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New Year Pet Goals: Focus On The Future

by | Jan 1, 2018 | Cat Behavior & Care, Dog Training & Care, Fiction | 41 comments

New Year pet goals are here, in time for 2018! Like last year, I resolved to NOT make new year resolutions. Rather than an end-accomplishment, I’d rather strive for the destination but try to enjoy the journey along the way. In my experience, some of the side-roads along the journey prove to be as much if not more rewarding than the final accomplishment. How about you?

new year pet goals


A new year is a time for reflection on the past. This year has been incredibly challenging for my family on multiple fronts—more about that in future columns. I’m in the process of reevaluating many things. But I’m also grateful for all of our blessings, and for the opportunity to share my work with other pet-loving peeps. I actually exceeded my 2017 New Year pet goals and hopefully, will do as well (or better?) for the coming year.

hardcover pet booksThis year, I released hardcover editions of five books. Already available in Ebook versions and paperback, now libraries and others who relish hardcover reference books can get COMPLETE KITTEN CARE, COMPLETE PUPPY CARE, CAT FACTS, DOG FACTS, and NEW CHOICES IN NATURAL HEALING FOR DOGS AND CATS. All five were released last month, so they’re hot-off-the-urry-press (so to speak).

Last August, a new Quick Tips guide was released for all the dog lovers out there: MY DOG HATES MY VET! Foiling Fear Before, During & After Vet Visits is designed to take the fear out of health care visits.

You can check out all the CAT BOOKS HERE.

And you can check out all the DOG BOOKS HERE.

So for 2018, my new year pet goals are to add several more Quick Tips guides. Who knows, once a bunch are done, that may be enough for a box set or even a bigger nonfiction pet book.

new year pet goals


For binge-readers, the box set of my first three pet-centric thrillers was released in both Ebook and print. The Ebook version of THE SEPTEMBER DAY BOX SET, usually $8.99, is on sale temporarily for only 99-cents, for the holidays! Also, I’m in the process of writing the 4th book in the series, HIT AND RUN, which will answer reader’s requests for “more cat-centric stuff.” 🙂 That’s the first of my fiction New Year pet goals of the year. My second is to edit and release the first book in a new pet thriller series, with a new twist. Stay tuned!

Last May, the second of the Keiki & Lia Thrillers was released. TRAINED TO SERVE, A Keiki & Lia Thriller (Lei Crime Kindle Worlds) is a novella told from the viewpoint of a six-month-old future police dog, and the baby Rottweiler’s trainer. (The first one, BORN TO LOVE, began when Keiki was a puppy.) I had a ball writing this, and at least one more novella in the series is planned. There’s another writing goal!


Many of you know that I’m also a playwright and composer (and performer). Last year I got to play cello in orchestras or sing onstage for various productions in the community, including Wizard of Oz, Cinderella, Grand Night for Singing, and Jesus Christ Superstar. For the third year, I also got to teach at the Texas Thespian Festival.

My co-writer Frank Steele and I also completed our next musical theater script and score, STARZ, THE MUSICAL. It will be performed in April 2018 at The Rialto Theater in Denison, with open auditions scheduled for early February.

Read more details here!


None of this would be possible without my furry muses.  It’s become a tradition to take stock of the past year from a pets’-eye-view, too, and the year to come.

As readers know, we lost our Magical-dawg last September at age 11, and then in December Seren-Kitty left us just shy of her 22nd birthday. We lost Magic’s breeder, a dear friend, last week after a years-long battle with cancer, and will be eternally grateful for the gift of Gillian Salling’s friendship and expertise. They all live on in our hearts, and continue to inspire my writing with memories of kind council, and wagging, purring presence.

Karma now is an “only pet.” He’s a hefty man-kat eager for a game of tag, chase and treats. He’s my nighttime pillow-share buddy, and was best friends with Magic and Seren’s pain-in-the-assets little brother. He keeps us humans laughing. So here are New Year Pet Goals from Karma and the spirit of Magic and Seren, with commentary by Amy.

cat safe chrismas tree


Karma:  “I will train my humans to leave open the treat drawer so I can help myself. And leave the tree-gym up ALL THE TIME!”

Amy: He’s putting my holiday safety tips to the test by climbing the first Christmas tree we’ve put up in years. Read about that here (with a fun video!). We’ve had to put an extra door stop on the pantry door to keep him from opening it and chewing through food packaging. Any treats must be kept behind doors or in drawers or he carries off the packaging and empties the bag. He learned the “treat” word from his buddy Magic, so we must spell things sometimes, just like with little kids. So another new year pet goals is to continue offering Karma cat-healthy meals in “mouse-puzzle” portions he must play with to garner each meal.

