Monday, December 10, 2012

The Next Big Thing is a Blog Hop. I didn't know what that was until recently. Basically, someone tags you as an author worth noting and you, in turn, tag five other authors. It's great for networking among authors and with our readers about what we're working on these days.

I recently had the pleasure of being tagged by Mary Metcalfe, a published author, editor, mentor and regular book reviewer. Thank you, Mary, for the privilege!

Here are my responses to The Next Big Thing questions. Enjoy!

What is the working title of your book?

Dog-Ma, the Zen Of Slobber

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I began writing this book in my head almost twenty years before I put pen to paper. The idea started to percolate after the loss of my first dog at the age of 17. After the loss of my seventh dog I decided to get my thoughts down on paper. An author friend read it, LOVED it and told me I had to get it published.

What genre does your book fall under?

It is a Memoir but could also be classified in Dog Books or Humor

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

This is such a personal question since it is choosing someone to play me! I have loved the work of Emma Stone for several years, first seeing her in the movie Superbad and the Easy A. I watched her on David Letterman that same year and found her to not only be a great actress, but also witty and smart. She's also got my sassy redhead attitude going on. I think she would be perfect to play the younger me. As for the older me... Perhaps Julianne Moore. What do you think?

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Wickedly funny story of life with nine crazy rescue dogs.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

This book was self published. A daunting task that taught me many things, mostly patience peppered with a few choice swear words.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The first draft took three months. Then came a year of editing, finessing and formatting. I can honestly say that a good editor is worth their weight in GOLD! I had two and could not have finished the book without them.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

The obvious choice is Marley and Me. I seriously do believe one of my dogs, Madison (a Black Lab), was FAR worse than Marley. It must be in the Lab genes. She was incorrigible and earned the name Houdini In A Dog Suit.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My love of dogs and the need to share all of our outrageously funny stories before I get dementia and forget them! That could happen any day now...

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

You do not need to be a dog owner or dog lover to enjoy the book. The stories are all true and quite entertaining. Telling these stories, we were the headliner entertainment at every cocktail party we attended for many years. You just can't make up tales this crazy. The book follows us around the country, having moved seventeen times in thirty-two years. Some of the stories, especially our Nashville days contain a lot of regional humor. There are even a few celebrity tidbits from our years in Los Angeles. I have been told that the first chapter is a bit hard to read, containing some graphic violence of a fight between two dogs. Two of my reviewers were troubled by it. If that sort of thing bothers you, skip that chapter and start with Chapter Two.

I was tagged by my wonderful friend Mary Metcalfe.

Thank you Mary and best wishes to you on the new book Road To Tomorrow.

My five picks for authors to meet and follow (in no particular order):

Joe and Cathy Connolly

Joe and Cathy have become great friends through the magic of Twitter. They have spent a lifetime owning, training and caring for dogs. Cathy grew up with a Collie breeder, dog groomer and dog handler while attending many different dog shows and eventually went on to work with other breeders as she grew older. They live in beautiful Northern Michigan with their 3 furry four legged children, one large dog, one small dog and the entire family is supervised by one bossy calico cat.

Their book If I Should Die Before My Dog is a thought provoking check list for dog lovers, who unfortunately and with much sadness can no longer take care of their dog. This book will assist those who want to prepare for their dogs future in an easy to use format that will guide them through the process of telling the "story" of their dogs life, for their pets "Next Guardian". None of us can predict the future, but in the event situations arise such as death, health impairment or left with no other choice but to give them up, this book will be there to assist your beloved pet with the transition from one home to another.

Kathryne Arnold

Kathryne's latest thriller is The Fear Of Things To Come the second in a series, preceded by The Resurrection Of Hannah. The DSM. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. A voluminous, invaluable tool used by psychotherapists the world over to diagnose individuals with mental illness. Referenced by Samantha Clark countless times throughout her career, never suspecting that one day it would save her life.

