Woof Wednesday: Old Fogey Dog Webinar, Ask Amy & Dogs Rolling Over

Those who regularly read my blog know about all the cute puppy pictures and content (SQUEEEE!) I’ve been creating. Our old fogey dogs are just as–or even more–deserving of our love and attention.

I’m thrilled to offer the fine folks at the Danish-Swedish Farm Dog USA organization a live Webinar next Monday June 20, based on my best-selling updated Complete Care for Your Aging Dog book. The presentation–with Q&A and some fun pictures from the powerpoint–has pending CCPDT accreditation. And a portion of the registration goes to fund dog-specific causes (your choice). Feel free to spread the furry word– and I  hope to “see” some of y’all there.

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That puppy in the picture from last weekend’s local adoption event wanted to just chill on my lap, sleeping on his back, all afternoon. What a sweetie. When we first got Magic, he was NOT inclined to “roll over.”

Rolling onto the back and baring the tummy places a dog into a vulnerable position and not all feel comfortable doing this. As Magical-Dawg has matured, he’s much more willing to volunteer this behavior–and I’m flattered. It actually can be a sign of great trust, although many folks assumes this posture always means submission.

And no, of course I never “forced” Magic onto his back. Okay, guess I need to also mention “alpha roll” where the owner forces a dog onto his back to establish dominance. Probably a better name for it would be the “stupid roll” because it does nothing to foster submission and actually can get owners bit.

The premise comes from thinking that wolves make other wolves roll over to prove who is in charge. Uh…nope. Wolves roll over on their own to indicate deference, they aren’t “forced” to do this by a bigger wolf. And of course, dogs aren’t wolves. Dogs will show deference and respect to more potent, powerful and in charge individuals (whether that’s another dog, a cat or human). And sometimes the most powerful doggy in the group rolls over to show a less confident canine he means no threat, as an invitation to play or build confidence.

The fellow asking the question in the Ask Amy video was not happy about his newly adopted dog’s inclination to roll over. I suspect he wanted his dog to be “macho” and “dominant” and wasn’t clear on exactly what his dog was telling him–or what the dog “heard” his new owner saying.

Do your dogs enjoy tummy rubs? Does your dog flip on his back at the drop of a “hello?” When does he show his tummy–do you ask, or does he simply volunteer and request your attention?

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

Thoughty Thursday: Playing Catch-Up…NOT!

It’s been a week from hell, frankly, and an emotional roller coaster for any number of reasons. Have you ever had a week where you could see NO progress made at all? As my dad would say,

Quelle frustration!

Most of the angst has to do with the death of my laptop, purchase of a new one, set up of the latter and rescue/recreation of files from the former. Today–finally–I’m back at square one and ready to forge ahead. I ended up losing (permanently) some dog/cat images and videos, but managed to find a backup of all the Ebook docs, yay!

And yes, next Tuesday Tips Kindle-ization Journey will return. I again purchased the video editing software (locked up on the DOA laptop) and should have the next Ask Amy video posted tomorrow.

When I look back, quite a lot did get done. I now have a better furry handle on content/topics needed with an updated to-do list. After months of hard work with my co-author, the orchestration, printing of music and script, and first read-thru with the cast last Tuesday night was both scary and exciting. And yesterday’s acting gig in Ft Worth added another credit to the resume. Now that the “must do” stuff on the acting side of things have been done, I can turn attention back to the “gotta-write” stuff.

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I always feel like I play catch-up. Why is that? This week I failed to create my to-do list, and that leaves me feeling adrift without a map. My feelings of accomplishment seem inexorably tied to highlighting and crossing off little boxes on my calendar or notepad. And yes, it’s got to be pen-and-paper…physical list. Generating “to-do” lists on a computer isn’t the same.

Why is that? Do you feel like you lag behind the curve? Where’s that feeling of FINISHED!!! that’s so satisfying? I find that being my own boss and having no set work hours keeps me at the keyboard longer hours with always something–one more thing–left to address before I can shut down the work of the day. Is that common to our modern world or is it just me–or other self-employed folks? How do you get past the frustration?

