Manager. After spending 15 years working in start-ups and financial institutions around the Globe, she finally realized that she was neglecting the creative, fun side of her brain. She spends her time now, looking after her family, taking Snoopy on Therapy visits and writing. 
Barks and licks and love, Dakota

Book Review: Heart to Heart, Hand in Paw by Peggy Frezon

How One Woman Finds

Faith and Hope through the

Healing Love of Animals

The majority of the books I have reviewed are  sent to me directly from the publisher, or in some cases from the author themselves.  Often an author will read a review I have done, enjoy it and contact me. Or,  often an author is referred to me from a friend, of a friend of a friend.

In the case of Heart to Heart, Hand in Paw it was a little different.

I was already familiar with author, Peggy Frezon because I am a follower of her blog, Peggy’s Pet Place.  One day. while visiting Peggy’s blog, I  was drawn to the cover of today’s book.  One look and you will know why:

Yes, that is a Sheltie on the cover, and yes after seeing that I approached Peggy asking if I may review her book.  Peggy informed me that the book wasn’t about Shelties at all, regardless, I was intrigued.

I was even more intrigued when upon reading the first few pages I discovered that Peggy had written this book for and about her mother, Luanne.

It is a story about hardship and courage and about how Luanne’s love of animals helped her get through challenges that would break many of us, but somehow through it all Luanne always had hope.

Luanne didn’t just love dogs. She loved chickens, pigs, goats and cats and her experiences with her furry friends will have you smiling and nodding your head in recognition, and yes, you may even shed a tear or two.

One of a number of things that  I loved in this book, was  when Peggy was relaying a story of a hardship that Luanne was being forced to endure,  she would tie the hardship back to an event from Luanne’s childhood, a flash-back if you will, which enables us to understand  how her love of animals in her difficult childhood laid the groundwork for the woman of strength that she would become.

From Heart to Heart, Hand in Paw:

COMFORT: When Luanne was a young girl, she knew a thing or two about instability. Her real mother died when she was three. Her second mother died when she was seven, and her father and her third mother divorced. She’d lived with relatives and strangers. But a dog, now that was one thing that remained constant. Or at least in the beginning, the desire for one.

I am certain that you have had struggles in your own life that your  love of animals helped to see you through. You will find yourself nodding your head, smiling and even shedding a tear as you relate Luanne’s tale of faith and the healing that SHE received from animals to your own life. You will love this story and appreciate how as Peggy states, “Luanne’s story shares how pets can love, comfort and teach us as we take our own journey through life.”

Luanne’s arduous journey will remind you, as I paraphrase what Peggy so perfectly stated: to be grateful for the roof over your head, the pets under your roof and for the healing bond that exists between humans and animals.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: PEGGY FREZON is the author of the memoir, Dieting with my Dog. An award-winning writer and pet columnist, she is a regular contributor to Guideposts and Angels on Earth magazines, and staff writer at Be the Change for Animals. She also writes the popular blog Peggy’s Pet Place. www.peggyfrezon.com

Follow Peggy on Facebook, click here

TO PURCHASE:

Amazon click here

Inspiring Voices click here

Your favorite bookstore.

Also available in e-book, click here

LATE BREAKING NEWS FROM PEGGY FREZON!! “As a special bonus, If anyone here buys the book, I’d be happy to send you a signed book plate and bookmark. Just leave me a DM on twitter (@peggyfrezon) or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/PeggyFrezonBooks or email peggyfrezon (at) gmail (dot) com. Be sure to say you found me through Dakota’s Den!”

Winner of “The Dog That Talked to God” A Novel by Jim Kraus

Hi Everyone!  It’s Dakota!! 

BOL!! I fooled you! That’s not really me! That’s an Avatar of me that my friend’s  Mom made!! As you know, I love the kitties since I have a kitty brother named Cody. Well, Oui Oui  is a kitty and Oui Oui just happens to have  a blog called Twinkletoe Tails (click Oui Oui’s photo to visit it!)

Oui Oui’s Mom knows that my Mom is pretty inept to say the least, so she was kind enough to make an avatar of me for my Mom! Isn’t it cool? She also wrote a blog post about how to make an avatar which you can read by clicking herethe title mentions how to make a KITTY avatar, don’t let that throw you, you can make it for woofies too!

Now, on to some more great news!  Mom recently read and reviewed the book,  The Dog That Talked To God By Jim Kraus and we had a give-away!

Mom is a little sad because this book was simply MARVELOUS and she can’t believe that such a small number of people read the review and entered. That is a shame. The book is superb and deserves to be seen!

