Friday, January 31, 2014

Is it Friday already?

   Do the weeks seem to be getting shorter?  Trying to grasp each day is like trying to catch a flea…you reach to grab Tuesday and come back with Friday pinched between your fingers!  I haven’t done half of the things I had planned for the week.  This is the condensed version of what we’ve been doing in Bayou country.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wordless Wednesday Reading

Bentley & Pierre were so excited to be "Cover Dogs" on my books!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am joining in the BlogPaws Community Wordless Wednesday. After you enter my contest, please hop to these other amazing blogs!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Tails of Love

   Today I have two special dogs that desperately want to find fur-ever homes.  If you are thinking about adding a dog to your family, why not give one of these sweeties a place in your heart.  The only thing wrong with a shelter dog is they don’t have a home.  They are not broken, lesser, and troubled dogs.  Every person needing a new pet should consider one of these fine pets.  Many people believe rescue dogs appreciate their new family more because they know what it’s like not to have a human friend.

Bentley's Story

I credit Bentley, my Basset Hound with being the inspiration for my book The Returns. I really believe he was born to be ours. Basset Hounds have always been one of my favorite breeds because, well just look at them. Those ears, that face and the stubby little legs are hard to resist. Five years ago a friend of mine offered me her son’s full-grown Basset. Soooo tempting! We have always enjoyed raising our dogs from the puppy stage so I reluctantly passed on her generous offer. About a week later, my family was trying to decide on our lottery numbers. I told them my lucky number was seven. The kids laughed and pointed out that seven was almost everyone’s lucky number. Duh, there’s a reason for that…it’s a lucky number! Surprisingly, we didn’t win the Powerball. Keep reading, I promise this is leading somewhere. My husband received an invitation to a surprise 50th birthday party for one of his co-workers. Now is the time to point out we never go to parties other than family functions. It’s not that we don’t enjoy parties; we just don’t like actually going to them. So for the first time in probably fifteen years, we ventured out to this surprise celebration. It was a great time and his friend was very surprised. He was even more surprised when he received a six-week-old Basset Hound puppy for one of his gifts. **Note: It is not a good idea to surprise someone with a puppy! Of course, I was in love immediately and spent most of the night cradling the little sad-eyed baby. We spent the rest of the weekend talking about the puppy and thinking of what we’d name him if he were ours. My husband called me at work the following Monday. The man and his wife were not able to keep the pup. They had recently lost their old dog and weren’t ready to welcome a new dog. If you’ve ever lost a pet, you can certainly empathize with their feelings. My sadness at the fate of the puppy was quickly replaced when he said those magic words, “They want to know if we want to take him!” My excitement was off the charts. YES, YES! The next afternoon Bentley, the name we chose over the weekend, came to live with us. My Golden Retriever, Tucker was less than enthusiastic. True to his nature he tolerated the ear pulling, gnawing, and climbing little bundle of curiosity. They quickly became best friends and Tucker taught him the ins and outs of being a good boy. It wasn’t long before we let him run around in the backyard following his big “brother.” It was during one of those romps, my husband called him Seven. When I asked why, he pointed out the perfect white number seven on Bentley’s hip. I was stunned and did the thing any responsible pet owner in my situation would do…I wrote Jack Daniels Distillery! They asked for a picture and thought it was great but declined my idea of using him in ads. I did score a ball cap and Bentley got a bandana so it wasn’t a total loss. I still knew there was some reason God put a seven on our Basset. Then we figured out he was the seventh dog we had owned since we were married. (Cue the spooky music) He is such a cool dog. He sits on his butt like a human waiting to talk; he insists on giving real hugs, looks deep into your eyes and can be as stubborn as any human can. I later contacted a dog food company advertising that their food helped dog’s bodies in seven ways. I mean, come on! Nope, nada. I couldn’t shake the feeling there was a reason for all of the coincidences surrounding the sevens and Bentley. Finally, I had decided to begin a writing career and wanted to incorporate him as a character. The idea to make him an FBI Agent returned to earth as a Basset Hound struck me like a bolt of lightning one afternoon. My husband and I both knew at that moment, we had found the reason he with his number seven had become ours. The rest as they say is "his-story."

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Wild, Wild Westie Show

Pierre loves to chase squirrels and lizards.  His pursuit of these elusive lizards plays havoc on my monkey grass.  He will sit at the back door and stare out until a lizard or squirrel is brave enough to enter his yard.  Then, it is like that wonderful old black & white television show:
The Wild, Wild Westie!