Samantha receives a seemingly innocent but anonymous letter, and overnight her world changes forever. She becomes a victim in a frightening game of cat-and-mouse, a nightmare that begins when her boyfriend, Todd, fails to return to the wellness retreat they own in the woods of Florida. Working closely with police, Samantha and two trusted friends discover that Todd’s disappearance is linked to a series of murders occurring in a nearby county. They soon find themselves prey to a mentally ill patient from Samantha’s past, bent on revenge. With time bearing down, they must weave together the clues found in a succession of ominous letters and the DSM to save Todd. Their mission to unravel the mystery behind the kidnapping plunges them into a terrifying maze of danger, deception, and madness.

Chandler McGrew

I have been fortunate enough for Chandler to take pity on me as a fledgling author. He was the first one to let me know my book had hit #1 on Amazon. He has given me invaluable advice through the process of publishing my book. Although he is the author of four critically acclaimed supernatural/suspense thrillers, Chandler McGrew, lives in quiet seclusion in the mountains of Maine. He writes ten to twelve hours a day, fueled by liberal doses of coffee and Pepsi, with only an occasional dollop of single malt scotch to take the edge off.

Born in Texas he lived for almost a decade in Alaska where his first novel, Cold Heart, is set. I Love a Mystery called the book a 'tense and satisfying read.' While the Contra Costa Times said it was 'The best opening 10 pages I've read this year...reads like a good martini tastes: icy cold, with flecks of terror where the ice chips should be.

Not a bad start for a man who didn't begin to write professionally until he was in his forties.

His latest book The Remnant scared the bejesus out of me. I am just starting Crossroads and am looking forward to another captivating read.

Rebecca Graf

Rebecca was one of my earliest reviewers. Rebecca was born in Russellville, Kentucky but grew up in Dothan, Alabama. She graduated from the University of Montevallo with an accounting degree. Given the chance to try her hand at writing, she began writing online articles leading to her first published book, A Gift for a Mouse. From there she ventured into romance, mystery, comedy and drama. The passion of writing was discovered. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her husband and three children.

Her book is Deep Connections . Just as love appears, so does the darkness. With her heart reaching out for one man, Brenna finds herself the target of an unknown stalker. Who is he? What does he want? How far will he go for her? Death is an option. Brenna discovers more than she bargained for and learns that the stalker will kill for her. It all comes down to decisions, and no matter what she chooses it will demand sacrifice and someone's blood. A gripping and intense read.

James Kaufman

An attorney, businessman and former judge, James J. Kaufman has published several works of non-fiction. "The Collectibles," his debut novel, draws heavily from his experiences in law, his dealings in the business world, and his interactions with people from widely different backgrounds.

I do not know James, nor have I ever had a conversation with him. I was turned on to his book by a friend who is an avid reader. She stumbled upon it one day on Amazon. I LOVED the book. It is his first and hopefully not his last. There are too many great things about this book to mention. All I can say is please check it out. It is a great read. One of those books you cannot put down. The Collectibles

For those I’ve tagged – The Next Big Thing Rules:

Ø Use this format for your post

Ø Answer the 10 questions about your current WIP (work in progress)

Ø Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

When you’ve written your post and have queued it up, send me the dedicated URL/permalink so that I have it for my post to link your upcoming one. There’s no need for you to give me the names of the people you’re inviting. Just go ahead and invite people to participate on the week after your post runs. You include their links and also include mine as the person who invited you.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

If I Should Die Before My Dog. A New Book.

Good morning Zen followers, I usually write about myself (BORING) or my furry kids (hilarious most of the time) but today I am writing about a new friend and her new book. Cathy and I met on Twitter and found out we have a tremendous amount in common. We are both animal lovers, we both wrote books about our dogs and published this summer! How crazy is that? Cathy Connolly (and her husband Joe - CAN'T forget Joe) has written a book that every dog owner should have. It addresses the needs of your precious pet if you should die unexpectedly, giving you a very easy to understand and complete checklist. Izzy and Morgan both have their books filled out and "Paw Parents" assigned.

Please take a look. She is on a Blog Tour this month. It is a book that would also make an awesome holiday gift or stocking stuffer for the dog lover in your life. It contains some beautiful illustrations, too. Here are the links to the Blog Tour and to her book on Amazon. If you follow the Blog Tour you can enter to win an autographed book!