Each time I start a book, I feel the overwhelming excitement closely followed by horrible realization that NOW I GOTTA WRITE THE @#$%^! THING! The only way to manage the angst is break it into manageable bites. That’s what my to-do lists offer. Losing the laptop threw me off my schedule and derailed that list, and so I flail and fail and feel fruitless (say that fast five times!).

But I can fix this. Chocolate helps. And a very specific to-do list. With lots of bright highlighters, so it looks like  a peacock spit up on the paper. Ahhhhhh….that’s MUCH better!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

Woof Wednesday: DISASTER! Plan Ahead

I’m tired of the wind and weather—how about you? I’ve written about disaster prep way too often recently but now again with fires in Western states, hurricane season upon us, and tornadoes whirling through my neighborhood, it bears repeating.  When Mother Nature throws a tantrum, you have no time to waste. Keeping your human and furry family safe can prove daunting unless you’ve made advanced preparations.

Watch weather reports. When weather turns ify, bring all pets into the house so that you won’t have to search for them. Make sure all dogs and cats are wearing collars and up-to-date identification. If you have nothing else handy, use a felt-tip marker and write your phone number and name on the pet’s tummy.

Designate a “safe room” in the house to confine pets until the all clear. Many homes in North Texas don’t have basements or storm cellars. An internal room without windows, often a bathroom without windows, can be a good option. At my house, Seren gets stuffed into her cat carrier and placed inside the pantry situated under the stairs. It’s big enough that the humans and Magical Dawg can fit inside, too.

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If you must evacuate, take your pets along. It may be days before authorities allow you to return home. If you’ve got to evacuate, find a hotel, friend, or other accommodations in advance that will let you bring your dogs and cats.

Attach the phone number and address of your temporary shelter, if you know it, to the pet’s collar tags. You can buy temporary tags or put adhesive tape on the back of your pet’s ID tag, adding information with an indelible pen. Write directly on a flat nylon collar or halter to make it easy for a stranger to read the information.

In addition to providing for human family members, have a “pet kit” ready to take along that contains a three-day supply of all the pet essentials. If easily packed, take an extra towel or blanket for each pet. Don’t forget sturdy leashes, harnesses, carriers or X-pens for safe confinement.

Most facilities will require your cats and dogs to be under your control, and may also require proof of current vaccination. Include a favorite comfort toy or treat, the pet’s food and can opener if needed, and don’t forget water—one quart per cat-size pet per day (more for big dogs) is a good rule of paw. One of the pheromone spray products such as Comfort Zone/DAP for dogs or Feliway for cats can help relieve the stress of being in a strange environment.

Have plenty of plastic bags and newspapers as well as containers and cleaning supplies to help deal with pet waste. Puppy training pads or Depends undergarments work well.

Prepare for the unthinkable, too. Include current photos of your pets in case they get lost, and bring a first-aid kit to care for possible injuries. Include disposable latex gloves, sterile dressings, antibiotic towelettes and ointment, eyewash, thermometer, and any prescription medications your pets need. You can find more specifics in “The First-Aid Companion For Dogs & Cats.”

Your evacuation kit should also include a cell phone, flashlight, extra batteries, battery powered radio, map of area, whistle/air horn to signal for help, and matches in a waterproof container. Keep a list of emergency numbers with your phone, including a pet emergency clinic number and shelters that may temporarily house animals. Keep your car tank filled with at least half a tank at all times.

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides information and relief for human victims of disaster, and also offers more information about pet disaster planning.  Petfinder.com also offers great disaster preparation information for pet owners.

Have you ever had to ride out a storm with your pets? How did you manage the situation? Did you evacuate and take the fur-kids with you, or were you forced to leave them behind? That would just about kill me…I’d likely risk my life and stay with them, if it came down to it. Be ready for Mother Nature’s “what if” surprises now and prepare for the worst. Then pray that you and your pets will never need this information.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

Feline Friday: Ask Amy, Cute Kittens & That BITES!

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It’s Adopt-A-Cat Month! Are you in the market for a new kitten? There’s sure a bumper crop this year. In fact, my friend and colleague Lynette George hosts a kitten adoption event tomorrow at Sherman Petco, starting at 10 am. I plan to visit for some SQUEEEEE! kitten photo ops, and hope to see you there. Likely my Seren-kitty will make me sign in blood that I won’t bring home an “interloper” but the Magical-Dawg would welcome a new furry friend.

