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Monday Mentions: Turtles, Snakes & Writer-icty

by | May 28, 2012 | Cat Behavior & Care, Dog Training & Care, Writing Advice & More | 6 comments

I hope your Memorial Day is restful, positive, and brings you all that you wish. Those lost and the causes for which they fought for our sake is indeed something to remember.

I also have to share that the Magical-Dawg, roughneck that he is, has managed to injure himself in some way. Oh, he’s clueless. Apparently it doesn’t hurt but the lop-sided swelling on his right jaw turns him into a bizarre hamster-esque creature with a pseudo cheek pouch. Y’all may remember he has  in the past turned into hippopotamus head due to insect stings–but this isn’t itchy, painful, or soft. It’s a goose-egg hard lump under his right jaw/ear. Maybe the Seren-kitty finally nailed him SCORE! I feared it might be a snake bite (we have copperheads and rattlers) which inspired me to share the video, below. It’ll come in handy if any of y’all ever need to dodge cobras!

But since there’s no pain, more likely it’s a simmering abscess or another allergic reaction. I’ll keep you posted. Of course, it happens the first day of a long holiday weekend. Sheesh.

This week I’m channeling my inner turtle–or trying to do so. A hard shell impervious to slings and arrows, a safe retreat in which to hide my head and eyes, soothing water to cleanse myself–ah that is peace! I’ve someone cleared my calendar to work on final edits of LOST & FOUND thriller. Evenings I’ll be at rehearsal — yes, my friends, I’m in another show and we’re closing in on tech week followed by performances every weekend in June. Maybe I’ll have pictures at some point to share.

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo links and videos, pet schtuff and bling and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Some of this “schtuff” can be hard to categorize and may fit more than one topic so I urge you to at least scan them all.


Buzz Your Book, an awesome how-to from Doug Clegg and MJ Rose (they really know their stuff!)

Bob Mayer Chat on PubIt! I had to miss this in person but thankfully it’s still available, some GREAT info! (he’s my publisher for the fiction, woot!)

Interesting Survey Results from self-published authors (thanks to Jillian Dodd for pointing out the link).

Writers Digest Self Pub Book Contest Deadline Extended to June 15

Houghton Mifflin Publisher Bankruptcy

DON’T Pay for Online Ad…Until You Read This great post from Jane Friedman

SoonerCon in Oklahoma City June 15-17 looks like a great session!

Augmenting Your Twitter Audience posted over at Piper Bayard’s awesome blog.


Great Video Why ‘Alpha/Beta’ Wolf Terms Ain’t Accurate

Cat Being Vacuumed Oh–my–gosh, my Seren-Kitty would sooooo be out of there! Is kitty on drugs? Learned helplessness? Too pudgy to escape?

Pain Therapy for Dogs from the awesome Morris Animal Foundation

Cat Pain Therapy also from Morris Animal Foundation–they rock!

CatLandia Spoof Video for TNR this will make you smile!

Cesar Milan Feedback (don’t watch if you’re a fan…just saying, the scientist may hiss you off)

Soldier Trades Cigarettes To Save Dog

Poison Ivy & Pets Great info from The Creative Cat blog (thanks Bernadette!) ew, hate this stuff! and while pets aren’t as susceptible they can spread it to YOU

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with excerpts from the forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND, and pet book give-aways!


  1. animalartist

    Thanks for the mention, Amy–spreading the information instead of the poison ivy!

    • amyshojai

      I HATE poison ivy! We have it come up among the roses, and I’m highly allergic. NOT fun.

  2. Karyl Cunningham

    Yikes! Usually it was our kitties that got the abcesses every summer. Hopefully the pup comes off it as easily as they always did.

    As for the alpha-beta, etc, I’ve known about that for a while. 🙂 It’s why I try to correct folks who use dominance theory with the excuse that it’s what wolf behavior is like, and dogs are domestic wolves. Always gotta point out, yes, you need to exert authority, but as a PARENT not a TYRANT. BIIIIG difference. I’ve been obsessed with wolves since I was about 10 years old, read every book I could find on them and how the research evolved over the years. Has been kinda neat to see, where it used to be believed that the lower ranks didn’t mate only because the alphas would attack them if they tried, just because authority has its privileges, now we know it is more often that they’re not permitted for a good reason – they’re all related. Incest leads to problems eventually, so of course packs who discouraged that would have more successful offspring in the long term.

    We used to have a cat that loved to be vacuumed. Only cat I’ve known who liked it. But in her case it was with the hose/brush attachment.