This is Pierre’s usual lizard stalking pose.

The lucky lizard gets awaythis time!

This is Sunday’s Black & White Blog Hop.
Thanks to Dachshund Nola and Sugar the Golden Retriever for hosting!

Please join me in hopping to these other great blogs!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sepia Saturday Flashback

   Saturday is one of my favorite days of the week.  Not because it is the weekend, but it means Sepia Saturday hosted by Ruckus the Eskie.  Thanks Ruckus!
   My choice for today’s photo is a bit different from my usual ones.  My husband took one of my favorite old photos of us when we were dating in 1981 and added a recent photo of us standing behind the young us.  The result was astonishing.  Not just because we are 30+ years older, but it looks as if we are actually in the original photo.  

 One thing is certaintime passes but true love remains.

Have a fun weekend and enjoy hopping to these other great blogs.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Thoughtless Thursday Conversation with Bentley

When I decided to start writing a blog, I knew it was important to share the news with my family.  My husband was supportive and the kids thought it would be cool.  Since I’ve spent the last year writing books loosely based on my dogs, I thought it was important to explain blogging to my Basset Hound, Bentley.  The following is how that conversation went…

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

 I am joining in the BlogPaws Community "Wordless Wednesday" blog hop. Well, almost wordless!
 Bentley decided to learn to use my laptop this week. His paws are too big for the keys, so he can't help typing my book, blog, or any of the Social Media sites.  Are you wondering how he will contribute?  

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday's Snooze in Black & White

It's Sunday's Black & White Blog Hop hosted by Dachshund Nola & Sugar the Golden Retriever.  
My photos for Sepia Saturday and Black & White Sunday may be without color,
 but I hope that your weekend is full of technicolor fun!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Relaxing on Sepia Saturday

It is Sepia Saturday's Blog Hop hosted by my friend, Ruckus the Eskie!
Enjoy yourself and have a great day~

Being this adorable can be so draining... 

 Thanks to Ruckus the Eskie! Onward through the blogs!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Who Let Their Dogs Out?

   “Who let the dogs out?” was a huge hit for the Baja Men in 2000.  It is still played at ballgames, featured in cartoons, and emblazoned on t-shirts.  The song is catchy and funny.  The problem is that too many people actually do let the dogs out on a regular basis.
   Many people believe dogs should be allowed to roam free instead of being behind a fence or on a leash.  I have so many problems with that mindset; it makes me want to scream.  The dangers of a loose dog are monumental, not just to the dog but also people, other dogs, and the dog’s owner.  Let’s look at the reasons against letting your dogs run free.
1.     Cars: How many times have you seen a dog lying dead in the middle of the road?  Someone has to live with the fact that they killed a dog, possibly caused damage to their vehicle (which the dog owner could be liable for repairing), and a family is going to find their beloved pet dead.  That image will be burned in their mind’s eye forever.  This is a case where everyone loses and it is completely preventable.
2.    Humans: All dogs can look threatening to someone if they come running and barking in your direction.  A person could be injured by being bit, trying to get away, or attempting to befriend the strange dog.  The dogs could face injury by being kicked, hit with a stick, having a rock thrown at them, or sprayed with mace as the human attempts to defend themselves.  The dog owner could likely face a lawsuit.
3.    Other dogs: The chances are your dog is not alone wandering the streets.  This can lead to dogfights, exposure to canine diseases, and unwanted pregnancies.  If your dog confronts someone walking their dog then you double the trouble.  This can lead to costly vet bills and yes, a lawsuit.  We are a litigation nation!

That’s three strikes, are you still going to let your dog out?

* Most cities have leash laws and if Animal Control picks up your dog, you will have to pay a hefty fine to get them back.  That is, if you find out they have been taken to the Animal Control facility before they are euthanized.  Due to space limitations, there is a time limit on your dog’s life after being picked up as a stray. 
There are people who cruise around looking for strays to use in training for dog fighting.  If one of these ruthless souls snatches your fur baby, you can forget ever seeing them again.  Your sweet dog will meet a brutal death because you felt bad about keeping them inside a fence or didn’t take the time to snap on a leash to take them outside.  What about all of the psychos out there who get their kicks out of hurting animals?  You see it on the news all of the time.  There are bad people out there in the world and it is your responsibility to keep your dog safe.
I know you are reading this and saying, “That would never happen where I live.  My neighbors all know my dog and they know how sweet he/she is, it’ll be okay.”  That is fine, but even the kindest neighbor doesn’t want your dog leaving poop in their yard.  We all know the grass is always greener in someone else’s yard and that is where your dog wants to leave their mark.  Don’t let your best friend turn a good neighbor into an enemy.
I’m sure the last thing on your mind when you open the door and let your dog run around is that they might not come home.  The reality is they may not.  All it takes is one distracted driver, one angry neighbor, or one cruel human.  The question you need to ask yourself is whether it’s worth the risk.  If you love your dog, then the answer is obvious.  Grab a leash and take them out to do their business or go for a walk.  It is a responsibility that comes with having a dog in your life.  When you think about, it is not too much to ask for all they give you in return…unconditional love.  They would give their life to protect you and they trust you to protect them.
The next time the question is asked, “Who let the dogs out?” it’s my hope the answer will be “nobody.”
   Are your dogs inside and taken out on a leash, or are they in a fenced yard?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thursday's This 'n That

