Please note that some posts contains affiliate links & I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links Find out More

Happy  Thanksgiving! It’s time once again to count my furry blessings. I don’t do that often enough.

I’m thankful to be home with my family—furry and human—rather than on the bumpy road and bumpier plane. I’m thankful my human family, though miles away, remain close-knit and loving. And I’m thankful all remain healthy.

I’m thankful for veterinarians who make life better for the pets we adore. I’m thankful for researchers who work to find diagnoses, treatments, and cures for our ailments, both for pets and for people. I’m thankful for the animal welfare volunteers who do the work of the angels when others somehow let pets down.

I’m thankful that I have the best job in the world, sharing information about the cats and dogs that have become so important to our emotional and physical health. I’m thankful for publishers, editors, magazines, newspapers, TV and radio shows, websites, bloggers and email lists that share these important resources to benefit cats and dogs and the people who love them. And I’m thankful to writing organizations, teachers, agents and all those who promote the craft of good communication and help others pursue this rewarding craft.

17 days old GSD puppy "Magic"

My, how Magic has changed…here at 17 days old.

I’m thankful for responsible breeders who ensure purebred dogs and pedigreed cats have a healthy paw-start in life. I’m thankful that Magical-dawg at age six has become a bit…just a bit…less driven. I’m thankful for water hoses, and tennis balls, stuffed teddy bears and Frisbees that wear Magic out without exhausting me at the same time. I’m thankful my roughneck dawg recovered from his mystery medical issue this year. I’m thankful Magic is smart, funny, a comedian, and a wonder to train—and doesn’t argue but has accepted that the cat is the boss of him. And I’m thankful that these furry muses inspire me daily with their presence.

I’m thankful that although he never grew up with pets, my husband loves Seren-kitty and Magic-dawg as much as I do. I’m even more thankful they adore him back (that could get awkward!).

I’m thankful for my church family—pet lovers or not—who also support my furry notions. I’m particularly thankful to the Cuchara Gang (you know who you are) who lift me up with friendship and love. I’m thankful for the gift of music I get to share with colleague musicians who have become wonderful friends, and especially thankful for my partner-in-play-writing-crime who helped make our theatrical dreams come true this past year when life threw us some Kurves.

Finally, I’m thankful to you—yes, those who read this blog, the folks who have “adopted” my new thriller, those who offered awesome applause and support me in so many  ways.

Without you, I would not have a career, and my life’s passion would remain unfulfilled.

Without you, your pets wouldn’t have the wonderful love and care you provide.

Without you, there wouldn’t be any reason for this heartfelt—THANK 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. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!

19 Comments

  1. lynettemburrows

    Great gratitude list, Amy. I’m with you, thankful for family, friends, my pets, and so much more. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • amyshojai

      Hi Lynette, Enjoy your Thanksgiving–I appreciate you visiting and commenting on this day of all days! Now…back to the cooking. 🙂

  2. Marcy Kennedy

    This is a beautiful list of things you’re thankful for. I’m thankful my husband and I made our 12-hour drive safely. I’m also thankful for the kitten we recently found and that our vet could fix him up.

    • amyshojai

      Ohhh Marcy, a 12 hour drive–been there, done that for holidays. But it is SOOO worth it! And I’m delighted to learn your new foundling kitten received successful vet care. Scritches to the kitty–I’m sure he’s thankful you found him, too!

  3. Patricia Hubbard

    We all have so much to be THANKFUL for. Even though I have no biological kids, I do have my 3 furry cat kids that continue to bring me so much joy and happiness. I’m thankful for you Amy because you are always there for us pet lovers who need advice, a question answered, etc. Thank you for sharing your life, travels, books, advice, etc. with us – we are so lucky to have you.

    • amyshojai

      Awww…Patricia, I don’t have two-legged kids, either so the furry wonders bring much joy. Thanks for commenting on today’s blog.

  4. Cat Holm

    thank you, Amy. I can echo lots of what you’ve said. So thankful for healthy kitties and our healthy dog; thankful for my own health, and thankful for an interesting life!

  5. wendycats

    And I, Amy, am thankful for YOU. Thanks for being your magnificent self, for being part of my world, and for sharing your many, many gifts so selflessly, as you always do.

  6. patriciasands

    And thanks rightbackatcha, Amy, for the support and friendship you offer. I started reading your book this afternoon … had to put it down for the turkey … but I’m into it. Gooood!

