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Monday Mentions: Stroke-icity, Convict Cats & Dining Dogs

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magic w red roses

Yep, that's Magic when he was a lil' guy. That rose has grown up, too, and still dwarfs him.

This week will be so busy that you may not see much of me–virtually or otherwise. I’ve received back my awesome editor’s revision notes on my thriller LOST AND FOUND and so have cleared my desk to concentrate on that. Never fear, I’ll have blogs for you this week prepared in advance.

Meanwhile for brain food, in the evenings I start rehearsals for the part of Golde in Fiddler On The Roof. For stress relief there’s playtime with the Magical-Dawg and Seren-Kitty…and spending time in the roses.

Did I mention that about 500 antique roses surround our house? It used to be 700+ but the drought, armadillos and grasshopper attrition left a dent. You cannot believe the aroma! Before the weather gets too hot, I plan to spend time with the laptop out on the patio. BRAINSTORM! That’s the perfect place to work on the fiction revisions. I feel better already. 🙂

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the TASTY neato-torpedo links and videos, pet schtuff and bling and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Some of this “schtuff” can be hard to categorize and may fit more than one topic so I urge you to at least scan them all.


Stroke From The Inside Out Dr Jill Bolte Taylor, a brain researcher, experienced a stroke and describes the process. Amazing! For writers, this is a must-see video and will give incredible insight into characterization. Thanks to D.P. Lyle for the link.

How To Write A F…antastic Blog  use the “F”

Line In The Sand, must-read blog by Lisa Hall-Wilson for all fiction writers. Excellent post!

Competing With Amazon? Kill DMR! an interesting discussion by Charlie Stross (thanks to the awesome WriterBeware blog for the link)

Stephen King’s FB Promo


How Not To Get A Cat, a fun blog any cat lover (or writer) will enjoy!

Dog TV? you betcha, Fido! Thanks to Piper Bayard for the paws-up mention

The Farley Foundation helps owners who can’t afford pet health care

Cats In the Klink  a cats-in-prison program that helps inmates and cats, awesome! Thanks to my friend and awesome cat writer Toni Eames for point out this story.

Stacey Ritz new blog, worth checking out, all about pets and writing

Sergeant’s Introduces New Pheromone Behavior Products to help relieve cat and dog anxiety

Bobcat Fever Affects Pet Cats, Too but cytauxzoonosis not as deadly as once thought

Weird Cat Disease turns cats into robots? Scary-bad stuff! What if it jumped species into people…plot for a thriller.

New Studies In IMHA (immune-mediated hemolytic anemia)

Seeing Eye to Eye: Visionary Care for Service Dogs The 5th Annual ACVO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam Event offers free exams in May 2012. Learn more from Dr. Bill Miller, a veterinary ophthalmologist with the program, in this eye-opening Pet Peeves show.

And no, it’s not a fake, and not digitally manipulated. Here’s the outtakes:

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, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with excerpts from the forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND, and pet book give-aways!

Woof Wednesday: Diarrhea & Taxes

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Based on yesterday’s “dogs roll in stuff” video and today’s posts you’d think this blog has gone into the toilet . . . and some days/weeks it really does turn out that way. Sharing your life with dogs and cats, being self employed–or dealing with a !#$%^&*()! boss, means we all shovel a lot of if on a daily basis. Sometimes literally.

The Magical-Dawg has a whoopsie tummy. *sigh* Last year he developed loose stools off and on for a couple of weeks, but still felt fine. We did the standard routine–withheld food and water for 24 hours to rest his gut (pissed off the dawg!) or offered only small amounts of bland food. Plain yogurt to help repopulate the “good bacteria” in the gut, or highly digestible cottage cheese with plain white rice.  How do you handle your pets’ diarrhea?

The boy luvs his food!

Magic likes these alternative foods so much, I sometimes wonder if he doesn’t break with the runs just to get the treat! Anyway, last year we thought it was under control until the several days I had jury duty and wasn’t home to monitor–and returned to find a mess with a majorly sick dawgie. Stoopid me should’ve had him vetted before it turned serious. Oh, he recovered after some major horse-capsule worm medicine rid him of the “bugs” he’d imbibed from swilling drinks from the tank. (A “tank” is Texan for “ginormous manmade puddle)

Anyway, since that time the Magical-dawg’s CREATIVITY has been carefully monitored. Yesterday the vet checked a stool sample and found it negative.  So we’re guessing it’s a result of stress being confined for loooooooooooong hours this past weekend while I spoke at the Professional Journalists conference and my hey-honey prepared taxes for 14+ hours a day.

