The Dog Heroes Of September 11

Our pets are heroes to us every day, in so many ways, but the service dogs and their human partners who served selflessly in the aftermath of the 9-11 tragedy deserve special recognition.

With heartfelt thanks…May we never again need your service in such a capacity, but bless one and all for such a wonderful gift!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered–post in the comments. Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Puppy Play! The Good, The Bad & the Dangerous

puppiescoverIt’s here! *cue the trumpets, tail wags & happy howls!*

COMPLETE PUPPY CARE is now available for your puppy-licious reading pleasure. I’ve included a brief excerpt below about how to tell when GOOD puppy play tips over into DANGEROUS games. That’s just the tip of the furry info, though. Please share the news about this book with all your puppy and dog loving peeps.

WANT A FREE PDF TO REVIEW?

COMPLETE PUPPY CARE includes more than two-dozen SQUEEE! cute puppy pictures (including Magical-Dawg as a baby), plus all the puppy must-knows. Those who subscribe to my PET PEEVES newsletter (see the right side of the blog) got the news early–and TEN folks won a free copy in exchange for posting an honest review. I’m nervously nail-biting until those get posted!

I’ll make the same offer here–post in the comments for a chance to review a free PDF copy of the book (the first 10 requests get the book!). AND…tell me the link of your review once it’s posted and I’ll  send you a free copy of your pick of MY CAT HATES MY DATE or MY DOG HATES MY DATE quick tips guide as a thank you. :)

ABOUT COMPLETE PUPPY CARE…

Nothing beats a cute puppy for love, but proper puppy care and training prepares you and your new dog for a healthy and long life together. This up to date new guide provides a “Puppies 101” packed with veterinary facts, health care advice, how-to tips, and fascinating information about:

  • Choosing, training and communicating with your new puppy
  • Pros and cons of purebred versus shelter/rescue sources
  • Understanding common behavior problems and how to prevent them
  • Food, grooming and humane training recommendations
  • Tips for introducing your puppy to adult dogs, cats, babies and kids
  • The latest veterinary recommendations for preventive care
  • How to recognizing common health issues, and what to do
  • First aid and home remedies that save you money—and your puppy’s life!
  • More than two-dozen SQUEE! cute puppy pictures
  • Canine legends, myths and fun puppy facts including: Why puppies drink from the toilet, why dogs act guilty, reasons dogs hump your leg, and more!

COMPLETE PUPPY CARE empowers you with all the information necessary for your puppy to grow up into the happy, healthy dog you both deserve.

PlayHERE’S THE EXCERPT…

“Just Kidding” During Play

Dogs use exaggerated behaviors, called meta signals, to tell other dogs all action that comes after is not serious but a game. For instance, the play-bow is a butt-in-the-air with front-end down position where the pup’s forelegs dance back and forth to invite play. When your puppy first play-bows, he’s
telling you that any growls or wrestling that comes after are meant as fun and games.

Adult dogs often “pretend” to be subordinate to a puppy—with play bows or rolling on the back—to build up the pup’s confidence and invite him to play. This “just kidding” game allows lower-ranking pups to practice being in charge with play bites, mounting behavior, and wrestling games. Once the
play is over, the higher-ranking dog again assumes his more “mature” behavior that tells the pup to respect his leadership.

BAD VS GOOD PLAY—KNOWING THE DIFFERENCE

Dogs of all ages enjoy playing. Behaviors for fighting and fun are similar, but you must know how to tell the difference between aggression and play-acting. Watch for “meta signals” which tells participants that whatever comes after is meant in a “play” context.

Dogs commonly drop toys on your feet or lap to solicit a game, and offer toys to other dogs in the same way. A play bow—the dog sticks his butt and tail into the air, and bows forward on lowered forelegs that dance side to side—is the classic signal and invitation for the games to begin. Often, the
“fighting” behaviors seen during such games will be exaggerated to indicate play, or the “fight” behavior sequences may be jumbled.

Play includes inhibited mouth-open bites often aimed at the legs and paws of other dogs. Dogs also paw and bat each other without force to hurt. In appropriate play, all the dogs willingly participate. If you suspect one of the dogs doesn’t like the activity (one dog repeatedly tries to escape or hide),
gently separate the pair to see if they go back for more. If the play session was too rough, one will sneak away.

Inappropriate play results in one or more dog frightened, hurt, or overwhelmed. Bully dogs always end up on top, while in appropriate play you’ll see dogs take turns chasing and pinning each other during wrestling. Mouthing aimed primarily at the head or neck, or uninhibited bites means play has gotten out of hand. You’ll hear yelps from the bitten dog.

Consistent play up on hind legs may indicate problems. Ongoing mounting, clasping and thrusting also can lead to problems, as can resting of paws, heads or whole bodies across other dog’s shoulders to intimidate or achieve social status.

Growls don’t usually indicate problems, but play can be so exciting that the action escalates into aggression. Listen for louder, lower pitched growls,and be prepared to break up the session before they get too aroused.

***

Okay now, what about YOUR puppies and dogs? How do they play? Is it polite, taking turns, or is there some bully behavior involved? At my house, Magical-Dawg’s best play buddy is Karma-Kat and that involves a whole new set of signals.

