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Book Thrills, Summer Reads & Pet Safety

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New meaning to “paper trained…” So, what’s on YOUR summer reading list? Image Copr. Amy Shojai, CABC

It’s been a way-busy week and I have a lot to share to catch up with all the “doings.” 🙂 This week there were six stops on the HIDE AND SEEK blog tour.

WRITER-ICITY SCHTUFF!

The Book Divas Read shared an EXCERPT from the thriller, click here to read.

Dakota’s Den posted a PAW-SOME review of the book. “…For me, Hide and Seek was more than just a book, it was an experience. If I used stars for ratings, it would receive the highest number of stars that I could assign to it.

Meee-WOW! that makes me purr and my virtual tail wag. Read the entire post by clicking here. And if you’re of the cat-purr-suasion, you can also read the review by clicking here at Cat Chat with Caren & Cody.

Hotchpotch also posted a lovely review. “A compelling story with a dog as a hero, written by a specialist in animal behavior, with a dash of intrigue and a splash of suspense, some dead bodies and a lot of hiding and seeking. All ingredients that make for a very enjoyable read!” Be sure to visit the blog to read the book excerpt by clicking here.

CMash Reads interviewed me about writing the HIDE AND SEEK story, my writing schedule, and even asked for a sneak peek about the next book in the series SHOW AND TELL. You can read the whole interview by clicking here.

Thoughts In Progress posted another interview today with me, asking about the pros and cons of including so much “animal” characters and plot in my thrillers. What do you think? Is there such a thing as too much animals? What’s the downside? You can read my take on the issue by clicking here.

Finally, I had a lovely surprise–not scheduled–when I discovered that Ingrid King’s Conscious Cat blog included HIDE AND SEEK in a roundup of recommended summer reads. Wow! You’ll want to check out some of the other paw-some books, too. Click here for the whole post.

Okay, now I’m gonna step outside my comfort zone and ASK you — if you’ve not already done so — to purchase (or recommend to a friend) a copy of HIDE AND SEEK and/or the first book in the series LOST AND FOUND. Both books are available in print and all Ebook versions, and LOST AND FOUND also is available as an audio book.

It may seem silly to ask for reviews–why should anyone care what you think? But other readers DO care, and in addition, the places you buy books (amazon, B&N, iTunes/Apple, Audible and more) pay attention to reviews. Books that have lots of good reviews get shared by these companies, so please help out the authors you know (not just me!) by leaving your comments on the book pages.

Find buy-links to HIDE AND SEEK by clicking here.

And find buy-links to LOST AND FOUND by clicking here.

(DRUM ROLL PLEASE…..)

I’M A PANEL MASTER FOR NYC THRILLERFEST!

“WHAT MAKES AN ENDING UNFORGETTABLE?”

with Panelists Donald Bain, Ward Larsen,

Sean Lynch, J.F. Penn, and Tom Young

BOOK SIGNING TO FOLLOW

If you’re there, please stop and say hello…and if you can’t come, please post YOUR answers to the question and I’ll get ’em included in the discussion. Thrillerfest is always a terrific educational and social networking party. Yes, I’ll again be wearing my #1 Rhinestone B*tch Pin as well as my bunny-slippers-with-fangs. How else would anyone recognize me? *batting eyes all innocent-like*

PET-ASTIC SCHTUFF

Today is TAKE YOUR DOG TO WORK DAY! This is an annual event. You can click here to read more about what’s involved and tips to convince your boss to allow pets at work.

With summer heat upon us, I’ve been updating a lot of hot-weather tips at my puppies.about.com site (you may notice a bunch of SQUEE! new pictures, too!). Here’s some tips and suggestions for keeping your puppies–and adult dogs–happy and safe during the dog days of summer.

Hot Weather Games for Puppies–Click here!

Swimming Safety For Your DOgs (works for cats too) right here

This fall, I’ll be at the CWA conference in Atlanta at MEOWWORLD, speaking about how to put together Ebooks. You’ll get all the must-knows for writers and bloggers. Where else can you get great writer-ly advice while surrounded by all-things-pets? Hope to see you there at the Cat Writers conference! 

And if you write and publish about cats (including blogs) don’t forget to enter the CWA Contest, with thousands of $$$ in prizes and more. Click here for more informationdeadline to enter is July 1.

BarkWorld Expo and MeowWorld Sponsored by CWA

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. 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, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, 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!

Hide and Seek Blog Tour!