Monday, November 26, 2012

What fun yesterday! A Book signing event for 30 local authors at our local outdoor mall, Fisherman's Village, more well known for it's breathtaking views of Charlotte Harbor and great selection of beer than for cerebral events. It proved to be a busy and fun day signing books, meeting lots of other dogs and their people. I love hearing that I do not have the only crazy dogs in the universe. Izzy did a little pawtographing and posed for photos while I signed copies of DOG-MA, THE ZEN OF SLOBBER.

Izzy got a little bored with her new-found celebrity, though.

She's going to need an entourage soon, I fear.

We both even made it to the front page of our hometown newspaper!

Ooops, I hear Izzy calling for her hair and makeup people...gotta run!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Dog-Ma makes an excellent holiday gift and a signed copy makes it more special! There are two additional book signing opportunities this month for Dog-Ma fans.

Saturday November 17 from 10 - 4

Turtle Creek Book Bazaar

16500 Burnt Store Road

Punta Gorda, FL



Sunday November 25 from 12 - 6

Peace River Center For Writers

Fisherman's Village Authors Market

1200 S. Retta Esplanade

Punta Gorda, FL


Izzy will be photo-oping at the November 25 event for one hour only 2 - 3pm! Stop by and shake her paw or get your photo snapped with her! She may even be open to a paw-tograph or two.

Hope to see you there

-Izzy xx

FYI - Autographed and gift-wrapped copies are also available on line at

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Acupuncture Rocks!

Acupuncture for a dog. Who Knew? It was not something I thought I would ever try. I understand Eastern Medicine and know it has its benefits over the long term. Izzy's issues have always been of the emergency variety, needing an immediate Western Medicine solution. Anaphylaxis from many, many food allergies are always our biggest concern. Then there is her blindness, skin infections, ear infections, her general terrier insanity that has her in constant trouble... its a long list of things we always seem to need a medicine for NOW!

A few weeks ago the sister of a neighbor suggested trying acupuncture. She works in a Veterinary office where there is a new doctor who recently received a degree in Eastern Veterinary Medicine and was looking for new patients. I am always game for a new treatment attempt. I figure that we will eventually find something that will work for Izzy. I scheduled an appointment not knowing what to expect but with great hope.

Since I don't like to use real people's names without permission, I will call her The Doc. The Doc was a very soft spoken Eastern European woman who ushered us into a quiet room. She wanted to let Izzy free to roam the room so she could observe her while we spoke. We discussed Izzy's medical history and her personality traits. Izzy has always had a very bad temper, especially if she does not get her way. She will hurl herself with full force at the door and howl like she is being murdered if we confine her to a room. If you have a small terrier, you know this noise well. Imagine the sound of someone being stabbed with a knife in the belly while eating a mouthful of jello; who's head is inside of a megaphone. Try to take a sock away from her? Good luck with that one. Don't plan on keeping all of your fingers. We talked about Izzy's aloofness when she first came to live with us. Balls were far superior to people. She would tolerate a hug for a millisecond and then race off to play.

The Doc continued to observe Izzy as she first investigated the room with her nose to the floor and then fixated on one point on the wall and froze. She sat down, with her nose brushing the wall and stared at that spot for the remainder of the visit, like a child who has been put in the corner for a time out. The Doc thought it was incredibly unusual. HA! That's our Izzy.

The Doc made a chart of the systems of the body and how they are all interconnected. The details of the chart are unimportant to this story, only that it was clear after the appointment that Eastern Medicine could possibly be the solution we have been looking for. Acupuncture and herbal tinctures.

We are three weeks into Izzy's acupuncture treatments. So far so good. Although, as I type this she has leaped from a chair onto Morgan's head trying to kill her again. Uh Oh. Gotta go.

Namaste (please?)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thanks for an awesome review!

Such a wonderful review today from Rebecca Graf of A Book Lovers Library!Thanks!

