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Tuesday Tips: Catnip Clues & STARE-‘o-DEATH!

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I’m starting a new feature today because–well, cuz it’s my blog and I make up the rules as I go along. So there! Also, I figured the blog needed a serious influsion of sparkle-icity to keep with the “bling” theme. So at least once a week I’ll post an “Ask Amy” video answering doggy, kitty, writerly–or any other shiny topics that catch my fancy.

To start things out on the right paw, today I’ve posted two. Here’s one about cats and catnip:

And just to offer equal fair play, here’s an Ask Amy about doggy eyeball communication:

Please share–do your cats carry the “catnip gene?” How often do they get a kitty fix? Did you get ’em on film? *snicker*

And for the dog-matic followers, have you ever experienced the canine stare-‘o-death? Of course my Magical-dawg also stares at me when he wants me to read his mind….  “Time for a car ride, yes yes yes???!”

Let me know what topics you’d like covered in future Ask Amy’s –heck, post your question in the comments. I can’t guarantee an answer or how quickly it’ll be included, but want this to be about you and your pets. And if I don’t know the answer, I’ll make schtuff up (I’m a writer, it’s legal).

NEWS FLASH! Just learned that my PET CARE IN THE NEW CENTURY: CUTTING-EDGE MEDICINE  is the Book of the Day over at RedRoom, a terrific place for authors of every ilk. How kewl is that? Here’s a tip–go check ’em out, they’ve got some fine writers creating lots of great blog-icity over there as well.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways! REMINDER–the books COMPLETE KITTEN CARE and PET CARE IN THE NEW CENTURY: CUTTING-EDGE MEDICINE are available for a limited time for only $2.99 (Kindle price) to help out during kitten season.

Tuesday Tips: Doggy Growls, FB-Fans, Friends and Plug-ins

Cyrus is smiling--but teeth can also mean business.

My Red Room buddy Gina Misiroglu just sent me a note that my latest Paw Nation article has been posted–Arrrrrrrroooooo! She put me in touch with the AOL people, which is one of the great ways in which she’s bringing traffic to Red Room and getting attention for Red Room’s authors.

We want dogs to love us, but snarls, growls or (heaven forbid!) bites are dangerous and make it hard to love them back. But dogs aren’t evil and you are not a bad owner if you have a growly dog. Forty percent of dogs have growled at their owners at one time or another.

There are many kinds of aggression and, depending on the circumstances, some are normal. It’s good to understand that growly dogs believe they have a good reason to aggress, whether owners agree, but it still should be dealt with. Sudden changes in your dog’s behavior should be checked by a veterinarian, because aggression can be prompted by pain or health issues. Aggression can be complicated and require professional help, but here’s how to recognize five common types and learn how to keep the peace. 

Does social media make you GROWL? I’ve been doing it for a couple of years now, mostly because I was told that I should. Started out with MySpace and a blog over at another site, and just couldn’t get excited about it. Finally signed up for Facebook—and that took off! I’ve got a personal page with over 3,000 friends now, and as true FB-ers know, there’s an upward limit of 5,000 friends for that. I might reach the limit and have to turn folks away (hey, it could happen!).

So I’ve been advised to create a “facebook fan” page. Irk…that’s sort of off-putting to me, don’t know about you. Feels funny to ask folks to “like” my fan page, sort of oooky in a way. But there ya go, it’s supposedly THE way to do social media these days, and then integrate it with Twitter and Scribed and LinkedIn and and and…yowza!

Anyway, I’ll still hang out at both sites and share lots of free cat and dog (and writing!) content, as well as links to the radio and tv appearances. Here’s the Tuesday Tip, found this simply by playing around with the new fan page. You can insert Facebook Plugins on your existing website, blog, articles. (I’m tech-challenged, I  can’t seem to get the code to work in THIS blog but it is now on my website news page.)

Now then, please, pretty please with sugar on top, would you LIKE me? *s* Just click the button. Oh, and share with friends, too.

Woof Wednesday: Choosing A Dog, Sibling Rivalry & Dog Mysteries

Schmoozing at Westminster Dog Show

Welcome to Woof Wednesday!  This is the day I’ll cover all-things-dog, hopefully on a weekly basis (pending my crazy schedule).  Today I’ve several furry treats for you.  For those looking to expand their “woof quotient” and adopt a new dog, we always want to let our heart rule. Sure, that love-at-first-wag can be a powerful motivator but don’t neglect your research, especially if you’re interested in a particular breed or look. The true dog goes beyond the fancy fur.

To help narrow your focus—and also because it’s just plain fun to learn about ‘em—I’ve posted lots of dog photos with breed descriptions at my Pet Peeves site.  This week, let’s take a look at the popular Golden Retriever, and the lesser known Chesapeake Bay Retriever. The Golden Retriever is both an outstanding hunting dog and family companion due to her winning personality, desire to please, and high intelligence. The Chessie looks a bit like a Lab, and was developed to retrieve birds from the icy waters of the Chesapeake Bay—sometimes 200 ducks a day. Read more about these two lovely dog breeds here. 

Besides writing my own columns and books, I’m also sometimes interviewed by other journalists about various pet-centric topics. Natalie Perkins of Galtime online magazine, asked me about sibling rivalry—that is, what to do when your fur-kids have issues. She writes, “Scratching, clawing, biting, hissing—no, I’m not talking about shoppers at the Nordstrom Holiday Sale, I’m talking about pet rivalries! Having two or more pets that just don’t seem to get along, be it dogs, cats, or a combination of both, can be frustrating, time-consuming, and even dangerous! That’s why we turned to Amy Shojai, certified Animal Behavior Consultant and author of over 20 cat and dog care books, to give us a little bit of help dealing with these “sibling rivalries.” You can read the rest of the article here. (And yes, my PETiQuette book has lots more details *s*)

Quick Wags: Like mysteries with dogs? Listen to the Pet Peeves radio interview with PA Woodburn about her latest book, CRIES IN THE DARK.

For my dog-matic readers, I hope you’ll subscribe to the RSS feed and/or check back on Woof Wednesdays. And for those cat-egorical readers, never fear—Feline Friday is just around the corner! And to pick up all the in between topics, stay tuned for Monday Meanderings.Yes, I promise to (try to) be faithful to my blog. Please post comments and suggestions—you’ll need to register first if you’re not yet a RedRoom member, but I promise, it’ll be worth it!

Woofs & Wags,

amy