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

Thanksgiving the Pet Writer Way: Giving Furry Thanks

by | Nov 22, 2017 | Appearance (Theater, Signing, Talks), Cat Behavior & Care, Dog Training & Care | 13 comments

It’s nearly Thanksgiving and I’m updating my annual blog. It’s time again to count my furry blessings. This year 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-nit and loving. And I’m thankful all remain (relatively) healthy.

thanksgiving for pets

THANKSGIVING, FOR HEALTH & COMPASSION

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 compassion of caregivers, strangers, family and friends who lift us up when we fall into wells of pain or despair. I’m thankful that my 6-day hospital stay last month offered hope, if not complete resolution–it could have been so much worse! I’m thankful for the animal welfare volunteers who do the work of the angels when others somehow let pets down.

THANKSGIVING, THE PET WRITER WAY

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, community theaters, bloggers and email lists that share these important resources (including my books) to benefit cats and dogs and the people who love them. I’m thankful for pet products companies that care most about the pets and pet parents. 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.

seren

Image Copr. Amy Shojai, CABC

THANKSGIVING, THE PET PARENT WAY

I’m thankful that I found a dumped kitten 22 years ago and brought her into my home and heart. I’m thankful that Seren-Kitty still has c’attitude, and rules the house like the queen she is.

I’m thankful she’s given up playing “gravity experiments” with my fine breakables, and has decided my lap is a very-good-cat-place. I’m also thankful that she finally accepted the Magical-Dawg and allowed him within sniffing range in the past few years! And I’m thankful she’s sorta-kinda-in-a-way accepted Karma-Kat, although he continues to press her furry buttons.

Karma-Seren

Today, Seren asks for head-lick grooming sessions from Karma! Wow! Image Copr. Amy Shojai, CABC

I’m thankful that Karma-Kat dodged coyotes, cars, and who-knows-what to find our patio the last day of February 2013. I’m thankful that Magical-Dawg heard his meow-SOS, and that the little dumped kitten trusted me enough to come when I meowed back. I’m thankful that nobody claimed Karma—although shame on whoever dumped him!—and that he and Magic became best buddies. I’m thankful that Karma has turned back the age-clock for Seren, and she’s acting more youthful and spry than ever.

Magic-Karma

One week after they met . . . .    Image Copr. Amy Shojai, CABC

THANKSGIVING, THE BITTERSWEET MEMORY WAY

I’m thankful for responsible breeders who ensure purebred dogs like Magic and pedigreed cats have a healthy paw-start in life. I’m thankful that Magical-Dawg shared his love with us for 11 years–although the time was not long enough.

I’m thankful for the memory of water hose tag and tennis balls, stolen socks and stuffed teddy bears, Frisbee-Fetch and Karma-Kat playing chase with Magic. I’m thankful my roughneck dawg had only a few weeks of frustrating mobility issues, and that he didn’t feel pain at the end. And I’m thankful his joyful attitude through everything, his intelligence, his love inspired the “Shadow” character in my thrillers–where he’ll live on in fun exciting adventures–even as I miss him forever. And I’m thankful Magic finally had a cat-friend his last years willing to allow butt-sniffs. Ahem.

THANKSGIVING, THE HEY-HONEY WAY

I’m thankful that although he never grew up with pets, my hey-honey loves Seren-Kitty, Karma-Kat and mourns Magical-Dawg as much as I do. I’m even more thankful they adore my husband back (that could get awkward!). He’s already making plans for when we welcome our next furry wonder into our home.

THANKSGIVING, THE FRIENDSHIP WAY

I’m thankful for my church family—pet lovers or not—who also support my furry notions. I’m thankful for the gift of music I get to share with colleagues who have become wonderful friends.

I’m thankful for students eager to learn, teachers inspiring the next generation, and being a part of sharing my experience to help young Thespians in their next-step-dreams at the Texas Thespian Festival. I’m especially thankful for my partner-in-play-writing-crime who helped make our theatrical dreams come true with musicals like STRAYS (trailer below) and the forthcoming auditions and production of STARZ, THE MUSICAL.

THANKSGIVING, THE AUTHOR WAY

Finally, I’m thankful to you—yes, those who read this blog, or the nonfiction dog books and the cat books, the folks who have “adopted” my dog-viewpoint fiction, and all those who offer awesome applause and support any of the other venues mentioned.

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.

Now it’s YOUR turn. What are YOU thankful for this year? Please share!

YouTube Button

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, 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!

13 Comments

  1. Patricia Sands

    And we are thankful for you, Amy, and all the goodness you share! Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. M. K. Clinton

    We truly have so much to be thankful for this year. Thanks for sharing yours. ♥ Have a great Thanksgiving.

  3. Brenda

    I’m thankful for lots of things too! Deeply appreciate your blog & your timely reminder about pet health — lumps & bumps — that saved Oscar’s life! Very thankful for our furry darlings & a husband who loves them and other wonderful people.

    • Amy Shojai

      Me too, Brenda. Makes me soooo happy that Oscar was helped. 🙂

  4. Ryan

    That’s a great list! My list is similar in a lot of ways. I’m thankful for all my pets and that no matter what happens in my weird life, I find a way to always bring them with me.

    • Amy Shojai

      Thanks for visiting and commenting, Ryan. My pets are the constant in my life, too. *s*

  5. Patricia

    I loved this blog Amy. I’m thankful for so many things, many, many of which you mentioned. I am thankful that God saved my soul and that he has entrusted me with my 5 fur babies to give them their best life possible as if they were my own children. Amy, THANK YOU for all you do. You are an inspiration to me and I’m thankful you always give freely of your time for advice and questions. You are an amazing writer and I’ve loved every book you have written and looking forward to the next one. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I always look so forward to seeing pics of S

  6. Patricia

    I don’t know what happened to my above post but I did not send it but it went anyway. Anyhow, I always look forward to hearing about and seeing pics of Seren, Magic and Karma. Please enjoy your Thanksgiving tomorrow with your husband and fur babies.

    • Amy Shojai

      Patricia, the foibles of WordPress strikes again, LOL! Thank you my friend, and may your holiday bless you and all those you love (pets the the fur-kids!).

Categories:

Recent Posts

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.

Submissive Wetting and Why Dogs Pee When You Come Home

Does your dog whine, wiggle, and pee when you return home after a long day? Or does your dog pee when you pet him? Ever wonder why dogs pee when you come home?

Dogs pee when excited, and puppies pee when scared. It also can be a sign of deference, especially in puppies, and this normal display happens when the dog declares you as the “boss.” Of course, you don’t want your dog to be scared. We want our dogs to offer deference to us, but the wet floor ratchets up YOUR stress levels, too. After all, the dog is house trained and knows better, and you’ve shamed him so he understands wetting isn’t acceptable.

What’s a caring pet parent to do?

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

Privacy Preference Center