"I have to admit that I love my dog, but I'm not one to pick up a dog book. So this book would have been passed over at a bookstore. And I would have so regretted it.

Dog-Ma is the story of Barbara Brunner and her husband who find themselves parents to a variety of dogs that tend to need special attention but have such unique personalities. She introduces the dogs to the reader in such a way that I honestly feel like I could walk up to any dog in her home and know exactly which one it was. I would even feel like an old friend. That might not be how the dog feels though.

Barbara is an amazing author. She doesn't have to create an amusing tale for you. She lets her dogs do that. I see so much of my own dog in some of hers. I have my own Houdini. I gave up trying to put her in a crate.

I do have to warn you of something. I never like my readers to be surprised by anything in a book I review unless it is a twist in the plot. In Ms. Brunner's book you will find yourself laughing out loud or sobbing. You might do both at the same time. I know I did. My husband almost took the book away. He thought I was loosing my marbles.

This book covers many years. It talks of the new additions to the family and the passing of many.

Do you love dogs? Then you have to get this book. Do you not love dogs? Get this book anyway. You'll find yourself looking for a dog to adopt by the end of it. Seriously, this is one of my 2012 selections and though I love many books I review I rarely put this comment in the review.

Note: This book was supplied as part of a book tour with no expectation of a positive review."

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Advice for Newbie Authors - from todays guest blog post.

I come from the world of fashion and business. I am not a trained writer. I did not major in English or language in college. The majority of my working life was spent selecting which designer clothes and shoes I would buy for the next season, deciding what colors would be the next hot thing, hiring and training staff and balancing the checkbook – not writing books. I am better at bullet points than finding the best ninety-seven words to describe a sunset.

Once I finished my manuscript, I attacked it as though it were another business project. I made my lists (I can never be too far from a yellow legal pad) and decided what my next steps would be. Relying on my business acumen, I knew that starting small with a larger end-game was important. Keep promotion at a manageable size, start local and build to a national level.

Writing a press release was my first hurdle. I could write copy for a fashion show or a magazine ad, but writing a press release was scary stuff! Thank goodness for the Internet. Thank goodness for Google. If you type in “press release” into the Google search bar you will find hundreds of sites all telling you THEY have the secret to writing the perfect release. It can be overwhelming. I poured over these sites for a good week, before I figured out the “proper” format, how to keep the bullet points short and impactful and how to generate buzz that would grab the attention of a magazine or newspaper editor. Keep it short, keep it entertaining, make it informative and for goodness sake, remember to put your contact information on it!

After several attempts, I showed my final press release to a fellow author who showed it to her friend the newspaper reporter. My simple question was “would this get your attention and make you stop and read it?” Her answer? A resounding “no”. “It has too much information. You lost me at the subtitle.” Wow. Deflation. I didn’t think it was perfect but I didn’t think it was that bad, either. Instead of sulking away in embarrassment I asked her how she would change it. What would she write if it were her press release? After a few quick passes at it, a bit of editing and a few word substitutions, I had a press release I was proud of.

The lesson I learned here? Ask for help. You can find it in the most unexpected places. You do not need to hire a fancy PR firm to start marketing your book. I founded my retail business with hard work and creativity, figuring out how to stretch my marketing dollars to fit my small business until it was big enough that I could hire the fancy marketing company. You can do the same thing with your book. Write your own press release. Send it out to your local paper. Get feedback. Ask friends and fellow authors for help. Writers are an amazingly generous community, willing to share contacts and advice. No, you do not have to use every bit of advice but layer it onto what you already know and you will build your marketing platform into a formidable strategy.