It blows Mom’s mind that TONS of people enter to win bones, but books? Not-so-much. That’s sad, terribly sad indeed, but I digress, at least ONE  lucky person entered the contest and won the book! (Thanks to my other loyal readers who entered, we apologize that you didn’t win, but there will be other give-aways for sure!)

The winner is:

DEBBY

CONGRATULATIONS!

Mom will email you for your name and address

so that she may mail you the book.

if Mom does not hear from you

within  48 HOURS after she emails you,

the second place person will win the book


Barks and licks and love, Dakota

Book Review: Dog Confessions: Shocking Tales Straight From The Doghouse By Allia Zobel Nolan

Hi fellow Doggies! It’s me, Dakota!

As some of you may know I am not the only one in the pack to have a blog,  my kitty brother Cody has one too! Yesterday he was pretty smug after featuring a book that he and Mom both were laughing their rotund bellies off at;  “I’d Rather Be A Cat: The Official “Better Than Dogs” Cat Book, written by the witty and talented, self-professed “cat person” Allia Zobel Nolan.

Their “catty” behavior was really getting under my fur!

What about me? Does Allia have something against dogs? There was no book for ME to bark about?

Well, as it turns out there is! The book I am referring to is Dog Confessions: Shocking Tales Straight From The Doghouse, written by none other than the woman with an amazing pedigree Allia Zobel Nolan. Knowing that I would feel left out in the dog house without a book of my own to read and review, she was kind enough to send me a book of my own to read with my Mom!

You  think that cats are the only ones that have mystery and secrets that they need to cough up like a furball stuck in their throat?  You are wrong! We dogs have secrets  too! We have confessions to make!  We can’t walk around forever burying our secrets in the dirt like yesterday’s bones! No siree!

By her own admission, Allia Zobel Nolan is a “cat person and always will be” She, like my Mom, is a “card carrying member of the Cat Writer’s Association” but I gotta raise my paw to her! She may be a “cat person” but she sure has her paw on what makes doggies, well, DOGGIES!

When writing this hilarious and cute-as-a-tail-on-a-pug’s-butt,  book,  Zobel Nolan  collected canine confessions from all over the globe! We couldn’t wait to hurl our cookies!  For those not familiar with dog-speak that translates to tell our secrets! What kind of secrets do we have? Ohhh you wouldn’t believe the things we do when our pack leaders are away! Then again, YOU WOULD cause you do many of the things listed in this book too!  That is why you will love this book so much fellow doggies! You can relate!

Here are some of the confessions of doggies from around the globe that will have you wagging your tail in recognition:

  • using Mom’s electric toothbrush to clean their tongue
  • living for the day, THEY can throw the ball, and DAD can fetch it!
  • wearing Mom’s hair extensions
  • rolling in garbage, burying the neighbor’s wash…barking contests and more

Like the above? I knew you would? Here are some more!

From Chihuahua, Taco Alejandro Maximilian Ruiz, aka Senor Stinky, Bogata, Colombia: ” Trainer say, “Dog need housebreak training.” I theenk, I don’t need no stinkin’ training. I can break the house myself. So I did.

and another

From Porkchops, Indianapolis, Indiana, “Homework? Yeah, I ate it…and Mom’s cell and a violet plant too. But, hey, there’s always room for dessert.”

Pretty hilarious aren’t they? You can stop spinning now, you’ll make yourself dizzy. (Oh and you should see the super cute photos that go with each confession! Bet you can find a dog breed in this book that YOU know, heck it might just be YOU!)

So there you have it my canine compadre, you aren’t alone. You don’t have to hang your head and drag your tail between your legs in shame thinking that YOU are the ONLY obedience school drop out on the bus. There IS someone who understands.  Someone who has allowed the confessions of doggies to be heard around the world!

Someone REALLY “gets” us!  I can sniff out talent a mile away, even if that talent DOES have the lingering smell of CAT!

Now if you will excuse me, like Crackers, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, “My confession? I love attention, I’m a hog for attention. I love, love, love attention. Can’t get enough attention. You gonna give me some attention? I need attention!”

Barks and licks and love, Dakota

 

ISBN:978-O-7369-4450-5

From Harvest House Publishers

64 pages-in a super cute, pocket-size book!

for all ages

 

Order From Amazon

Order From Harvest House

Order From Barnes & Noble

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Allia Zobel Nolan is an internationally-published, award-winning author of seven cat books and over 150 children’s and adult trade titles with 2 1/2 million books in print. She lives in Norwalk, Connecticut with her husband and their three (perish the thought!)  CATS!

