Tag Archives: Pets

Book Buzz: Dogs and Their People

Why write about dogs, with all the turmoil in our country right now, and with little else on my mind but the election and its aftermath?

Book Buzz: Dogs and Their People

It’s been a tough week, a gloomy week, for me. I feel dispirited and unmotivated. I needed a pick-me-up. The book gods must have looked kindly on me, because this book could not have come at a better time.

Books and dogs are two of my greatest passions. Combine them and you’ve got a win-win.

Dogs and Their People

If you are a dog person — and I venture to say even if you are not — you will get a kick out of Dogs and Their People: Photos and Stories of Life with a Four-Legged Love.

Why? Because we humans are capable of going overboard for our fur babies and the stories in this book tell you just how far we can go.

Our furry friends have a knack for righting our worlds no matter what is going on. A soulful gaze, a wag of the tail, a sympathetic snuggle — they sense how we feel, and know how to make us feel better with their unconditional love.

So how do we respond to them? With love, care, and sometimes … well, we dress them up. We sing to them. We sleep with them.

Our two pups, Max and Wyatt, are just over a year old. While it often seems like we’ve got two unruly toddlers in the house, life would not be as full without them. Here they are in one of their quiet moments.

Book Buzz: Dogs and Their People

Filled with beautiful photographs, Dogs and Their People is a book that you can spend as much or as little time with as you choose, and come back to again and again. The stories about our love for our dogs, the lengths we will go to for them, certainly resonated with me.

For example …

Do you celebrate your dog’s birthday with a canine birthday cake?

Do you know the dog people in the neighborhood as “Ginger’s mommy” or “Dylan’s dad?”

Do you tell your dog you will be back soon when you are leaving the house? As if he understands that?

Do you arrange playdates so that your dog will have a social life?

I will neither confirm nor deny that I am guilty of any of the above.

Dogs and Their People will brighten your day. Here is an example.

Book Buzz: Dogs and Their People

You will read funny stories, touching stories, like the owner who sold her house to pay for the dog’s back surgery or another who went homeless for the sake of keeping a furry family together.

Book Buzz: Dogs and Their People

I can’t think of a better gift for dog lovers than Dogs and Their People.

Book Buzz: Dogs and Their People

In this time of uncertainty, there is at least this universal truth: dogs really are a person’s best friend.

Book Buzz: Dogs and Their People

That is reassuring to me.

One of my lucky readers will receive a copy of Dogs and Their People. Please leave a comment below and a winner will be randomly selected. USA addresses only, please.

I received a copy of Dog and Their People from Putnam for an honest review, which is the only  kind of review I write.

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Book Buzz: Jonathan Unleashed

I have a soft spot in my heart for books about dogs, so I eagerly dove into Jonathan Unleashed, best-selling author Meg Rosoff’s quirky new novel about a young man at odds with the world and the two dogs that help him find his way to happiness.

Jonathan Unleashed is also Jonathan Unhinged

Recent college graduate Jonathan Trefoil is ensconced in an advertising job that he hates and stuck in an unsatisfying relationship with his girlfriend of four years. He yearns for a more meaningful existence but has no idea how he can get there.

Book Buzz: Jonathan Unleashed

In the midst of this millennial angst, he agrees to take care of his brother’s two dogs, Dante the Border collie and Sissy the cocker spaniel, while his brother is in Dubai on business for six months.

Being a sensitive and, I’ll be honest here, neurotic kind of guy (or more kindly, charmingly flawed), he frets that the dogs are plotting against him because they are unhappy being cooped up in his New York City apartment while he is at work. Although the veterinarian he consults gently tells him that the dogs are fine, he continues to obsess. But, good news, his company allows him to bring the dogs to the office, and all is well.

But then, not.

It turns out that four is a crowd when his girlfriend moves in with him and can barely contain her disdain for the dogs. A conniving sort, she convinces him to marry her because the wedding magazine she works for, Bridal-360, will foot the bill if they agree to let it be live streamed on the internet. Confused and unsure, but anxious to mollify her, he agrees.

As the wedding date approaches, his life continues to unravel. His job and his boss irritate him to the point of collapse. Mysteriously, he loses his ability to speak coherently (the ensuing malapropisms are very entertaining).

Who, or what, will save the day? As all dog lovers know, canine intuition is second to none, and Dante and Sissy take matters into their own hands paws. With a clever twist in the story, Rosoff shows how man’s (and women’s) best friend has an uncanny way of making everything right.

As Rosoff said in an interview,

“It’s much easier to have a relationship with a dog than with a person. Dogs tend to be happy, affectionate, emotionally consistent companions. They don’t sulk or insist on seeing Spiderman when you’d rather see a foreign film.  They don’t come with in-laws and don’t mind eating toast you’ve dropped on the floor. It’s why every eight-year-old boy fantasizes about having a dog not a wife. Dogs are relatively simple, people are relatively complicated. Plus, dogs look better naked than most people do.”

