Book Review: Paw Prints in the Sand by Elizabeth Parker #BtC4A

Since I began my primary blog, (Cat Chat With Caren & Cody), it has been important to me to take part in Blog the Change For Animals, a well-known blogging event where bloggers blog about causes, people and events that  are  near and dear to our hearts in the world of animals.  Blog the Change For Animals  takes place annually, (January 15,  April 15,  July 15 and October 15).   Many of us blog about animal causes that are important to us all throughout the year, but  it is extra heart-warming to see so many come together for this most important event.

Click on the badge to visit Blog the Change for animals

Click on the badge to visit Blog the Change for animals

I was given the opportunity of reviewing a marvelous book this past weekend, Paw Prints in the Sand by author Elizabeth Parker. This is not the first book that I have reviewed of Elizabeth’s, it is at least the third! Through the course of reading and reviewing Elizabeth’s books,  I not only became  a HUGE fan of her writing, but I have enormous respect and admiration  for her as a PERSON. Elizabeth has to be one of the kindest, most compassionate women that I have met on my blogging journey. ****More about that at the end of this blog post.

Why include Paw Prints in the Sand in the Blog the Change For Animals blogging event? While reading this book I saw that there was no way that I WOULDN’T include it.

Click on the photo to visit Elizabeth's website and to purchase Paw Prints and other books by Elizabeth Parker

Click on the photo to visit Elizabeth’s website and to purchase Paw Prints and other books by Elizabeth Parker

Paw Prints in the Sand tackles  important subjects such as;  the importance of spaying and neutering pets and adopting from a local shelter, as well as the horrors of irresponsible “backyard breeders” and the deplorable conditions that puppy mill pups are subjected to.

From the moment I began reading Paw Prints my heart was pounding, my attention was riveted, I was on the edge of my seat.  I originally had planned on reading Paw Prints last Friday night, and my intention was to begin the book and finish it on Saturday. I finished Paw Prints in about three hours. I could NOT put it down.


The  imagery evoked is often unsettling , there were times that I cried, gasped and cringed,  the plot was so real to me that I had forgotten that this book is a work of  fiction. While the book is fictional, the conditions described in Paw Prints, sadly, are NOT. 

Note from the Author:

Although this book and the groups/organizations in this book are a work of fiction and a complete figment of my imagination, unfortunately puppy mills and backyard breeders are quite real. The fears and quirks I’ve described in this book are extremely common with rescue dogs.

The environment for puppy mill dogs is incomprehensible. Keep in mind that while not all, many puppy stores do get their puppies from puppy mills and it is a continuing practice here in the United States.

Paw Prints in the Sand isn’t just about puppy mills, it is “a moving love story of sorts that demonstrates the unbreakable bond and sustainable love between dogs and humans.”

Now available on Kindle

Also in paperback on Amazon

And Nook

Available in paperback on createspace.com

Use Coupon Code SG6M99JZ for $2.00 Off on createspace orders!

***Author Elizabeth Parker GIVES BACK

A portion of the proceeds from her books are donated to various animal rescue groups.

One of the first books of Elizabeth’s that I had the honor of reviewing was: Final Journey: Buddy’s Book a tribute to her beloved Golden Retriever “Buddy” who after the publication of Finally Home was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma.  Elizabeth decided she wanted to help other dogs with the same diagnosis, hence Buddy Bracelets was born

Click on the photo to see Elizabeth's beautiful creations and to purchase.

Click on the photo to see Elizabeth’s beautiful creations and to purchase.

40% of the sales of Buddy Bracelets will be donated to canine cancer foundations.

Now, as you can see, after reading about Paw Prints in the Sand and Elizabeth’s ongoing philanthropic efforts for rescue dogs, there was no way that I would ever think of NOT making her mission the topic of my Blog the  Change For Animals post.