Ask friends to share your blog link, your author page, and your book signing dates. Friends help friends and through the process you will make more friends. It’s crazy. Use social media to its fullest. Start a Facebook Author Page. Search for other similar pages and LIKE them, leave a nice comment and let them know about your own page. I have had so many people subscribe to my Facebook Author page because a friend of a friend told them about it. That link, in case you want to FRIEND me too, is I would be pleased to have you as a subscriber. Through this process I met a Canadian author who had already read my book and she wrote the nicest book review for me on Amazon. I have sold so many books because of her review. It is truly amazing. Check it out at

My one rule for book marketing is this. Do one thing a day to promote your book. It can be a blog post. It can be sending a press release to the NY Times (some of us are more daring than others...). Do something every day and it will come back to you ten fold. Marketing a book takes time. My friend, the author, says it takes a full year from the first time you send a press release until the time your books gets traction. Don’t get discouraged. If what you are doing does not work, shift gears and try something else. No one wants to have unopened cases of books sitting on their dining table, right? Be bold, take risks and if anyone can give me ninety-seven words to describe a sunset you are a better writer than me.

Guest Blogged today on Cafe Creations.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Always thought this was a fun photo-shopped Jack Russell shot. I am not sure of the original source of this photo or I would give it a photo credit. I sure wish Izzy could do yoga - it might help her to calm down and stop trying to attack Morgan, our 120 pound Rottweiler. Morgan is so patient with her, even with Izzy hanging off of her jowl. Izzy attacks Morgan for no apparent reason, although I am sure in her tiny little terrier brain there is a very important one. I never have been able to figure out if Izzy's attacks are her way of trying to play.

Izzy and our deceased Doberman Cooper played very hard, but they never hurt each other.

This was a typical play-date for Cooper and Izzy. Lots of teeth but no biting. I wonder if she and Morgan just need to figure out the game?

Once in a while Morgan's saintly patience runs out. Last year's dinner party has gone down in history.

Izzy head disappeared into Morgans mouth momentarily. I cannot blame Morgan for defending herself but there are moments I feel like we live in an underground dog fighting arena. I will not go into the gory details, suffice it to say dinner was interrupted by a run to the 24 hour emergency vet. Thank god for my friend Kim who does not drink, so we had a designated driver for the 20 minute car ride. Many stitches later, a hefty vet bill and a new leather basket muzzle for Izzy, peace, once again, rules our home.

We really need a daily dose of zen...

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Join me for my Virtual Book Tour

I have a lot of work to do this month. Whew. Who knew this book promotion stuff would be so time consuming? I am stoked, though! Having been an entrepreneur most of my working life, I did not expect to be surprised by the avenues available for promoting my book. Well.... I was SO wrong. There are so many unconventional ways to get the word out and many that are customary in the publishing world that I just did not know about.

I will be on a whirlwind Virtual Book Tour for most of October. I will be getting interviewed about "Dog-Ma, The Zen of Slobber" on many book blogs and web sites, guest blogging and appearing on Talk Story TV. All of this is new for me and it has been so fun to discover what marketing avenues are available for new authors. I connected with BK at Virtual Book Tours ( She has been amazing and so creative in getting me set up to show my book to the world.

Here is our tour schedule for October:

October 2 - Introduction at VBT Cafe' Blog

October 4 - Book Feature & Excerpt at Book Reviews By Dee

October 8 - Interviewed at Reviews & Interviews

October 10 - Interviewed at Talk Story TV

October 12 - Book Feature & Excerpt at The Official Blog-Zine of Terra Little

October 16 - Guest Blogging at Cafe' Creations Topic

October 18 - Review & Guest Blogging at A Book Lover's Library

October 22 - Guest Blogging at huithiang!

October 24 - Guest Blogging at Romance That's Out of This World

October 26 - Reviewed at Kaisy Daisy's Corner

October 30 - Guest Blogging at The Golden Pen Review

I will post a reminder on the day of each tour stop with a link so you can stop by, see what we are chatting about, hopefully leave a comments or two for me. I will be responding to comments and questions all day long.

It's going to be a fun month!

Remember to check out the book at

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

DJ Feel-X

Pin It
Look at that face. Such a cutie. Today I inch closer to publication of Dog-Ma, the Zen of Slobber. With Izzy by my side, I research marketing tools and Author tips which are in abundance on the Internet, thankfully. A thunderstorm has spun up nearby and thunder claps sharply in the distance. Izzy is fearful. When you are blind, any loud noise is cause for concern. To calm her fears I try to drown out the noise with music. The only genre that seems to work is one with a loud and consistent beat. DJ Feel-X, never heard of you until today, but thanks for the tunes. I am finding it a tad bit hard to concentrate, though. Time to go pull out the Thundershirt. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Water Babies

I had to re-post this photo by Seth Casteel. He photographs all kinds of pups, but these underwater photos are the best ever! This one is my favorite.