A woof and a tail wag to that.

 

One of my lucky readers will receive a copy of Jonathan Unleashed by leaving a comment below. USA addresses only, please.

 

I received a copy of Jonathan Unleashed from Viking for an honest review, which is the only kind of review I write.

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Doggone it, It’s Mother’s Day

Doggone it, It's Mother's Day

A few weeks ago Pete and I went out to dinner with our friends Linda and Bill.

I called Linda to make arrangements. “We’ll pick you up,” I offered. “Six forty-five okay?”

“Sounds good,” Linda answered. “I can feed Greta, Parker and Charlie before we leave.”

“You think we’ll be done by 8:30-ish?” I asked. “Max and Wyatt should be fine, but I worry about them being alone for too long.”

“Totally get it,” Linda said.  “I want to get home to our guys too.”

A mother’s job is 24/7.

At the restaurant we met up with two other couples. It was a lively scene, a boisterous atmosphere, and the eight of us had to practically yell to be heard.

Of course we all pulled out our cell phones to share the latest photos of our families.

“Look how big Max is getting!” Susan exclaimed as she peered at my phone. “How much does he weigh now?”

“Last time we checked he was 41 pounds,” I said, as Pete nodded in affirmation. “He’s going to be a big boy.”

“He did the cutest thing today,” I added.

Mimi cupped her hand to her ear. “Who did the cutest thing? Your daughter?”

“No, Max,” I shouted. “Look at this photo. Adorable, right?”

Mimi smiled. “Awww. Look at his face. Such a handsome boy.”

Bill pulled up a photo on his phone and shared it with me. “Look at them! They are all so precious,” I crooned as I scrolled through photo after photo of his three darlings. “Are they still sleeping in your room every night?”

“At least two of them,” he answered. “I keep telling Linda to move over and make room.”

Linda acknowledged that this was true.

“We hardly go out anymore,” she confided. “We’d rather just stay home on a Saturday night and cuddle with our guys. There’s nothing better, right?”

Pete nodded vigorously. “Why go out when we’ve got everything at home? Netflix has changed our lives.”

“Speaking of which,” I said, tapping my watch, “where are our drinks?” I searched the restaurant for our waiter. “Geez, they’re slow here.”

“I hope Max and Wyatt won’t be upset if we’re late,” Pete said. “Maybe we should bring them a doggie bag to make up for it.”

 

Doggone it, It's Mother's Day

Doggone it, It's Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is on Sunday, and there is still time to find something special to let the mother in your life know how much she is appreciated. What, you forgot haven’t gotten to it yet? With the lovely Mother’s Day selection at Hallmark, there is no need to look further. Check out these adorable Mother’s Day gifts that you can find at any Hallmark Gold Crown store or Hallmark.com.

 

Doggone it, It's Mother's Day

Thanks to Hallmark, one of my lucky readers will receive this giveaway pack including a “Some Things We Hold Onto Forever” pillow and “Love Only Grows” framed print as well as Signature and Kim Mallory greeting cards. Simply leave a comment below and a winner will be randomly selected.

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms, no matter who it is you mother!

I received this giveaway box from Hallmark but received no other compensation.

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We Adopted a Puppy, Part Two

We Adopted a Puppy Part Two

We Adopted a Puppy Part Two

So far, 2016 has been The Year of the Puppy.

Our family is growing.

Last month we welcomed a puppy, Max, to our household. This is Max.

We Adopted a Puppy Part Two

Isn’t he the cutest?

We thought our empty canine nest was full, but once again, Fate intervened. Last week, waiting for the snow storm to arrive, I happened to come upon these photos posted on Facebook …

… with this message:

We are looking for a FOREVER home for sweet Wyatt. A home where he will have unconditional love and care, patience and training, and where he will eventually grow old. If you are looking to adopt a great puppy and willing to help him grow into a wonderful dog then please message me.

His introduction to life hasn’t been easy. He was seized for cruelty. His previous owner tried to beat him to death. While he was only a tiny puppy, she hung him and broke several of his ribs. After suffering all of this abuse, he greets the world with only love. He is truly an amazing dog. He gets along well with other dogs, he is interested in (but gentle with) cats, and he loves to be snuggled by humans and other fur creatures alike. He listens well and is highly motivated by treats. At this young age, he is both potty and crate trained – he would absolutely thrive after a basic canine manners training class. He really loves people.

The foster mother added that the four month-old puppy was a pit bull/terrier mix.

I will admit to a longstanding distrust of pit bulls. Not that I have had any experience with them, mind you. It was their reputation that preceded them. I bought into that completely.

I felt sorry for them, because I know they are often unwanted and ill regarded. But I never considered adopting one.

But … these photos. So adorable! And the description of Wyatt, well, it tugged at my heart. All of a sudden, I imagined that a second puppy in the house might be a good thing.

This puppy.

