Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

Loving Snow as Much as Pups

Written by on December 15, 2013 No Comments

Until this weekend, our two pups, Winston and Snickers, were just as happy playing inside the house as outside.

Winston and Snickers playing inside the house.

Winston and Snickers playing inside the house.

But with six inches of snow on the ground, the puppies preferred to be outside.  They ran around the front yard, then we took them to the back yard.

Pups in the snow.

Pups in the snow.


Snickers’ loved it.

Snickers in the snow.

Snickers in the snow.

Afterwards, inside the house, the pups  became rather pitiful looking as the little wads of snow slowly melted.

Winston, imitating a homeless dog.

Winston, imitating a homeless dog.

But after the pups were dried off and they had a wee nap, they were back outside to romp around in the snow again.

DSC_4045 take 2_edited-1


This afternoon I was wondering:  if I didn’t have to shovel the driveway to get my car out, shovel the deck so the birds and squirrels can find the sunflower seeds easier, and shovel a circle in the backyard so that the ducks can find the corn we put out for them, would I see the snow as merely something fun to play in?  Like a pup or kid?  So, I put on my boots and joined the pups outside, and as I ran around in circles chased by smiling fur, I felt a renewed love for the white, fluffy stuff that is after all, a part of a Michigan winter.   So thanks, pups, for reminding me how much fun the snow can be.  Next time:  snow angels!


Three Ways to Win a Free Copy of Something Furry Underfoot

Written by on December 11, 2013 No Comments

Great news!  The paperback version of Something Furry Underfoot fits perfectly in most holiday stockings!  Not to mention, at $8.55 on Amazon, it’s quite a stocking stuffer steal.

But in case you can’t part with $8.55 you have three–yes that’s 3–opportunities to enter into sweepstakes for a free copy of my book:

Lisa Taron, a.k.a. The Pet Blog Lady, recently posted my guest post and some of my cute pet photos and is offering a give-away.  Go here:  and enter a comment at the bottom of the posting. Lisa’s contest ends December 14.  It’s for folks in the US and Canada.

Secondly, my other new friend Ella Johnson posted an author spotlight on lots of her social media sites including her blog.  If you go to here:   all you have to do is enter a comment at the end of the spotlight and you’ll be entered to win!  Ella’s contest ends December 20.

On Saturday, December 14, all you have to do is listen to the radio, specifically, Talkin’ Pets with Jon Patch, as he interviews me starting at 505 p.m. EST.  As part of this show, he will give away 3 copies of my book, which I will sign and send to the winners.  The call-in number for this is: at:

So get going and get entering to win a free copy.  And if that doesn’t work for ya, just order a copy from!

Flip in an exercise ball.

Flip in an exercise ball.

Guest Post on The Pet Blog Lady and Radio Interviews

Written by on December 06, 2013 1 Comment

Fun things have been happening with my book, Something Furry Underfoot!  Today, The Pet Blog Lady posted my guest post on her web site–she has 25K followers!  My post is a fun, bubbly write-up that includes cute photos of some of the pets in my book.  So check out this nifty guest post:

Flip in an exercise ball.

Flip in an exercise ball.

Also, in the last month, I was interviewed on not one, but two radio stations!  What’s great about these interviews is that my every word is recorded so you can listen to me over and over again!   Or just once?  My first radio interview was on October 26 with Adrienna Turner on Dream4More Blog Talk Radio.  My interview follows Adrienna’s 15-minute summary of just some of the 30-40 books she reads a month.  Check out the interview at

On November 27 I was interviewed for 45 minutes by Eden Blackwell on A Kind Voice Blog Talk Radio.  Just imagine how much you’ll learn about pets in 45 minutes!  Check it out here:

Other possible things on the horizon:  a review by Ray Walsh, East Lansing’s Curious Books store owner and Lansing State Journal writer, and an author spotlight on Ella Johnson’s Mymcbook’s Blog  Oh, and I submitted a 140-word poem to the Oakland County Register in California about Winston and Snickers, our new pups.