One of these days I will get Izzy to pose for an underwater photos, although I could never do them as well as Seth. Well, truth be told, Izzy would not do this unless she were thrown from a distance by someone wearing full body armor. There would be much protesting, I think.

She can swim. She knows how to paddle to the edge and squirm and shuffle until she gets to the stairs. She's even hurled herself up over the edge from the middle of the pool when she was too lazy to swim to the stairs. It is just not as enjoyable for her as it is for me. I am a water baby. She like to admire from a distance. I've tried balls, squeakers...everything I can think of. I even put her in a doggie life vest to let her feel the buoyancy thinking it would help her to adjust and enjoy swimming. She ate it.

Our pool was built with our dogs in mind. Wide shallow stairs flank each end of the pool making it easy for a dog of any size to find their way out on their own. It makes swimming laps (the original intent for the pool) a bit more challenging but totally safe for our dogs. Cooper, our doberman, used to love swimming laps with me. All I had to do was motion to the water and say "go swim?" and he was in. Izzy would watch with a look of disdain as we swam side by side, back and forth until we were both exhausted. Oh, Coops you are missed. Laps are just not the same without you. Izzy's will never become my water buddy, I fear. She is content to sit in a lounge chair, doggles perched on her pretty eyes, with martini in hand being a passive observer.

Maybe I can get Seth to come to my house and click a pic or two of Izzy one of these days....

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Don Cheadle... It's all your fault...

I'm not happy with Don Cheadle tonight. He's a good actor - lousy dog sitter. No, what happened is not really his fault, but being mad at him is easier than being mad at Ray. Izzy fell in the pool while Ray was on watch. Apparently tonights episode House of Lies was quite engrossing...

We take every precaution to keep Izzy safe. She's never supposed to be on the pool deck without supervision, especially at night. One second is all it took. She was outside, alone. Its a cool but beautiful night here in Florida. The living room door was open to the pool deck while Ray watched Mr. Cheadle perform some new amazing consulting wizardry. Consultants... Its all smoke and mirrors, really.

Anyhoo... Izzy, not being of fan of Mr. Cheadle apparently, decided chasing her semi flashing ball (having not recovered from last nights dunk yet) in the dark would be much more entertaining. Ball careens toward the pool edge; Izzy in her enthusiasm chases too eagerly; doggie in the drink... It was a full swan dive. Soaked head to toe. Izzy knows how to swim. She was taught at an early age before she lost her sight, thank goodness. She swims like a champ...a pissed off champ, but a champ none-the-less.

Two good things happened. Izzy knows how to hurl herself out of the water and her Safety Turtle did its job, screaming a ear shattering alarm that I am sure was heard in Alaska. thanks Safety Turtle. Don... Cool it on the antics.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, January 16, 2012

Wiggly Giggly

It's a sweatshirt day for all here in southern FL today. Izzy models her "tough girl" look - Ray's idea of cute. At one time she had a matching collar and leash, but she ate them while sitting in Ray's San Francisco office a couple of years ago.  His puppy-sitting skills were limited to head pats and farming her out to someone else to watch. Thank goodness for Peggy and Jessica!! He is a much more attentive dad now that he is retired.

Izzy says "thank you" Today her new noise-making toy arrived, Wiggly Giggly bone for small dogs.

I really don't know how to describe the sound it makes - sort of a whistle and a honk. I'm sure it will completely annoy the neighbors if it becomes her favorite. Uh oh... She's still on probation from the dolphin coffee-klatch.