week has been really busy and exciting.  I was able to promote PetSavers from a first-hand perspective.  The adoptable dog I fell in love with on my visit and had originally planned to feature on Tuesday’s Tales found a family on Monday.
That makes me feel good.  I am so happy for Dixie and her new family.  I hope it works out and they have a lifetime of happiness and wagging tails.
This is hopefully not a premature announcement, but it appears that my feedburner is working once again. If you have signed up for my blog via email, you should be getting deliveries again.
That could change without notice or if I hold my mouth a certain way.  I have yet to figure it out, but I have my fingers crossed that it is set correctly at this point.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Barking to Be the Change for Animals

   Today is a special day set aside for bloggers to take part in a campaign known as “Blog for the Change.”  It is the chance to write about a cause that is important to them.  An organization that they support, people they know who work tirelessly for animals, or something they do themselves that makes a difference.  My intention was to write about the wonderful work PetSavers in Shreveport on behalf of the homeless dogs and cats.  The problem is Tuesday’s Tales of Tails also gave me an opportunity to post about them.  I have decided to run the same post again.  Two days still cannot give these selfless volunteers the praise and admiration that they deserve.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tuesday's Tales of Tails

   It is easy for me to write about helping shelter dogs, the need to volunteer, do your part, and contribute for the greater good.  Blah, blah, blah.  The truth is I do believe all of those things.  There is only one problem and it is a major obstacle for me.  I have never been able to bring myself to visit an actual pet shelter.  I feel that I should be standing in a circle admitting this, “Hello, my name is M. K. Clinton and I’ve been afraid to visit a pet shelter.”  It isn’t that I haven’t wanted to go see how they care for the animals, or the inner workings of the facility, I really did.  However, like most of you, I’ve seen a lifetime of wretchedly heartbreaking commercials for shelter dogs.  I know those advertisements must be effective but they are seriously depressing.  In my imagination, the place was going to be full of sad puppies all huddled in the corners of their small metal cages, giving me guilty sad-eyed looks over their shoulder.  I am not that strong of a human.  I’ll readily admit to crying during the National Anthem, ABC’s Person of the Week, and once, a moving story about an oak tree.  How in the world am supposed to handle cages of sad puppies?

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Thunder Rolls


There are as many studies concerning the effects of thunderstorms on dogs as there are lightning strikes during a storm. It seems many dogs are terrified of the noise. The clinical terminology is brontophobia or astraphobia, which is the acute fear of thunder and lightning. One small study labeled certain breeds, German Shepherds, Basset Hounds, Beagles, and other working breeds, as being more prone to this phobia. My personal experience with these breeds does support this finding, although I tend to believe it has more to do with the individual dog. We’ve had four German Shepherds but only one that really showed signs of unease at thunder. Ironically, Jake was a retired police K-9 and one of the most fearless dogs I’ve known. He would do a building search, take down an armed criminal, and never flinch. A few crackles of thunder and he would climb on the couch to lay his big head on my lap for comfort. I had a Beagle growing up and I don’t believe any noise bothered him. That brings me to my Basset Hound, Bentley. The boy hates thunder, fireworks, and he isn’t a big fan of gunfire in the woods by our home.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Black and White Beauty

The weekends have gotten so beautiful with Sepia Saturday and Black & White Sunday!  
I am featuring a black and white photograph my husband took several years ago when we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary by cruising the inside passage of Alaska.  
The sites were without a doubt the most magnificent that I have ever been blessed to experience.  Enjoy!