(WARNING: blatant self promo…) You can find all must knows on adopting and raising kittens in the award-winning book, Complete Kitten Care, updated and available in all Ebook and print formats. Or if an older furry friend strikes your fancy (gosh, I hope so!) discover the rewards and special issues of these golden oldies in Complete Care for Your Aging Cat, also updated and in all Ebook and print formats.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be a special month for y’all to adopt a cat. Shelters and rescue organizations do the work of the angels every day, all year long, and some go the extra mile.

CWA colleague Mary Anne Miller routinely takes in furry waifs and finds them homes, but the expense both in $$ and emotional trauma can be an issue when not all have happy endings. She’d taken in 10 needy cats from a colony, and despite above-and-beyond medical effort, most died. *sigh* To recoup the expenses so other cats can be helped, Mary Anne hosts a one-week-long fund raising auction of donated items (BLING ALERT!) so visit and if you’re of a mind, support with a bid.

Should you adopt a kitten, try to adopt an older baby–one 12 weeks old or more so s/he’s already been taught how to inhibit claws and teeth. Or adopt a pair, so they can use each other as kitten punching bags! Otherwise, you’ll run into problems like the owner in the Ask Amy question!

Did you plan your kitten/cat adoption? or did your cat find you? Seren showed up on the back porch of a friend. Have your “free” found pets cost you more than expected (like Mary Ann?). But weren’t they worth it! Please share.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

Thoughty Thursday: Procrastination, Backups & Thpbpbpbpb

I missed posting Tuesday Tips, the next in the Kindle-ization series, and I’m HISSED OFF! You see, I have most all of that series done, and ready to go. They’re all on my laptop.

The laptop that DIED this week. Thpbpbpbpbpbpb! (that’s a virtual raspberry)

Actually, we suspect the battery ran dry–and it won’t run on just the plug. I’ve ordered a new battery, and hope for the best–but prepare for the worst.  I guess the old laptop served well–letters on the keyboard had worn off and a couple of books were written on it including all the updates to the newly Kindle-ized titles. Come to think of it, that’s where I kept the final versions of the updated manuscripts.

THPBPBPBPBPB!!!

I’m the person who always arrives early for meetings and circles the block until it’s not embarrassing to show up. With few exceptions, I meet or beat deadlines. And I angst and grow gray hairs and sprout crow’s feet lines when I can’t cross off each item as finished.  These days, though, with 5-10 blogs a week plus two weekly columns and the puppies.About.com stuff–oh, and a co-written musical play to produce, fiction WIP, acting gigs– keeping all the eggs in the air without scrambling them on impact takes a toll.

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So my blog schedule and backing up files fell to the bottom of the to-do list. Often I can get a few done early on weekends, but–well, over Memorial Day I actually shut off work and played with the Magical-Dawg and Seren-kitty! So I planned to post Tuesday’s blog on Tuesday morning (instead of days or at least the night before). Fortunately I had edited and uploaded the Ask Amy youtube videos for this week so yesterday’s Woof Wednesday and tomorrow’s Feline Friday are ready.

Just a week or so ago, one of my colleagues lamented the crash of her entire computer and loss of files. That was a wake-up call. I nearly subscribed to an online backup service but was instead convinced by my tech-guy husband to use thumb drives. So nearly all of the work on the !@#$%^&! laptop had been saved just a few days ago–but not the Ebooks and not the blog notes and content.

”Strawberries

I can re-created it but at the moment the pity-party-whine-fest is much more satisfying. Oh, I quick-like-a-bunny bought a new laptop with higher speed, larger storage, and updated software.  And I’ll get a few more of those thumb-drives and put it on my schedule for backups with more religious fervor.

How do you procrastinate? Has it ever bitten you in the ass-ets? What are your top reasons to THPBPBPB? Don’t be shy–vent away. And bookmark this blog to remind you what crappiocca can happen to derail even A-type go-go-go plan-ahead people like you and me!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!