It took a few minutes for her to investigate the new sound, but soon she figured it out and we had quite a rambunctious game of chase. The sound is motion activated. We'll see how durable this thing is. Blindness has not slowed down her search and destroy instincts. Izzy is a terrier and strikes fear into the heart of all new toys. If she lived in Toy Story, all of her toys would hunker down in the basket, to hide; Buzz and Woody taking turns keeping them safe. Last night she dropped her flashing/noise making ball into the pool... It made noise all night and had to be hidden under a pile of pillows so we could sleep. Finally tonight the battery died. Izzy's basket currently has a few tennis balls; all in various stages of ruin, a very flat stuffed squirrel missing a tail and it's squeaker, a very well loved Nylabone dinosauer and one rope toy perfectly intact (note to self, not a winner).   To Infinity and Beyond...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Golden night!

Izzy has her Golden Globes glow on tonight. She has definite favorites!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The sushi bar and Helen Keller

It's 1AM. Izzy is restless, as she often is when Ray is traveling. A board meeting in San Francisco has taken him away for a few days. She hears something outside. We sit on the patio. 70 degree weather reminds me why we moved to SWFL. A splash. Izzy's head cocks. Generally her first reaction is to bark. Not tonight. First she listens with her one functioning ear (yes, not only blind, she is also deaf in her left ear from a juvenile bout of allergy induced ear infections). Poor girl. She is almost the Helen Keller of dogs.

Another splash. A pod of dolphins has decided to belly up to the sushi bar that is our backyard. Izzy let's out an ear shattering bark. Apparently she must compensate for her deafness and bark LOUDLY! Reminds me of my mother in law, but that's a post for another time.

Another splash and another bark. This time it is answered with a dolphin cackle. Kekekeke. Izzy seems amused, turns in a circle and returns the call with her own arf arf arf. The dolphin responds again. They have been at it for five minutes when lights from the neighbors house turn on. Uh oh. I realized I am being a very bad neighbor allowing these shenanigans. The neighbor steps outside and I apologize profusely for Izzy not using her inside voice.

Another splash, bark and cackle. The neighbor laughs. He goes in to get his wife. They haven't seen dolphins since last winter. This is a real treat. As we stand in our back yards in our pjs, moonlight spilling onto the water, I wonder if Izzy knows how content we are watching and listening to her dolphin chat.

Ok, she can talk. She's not Helen Keller yet...

It's now 1:30. Night night.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Beginnings - today my heart broke

January 10, 2012 Today is my first entry. Being new to blogging, bear with me as I get my sea-legs. Izzy is going blind. Quite suddenly. As a four year old, super-hyper Parson Russell Terrier it was quite a shock to us the day we noticed she was not catching a ball as marvelously as she had used to. To any terrier, ball chasing is Nirvana. It is a part of their genetic makeup. Izzy could catch a tennis ball mid air, even when it approached from behind. A quick twist in the air, her open mouth anticipating success... Whompers. Ball caught. Again mom, again? A trip to her regular vet transitioned into weekly pilgrimages to the Vetrinary ophthalmologist. Bad news is never easy to hear. Sudden Onset Cataracts. There is no cure. She will soon be totally blind. As we help her make this transition into darkness, sharing what we learn from her will help us cope. Your participation with comments and suggestions will be appreciated. I learn something new from her everyday. Izzy is adapting to her dark, shadowed world much better than I am. Her spirit never wavers. Even as she strains to see the ball, cocks her head to hear the bounce of the rubber ball on the wood floor, she does not give up. She turns in circles sometimes standing directly over the ball and still cannot find it. My heart broke tonight as I threw her favorite rubber ball; a mini orange and blue rubber ball sized perfectly for her tiny mouth. I bounced it on the wood floor, to make a sound she could hear. Running, she crashed into the fireplace, splattered on the floor and without missing a beat turned to me. Come on Mom, throw the ball! She always has a positive attitude and a smile on her face. Her blindness will not slow her down. We may have a few more bumps and bruises to heal, but I believe we will continue to have a happy dog. My mission. Find mini toys for blind small dogs.There are plenty for big dogs, but none for small mouths. If I can't find them, I will make them. I am a Zen Entrepreneur.