The Mendenhall Glacier approx. 12 miles outside of downtown Juneau

Thanks to Dachshund Nola and  Sugar the Golden Retriever for hosting 
Black & White Blog Hop!
~Have a great Sunday~
Now is not the time to be stopping...
now is the time to get busy hopping!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Sepia Saturday

It's beautiful Sepia Saturday hosted by Ruckus the Eskie.  It is quickly becoming a favorite for blog hopping because the photography has been so fabulous.  If you haven't taken the time to visit the other blogs, I urge you to take the time today.

Today’s sepia shows Bentley’s seven on his side.  This mark was the inspiration for my book, The Returns.  The FBI Agent #7 is “returned” to Earth in the body of a Basset Hound.  In the story, he kept his soulful brown eyes and hair along with his badge number.


Thanks again to Ruckus the Eskie for this fun photo hop! 

Onward through the Blogs!


Friday, January 10, 2014

Pet Bloggers Challenge Accepted

   Today I’m excited to be a part of the 4th annual Pet Bloggers Challenge hosted by Edie Jarolim of Will My Dog Hate Me?.com and Amy Burkert from Go It is a chance to read what pet bloggers are thinking and planning for 2014. This is my first time to participate so I’m anxious to contribute but more than that, I’m anxious to learn from the more experienced bloggers. So, let’s tackle some questions!
 1. How long have you been blogging? If you’re stopping by for the first time, please tell us why you started blogging and give us a quick description of your blog.
I started blogging in September 2013 as a platform for my books, The Returns. Initially, I wrote on various subjects from book reviews, fun facts, and life topics. I always included a recipe and pet tip of the day. I thought I’d be good at book reviews but quickly discovered that I don’t have the heart to give harsh comments to another writer. If you are a book reviewer/critic, sometimes I think it is expected. I changed over to a pet blog on December 6th so I am still in “newbie” status to blogging but a brand new “newbie” to pet blogging.. I am currently participating in blog hops, featuring adoptable pets, and generally trying to find my perfect niche.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

This 'N That Thursday Confessional

You can now follow me on Bloglovin' so please click and Follow my blog with Bloglovin

week has brought extreme cold to most parts of the U.S. Meteorologists blame the frigid weather to a ‘polar vortex’ or a huge mass of Artic air from the North Pole. I prefer the term ‘stupid cold.’
That means the temperatures are too cold for your pets to be left outdoors. It is a mistake to believe because they have
fur, that they can handle freezing weather. Limit the time they are outside and don’t hesitate to put a sweater and booties on them. Dogs and cats are susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite just as humans. Cats also tend to seek warmth on engines of cars. If your car is parked outside, honk your horn before starting the car as a precaution.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words

It's Wordless Wednesday, a blog hop hosted by my friends at BlogPaws Community.  Since you won't spend time reading a long post, hop over to the other blogs to enjoy their photos.  Thanks BlogPaws!

Tucker and Bentley showing how best friends share!

This is a Blog Hop

Monday, January 6, 2014

It's Monday!

   Happy Monday everyone, I hope you managed to stay warm and dry over the weekend. Our temperatures went from the humid mid-sixties Saturday to a wind chill of 7˚ this morning! The saying “If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes and it will change.” is always true in the south during the winter.
    If you have been following the “Make My Pet a Star” contest, then you know that it ended at midnight last night. The votes were close throughout the week and tied at several points. We finally had one finalist pull ahead yesterday. Drumroll please…Our winner is Bella, the Queensland Blue
Heeler. She will become a fun character in the next release of The Returns adventure. Pawsome job, Bella!
   When I chose the four dogs as the finalists, I had storylines in mind for each of them. It is one of the reasons they were selected from the many entries that I received. Each dog had a particular quality that would mesh well in The Returns new adventure. The winning dog’s character would become more involved in the story. That being said, I want to announce that the other three finalists will also make an appearance in the upcoming book! I had integrated each dog into the story in case he or she won so those parts will remain. Each dog is wonderful and I truly appreciate the owners taking the time to enter, participate in getting people to vote, and of course, their support of The Returns! High Five to Pepper, Brownie, and Lola!
  To all of the pet parents who didn’t make the finals, don’t give up! There are many more adventures for The Returns to take part in and many more contest coming! In the meantime, make sure that you read both books that are currently available so you’ll be up to date on what the gang is doing.
I wanted to thank Leiah Cooper of “So I Read This Book Today” for featuring me as her first Author Interview! She posed some great questions so please take a few minutes and read some new things about me and my writing.
Our Doberman friend, Miss Breezy Miller
graduated from Obedience School last week!
Congratulations Breezy ~ We are proud of you!