Stay tuned!

The Eyes Have it – Photos of Two Adorable Puppies

Written by on October 24, 2013 No Comments

This is a photo I took of Winston, one of our five-month-old puppies.  He melts my heart every time I look into his eyes.



This is Snickers, our other five-month-old pup.  When he posed next to the bay window, I snapped this photo.  Again, it’s the eyes that get me every time!





Thanks for posing, pups!

Blogging to Help Be the Change for Animals

Written by on October 14, 2013 3 Comments

I just stumbled upon this web site yesterday and wanted to join in their mission of promoting causes that improve animal welfare.  What’s nifty about Be the Change for Animals is that they are advocates for all animals.  For example, on their web page, you’ll learn about blue tuna, breed discrimination inherent in Farmer’s Insurance policies, and National Pet Fire Safety Day.

On October 15 Blog the Change for Animals is trying to raise awareness through animal blogs throughout the world.  I’m joining them because their mission is similar to the message in my book, Something Furry Underfoot–no matter where a critter comes from–a stray cat from under my porch, a rabbit released from a wild life area, or the mynah bird we didn’t know was coming via the US Postal Service–it deserves the best life possible.  Check out and become a stronger advocate for animals.  And for a humorous, touching read about trying to spoil a whole bunch of pets, you’ll find Something Furry Underfoot at and  Some proceeds from Something Furry Underfoot will benefit animal rescue organizations.

Book Blog Tour Schedule for Something Furry Underfoot

Written by on September 24, 2013 No Comments

To get the word out about Something Furry Underfoot, I hired two marketeers, as I call them, which are people who market things like books.  One marketeer is Jenkins Group, a book marketing company in my home state of Michigan.  They got me set up with something  called ReviewDirect which reaches something like 18,000 librarians, book stores, colleges and universities. They also issued a press release on September 25 targeted to media and other folks who are at interested in pets. 

Meanwhile, my other marketeer, Stormi, from Lightning Book Productions, set up a virtual book blog tour for me.  That means my book will be talked about on various book blog sites from September 26- October 10 by people who blog about books from their homes in the UK, Ireland, Canada, Nigeria, and the United States.  The schedule of events is below.   

Also, check out my new video about Bumpkin, the domestic duck, by clicking on the Videos page of my web site.  Thanks!


26th Rachel @ My Kid Has Paws.  Here is Rachel’s great review!

 27th  Annette @ Books & Tales   Here is my author interview!

28th Heather @ Sit Down SaturdayInterview and exerpt from my book!

29th  Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews, Oh My!Summary of my book.

            Ruth @ My Devotional Thoughts.  A 5-star review!

30th Debra @ 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy & Sissy Too!Guest post.


1st Lade @ We Blog About Books.  A fun guest post. This site is in Nigeria.

2nd Shannon @ These are but ShadowsAn awesome review and a giveaway!  Enter to win a free copy of my book here:

        Sara @ A Drunken Druid’s View.  Another sweet review!  From Ireland.

3rd Bethany @ Cascadian Nomads.  A wonderful, touching review.

        Patrick @  A fun interview with  some really interesting questions.  This site is in Ireland.

4th Ann @ Pawsitively Pets. Guest post with photos of some of the pets.

  5th Morgen @ Morgen Bailey’s Writing Blog.  Another fun author interview.  This site is in the UK.

6th Darryl @ Savage Lullabye and 7th Susan @ Green Frog Reviews.  These were both supposed to be reviews and both were no-shows.  BUT, my new friend, Blondie, from the UK, posted an amazing review on and GoodReads!  Thanks, Blondie!

8th Brianna @ Listful BookingReview.

9th Kathleen @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews.  A very nice review, and a plug for my book to animal lovers.

        Kimberly @ Turning the PagesA  4 1/2 star review!  This blogger blogs from Canada.