Learn more about Author, Elizabeth Parker here

Today I have introduced an author to you who is actively helping to make a change to raise awareness about puppy mills, rescue dogs and dogs who have canine cancer. My question to YOU is: “What is your gift, and how will you use it to bring about positive change to your world?”

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: “Finally Home” By Elizabeth Parker

Hi Everyone!  It’s Dakota’s “Mom” and today I am taking over his blog to tell you about a wonderful book that I read over the weekend.  The  book is “Finally Home” By Elizabeth Parker.

From “Finally Home”

“There is a time in everyone’s life when they have been emotionally inspired or amazed by something that was completely unexpected. Sometimes it is so touching, that they want to share their experience with the world and tell their story. 
This particular story is about a precious heart along with a free-spirited little boy who owns that heart. This little boy has expressive brown eyes, a beautiful smile, and golden-brown coat that he never takes off. He also has a huge pinkish-brown nose and four very fast legs. His name is Buddy. He answers to that…when he wants to.”

Do any of you have a “free-spirited” dog? A dog who has a mind of its own, who will obey your commands when HE feels like it, who is high-energy and a fur-bundle of mischief? Who even in his “adult” years still exhibits behavior that normally is reserved for puppies?  Do you have a dog that will eat ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that isn’t fastened to the ground, table, chair or wherever? Do you have a dog that defies all traditional “textbook” training methods?

If you said “yes” to any one of the above questions then you will relate to “Buddy” the free-spirited Golden Retriever who was  the inspiration behind Elizabeth Parker’s “Finally Home.”

When I began reading “Finally Home” I was instantly reminded of Marley (from the book and movie, Marley & Me.  Marley, however was a Labrador Retriever)

“Goldens” are known for their “well-behaved and friendly temperament”.  Buddy, well-behaved? No. Friendly, definitely.

I am a Mom of a “free-spirited” dog, the namesake of this blog, Dakota. While reading “Finally Home” I found myself nodding my head in recognition. When we first acquired Dakota there were times, as was the case with Buddy, that I literally thought he was insane. I thought I would never get him to understand the concept of going outside to pee, I thought we would never break his eating wood addiction, his thievery (we have yet to conquer that but it HAS gotten better), his neurotic barking (well, that also still continues!), and his obeying commands when HE feels like it! (Ummm…that continues as well!) In spite of or BECAUSE of all of his idiosyncracies I adore him, he is a loving and sensitive dog and I wouldn’t have him any other way.

"Buddy"

As is the case with people, there are dogs whose behavior was shaped by their environment (being given rewards for “bad” behavior instead of reinforcing good behavior, being so dreadfully emotionally neglected that they will do anything to be noticed.)  In some cases the behavior is a result of environmental shaping, in other instances it is just a case of   the gene pool, or how the cards were dealt. In other words, often there isn’t a whole heck of  a lot you can do to change the dog but you can love it, nurture it, find “creative” training methods and simply accept the dog for who he is.

Love and acceptance go a long way in changing unwanted behavior.

When Buddy was adopted by Elizabeth and her (now) husband Michael, they became Buddy’s fourth home. As you read  this love-filled, engrossing and in many cases  laugh-out-loud funny story that will also touch your soul, you will find that when Elizabeth and Michael adopted Buddy, through their understanding,  love, attention, devotion and a host of other positive reinforcement methods,  Buddy did indeed learn what it is like to be “Finally Home”.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  For the first time in any book review that I have done, I am omitting this section. Why? I don’t want to reveal anything about what is coming in Elizabeth’s next book that I will be reviewing:  “Buddy’s Book.”  I will be sure to include an “About The Author” description at that time. If you absolutely cannot wait until December 5th for me to include that, click here

In the meantime, from Elizabeth: “although Buddy found a family that loves him beyond belief, not all dogs are lucky enough to get that chance.  If just one person will stop and think about the welfare of a dog after reading my book, then it was all worth it.”

To buy “Finally Home” click here “

*A portion of the proceeds from the sales of this book will be donated to an animal rescue group.*