Magic used to love wandering the fields.

Magical-Spirit: “I will remind my humans daily to cherish each joy, and remember me with smiles.”

Amy: He loved fetch clear up to his last day with us, and found joy in every sniff, sound, treat, touch or game. We’re still finding his toys hidden under furniture or in unlikely places. I take it as a message to us to lighten up… So my new year pet goals include being more like Magic and pay attention to everyday miracles of the touch of soft fur, smell of rain in the wind in my face, to find music in every brash or quiet sound, relish each taste whether tears or treats, and open my eyes to every glorious sunrise, storm cloud and rainbow in my life.

Karma: “I will stalk and tease and pounce on Amy’s feet, play “gravity experiments” on table tops, steal socks and rattle window blinds, paw-dig at the TV screen, and turn my humans into play-buddies so they chase me, what fun!”

Amy: Karma misses his tag-chase games with his best friend, and slept with Magic’s collar for two weeks after his passing. He loved pestering Seren, but toward the last weeks, became her care-taker by grooming his tiny cat-friend when she wasn’t able. I know Karma misses his pet-friends, and has become more snuggly but also demanding at times. It’s his (and our) new normal. More new year pet goals are to play interactive chase games with Karma each day to give him the exercise, attention and fun he craves and deserves. And perhaps, in the not-too-distant-future, find a new furry companion for us all to love.

Seren-Spirit: “I will remind my humans to ignore pesky aggravations like cat-brothers, stare down intimidating challenges (even if they’re 15 times your size like Magic), and find a sunny place in every situation.”

Amy: She remained in charge, the Queen of the house, to her last breath. A bit of a curmudgeon despite her tiny size, Seren ran our house and hearts with a benevolent paw. She never let arthritis stand in the way of a smidge of chicken, constantly reminded Karma who held the sharpest claws, and taught Magic—and her humans—what aging gracefully means. My new year pet goals include living like Seren, focusing on goals rather than roadblocks, stop complaining about age (not everyone gets the blessing of a long life), and giving myself permission to turn off work and take a sun-puddle nap.

Karma: “I will train Amy there’s more to nine lives than paw-tapping and staring at a boxy computer-thing. Like catnip. And whisker-kisses. And I will train Amy that playing with cats is more fun than anything else. AND I will train Amy that there’s no such thing as too many treats. But time together is even better.”

Amy: My ultimate New Year pet goals are to listen to my furry muses. What about you?


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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? NOTE: Some links to books or other products may be to affiliates, from which I may earn a small percentage of sales, but I do not recommend anything unless I feel it would benefit readers. 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 September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!


  1. Patricia Sands

    Amy, I’m so sorry to see the losses of the beautiful pets you suffered this past year. You brought them alive to so many of us for so many years. May 2018 bring happy new beginnings.

    • Amy Shojai

      Thank you, and my best wishes to you, too.

  2. Andrea Neal

    So sorry for the loss of your fur babies. I didn’t realize Magic was a GSD. They have a special place in my heart. They’ll be waiting for you at the Bridge.

    • Amy Shojai

      Thank you for your kind words, Andrea.

  3. Lola The Rescued Cat

    I’m so sorry for your losses, Amy. Your muses will live in in your heart and will continue to inspire you. Here’s to a better 2018.

    • Amy Shojai

      Thanks, I’m counting on a better year!

  4. Stephanie Seger

    I am so sorry about the incredible loss of Seren and Magic. While I know that feeling can be an empty, sad one at times, I love how you reflect on their spirit and what you are still learning from them everyday. You are so right about focusing on goals, not obstacles. It’s easier said than done sometimes, but important to strive for nonetheless. Great post, Amy!

    • Amy Shojai

      Thanks a bunch Stephanie. Yep, I feel both Magic and Seren with me and will forever, I think.

  5. AmeliaAJohnson

    It is always sad to let go of our dear furry friends that inspire us to live each day with gratitude. Karma sounds like he has a personality big enough to keep your heart healthy until another soul finds a way into your life to brighten your days. Be blessed as you bless this year.

    • Amy Shojai

      Karma is a bigger-than-life personality, yes! He’s truly a blessing. Thanks for your kind words.

  6. tenaciouslittleterrier

    I’m sorry about all the losses you suffered last year. I hope 2018 is a better time. Best of luck with all your endeavors!

  7. Heather Wallace

    Wow what a year of ups and downs. I’m so sorry for your losses. On a positive note it sounds like there are some very great things to come!