For more information about Allia Zobel Nolan, visit her at:

www.AlliaWrites.com

www.kittyliterate.blogspot.com

www.theworrywartsprayerbook.wordpress.com

Book Review: “My Dog Does That!” By Elizabeth Parker

How many times as a doggie parent, have you been in the company of other dogs and witnessed behavior, everything from stellar to “I pray someone didn’t just see him do that”  and you are certain that YOUR dog is the ONLY dog who does that?

Well, my friends, you are WRONG!

Somewhere, someplace there is a dog (or DOGS) who do the same thing!

Whew!! I thought it was just me!

My Dog Does That by author Elizabeth Parker is a book that is full of light-bulb-moments and levity and is a  quick-read at 143 pages (I finished it within two hours), that will leave you nodding your head and saying to yourself (yes doggie parents are known to talk to themselves!) “My Dog Does That!!”

I am not going to cite every example in this book because frankly it will take the fun away from purchasing it and reading it yourself, but let me offer you a few examples of Dakota’s “quirks” and I bet you  that you will find at least ONE that strikes a chord of familiarity with YOU and your beloved four-legger!

1) He HATES taking walks

2) He barks at everything known to man

3) He eats whatever is within his reach, no questions asked

4) Dakota is a thief, he will “steal” whatever isn’t nailed down

5) Dakota’s favorite day is “laundry day” he will wait at my side pretending to be intently focused on me folding the clothes, he IS but it is because he is on-the-alert for a sock that just might escape from the pile.

6) He has eaten cell phones, table legs, CD cases, combs, and wood from the molding on our front door.

Nodding yet? I thought so.

To those who are, that is exactly what you will be doing when you read “My Dog Does That.” Dog lovers, you aren’t alone!!

Just today my husband and I were at my sister-in-laws when their Labradoodle started attacking the huge glass window in the family room accompanied by scratching, jumping and maniacal barking. Why? There was a man walking a dog outside…not overly close by mind you, just within the range of his vision.

My first thought?

MY dog does THAT!”

My friends, the things that YOUR dog and MY dog do are the very things that this book is about. The moments that embarrass us, appall us, make us beam with pride or make us love our dogs because these actions and moments are what MAKE our dogs, well…DOGS and are what make them special, are exactly what this endearing book is about.

One of many chapters that I enjoyed was Chapter 3 “Follow The Leader” where Parker talks about three separate categories of dog behavior and what they mean. There is The Nurturing Type,  Nonchalant Dogs and The Immature Dogs.

I wasn’t surprised at all to find that Dakota fit the last category. Here is the description:

“this type is the equivalent of a two-year old child except that they never grow up. You may find that they continually chew things well into their adult years, or are consistently getting into trouble. More often than not, they believe their real name is “NO!” (In Dakota’s case HIS real name is “drop it!” or “TRADE!”)

“they are the fun dogs; the ones who seem to want to put on a show just to entertain you”

“at the end of the day they are the ones that usually need to be hugged, coddled, snuggled and loved.”

Another favorite chapter was  “You Might Be A Dog Lover….” and the characteristics that WE as dog lovers have that I bet you thought were just unique to YOU!

Well, they’re not!

Have I piqued your interest? I hope so!  Pick up a copy of My Dog Does That and somewhere in this light-hearted and FUN book you will find a description of  doggie behavior (positive or negative)  that will so strongly resonate with you  that you will SWEAR that Elizabeth has written about YOUR dog!

You know what? I bet she HAS!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Elizabeth Parker was born and raised in New York.

“As an avid dog lover, I volunteer for a few dog rescue organizations, as well as donate a portion of the proceeds from all of my books to some that I strongly believe in.” 

Elizabeth lives in Las Vegas, NV with her husband.

TO PURCHASE “MY DOG DOES THAT” by Elizabeth Parker visit www.amazon.com, Kindle, or Nook. You may also purchase it by visiting:www.elizabethparkerbooks.com

ISBN: 146369881X

FOLLOW ELIZABETHat:  Twitter.com/golden_books andfacebook.com/goldenbooks1 

We  were not compensated for this review. We received Elizabeth’s books to read/review. All opinions are our own.

Book Review: “Final Journey: Buddy’s Book” By Elizabeth Parker

A week ago I reviewed a wonderful book: Finally Home, Lessons On Life From A Free-Spirited Dog, by Elizabeth Parker. If you haven’t read the review I urge you to please read it before you continue on with this post.