  7. catchatcaren

    loved the list of all that you are thankful for….we are BEYOND thankful to have gotten to know you better…it has been one of the highlights of our year!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. amyshojai

    What wonderful notes to read this day-after-Thanksgiving! I’m so glad to have gotten to know all of you–some more recently and others for many years (~~Wendy!). Have a wonderful day!

    • Franny Syufy

      I’m also thankful for you, Amy, for sharing your incredible knowledge with my readers, and your friendship with me. I’m thankful for all our fellow CWA members, for my own readers and friends. And I’m so heartfelt thankful for all the unforgettable cats and dogs who have shared my home and my heart with their unconditional love. Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

      • amyshojai

        Franny! {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}} Happy Thanksgiving weekend to you, too, my friend.

  9. animalartist

    Amy, once we start listing everything out, it’s amazing when we realize the list could go on forever. Glad you have so much to be thankful for.

    • amyshojai

      Bernadette, you’re so right. It was hard to stop the list. *s*

  10. Brenda

    We have much to be thankful for too — including our dear Oscar and your blog. My Thanksgiving list is long too!

Categories:

Recent Posts

Chiropractic Care & Back Problems: Home Treatment Tips

Chiropractic care…do you use it? In the past I’ve had back issues and got relief after visiting my chiropractor. Chiropractic care works as well in pets as in people, too. In fact, many people with performance dogs regularly schedule chiropractic treatments for their canine athletes..

Cat chiropractic care may not happen as often. After all, felines practice their own form of yoga to stay limber. They’re also much lighter weight than many dogs, and perhaps that puts less strain on their bodies. Read on for some home care techniques that can help your pets.

Love Thrillers? Reminder about Emily Kimelman & Sydney Rye Series

👀 I spy a steal…I’m head-down in the plotting/writing of my next SEPTEMBER & SHADOW THRILLER #7! Lots of “schtuff” keeps sidetracking me from finishing DARE OR DIE, but hope to get the next story into your hands this spring. Meanwhile, here’s a reminder I’ve lined up some more great books for your reading pleasure. If you love crime and thriller stories with dogs (hey, you’re reading mine, right?) check out Emily Kimelman’s gritty Sydney Rye Mysteries, too. Oh my doG, tail-waging grrrreat fun.

The tagline of the series gets me every time: Sydney Rye and her dog exact justice with a vengeance. The dog doesn’t die, but the bad guys do.

I get that question a lot about my September & Shadow thriller series, too. So I borrowed (stole?!) the line from Emily and include it whenever folks ask. I also loved what she says about the dog “aging out” in the book…that it’s FICTION so the dog can live forever! (Heck, I just may steal that, too…don’t hate me, Emily!). Read on for a great deal on her books!

How to Leash Train Cats

Why would you want to leash train cats and confine kitties from stalking and pouncing? Isn’t that mean? Actually, it’s not cruel, but without proper introduction, it can be a wee bit scary. In my Complete Kitten Care book, I call this LIBERATION TRAINING. Teaching your new cat to walk on a leash is a safety issue, but also means they get to venture beyond the confines of your house and into the yard and beyond.

This week during a cat consult, a pet parent asked about training her cat to walk on a leash. It’s always a good time to revisit the notion. An adult cat won’t automatically understand the concept, though, so this blog not only explains the benefits of leash training to YOU, it also helps you purr-suade your cats to get a new leash on life. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Dog Choking & Cat Choking: First Aid & Pet Heimlich Help

Have your pets ever choked on something they chew? Shadow-Pup loves to chew up inedible objects, no matter how much we supervise. Learn how to administer the pet Heimlich to save a life!

When Karma-Kat came to live with us, that put lots of cat toys within Magical-Dawg’s reach. Seren had never been too keen on such things and she was already nine years old when Magic came as a puppy. He loved to swipe Seren’s “sparkle-balls” and ended up with sparkly poop. Once Karma’s toys added to the kitty quotient, the big ol’ dog had a field day seeing how many cat toys he could stuff into his jaws.

Bravo played with rocks. And the new puppy Shadow loves to chew sticks. He’s already got one caught in the roof of his mouth. That’s the perfect opportunity for choking, and a need for the pet Heimlich. I hope that we’ll never need it, though. In case you do, read on!

Do Readers Care Why I Write

Do readers care why writers write? One time at a writer conference, that question was asked and an overwhelming response was, “I write because I HAVE to write, it’s  compulsion, I must write…” And an agent on the panel responded, “They have medication for that now.”

Ba-da-boom. *rimshot*

My audience doesn’t read. Well, unless you count dogs and cats chewing up or (ahem) “being creative” on paper. And of course, cats “read” by sitting on top of the words and absorbing the text through their furry nether regions.