HideSeekLoRezThe next two months (yes, that’s SIXTY DAYS, YIKES!) I’m on a virtual tour, spreading the thrilling (and furry-licious) news about HIDE AND SEEK, the second book in my September Day dog viewpoint thriller series. *whispering* There are some opportunities for free books along the way…

Those who read the first book in the series LOST AND FOUND demanded to know what happened in September’s past — you ask, I listened, and the result is the new roller coaster ride with even more intrigue and mayhem. If you read this blog regularly you already know how the canine hero character Shadow was inspire by my own Magical-Dawg, and that the Maine Coon character’s traits and challenges mirror that of many felines that we love. I hope y’all continue to enjoy this series.

I’ve scaled back posting on the blog (sorry…) to have more time to write the NEXT book in the series, SHOW AND TELL. Over the next several weeks, I’ll post links to each stop of the blog tour so that you can find out more about my writing process, what furry details inspire my work (and my life), and more.

If you want to get a jump on the schedule, my website homepage lists current and upcoming posts here.

Yesterday I was the guest on Suspense Radio One On One with John Raab, and–with the magic of the Internet–you can hear the 20-minute podcast at your leisure right here. Fun stuff…we laughed. A lot! Check it out here.

Today’s stop is at Laurie’s Thoughts And Reviews where you’ll find a fun interview with me about the book, how it came to be, and some advice to writers. Oh…and an excerpt from the book, too, if you’re not too sure about reading it and want a teaser. Go to the blog here.

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Backstage at the show…and yes, that’s all my own jewelry. Ahem.

IN OTHER NEWS…SHAKESPEARE IN THE GROVE!

My current “brain candy” is preforming in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM and we just finished our first weekend of 3 performances, with nearly 700 in attendance. Wow! The man still has an awesome fan base. *s* You’ll remember that last week Karma-Kitten interviewed the dog actor Benedick here. Now you can view a TV interview about the show (and yes, that’s me in the bling, go figure!). Check out the KXII-TV video here.

Later this week, look for more furry-licious content–after all, June is ADOPT A SHELTER CAT MONTH so Seren-Kitty and Karma-Kitten have some suggestions for choosing your next furry wonder. Maybe that’s why COMPLETE KITTEN CARE book has been in the top 3 Amazon best sellers list the past week, yay!

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. 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, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, 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!

San Diego Cat Show Fun!

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Isn’t this a lovely girl! (Can you guess how I know she’s a girl?) Image copr. Amy Shojai, CABC

Last weekend I spent in San Diego at the “Food & Water Bowl XXII” Cat Show, where the most glorious pedigree cats attend . . . and also bunches of adoptable lovely “mutt” cats, cute kittens, and gorgeous cat jewelry and various vendors. I shared a book signing booth with my colleagues and awesome writers/artists Arden Moore and Janiss Garza. All of us had books to paw-tograph. Janiss has a cat she edits, but Sparkle the Designer Cat is the author! And Arden (a Master Pet First Aid Instructor) brought her right-hand (paw?) cat, Zeki, the Safety Cat, a kitty that helps her demonstrate pet first aid techniques during Arden’s classes.

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That’s me with my newest thriller HIDE AND SEEK (with a Maine Coon and GSD on the cover!), and Janiss in the center with her cards and books, and Arden in the red. Zeki’s on the poster, above. Image copr. Amy Shojai, CABC

Arden also presented (with Zeki) in the Education Ring to teach folks about some basics of pet first aid. It’s the kind of information you hope never to need but may save your pet’s life. And yes, all three of us also have dogs (shhhhh, the cats wouldn’t like that!).

Check out some of the other pictures and don’t miss out on the two videos at the bottom. You’ll hear me in the Education Ring talking about cat pee-and-poop (hoo boy…) and then some SQUEEEE! cute kittens playing. Don’t miss Lisa-Maria Padilla’s trick trained Abyssinian kitten “rolling over” on command and more. Enjoy!

Joan Miller, an expert in all-things-cats and lecturer on cat breeds and more, with Arden preparing Zeki for their pet first aid talk. Image copr. Amy Shojai, CABC

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Yep, there were even some lovely dogs at the show! (Don’t tell Magic!). Image copr. Amy Shojai, CABC

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Lots of vendors at the show offered all kinds of temptations. I settled for several pairs of Laurel Birch cat socks…and this glorious ceramic wall panel. Looks like Macy from my thriller book HIDE AND SEEK! Image copr. Amy Shojai, CABC

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There are some perks to being a famous author…Janiss gets to schmooze a young Maine Coon kitten. Image copr. Amy Shojai, CABC

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Zeki (a certified therapy cat) was the most popular attendee at our booth and managed to woo and charm everyone who stopped by. I’m not sure who is happier with this encounter. Image copr Amy Shojai, CABC

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. 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, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, 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 Viewpoint HIDE AND SEEK Releases!