    I haven’t watched the Dog Whisperer, but after hearing what my other half had to say, I think I should be glad I haven’t. After hearing about his method, I REALLY hate that they used the term “dog whisperer” to describe him, because now anyone using that term will be associated with him. Sorry but to me, “whisperer” means to me that you understand the animal you’re dealing with on such a deep level, you can work with them and help them in subtle ways, without force, such that the animal trusts you and WANTS to do what you ask of it. I’ve met someone in person who uses dominance theory and Cesar’s methods – his dog is TERRIFIED of him. I’ve seen him scruff a perfectly submissive dog as a first greeting. I just don’t understand why people think this is a good idea! You want to build respect through TRUST, not FEAR. Fear means they are only obeying you until they can see a weakness or an opening, then they are MORE likely to attack you as a means of trying to escape. Yes, sometimes you have to use GENTLE force on an animal AS A LAST RESORT. Kind of like swatting your kid’s hand that’s about to touch the pot because it’s an immediate, short-lived thing that will prevent something serious from happening. Like, yes, I would “tackle” a dog who was actively attacking – last resort, dire situation, need for immediate action. But the aim would not be to hurt and cause fear, but to subdue and restrain until enough control can be gained over the situation to diffuse it properly. So the grabbing of the dog is not in itself the disciplinary action, but a simple restraint to prevent something from escalating. Usually the end goal is to get the attacking dog back into their kennel/pen to sit it out until they calm down. I have broken that cardinal rule before that says you should never get between two dogs fighting. Dog-aggressive coonhound at the local shelter got away from the girl walking him, plowed right into the dog I was walking with teeth bared, started right for the throat, knocked the leash out of MY hand. “My” dog just kind of stood there bewildered, I didn’t even think, just knew if I let them alone that poor pup was going to get clobbered, somehow managed to get the hound in something between a headlock and a collar grab, just long enough to pull him back, then just hung onto his collar trying to get somebody to stop gaping and grab a leash to help me get the dogs back inside. I have NO idea how I didn’t get bitten, but at no point was my thought to dominate the hound, only to keep the other dog from getting ripped open.

    I have a bad habit of that… thinking of the animal I’m with before I even stop to think *I* might be in danger. LOL Same thing happened when we were saddle training my doofus colt (who was smart in all the wrong ways). He freaked and sat down, but the first thing I noticed was that he felt like he was keeling to the side, though “oh my god this horse is going to break his neck!” …was only AFTER I rolled off that I realized that he could also have fallen on me and killed me.

    Mind you, one of our cats does occasionally make dominance grabs (we think he may have some wild genes somewhere in him), and if he goes to extremes, sure, we’ll hold him down until he settles and quits throwing up a fuss. But at the same time it’s only JUST enough force to serve as a reminder and restraint, and once he calms down we make sure he knows everything’s OK once he’s being a “good kitty” again. There is no hitting, there is no yelling, it’s a diffusing method that doesn’t involve violence and succeeds at both calming him and pointing out to him that yes, mom and dad are still mom and dad. I’m trying to find proper words to explain the difference, it’s one of those things I’m still bad at. Part of why I want to start comparing videos and filming myself to figure out what it is that makes animals respond so differently to me (and to my boyfriend for that matter) than they do to the average person.

    Now, I’ve heard Cesar sometimes has good things as well, but if he really is as good as these people claim, he needs to place some sort of emphasis on the fact that the force-based methods should not be tried in the wrong situation by the wrong person. And if he’s choked a dog on the ground as part of his ‘training”, I wish people would stop turning around and saying “but you haven’t seen the other things he’s done!” …even if he HAS done other good things, he HAS to own up to the bad things he’s done and, if he really cares about dogs, tell people that things like that are the WRONG way to handle it. Of course, I do NOT believe there is only one way to handle things, but there are certain things we definitely should NOT resort to, if we are to consider that dog an actual companion and member of the family. Heck, even if it’s a feral dog that’s a definite danger (yes, we have problems with those in some parts of the state – will attack livestock AND people), just kill it quickly and have done with it, none of this choking mess. Have a little respect, honestly…

    PHEW I can ramble on that subject… er… oops? LOL (keeping in mind I made the comments regarding the wolf video before I even realized there was a link about dominance theory not far below)

    On the snake video, I find it interesting – never knew cobras spent that much time posturing before they try to strike. Though I will note that unfortunately in some parts of the world, they also still de-fang them in captivity. …I sort of wonder why he’s sweeping up all the eggs too. But then, can’t remember off the top of my head if cobras are a threatened species or not.

    • amyshojai

      Wow, Karyl, lots to digest here. *s* I didn’t know that about the de-fanged snakes. Cobras aren’t protected, I don’t think, and probably they remove the eggs to keep from having any MORE lil’ guys snaking around.

    • amyshojai

      Thanks Patricia–yes, he’s much better!


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