10th Valerie @ The Gothic Ballerina.  A guest blog posting about Bumpkin, the domestic duck!

Overall, the book blog tour was a huge success–bloggers who provided reviews had some awesome comments to help promote the book, and several media contacts were made, including my first radio interview, which will be October 26 at 3 p.m. with Dream4More.  (More on that later).  Three other media folks are currently reviewing my book, and there were lots of Tweets and ReTweets. Thanks everyone for helping get the word out about Something Furry Underfoot!


10 Things to Know Before You Get A Puppy

Written by on September 22, 2013 No Comments

It’s been almost a month now since Mark and I drove from Michigan to Pennsylvania to look at the puppy Mark fell for that we named Winston . . .

Winston with one of many toys.

Winston with one of many toys.

. . . and also came home with a pal for Winston that we named Snickers.



I’ve never had two puppies at one time.  Here’s 10 Things I’ve learned:

  • Puppies can’t tell time.  Mark is often up between 3:00 and 4:30 a.m. letting the pups out because at some point in the wee hours of the night, Snickers whines to let us know he or Winston has to go out.  I, of course, go back to bed.  See, Mark’s a guy, and it’s safer for a guy to be outside in the middle of the night, and I have to work most days.  It works out quite well.  Unless you’re Mark.
  • Puppies need special food.  When we first got the pups home, we set off to buy one of the best puppy foods available.  At one of the four local pet stores we frequent most weekends, we were greeted by a lady with a coupon for Dr. Gary’s Best Breed puppy food which we later found at  It’s all natural food with no preservatives or anything else that’s scary.  We took a bag home and the pups liked it.
  • Some puppies need really special food.  Snickers has an underbite and once we fed him some of the new puppy food , we realized that it took a while for him to eat a hard kibble.  So we now take some of Dr. Gary’s Pure Breed puppy food, add warm water and some Pet Milk and let it soak. Once the food is all soft, we spoon out several spoonfuls, add some cooked hamburger, microwave the mixed mess, let it cool and put it on the floor for the pups. Snickers has no problem chewing this yummy food.
  • Puppies need lots of exercise.  Snickers and Winston will wrestle and play together a lot and we also play with them.  But a nice walk outside gives them more exercise, allows us to interact with them and practice our leadership skills, and it gets them used to being on a leash and walking properly.  Our pups love these walks because they love to sniff and explore.
  • Two puppies are better than one . . . mostly.  The only downside of having two pups is that you can’t always figure out who caused the trouble–who pulled the roll of toilet paper off the roll in the bathroom, who brought the underwear down from the back room into the living room, and who led the effort to chew up the Ono card game.  Just look at these faces?  Who’s guilty of the latest crime? I can’t tell.
Who did it?

Who did it?

  • Puppies need lots to chew on.  So there I was writing at the table, when I felt this strange vibration from the bottom of the table.  I looked down and saw Winston gnawing on the table leg.  I gave him a stern “No!!” got up and found his Kong ball (a rubber gadget with dog treats stuffed inside).
  • Puppies will explore, cautiously.  Winston and Snickers came from a farm in Pennsylvania where there were no cars, no people walking by, no skateboards, no kids.  We live in a suburban area and every new sound sent the pups scampering back to the front door.  Inside, they ran away from the dishwasher, barked at people on TV and, my personal favorite, barked at Stepkid #2 as she Skyped from Germany.  Slowly, but surely, though, they are getting used to the noises and their yard.
Pups on the rock.

Pups on the rock.