It’s here! My dog viewpoint thriller HIDE AND SEEK “officially” releases–and those who subscribe to my PET PEEVES newsletter got this info last week (yes, there’s perks to subscribing *s*) but I couldn’t hold in the SNOOPY-DANCE-‘O-JOY! any longer. This is the SEQUEL to my first thriller, and brings back the characters you love plus some new ones.

There’s still dog-viewpoint (yay, Shadow!) and now more cat-centric stuff too (go, Macy!). I hope you’ll enjoy the book, post reviews, and recommend to your pet-loving, thrill-seeking friends.

My deepest gratitude to those who reviewed ARCs for advance looks and reviews. Y’all make my virtual tail wag and purrs a-rumble. And without further delay, behold the latest thriller.

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A mysterious contagion will shatter countless lives unless a service dog and his trainer find a missing cat . . . in 24 hours.

FireHIDE AND SEEK on Amazon (Kindle & Trade Paperback)

A STALKER hides in plain sight.
A VICTIM faces her worst fear.
AND A DOG seeks the missing—and finds hope.

Eight years ago, animal behaviorist September Day escaped a sadistic captor who left her ashamed, terrified, and struggling with PTSD. She trusts no one—except her cat Macy and service dog Shadow.

Shadow also struggles with trust. A German Shepherd autism service dog who rescued his child partner only to lose his-boy forever, Shadow’s crippling fear of abandonment shakes his faith in humans.

They are each others’ only chance to survive the stalker’s vicious payback, but have only 24 hours to uncover the truth about Macy’s mysterious illness or pay the deadly consequences. When September learns to trust again, and a good-dog takes a chance on love, together they find hope in the midst of despair–and discover what family really means.

WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT HIDE AND SEEK!

HIDE AND SEEK proves Shojai’s masterful skill at blending ripped-from-the-headlines urgency with an emotional story of real characters in escalating dangers. Add in revelatory dose of animal psychology and behavior, and you have a thriller that had me turning pages deep into the night. Here is a novel written with authority and with a deft brilliance that any lover of animals or nerve-jangling thrillers will cherish.” James Rollins, New York Times bestseller of “The Eye of God”

“Recommended for anyone who likes a ‘bite-your-nails hold-your-breath’ kind of  thriller.” Dr. Lorie Huston, Cat Writers’ Association President

“Featuring a young animal behaviorist struggling to regain her bearings after a shocking betrayal, a reality TV show gone horribly wrong, and a series of murders and disappearances seemingly related to an unthinkable cause, HIDE AND SEEK is a mystery/thriller you won’t be able to put down!”
Alan Leverone, best-selling thriller author of “Mr. Midnight” and “The Lonely Mile”

THE STORY BEGAN WITH THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED

LOST AND FOUND

An autism cure will kill millions unless a service dog and his trainer

find a missing child . . . in 24 hours.

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. 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, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, 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!

Name That Dog-Cat Results & CWA Thanks!

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Exciting news (below) about my HIDE AND SEEK dog viewpoint thriller and the results of the Name That Dog and Name That Cat contest. But first…

I was honored to win a Muse Medallion award for my cat behavior book in the most recent CWA Contest, but my feline furry muse was less than enthused about the award. Instead, she snubbed the book to investigate the PAW-some bounty provided in our World’s Best Cat Litter bag–and yes, everyone who attended received one of these over-flowing goody bags we put together at the bag-stuffing party (see video here). We also had the chance to win one-of-a-kind door prizes that included art and cat furniture and more.

