I didn't start out to be a writer, so how the @#$%^&*! did I end up here? I just heard from the Cat Writers' Association that my fiction book HIT AND RUN just won a Certificate of Excellence Award, with consideration for a Muse Medallion. I always wanted to write...
You. Are. Enough! How to Handle Rejection
I'm feeling philosophical today, after a disappointing experience a few weeks ago. Doesn't matter what that might be (plenty disappointments come along, that's life). But I also feel guilty for feeling bad--cuz I'm way more fortunate than many. So I'm revisiting how...
Mamma Mia…Take A Chance cuz Here We Go Again!
I am over-the-moon delighted to once again perform with Sherman Community Players in the family-friendly musical MAMMA MIA. The stellar cast has all the dance moves, party songs you know from ABBA, and funny-poignant-laugh-out-loud moments we've ALL yearned for this...
2021 New Year Goals–from the Pets
Each year, rather than making New Year resolutions, I plan for goals—and hope that the journey along the way proves equally rewarding. Rather than say, “lose weight” I instead want to strive for good health. All plans for 2020 sort of went out the window, though—but...
Merry Christmas Wishes!
MERRY CHRISTMAS This Merry Christmas video was made in 2014 and is bittersweet since we no longer have Magical-Dawg and Seren-Kitty with us. But the sentiment remains -- May your dreams come true, your troubles be few, and all your Christmases be bright!...
Cat Writers Virtual Awards Banquet Free To Attend: From Glammies to Jammies
This year, the COVID-19 virus derailed all of my writers' conference plans including the Cat Writers Association Awards. So far, I've had to cancel attending and/or speaking at Sisters In Crime meeting, a library talk (I love libraries!), the OWFI conference,...
Auditions for STRAYS the Musical January 12 & 13, 2020
Those who regularly read this blog know that I not only write about pets but also give talks about pet behavior. You may be surprised to learn that sometimes I write music about pet behavior, too and even SING about cats and dogs. Bravo-Dawg howls and Karma-Kat...
Do Pets Go to Heaven? Blessings, Fellowship, Pet Talk & Books!
Sunday, October 4 is the Feast Day of Saint Francis of Assisi, an Italian Catholic friar who loved animals and believed they were God’s beloved creatures. He rejoiced in the value and beauty that animals bring to God’s creation. He was even known to preach sermons to...
Radio Daze: A Family Friendly Original Musical Comedy
I am excited to announce the premiere performance of a brand-new original musical comedy. RADIO DAZE is a family friendly show sure to tickle those who love the Big Band era. Brought to you by SHOJAI & STEELE PLAYS, Frank Steele and I are thrilled to showcase our...
10 Stages of Puppy Development: Birth to Two Years
Puppy development is fascinating, and one of the most popular dog topics. Every time we get a new puppy, I learn new things about new puppy development. Did you know that the adult incisors (next to the canines) erupt at age 16 weeks? That’s a way to help age your new baby dog.
Along the way, puppies tend to get into all kinds of things–we laugh, but then we might cry if they hurt themselves. On May 31st we celebrate Shadow-Pup’s gotcha day–he arrived in 2020 when we needed him most.
Did you ever wonder about the stages of puppy development? Some of this has to do with the dog breed, but all newborn puppies (whatever the breed) look surprisingly similar. They also develop along the same period of time. Look no further, I’ve got you covered! Oh, and enjoy the SQUEEE! cute puppy pictures, too!
Memorial Day & Honoring Military Dogs for National K9 Veteran’s Day
Memorial Day honors the American men and women who have lost their lives while serving in the military. It originally honored those who died in the Civil War, and now honors those who died in any war. It is also known as Decoration Day. This holiday differs from Veterans’ Day which honors all those who served in the military.
There is no Memorial Day for the brave military K9s who served and lost their lives, often heroically saving their human partners. I can’t imagine the bond that must exist between the soldier and his or her war dog—they share things and stand against danger to protect the rest of us against horrors we don’t want to think about. And because of them, we don’t have to worry about such things. Thank you.
I’m eternally grateful to those who sacrifice for our freedom. Losing a beloved animal companion anytime cuts deep. It must be horrific to lose a comrade-in-arms, including those with four feet and fur.
And since I focus on pet issues, I want to shine a light on the dogs of the military. There is a National K9s Veteran’s Day on March 13, too. But here’s an excerpt from my book DOG LIFE to shine a light on military dogs through the ages.
Keeping Hot Dogs & Cats Cool: Hot Weather Pet Safety
Hot weather pet safety around here is a matter of life and death for cats and dogs. I live in N. Texas where it’s not unusual for weather to have everyone hot under the collar. Just imagine how pets feel with a fur coat. Older dogs have more sense and aren’t as prone to overdo. But our rescue pup Shadow acts clueless, and we have to physically confine him or he’d never stop playing even in 100-degree weather.
Cats and dogs risk sunburn, pad burns, and life-threatening heatstroke without proper precautions. Never leave your pet unattended in a hot car. These tips can help you prevent problems, or even save your pet’s life.