  • Puppies can be expensive. Our first trip to the vet with Winston and Snickers cost us $519.  It included two examinations, two rabies shots, one eye dye treatment to make sure the scratch Snickers had on his eye did not affect his cornea, two one-year supplies of heart-worm treatment and two one-year supplies of flea prevention.  An hour after the visit, while I was suffering a heart attack due to the money I’d just spent, Winston starting running around rubbing his nose in the carpet and on pillows.  I looked him over and discovered his face was all chubby, his lip all leathery and puffed up.  We rushed off to the MSU Small Animal Clinic and $129 and a shot of  Benedryl later, Winston’s reaction to the rabies shot was under control.  On tap in the next month or so:  the need to get the pups neutered and groomed.
  • Having pals is a good way to go.  Winston and Snickers are very protective of each other and seldom more than a few feet apart.  Yet they’re also great pals for Mark and me.
Snickers and Winston on the floor.

Snickers and Winston on the floor.

  • It’ll take lots of time and patience to train puppies–house training, getting them used to leashes, and riding in the car.  Mark works with the pups while I’m at work, and we both work with them in the evening.  It’s amazing the time it takes, but it’ll be worth it when they are fully trained.  In fact, everything about our pups is worth it if you ask me!

Winners of the Name the Puppies Contest!

Written by on September 07, 2013 1 Comment

Thank you for all the great name suggestions for our two puppies.  The Name the Puppy Contest ended on September 6 and after intense debate, Mark and I selected the two winning names:  Snickers and Winston.

Snickers and Winston.

Snickers and Winston.


The winners of the contest are Janet Peterson, my cousin from Alabama, and Virginia Lydic, a.k.a. Stepkid #1 who provided no less than 6 sets of names for our consideration using a fun email address we didn’t know she uses. 

To make sure everyone realizes how much we appreciate participation in this event, today I emailed all the participants, offering them either an e-copy or signed paperback of my book, Something Furry Underfoot.  Two people did not provide their email addresses, so if you entered the Name the Puppies contest and did not hear from me, contact me at  In return, I’m hoping readers of Something Furry Underfoot will feel compelled to provide comments on because comments help sell books.  Also, some proceeds of my book will be donated to animal rescue organizations.

Thanks again to all the participants!



Name the Puppies Contest!

Written by on August 24, 2013 16 Comments

If you know Mark or read Something Furry Underfoot, you probably realize that when it comes to pets Mark is rather uncontrollable–he blinks and another new fuzzy shows up in my house.  So, it probably won’t come as too much surprise that Mark went exactly three days without a dog in the house before he went online in search of lasa-bijon puppies, which is what Dusty and Little Dipper were.  On Sunday morning, he found exactly one breeder with such puppies, and he fell immediately for a four-month-old black and white dog named Lucky.  It didn’t matter that the breeder is in Pennsylvania.  And it only mattered for 24 hours that the breeder is Mennonite and didn’t answer Mark’s email on Sunday.  But it was all good on Monday morning when the breeder emailed Mark and said that Lucky was indeed still available.


So what is a spouse to do?  Leave work at noon on Monday, drive to Pennsylvania, stay over at a Super 8 motel, eat bar food at a place known for giant hamburgers, and finish driving a dozen gnarly twisty, windy roads the next morning.  We arrived at 9 a.m. on Tuesday at this beautiful farm with free-range chickens and well-pampered pups, including Lucky.  The owner, Erla, was a sweet woman, quite laid-back, and we quickly saw her personality had rubbed off on Lucky, because when she brought Lucky out from the back of this small building, he sprawled out unmoving and looked at us with big brown, very scared eyes. 

So there we were, hundreds of miles from home, looking at a paralyzed puppy that didn’t seem to have all his wires attached.  Fortunately, in the background came the yelping, barking noise of other puppies, so Mark mentioned that perhaps Lucky wasn’t so lucky and perhaps there was another one we could look at?  Perhaps Lucky had a brother or sister, I asked?  Seconds later, this wiggly, tan and white puppy named Lance was running circles around us. 

The playful pup we saw after we met Lucky.

The playful pup we saw after we met Lucky.