From Elizabeth Parker Books:

After the publication of “Finally Home,” Buddy was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Once the unthinkable happened and Buddy’s precious life was cut short, his family was left heartbroken and devastated.

At the same time, in another state, poor economic conditions forced another family to give up their golden retriever.
As fate would have it, his name…was Buddy.
While they were mourning the loss of their beloved dog, another dog was mourning the loss of his treasured family.
Brought together by misfortune, they entered each other’s lives to help put back together the pieces of their broken hearts.
This story is for both Buddys, producing the subtitle “Buddys’ Book.”

Copyrighted © 2010 Elizabeth Parker

From Dakota’s “Mom” : As I sat down to begin reading this book there were a couple of reasons that I was not looking forward to it. One, was that after having read the first book I had completely fallen in love with Buddy, as did everyone  else whose life he touched.  I knew what was going to happen, and I knew my heart was going to break reading about it. The other reason was that I knew it was going to remind me of when my beloved “Soul Kitty”  (Bobo) passed back in 2007.

Wait! This is a dog blog and I am mentioning a cat? Yes. Buddy’s story is universal. It is written from the experience of owning and loving a unique and free-spirited dog, but it is a story that will resonate with anyone who has had to bid farewell to a cherished 4-legged family member.

Thankfully, other than when I was a little girl and we lost our 7-year-old Boxer to cancer (which I barely remember), I haven’t had to experience losing a dog to death. I know that one day it will happen with our precious Dakota, and it is something I try not to think about.

I have experienced the wretched pain of having to decide when it was “time” to let my baby stop suffering. I laid on the bed the day before, crying, thanking him for all he had given me those glorious 18 years. I told him what a wonderful cat he was, I thanked him for  comforting me, for his companionship, his love,  for protecting me and I begged him to give me some sort of “sign” that it was “time.” He did. He stopped eating. I had always said that when my food obsessed “boy” would stop eating I would know it was “time.”

I have experienced the pain of being with, loving and holding my pet in the last seconds of his life.

“I looked into his beautiful, soulful eyes and it made me realize that his trusting heart was depending on us to do the right thing. Only I did not know if we could actually follow through with it.”

I have experienced the pain of collapsing on top of my angel as the breath left his body. Shaking and shrieking, collapsing  heartbroken, into tear-stained fur.

I have experienced the nagging doubts after. Could something else have been done to save him? No. To this day I still second-guess that heartbreaking decision. Love does that to you. It makes you second guess even if you are certain it is the right thing to do.

“For all of those that are grieving their little angels, take comfort that they are no longer suffering and are playing together in that big playground in the sky.”

Will you cry while reading this book? YES.

Anyone who has loved and lost a pet will.

There are gifts that I received from reading this soul-stirring book:

I received the “gift” of reading the words that another pained “mother” had gone through during her dogs’ final days. My heart ached for her as she bared her soul on paper. I  felt a kinship, that someone UNDERSTOOD. That it isn’t just a dog, or a cat or a rabbit or whatever animal you lose, it is a MEMBER OF THE FAMILY. It is part of the fabric of who we are, they are part of our SOUL.

"Buddy"

“And yet when I look forward to the future that I am so scared of, it is without my Buddy that I am most fearful of. Can you be soul mates with an animal?” YES…a RESOUNDING YES.  Someone understands, they GET IT.

I received the “gift” of learning about and loving Buddy (and then BOTH Buddy’s but you will have to read that for yourself) as told by the person who knew him best (his MOM).

There are many other gifts that are ripe for the picking tucked lovingly in the pages of this wonderful book. Is it all sad? No, not at all. You will laugh at some hilarious doggie antics, you will cheer for Elizabeth’s strength, her patience, her faith, her sense of purpose, her ability to help/rescue dogs, her ability to understand.  When you read this  book you will be able to  feel Elizabeth’s soul within the pages, you will feel her gratitude, courage, hope, peace.  But most of all….you will feel LOVE. Beautiful, unconditional, “golden” LOVE. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Elizabeth Parker was born and raised in New York.

“As an avid dog lover, I volunteer for a few dog rescue organizations, as well as donate a portion of the proceeds from all of my books to some that I strongly believe in.” 

Elizabeth lives in Las Vegas, NV with her husband, their two beautiful golden retrievers and duck tolling retriever and the wonderful, loving memories of their golden retriever, Buddy.”