    • Amy Shojai

      Thanks Heather. I’m planning on some great things, anyway!

  8. Lori Hilliard

    You achieved a great deal in 2017 despite suffering the loss of two of your closest companions. I’m sure they’re looking down on you with love and pride. Please continue to educate us and share your wisdom in 2018.

  9. Ruth Epstein

    Amy am so so sorry for your losses and may 2018 be a better year for you. I think you are amazing and your achievements incredible, thank you for sharing this great post

  10. Jana Rade

    Making New Year’s resolutions is just making sure one has something to feel miserable by the end of January, because that’s the longest most of those last! 🙂

    I stay away from such traps. This year I made an exception and I made one resolution but that one, hopefully, I can actually stick with.

    • Amy Shojai

      Good luck with your one resolution. *s*

  11. Robbi Hess

    Amy, these were hilarious! My pets keep trying to train me and much to their chagrin I am a work in progress.

    • Amy Shojai

      Hahaha! Yes, a work in progress, indeed. Karma still doesn’t understand why I don’t “retain” all his lessons immediately. *snert*

  12. carmapoodale

    It has been a wonderful year for you but also a difficult one. Knowing you had to go through Magic and Serene kitty was so difficult. I know you dearly loved your babies. May 2018 bring you only the best!!

    • Amy Shojai

      Thank you so much, the remembering now is bittersweet–as you well know. May 2018 bring joy to us all!

  13. Irene McHugh

    What a wonderful tribute to Magic and Seren Kitty to include their resolution thoughts and ideas. Listening to those furry muses is incredibly important. One of my 2018 goals is to have special one-on-one outings with each Doodle at least three times each month.

    • Amy Shojai

      Oh, I love this resolution! Spending one on one time with each is so rewarding and important.

  14. katiekensy

    I could not agree with you more: some of the side journeys on the way are indeed more rewarding than the final destination itself. For us, while one of our dogs has earned an obedience title, what we appreciate even more is the confidence she has gained in herself throughout her training. Thanks for posting!

    • Amy Shojai

      Oh yes, the confidence is so rewarding to see. Sort of an, “I can DO THIS, watch me go!” Such fun.

  15. Enviro_Dog

    I’m so sorry to hear about Magic and Seren. I too lost one of my pets recently. It’s always hard, even when they are old and sickly. You have been such a prolific writer and it’s great that you have had so many hard covers come out recently. I just received The September Day box set for Christmas and can’t wait to dig into it!

    • Amy Shojai

      Oh my–thanks for letting me know you received the box set. Hope you like it! So sorry for your own pet loss.

  16. Beth

    It is always so hard to lose loved ones, but I’m glad you are listening to Magic’s and Seren’s spirits! It was amazing and exciting to watch you publish so many books in 2017. I hope 2018 brings you lots of joy!

    • Amy Shojai

      Thank you Beth–may 2018 be a good year for us all!

  17. Chirpy Cats

    I love the cheeky goals of the pets in the house. They all sound very reasonable and I like that your goal is to listen to them 😸 Sorry to read about the loss of your angels, I hope 2018 is a great year for you… and for the purry muses too!

    • Amy Shojai

      Thanks so much. I’m sure it will be better–with the help of all my furry friends. *s*

  18. Karlee

    You had such a busy and productive year last year, I’m flabbergasted that you wrote that many books and still had time for so many other things! I am also sad to hear about your fur babies, I hope this year turns around for you!

    • Amy Shojai

      Thank you Karlee, with the help of the furry wonders, it will be better this year!

  19. Dash Kitten

    I like the sunny place for every situation. There are times humans need to remember that too aren’t there. Our works cats and dogs is never done is it?

    Happy 2018 and may be be a brilliant and dazzling success for you.

    • Amy Shojai

      Very true–the legacy continues!

  20. Dolly the Doxie

    I think Magic would love what your doing to honor him. Sounds like you’re pets have got some work to do! And what a great year for your books! Sandra and Dolly

    • Amy Shojai

      Thanks so much Sandra & Dolly, I like to think you’re right!

  21. Terry Zarsky

    I also lost a fur baby this year. Serena will always be with me through the many happy memories and adventures we had together as I am sure Magic and Seren will be with you. Best for 2018. I am so glad I discovered your work and I share it with the rescue groups I work with as well as with those at my work – Penrose Public Library.

    • Amy Shojai

      Oh no, Terry! I’m so very sorry for your loss of Serena. They do live on in our hearts. Best to you for the new year, too, and I’m delighted my work helps rescue groups and has found a wonderful advocate like you.


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