And then it happened:  Lance nudged Lucky, and soon the two were romping around the room, wiggling all over, licking our hands, then running off together .  As we watched them play together, Erla mentioned that she’d reduced Lucky’s price because he was four months old.  And she said that Lance, who is Lucky’s brother, well, his price was reduced even more because of a scratch on his eye.  I looked at Mark, he looked at me and we agreed that because Lucky seemed to need Lance, we couldn’t separate them.  So we bought both pups, two collars and leashes, and packed the pups into the car.

Over the course of the eight hour drive home, Mark and I agreed we weren’t thrilled with the names given the pups.  We contemplated lots of other names as we rolled along, and rejected all of them:  Whiney and Drooly, Barfy and UpChuck (as both of the pups got sick on the floor), Shock and Awe, and Sleepy and Dopey.  None seemed quite right for our pups.

We were home by 5:30 on Tuesday and soon the puppies were adapting to their new home and their strange new owners. 

Mark with the two puppies.

Mark with the two puppies.

Both puppies are doing very well.


The black and white puppy named Lucky.

But it’s quite sad they don’t have names we like, so we need your help.  Simply respond to this blog posting, and if the name you provide for either pup is selected by Mark and me, I’ll send you an e-copy or signed paperback of Something Furry Underfoot.  What could be better than that?  Oh, I know, two puppies!


Contest ends September 6.  Thank you!

Farewell to Dusty, the Angel Pup

Written by on August 15, 2013 4 Comments

In my book Something Furry Underfoot are 50 tips, two of which are particularly relevant today.

Tip #45: All pets die.

Tip #46:  It’s always hard when pets die.

A little over 15 years ago, Mark came home from a pet store gushing about this little white frou-frou puppy that was scratching madly at the corner of its cage “as if he was trying to get my attention.”  A few days later, we went back to get the puppy Mark named Dusty.

Dusty on his first day home.

Dusty on his first day home.

Right from the start, Dusty determined that his job was to guard us day in and day out.  Every now and then, though, he’d let down his guard and play.  And play.  And play.  DSC_0951

He was pals to all the other animals that came into the house:  Little Dipper, Purrkins, eight different ferrets, a rabbit, a domestic duck.  Dusty didn’t even mind when a hamster ball ran into him.

Purrkins and Dusty.

Purrkins and Dusty.

Over the last several months, our 15-year-old pal needed more and more help getting around.  Even the special extra steps we put in for him weren’t helpful enough, so we lifted him up and down the steps.

Helping Dusty down the front porch.

Helping Dusty down the front porch.

This morning, for the first time ever, Dusty let out a yelp at 5:15 a.m.  We got up, helped him outside and after wobbling back in with our help, he plopped back on the floor and just sat there, breathing shallow breaths. I offered him his soft Beneful food and he ignored it.  I broke apart pieces of a leftover pork chop and he ate, but slowly.  I snuck a pain pill in a piece of pepperoni but I could tell he was not his same old pups self.  Then I looked into his eyes and saw this far away look, a look of pain?  And I knew.  I called the mobile vet; they said they could not arrive until 4 p.m.

The rest of the day went slowly.  I picked my mom up so she could say good-bye to Dusty, then drove her back home.  We let Dusty out and sat with him in the grass for a half hour or so until he decided it was time to go back inside.  We helped him back in, put the water bowl in front of him when we thought he was thirsty, and gave him little treats.  His breathing stayed shallow and quick and with each passing hour, we knew we’d made the right decision.

We took a few more photos, too.

My last photo with Dusty.

My last photo with Dusty.

In the afternoon, Dusty decided to go outside one more time.  We sat with him the rest of the day as he napped, looked up, napped some more.  When the vet arrived, we said our good-byes right in the front yard.

A few more good itchies.

A few more good itchies.

When Mark first brought Dusty home he told me Dusty had wing nubbins where his angel wings had fallen off, and that when he died, he’d grow his angel wings again.  This is what Dusty looks like now.  It’s also the cover of the book that bears his name.

Dusty with his angel wings.

Dusty with his angel wings.

Farewell Dusty, the Angel Pup.  Thank you for all you did for us.