P’ETiQuette Column Farewell–and Hello to New Readers!
For 30 years, the Herald Democrat editors and readers have been part of my extended family. I only rarely missed a deadline, those times of illness or holidays. So, it surprised me to learn that the column hadn’t published in several weeks despite my having sent one each week for Tuesday publication.
Blame technology, and nothing else. But I owe y’all, my extended family, an explanation of why the column disappeared…
Pet Rescue Breathing & CPR Saves Cat & Dog Lives
May 19 is “Rescue Dog Day” and how better to celebrate than to learn about Pet Rescue Breathing and pet CPR? You can save your dog or cat’s life by knowing how to do pet CPR and how to perform rescue breathing. Pets suffer brain injury and death if oxygen is cut off for only a few minutes. When minutes count, rescue breathing can save your pet’s life.
Cat in Heat Behavior, What to Know About Feline Estrus
What to Know About Feline Estrus
Recently, a friend contacted me about her cat in heat. She wanted to know about a cat in heat behavior, how long are cats in heat, if cats in heat feel pain, and what to do to relieve the cat’s discomfort until spay surgery. Cats in heat signs include several distinctive behaviors common to feline estrus (the technical term). In fact, her newly adopted girl, although she looked too young, had already had kittens (they didn’t survive), and now loudly proclaimed Kitty’s determination to repeat the process.
I planned to refer my friend to one of my blogs—and instead realized I hadn’t specifically addressed cats in heat behavior, feline reproduction, and what to know about cat estrus. Yes, I write about this in my Complete Kitten Care and Cat Facts books in more detail, and now you get the kitty Cliff’s notes here.
CAT & DOG SHEDDING? 6 TIPS FOR WHEN THE FUR FLIES
Pets shed in both the spring and fall. Shadow-Pup leaves mini-drifts of fuzz I sweep up daily, all summer long. Karma-Kat’s URK-factor (hairballs) increases with pet shedding season. Yuck! The fur flies about the same time as allergy season begins. If you suffer from allergic reactions to your cat or dog, check out these pet allergy tips.
Dog Shedding Time!
Cat and dog shedding may be a big hairy deal—but it is normal. Magical-Dawg used to leave drifts of black fur everywhere. Although Shadow-Pup’s medium-coarse fur, and Karma-Kat’s short light fur isn’t nearly as noticeable, they also shed.
Year-round floating fur increases the challenge of keeping dry cleaned apparel in a Fido-free zone. You can’t stop pet shedding. Unless you’re a passionate pet lover who considers pet hair to be a condiment, understanding how to tame the hairy mess will keep your pet’s coat and skin healthy and simplify housecleaning…
How to Prepare for a Disaster: Pet Preparedness & Tips
With the latest awful weather and more on the way, it’s time to revisit your pet disaster plan. You do have one, right? Everyone should understand the importance of disaster preparation.
I posted this in June for National Pet Preparedness Month. September is Disaster Preparation Month. And today is National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day. Hurricane Ian drives home the importance of having a disaster plan not only for yourself when Mother Nature throws a tantrum but also to keep your pets safe. Whether you must deal with tornadoes, floods, landslides, typhoons, wildfires, or other emergencies, there’s a rule that we must always PLAN FOR THE WORST.
And then pray it doesn’t happen. Learn more in the post…
Fearful Fido? Know the Signs of Dog Fear, Anxiety, and Stress (FAS)
May 7-13 is Dog anxiety Awareness Week, and June is Pet Anxiety Awareness Month. Do you have a fearful Fido? Do you need help with the fireworks and loud thunderstorms happening this time of year that makes dogs scared? It seems silly, but some dogs feel stress when their human wears a hat! I wanted to share some resources for recognizing and understanding signs of canine fear, anxiety, and stress.
While it’s normal for dogs to be cautious and not run head on into traffic, too much stress and anxiety isn’t healthy. Fear, anxiety, and stress (FAS) also affect the immune system, impacting both physical and emotional health.
Up to 20 percent of dogs will be born prone to introversion and fear. Proper socialization improves puppy confidence, but abuse or poor socialization can result in anxiety-ridden adults. Pain or illness also can cause anxiety so these dogs associate certain kinds of handling with discomfort. Ongoing anxiety, stress or fear may lead to fear aggression.
Extreme fear interferes with learning, making it even more difficult to help dogs overcome the angst. Fearful dogs quickly recognize that escape behaviors or fear aggression makes the scary situation go away, so they learn to repeat these behaviors…
Author Audio Books: How to Self Publish Audio Books
Do you love audio books — and thrillers? Yep, I also self publish audio books, including my nonfiction and my thrillers. And since my latest thriller DARE OR DIE released yesterday on all Ebook platforms, plus paperback and hardcover, I’m now planning the audiobook version.
And, that’s MY voice reading the story. How (and why) am I the one reading the book? And for authors out there, how can you do it? What mic do you need, what software…and if you want to hire someone, where do you find the perfect person to “voice” your book?
Read on! Here are the highlights. And if you want or need more step-by-step details, you can check out my on-demand webinar on the subject.
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