THANK YOU to all the sponsors who provided a wide assortment cat-centric and dog-matic products. I have to share the bounty with all my pet-loving readers, since it’s nearly time to start stuffing those cat and dog holiday stockings (check ’em out!):

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Cat Writers Association has been fortunate to be supported by dozens of pet-savvy products companies over the years, not only with “furry swag” but also funds to throw our annual conference and awards celebrations–and just doing good works for the cats (and dogs) that rule our hearts. We don’t recognize them often enough for all their wonderful support. As a pet writer, I couldn’t do what I do without the people behind these great companies. So here’s a Paws For Applause for these sponsors of the conference and awards program (some already named above):

American Association of Feline Practitioners, ASPCA, AdoptAShelter, Cat Fancers Association, Cat Fancy 1-5 Publishing, Ceva Animal Health, Cornell Feline Health Center, Dog Writer’s Association of America, Jacat Cattery, PioneerPet/Sticky Paws, Hartz Mountain Corporation, Morris Animal Foundation, Petco Foundation, Pet Sitters International, Precious Cat, Inc., PetSafe, Purina PetCare Company, Sergeant’s Pet Products, Quaker Pet Group, Sturdi Products, The International Cat Association (TICA), and World’s Best Cat Litter

In particular, my actor cronies and I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to present STRAYS, THE MUSICAL at this 20th anniversary event, so I’m purr-sonally grateful for the Friday night ASPCA reception and Cat Fancy Dinner Sponsorship. (A short video sample of the performance has been posted here.)

Now then–after seeing all that, doesn’t it make you want to join the furry fun? NEXT YEAR in Atlanta where we partner with BarkWorld with MeowWorld Presented by the Cat Writers’ Association!

WINNERS OF “NAME THAT PET” CONTEST!

The NAME THAT DOG and NAME THAT CAT contests garnered an outpouring of furry interest. Thanks for your votes for the pet characters to appear in HIDE AND SEEK dog-viewpoint thriller coming soon (sequel to LOST AND FOUND). The winner’s names and why they chose their selection will also be included in the book, and winners will receive an advance E-copy of the book and a paw-tographed book as soon as I get the physical copies.

The cat names received more than 926 votes in total, while the dog names totaled 3203 votes! Just who ARE these kitty and doggy characters?

  • HOPE is a mother barn cat befriended by a young girl whose cat-allergic mother won’t let her have a cat. When the cat’s “real” owner disappears, the little girl’s desperate need to rescue this “momma kitty” puts them in the bad guy’s path–will it be a happy ending for the pair? The name HOPE received 300 votes and was suggested by PATRICIA (she also suggested one of the winning cat names!).
  • PINKERTON is a sick cat that Shadow (the hero dog) tracks and saves after the kitty escapes from a car accident. The cat’s illness holds the key to the mystery plaguing area animals–and their people. What a legacy! BELL won the NAME THAT CAT prize with 123 votes and was suggested by MARCI DeLISLE. She wrote, “Pinkerton was one of my favorite feral kitties. I was never able to tame him but he got to where he’d approach me when I’d be outside feeding. He was a big long hair tabby probably with some Maine Coon in him as he was very large with really big feet. Two things played into his name. One was his very bright pink nose on a white nose. And he was the resident security guard for the feral kitties. Thus Pinkerton. (think Pinkerton Security) I’d watch him walking around the property (5 acre small farm) making sure no interlopers came into the feral colony. He was so funny. And had a slight permanent frown on his face. He took his job very seriously.”
  • TRIXIE is therapy dog that lives at an Alzheimer’s unit. The dog belongs to the administrator but prefers to spend all her time with one of the patients, Molly Williams (Teddy’s wife, for those who read LOST AND FOUND). The dog stays by Molly’s side when she “wanders” and disappears from the facility. The name TRIXIE received 805 votes and was suggested by KRISTI BRASHIER. She wrote: Trixie – a very dark red golden retriever diva dog. Her goal in life is to have everyone pet her and tell her she’s pretty. She’s also known as the neighborhood thief because she goes around retrieving things from the neighbors which we then have to throw back into their yards the next morning. (Perfect for a therapy dog who could tote things from one room to another in the Alzheimer’s unit if you need moments of comic relief)
  • ROCKY is a dog that Teddy Williams and his wife Molly had years ago, and is the reason why the therapy dog strikes such a chord with Molly. The name ROCKY received 623 votes and was suggested by PATRICIA.

Thanks to EVERYONE for making this a fun contest–and it was a stiff race right up to the end. We’ll do it again with the third book, okay? 🙂 Congratulations to the winners. I’ll be in touch shortly with any follow up that’s needed. I hope once the book is released you’ll share your starring role in helping name these furry characters!

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo writer links and videos, pet schtuff and bling and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Check out the fun videos including the great THRILLERFEST video at the bottom, too.  For new followers to the blog, welcome! and you can expect more cat and dog specific schtuff later in the week on Wednesday and Friday.