Don’t forget–post your comment for a chance to review a free copy of the book!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered–post in the comments. Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!

FREE WORKSHOP FOR #PETS CENTRIC MUSICAL

KarmaStrays4Those who regularly read this blog know that I not only write about pets, but also give talks about pet behavior. You may be surprised to learn that sometimes I write music about pet behavior, too and even SING about cats and dogs. (Magical-Dawg howls, Seren-Kitty does her lion cough and Karma yawns…everyone’s a critic!) Now you have a chance to sing along!

I’m proud to partner with local actor/writer/musician Frank Steele to co-write STRAYS, THE MUSICAL. Next Saturday, September 13 from 10-noon at the Honey McGee Playhouse in Sherman, we’ll present a free workshop about the show. The workshop is designed to help pet loving performers prepare to audition for STRAYS on September 23, 24, 25. Those who attend may learn a thing or two about cat and dog behavior, too!

I’ve written lots of pet-centric schtuff, and Frank and I have written other scripts and performed on stage a great deal. But STRAYS combines all our loves—writing, music, acting and pets. Now we want to share STRAYS with area actors and audiences.

Love theater? Love pets? You’ll fall in love with STRAYS!

MagicStraysWe’re looking for up to 20 performers and production folks to bring STRAYS to life. A few human characters appear in the show but most actors portray cats or dogs—but without any special makeup or costumes. That’s right! You get to create your own character using your skill as a performer—are you a Great Dane? Chihuahua or Siamese? Mutt or tabby? We’d love to cast families, too—with the kids playing kittens/puppies and parents as the adult pets.

During the workshop, you’ll practice channeling your inner pet. Feel free to bring a dog or cat toy to help get into character. Participants will learn one of the songs from the show and practice pet-centric moves. Are you a rapper or beat box expert? Come show your skills! Dogs and cats move and act in very specific ways that communicate to each other (and to clueless humans!). Shake your puppy tail or display kitty ballet moves to evoke the pet’s mood. During the workshop you’ll also practice reading funny or poignant scenes from the script.

Two featured parts call for 14-year old actor/singers to play the parts of Girl Kitten and Boy Puppy. But all other parts have no age or type limitations and performers aged 9 to 99 are welcome. STRAYS includes solos, ensembles, rap, featured dancers, non-singing actor roles, and fun company numbers in styles ranging from pop rock to blues, calypso, gospel, jazz, and Celtic. If you’re like me, you often “speak” for your pets and now’s your chance to bring that cat or dog character to the stage.

We look forward to working with Supporting Cast members from SCP-Theatricks. We also seek technical assistance with lighting, sound, projection, choreography, stage managing and more.

Dr. John McGinn will assist us as rehearsal pianist, and the show will be performed with a CD of full orchestration on November 6, 7, 8, 2014. We hope STRAYS will benefit animal welfare organizations in their fund raising efforts, as well as entertain pet lovers. And purr-haps bring a new audience to Sherman Community Players.

Now is your chance—come to the STRAYS workshop Saturday September 13 from 10-Noon to learn more. Please SHARE this post with cat and dog lovers and theater peeps. :)

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered–post in the comments. Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!

DOG FOOD RECALL! Pedigree Announces Voluntary Recall Due to Metal Fragments In Food

UPDATED-EXPANDED! The following announcement now is being expanded to include 55-pound bags of Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition dry dog food products sold in Sam’s Club in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.

Mars Petcare US last week announced a voluntary recall of 22 bags of Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition dry dog food. There is a possibility of foreign material introduced into the food. The bags of dog food thought to be affected were sold in 12 Dollar General stores in four states: ARKANSAS, LOUISIANA, MISSISSIPPI and TENNESSEE.

The affected 55-pound bags were sold at Sam’s Club between August 14 and August 30 in the following locations:

Michigan

    • Comstock Park
    • Muskegon
    • Jackson
    • Roseville
    • Saginaw

 Indiana

  • Kokomo

Ohio

  • Dayton
  • Holland
  • Lima

Small metal fragments were found in the bags of food, not embedded in the food itself, but still posing a potential risk of injury if consumed. The company is working with Dollar General to ensure that the recalled product is no longer sold and is removed from inventory.

Pedigree Dog Food Recall Package Details

Each product will have the lot code 432C1KKM03 printed on the back of the bag near the UPC and a Best Before date of 8/5/15.

If you have one of these bags, you can contact Mars Petcare at 800-305-5206 from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CST. You can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area or go online to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered–post in the comments. Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!

 

 

Dog Gone Art: Amy Shojai Featured Writer!

DogGoneArtCover

Cover Image Copr. Sean O’Daniels

Dog Gone Art is an online E-zine with some of the most spectacular dog art I’ve seen. You’ve got to check this out if you love dogs–Heck, if you love ART you need to see these wonderful paintings, photos and digital art (yep, there are some PAW-some videos in the issue, too).

This month, I’m honored to be the FEATURED WRITER. Wow. Here’s the page spread:

FeatureWriterDoggoneArtBut there is so much more. Check out the TOC here–and then CLICK on any of these images to go drool over the images and read the stories. You won’t be sorry. My virtual tail is a-wagging!

DogGoneArtI love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered–post in the comments. Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!