I remembered how we found our beloved dog, Duncan, who passed away after 10 wonderful years with us. I had seen his photo and description on an adoption website and fell in love. He was also being fostered by a caring family, as Wyatt was, a family that wanted to keep him but didn’t have the room for another dog. We brought him home with us right then and there.

It was one of the best decisions we ever made.

And now, looking at pictures of Wyatt, I tried to picture him in our family. I knew that we could provide a safe and loving home for him. We would have a playmate for Max, he of the indefatigable energy.

Maybe it is time to debunk this stereotype, I thought. The stereotype of the vicious pit bull. Let’s meet Wyatt and see.

The next day Wyatt’s foster parents brought him to our house.

He ran right over to us and wagged his tail.  It was instant love. How could you not? He’s got polka dots on his ears!

We Adopted a Puppy Part Two

As you’ve guessed, the rest is history.

Wyatt is everything his foster mother had said: docile, friendly and charming. He is the best cuddler ever. He is sweet to our cat, Lexie, and is a wonderful playmate for Max, amenable to playing or napping or chewing toys, whatever Max chooses.

We Adopted a Puppy Part Two

Will a second dog be more work? Undoubtedly. But in no time at all, Wyatt has proved himself to be an adaptable, polite new resident. He asks for little but gives so much in return. He fits into our lives, the rhythms of our home, perfectly.

I always said that Duncan thanked us every day of his life.  Perhaps I’m attributing human traits to animals, but Duncan was a very smart dog.

Maybe all our pets are grateful for forever homes. Some just show it more than others.

 

I’ve seen a bumper sticker that says “Who rescued whom?”

In this case, it’s hard to say.

 

#MidLifeLuv Linky
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Missing Duncan: Remembering the World’s Best Dog

Missing Duncan: Remembering the World's Best Dog

We lost our sweet dog Duncan last week. Our hearts are broken.

How long will it take walk into the house and not expect him to come bounding in to greet us, tail wagging? When will I be able to look at a photo of him without tearing up?

Life with Duncan was joyful, and now my husband and I are trying to reconfigure life without him. We have to get used to the screaming stillness. It is eerily, disturbingly quiet.

My dog never left my side.

When we adopted Duncan 10 years ago, his foster mother laughingly told me that he followed her everywhere, even the bathroom. We soon discovered what she meant. If we moved from one room to another, there he was with us.

Even the bathroom.

He was uncommonly acquiescent. Undemanding. He came to us with no baggage, despite the neglect he had suffered as a puppy. The first night, my husband closed our bedroom door with Duncan on the outside, and in the morning there he was, waiting patiently, overjoyed to see us.

He rarely barked and never complained.

All he wanted was to be with us – my husband, my three children and me. He loved his grandparents and was attached to them, too.

He was more of a people dog than a dog dog. He would jump up on a dining room chair to sit with us for holiday meals, figuring he was expected to be at the table.

Dunkie chair Reading

He slept in our bed unless one of the kids were home. When he heard them come in late at night with their friends, he excused himself to join their party.

Missing Duncan: Remembering the World's Best Dog

Duncan and I had a deep appreciation for each other.  We shared jokes. We enjoyed the same things, the walks, the weekends at the beach, cuddling. When I looked at him he wagged his tail. When he looked at me I smiled.

When he took naps, I swear he kept one eye open watching me all the time.

He loved sitting on the deck at the beach. We never had to worry about him running away. He had no interest in being anywhere we weren’t.

Missing Duncan: Remembering the World's Best Dog

One of the very best things about working from home was being able to take him on long walks. The funny thing was, he always chose the route. He was adamant about that. When we got to a corner he would stop, look each way, and then choose the direction. If we tried to dissuade him, he would politely disagree and stand his ground.

We always said that he walked us. Four walks a day, four different routes. That was how he rolled.

Long walks, up hills and down, across busy streets, on back roads. We covered lots of territory, and I loved observing the changes in nature each season from the road. When I just had to take a photo of a perfect flower or crimson leaves or the sun filtering through the trees, I asked him to wait a minute. He would stop in his tracks to let me take the photo.

Missing Duncan: Remembering the World's Best Dog

As he grew sicker over the past weeks, his walks grew shorter and shorter.  Two days before he died, though, he insisted on taking one of the long routes despite his pain. Really? I asked him. Don’t you want to go back?  He glanced at me and then looked straight ahead, his way of saying, I’m OK. When we had gone too far to turn around, he looked up at me, panting, his eyes conveying, You were right.

I squatted down next to him and there we sat for a few minutes. “We’ll go real slow,” I promised him. And we eventually made it home.

Missing Duncan: Remembering the World's Best Dog

Some bereaved pet parents find comfort in imagining their pet running over the Rainbow Bridge. Personally, I can’t bear to think of the Rainbow Bridge. I picture Duncan at the top, pausing in confusion, looking back, wondering where we are.

Missing Duncan: Remembering the World's Best Dog

Because that’s where he wants to be.

Rest in peace, sweet Dunkie. You will live on in our hearts forever.

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