Introducing A New Dog: Maggie and Willie as a Case Study

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In hopes it will be helpful to others in the same situation, I thought I'd outline how I handled the introduction of lovely little Maggie into the family. Here's some background on the actors: 1) Willie: Eight-year old BC neutered male, at one point extremely aggressive to unfamiliar dogs, relatively comfortable outside now with new dogs, but tense when unfamiliar dogs come into the house. Willie is a classic alpha-wannabe: Fearful but desperate to maintain control. He is very responsive to acoustic cues from me, 99% of the time a sweet, lovely dog, but can lose his temper around other dogs and be downright rude and inappropriate when tired and/or stressed. Willie at his worst? Think Jack Nicholson's face in the movie The Shining. Willie at his best? The best dog you'll ever be lucky Read More

Great Books for Gifting

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Books, books, books: Surely one of the greatest inventions of humankind. I love to give books as gifts, and last night I found myself pondering what books to give to which person for the holidays. That, of course, led to thoughts about great books to send the dog lovers that I know, and that led me to you, good reader, who is so often an excellent source of wonderful things to read. I'd love to hear your ideas about great books to pass along to dear friends. While pondering "great books about dogs," I thought it might be instructive to look at what others had to say; not just about new books but about dog books written over the ages. Here are some of the lists I found: First off, a dear friend sent me this link, from Mother Nature Network: Six Books Every Dog Owner Should Read. Of Read More

Summer Books: What are You Reading?


Question: Is there ever enough time to read? Answer: No. I read every night and every morning at a minimum, and if I ever had a genie rise out of a bottle and ask me for one wish, I'd ask for another hour or two of reading time in every day. (And long, pretty legs instead of stumpy ones. And world peace.) Here are some of the books I've been savoring, in hopes of beginning a conversation about other great books just waiting for me to turn the page: The Possibility Dogs. I wrote about it last week, but couldn't skip mentioning it again. Here's the quote I sent to the publisher after reading the review copy: "What an amazing book. Combine love, knowledge and real-life drama with pitch-perfect writing, and you'll end up with The Possibility Dogs. Simply brilliant!" I like it so much Read More

Possibility Dogs: Review and Q & A with Susannah Charleson

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Susannah Charleson, author of Scent of the Missing, has done it again: Given us a page turner that is exquisitely written, and rich with both emotion and information related to working dogs. However, this time the dogs aren't search and rescue dogs; although in some ways you could suggest that's exactly what they do. The Possibility Dogs, just released a few days ago, directly relates to last week's post about Psychiatric Service Dogs, because that's what it is about: dogs who help people function, and in some cases,  heal. Some of these dogs seem able to search out people in need as if following a scent trail, and "rescue" them by their insightful awareness of what a damaged person needs. As in Scent of the Missing, The Possibility Dogs entwines incidents from her own life, insights into Read More

Pukka’s Promise: Book Review

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One of the best things about being an author is being sent pre-publication copies of books. It's great fun to see what's going to be out on the bookshelves and eReaders in a couple of months. (Of course, one of the worst things about being an author is being sent pre-pub copies of books. They pile up. They sit on your desk looking at you, begging in some passive, rectangular way for endorsements.) Most of the books are somewhat interesting, a few of them are downright, uh, horrible.  And every once in a while a truly great one comes along, that sucks you in and causes you to change your schedule and read, read, read until the last page is turned and the book closes and you are mad at yourself for staying up so damn late. That describes Ted Kerasote's new book, Pukka's Promise: The Read More