TO PURCHASE FINAL JOURNEY: BUDDY’S BOOK by Elizabeth Parker visit www.amazon.com, Kindle, or Nook. You may also purchase it by visiting: www.elizabethparkerbooks.com

ISBN: 1453880828

FOLLOW ELIZABETH at:  Twitter.com/golden_books and facebook.com/goldenbooks1 

We  were not compensated for this review. We received Elizabeth’s books to read/review. All opinions are our own.

Book Review And Give-Away: “Awkward Family Pet Photos” By Mike Bender and Doug Chernack

“Awkward Family Pet Photos” c’mon, you know you have ’em!  There isn’t a pet in the world that hasn’t been subjected to a moment of “awkwardness” in front of the camera,  or in the world of blogs as we like to call it “the flashy box.”

My Mom and I were asked  if we would like a complimentary copy of Awkward Family Pet Photos by Mike Bender and Doug Chernack to read and review.

Seeing as we have the most dysfunctional family on the planet Mom leaped at the chance!  Me? Not so much. I shivered and shook in fear that once Mom took a look at this book I was done for. All this book would do for my Mom is give her even MORE ideas, more ways to embarrass me.  I wanted NONE of it! I lost. The book arrived and of course Mom loved it!  You don’t have to wonder what I thought of it!

Take a gander at some of these photos. There is a certain dog breed (that shall remain nameless) that makes a prominent appearance in a few of these photos.

"Family Portrait"

 

Family Color Coordinates With The Sheltie

Want some more info about this book? Here you go, here is some info from the publisher:

“There are few things more rewarding than having a pet. They love us unconditionally, shower us with attention, and actually help us live longer. So, what can possibly be awkward about our animal BFFs? Well . . . nothing. In truth, we’re the awkward ones. We adore our pets and treat them like members of the family, but let’s face it—sometimes L-O-V-E makes us go a little overboard.”

"The Switch"

“Along with many never-before-seen photos, essays, and graphics, AWKWARD FAMILY PET PHOTOS features outrageous pet photos … including dogs, cats, birds, rats, horses, pigs, goats, and exotic pets such as reptiles, sugar gliders, ferrets, and monkeys.

I have certainly  taken my share of “Awkward Family Photos”:

I look thrilled don't I?

 

See my expression in that photo above?  It makes me feel good to see that I am not the only one who must humor my live-in paparazzi  by indulging their whims!

GIVE-AWAY: Trust me, this isn’t my idea, it’s my Mom’s. She thinks you will LOVE this book. She said with the Holidays approaching the photos in this book are the  perfect fodder to give her more ideas for more opportunities to humiliate and embarrass me. She said if this is left on the coffee table it is a sure-fire way to get that weird Uncle of yours who hovers silently in a corner to open up.

Pet lovers!  Have a first date and feeling shy? Whip out this baby, you’ll be talking and laughing in no time!

So… if you have a desire to torture your pet, just leave a comment.  Mom and I will pick ONE  victim winner (as chosen by random.org).  The DEADLINE to enter is MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21 at 11PM EASTERN. (Yep this is a “quickie” give-away!)  The winner  will be announced WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23. This way it will arrive in plenty of time for your holiday humiliation to begin.

If you feel so inclined,  you may also email my Mom any “Awkward Family Pet Photos” that YOU may have stashed at your house! Mom and I will be happy to publicly embarrass you by featuring them on a future Wordless Wednesday!  You can email them to Mom at cgittleman @ mi dot rr dot com.

Doggies, kitties, snakes, ferrets, rabbits, turtles, (you get the idea) by all means keep this book AWAY from whomever is behind the lens in your den! Ya got it? Tell them to BACK-AWAY-FROM-THIS-BOOK!!! If they don’t, I just might be seeing you in the next edition.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Barks and licks and love, Dakota

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Mike Bender is a professional screenwriter living in Los Angeles whose credits include Not Another Teen Movie and the MTV Movie Awards. He is also a regular contributor to Esquire. Mike’s dog, Din-Din, had final approval over his author

Doug Chernack

photo.

Mike Bender

Doug Chernack is a professional screenwriter and producer living in Los Angeles who has created and produced shows for E!, Fox Sports, and the Golf Channel. He has been known to take his fish, Porky, on walks around the block.

 

AWKWARD FAMILY PET PHOTOS

By Mike Bender and Doug Chernack

A Three Rivers Press Paperback Original

 ISBN: 978-0-307-88812-9


www.AwkwardFamilyPetPhotos.com

www.ThreeRiversPress.com