Yvonne DiVita tagged me years ago in the “Why I Write” blog hop. I know Yvonne through the terrific BlogPaws.com organization she co-founded, but today you’ll find Yvonne at NurturingBigIdeas. As I updated several out-of-date blog posts, I found this one as true today as when first written more than a decade ago. I talk more about my writer’s journey at my website, but here’s the crib notes. *s*

Why Dogs Bark & How to Stop A Dog from Barking

Do you know how to stop dog barking? “Will you please, for the love of doG, stop barking!” When Shadow-Pup joined our family, he and Bravo-Dawg egged each other on. Now that he’s the only dog, he and the cat tease each other and prompt bark-fest and meow-athons.

We love our dogs, but when noisy dogs get revved up, dog barking can drive us nuts. Shadow has a “demand attention” barking problem that shatters glass. He also loves barking at squirrels and tells on Karma-Kat when the cat gets on a counter, and at us when we can’t read his mind.

So what’s the answer–how to stop a dog from barking? The key to stop barking includes understanding why dogs bark.

Scaredy Cat? Teaching Shrinking Violet Shy Cats

Do you have a scaredy cat? Working with fearful and scared cats can be a challenge. Does Sheba hiss at strangers? Does Tom dive under the bed when the doorbell rings? Do your kitties attack other pets (or humans)? What can you do to stop bad behavior if even a mild correction sends the cat into fearful meltdown? Alexa posted her Ask Amy question to my Facebook page, and the answer is in today’s video.

Helping Shy & Scaredy Cats

We often feel that our fur-kids must have been abused and feel bad to make THEM feel bad. But they still need to know limits. One of my favorite ways to train is using positive rewards. Instead of waiting for kitty to scratch the wrong object and then interrupting the behavior–why not REWARD her when she scratches the RIGHT object?

Using kitty clicker training can also build confidence in shy cats by teaching them what happens is in their paws. Here are more tips for dealing with scared cats.

Cat Neatness Freaks: How & Why Cats Groom

Does your cat groom nonstop? We cherish the cat’s fastidious nature but did you ever wonder why cats groom? Neatnik behavior goes beyond looking good. Did you know in this hot weather, cats also groom to stay cool and prevent heatstroke? 

How and why cats groom impacts physical, emotional, and social health. My Karma-Kat even tries to groom his best friend, Bravo-Dawg. The instinct starts during kittenhood and lasts a lifetime. Of course, some cats get dingy when cats don’t groom, and there are reasons for that as well.

Grooming is a barometer of kitty health. Cats that feel bad often stop grooming, or lick and pull fur out due to stress or pain. Consider an unthrifty appearance or “barbering” themselves bald a kitty cry for vet care. Cats often need help in the grooming department—especially longhair beauties. Here are 5 common reasons why cats groom.

Please Fence Me In: Creating Good Neighbors & Keeping Dogs Safe

Do you have a dog fence? Magical-Dawg used to take off after “critters” every so often, racing around the 13-acre spread (or beyond). We eventually trained him to stay with us, even when off-leash. It would have devastated me if Magic disappeared. He was microchipped, but folks would need to catch him first.

Bravo was a very different dog. He was so good off-leash during most morning rambles and didn’t want to go too far away from us. He’d chase and play with his “big-ball” in the field, and baptize every tree and grass tussock. And once he lost his leg, he couldn’t get out the back fenced area even if he’d wanted to.

 Shadow-Pup, though, takes after Magical-Dawg. He’s so small, not even the fenced back area keeps him contained. He also likes to dig, so we needed to address possible escapes. Refer to this post for more help with digging dogs. Until recently, we had to keep him on a leash anytime we went outside, and that’s no fun for him–or for us. A fence is a dog’s best friend!

Dog Training & Cat Training: How to Clicker Train Pets

People often ask when to start puppy training, and training a kitten or cat training is no different. Pets can learn at any age. January is “Train Your Dog Month” so it’s a great time to revisit clicker training. Clicker training pets offers a great way to teach pets to learn, think, and please you. Pets—and people—will repeat behaviors that reward them and naturally avoid behaviors that offer no benefit. Owners don’t have to be master dog trainers to use this technique, and dogs and cats learn quickly how to behave. You can even trick train cats! Read on to learn how.

Visit Amy's Website

Amy Shojai CACB is an award winning author.  You can find all her publications and book her to speak via her website. 

On Demand Writer Coaching

AmyShojai.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com http://amazon.com/.

Awards

Memberships