WRITER-ICITY SCHTUFF

 Author Beware: Blogging Books a vanity outfit based in German that is said to be worse than PublishAmerica! Oh, and here’s an update on 2 Moon Press

Copyright & Public Fair Use a great overview helps you decide can you use that image on Facebook? Your blog? Elsewhere? Thanks to Bobbi Florio Graham for the link

 Social Karma and paying it forward helps pay you today!

Using Lyrics in Books Hey, that’s why I write my own *vbg*

 Gene Lempp’s Weekly Writing Resources he does this every Saturday…BOOK MARK for great writerly schtuff!

BrianLowneyBookPET-CENTRIC SCHTUFF

Riverfront Cats Blog has something for cat lovers everywhere–highly recommended! And check out the Paw-some post from Christine Michaels on her purr-sonal blog, too (hint: pix from CWA conference and STRAYS).

Check out Brian Lowney’s book (above), from a pet journalist come stories you won’t want to miss!

Adopt-A-Pet.com Features Justin Bieber Pet Look-Alikes

Thanks to Romeo The Cat for pointing out this next video, LOL!

2012 Thrillerfest Debut Author Breakfast

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. 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, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, 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!

Vote for Name That Cat!

Alas

Image Copr. Florence Ivy/Flickr

Yes, the day has come. I am delighted at the outpouring of interest in naming cats who appear in HIDE AND SEEK, the sequel to my thriller LOST AND FOUND. There were 35 total suggestions for feline character names, me-WOW! I ended up choosing four or five of my favorites from your suggestions and then drawing the remainder out of a fish bowl. Two feline characters will be named based on your votes. (Check out Wednesday’s blog for the doggy poll picks!).

The winner’s names and why they chose their selection will also be included in the book, and winners will receive an advance copy of the book.

Just who ARE these kitty characters?

  • A sick cat that Shadow (the hero dog) tracks and saves after the kitty escapes from a car accident. The cat’s illness holds the key to the mystery plaguing area animals–and their people. What a legacy!
  • A mother barn cat befriended by a young girl whose cat-allergic mother won’t let her have a cat. When the cat’s “real” owner disappears, the little girl’s desperate need to rescue this “momma kitty” puts them in the bad guy’s path–will it be a happy ending for the pair?

Does your cat’s name embody the essence of these kitty characters? Love, devotion, fearlessness, stoic in the face of despair and smart as only a cat can be? Looks don’t matter, neither does breed or age or even sex–everyone knows that all cats are heroes at heart when they snuggle with us or bring smiles to our faces when we are at our lowest, so make your choice and follow your heart!

The poll below allows you to choose THREE (3) of your favorites. You can come back and vote again as many times as you’d like–and I hope you’ll encourage family and friends to champion your kitty cause and also vote.

DEADLINE FRIDAY NOVEMBER 15TH!

WINNERS ANNOUNCED MONDAY NOVEMBER 19th!

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. Don’t forget to vote for your NAME THAT DOG/CAT character choice in the forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND!

Vote for Name That Dog!

Stella

Image Copr. Yulia Schoeman

Yes, the day has come. I am delighted at the outpouring of interest in naming dogs who appear in the forthcoming dog viewpoint thriller HIDE AND SEEK, the sequel to LOST AND FOUND.

There were 15 total suggestions for canine character names–and I’ve included them all for you to choose. Two canine characters, both “hero dogs,” will be named based on your votes. (Watch for Friday for the kitty poll picks!).

The winner’s names and why they chose their selection will also be included in the book, and winners will receive an advance copy of the book.

Just who ARE these canine heroes?

  • A therapy dog that lives at an Alzheimer’s unit. The dog belongs to the administrator but prefers to spend all his/her time with one of the patients, Molly Williams (Teddy’s wife, for those who read LOST AND FOUND). The dog stays by Molly’s side when she “wanders” and disappears from the facility.
  • A dog that Teddy Williams and his wife Molly had years ago, and is the reason why the therapy dog strikes such a chord with Molly.

Does your dog’s name embody the essence of these doggy characters? Love, devotion, fearlessness, great heart? Looks don’t matter, neither does breed or age or even sex–everyone knows that all dogs have the heart and soul and devotion of heroes, so make your choice and follow your heart!

DEADLINE IS FRIDAY NOVEMBER 15th!

WINNERS ANNOUNCED MONDAY NOVEMBER 19th!

The poll below allows you to choose THREE (3) of your favorites. You can come back and vote again as many times as you’d like–and I hope you’ll encourage family and friends to champion your cause and also vote.

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, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Don’t forget to vote for your NAME THAT DOG/CAT character choice in the forthcoming HIDE AND SEEK!

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