The gate in the Magic-Mobile should be tax deductible!

Yes, countdown to tax season faces us all. Do taxes make you whimper and howl? I’m still waiting for the Magical-Dawg and Seren-Kitty to be legal to claim as dependents. And hey, if we write about pet food, shouldn’t we get to deduct that cost? Oh, and since the dawg’s diarrhea resulted from the stress of my job (being away), seems only fair to list “diarrhea expense” under itemized deductions.

How many of us don’t have health insurance–or at least, as much coverage as we should? (…raising furry paw) Since pets are good for our health — check out the blog on the topic — Uncle Sam should pay US for housing, feeding, training, and loving our furry charges!

The AKC just sent out a press release “From Puppy Bling to Lavish Toys…” and my furry ears pricked up. Seems they conducted a tongue-in-cheek survey and found “63% of dog owners who receive a tax refund will use the money to pamper their dog.  The most popular splurge-worthy item was doggy bling (a rhinestone collar or fancy leash).”

Will your tax refund “go to the dogs?” How would our dogs choose to spend their tax refund? Never-ending smorgasbord? Herd of sheep? Cats that allow sniffing? Magical-Dawg has his eye on a yogurt machine.  Channel your “inner dawg” (or kitty!) and share how they’d spend a tax refund.

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!

Woof Wednesday: The Magic-Mobile

Magical-Dawg in the Magic-Mobile!


Magic loves car rides. Those who read my Facebook page (more pictures there) know we recently traded our previous Volvo (the Magic-mobile) for a bright red Camry, yee-haw! The poor dog couldn’t understand why he wasn’t getting his daily car-ride “fix.” But you see, the dog thinks he should drive. He liked to stand on the middle storage thingy (that’s a writer technical term) between the front seats, and pose like a furry hood ornament.

I’d taught him to “wait” and not dash out the front door over the driver (that’s me!) whenever we stopped. Oh, he knows the “wait” command. He’s known basic commands since appearing on TV at ten weeks old  (clicker training rocks!), but in the car, all bets were off.  And I’ll admit, I was impatient.

So for the first several car rides, he wore his leash, which I shut in the back door as a do-it-yourself tether. But I know my dog. It’s safer to BE SURE he’s reliable when needed, such as a car accident or unexpected exciting event makes it impossible for him to hold that “wait.” A new car is the perfect opportunity to create a better dog-safe ride. Besides, Magic got a gift certificate for Christmas that burned a hole in my pocket.

I chose the Universal Car Pet Barrier by Precision Pet Products and I paid close to $100….and am KICKING myself because this link has it listed for $20! Oh well. There are others available but reviews lamented the difficulty of assembly and when quizzed, the store staff admitted every one of the others that they’d sold had been returned for that reason. O-kaaaaay… 

This one, though it indicated “for all cars,” most usually is fit into SUVs, but it actually worked well for the Camry. It fits with tension poles against the floor and roof, and expandable width to fit most any size. An additional add-on was needed to fill the gap between the front seats—Otherwise smarty-pants dog stuck his head through the gap to reach his perching post.

Yes, that picture is of my boy in HIS new car! Don’t worry, the windows were down just for the picture and get rolled up when we start rolling. He’d love to stick his head out but my roughneck dog is sure to get an eye injury from flying who-knows-what.

This won’t work for small dogs (or cats). They’ll go through the bars. A carrier in the back seat is best, or clip the harness to the seat belt. Even if you have the best behaved pet on the planet, CRAP HAPPENS! You don’t want to lose your pet out the door, or have him crushed by the front seat airbag.

This past Sunday, N. Texas got snow. Oh, those of you reading in other parts of the country shake collective heads and say, “so what?” Well, in Texas if it even threatens to flurry, the sidewalks roll up, kids get a free day from school, and drivers try out for race car status to get out of the mess that much quicker. Yikes! Magic, of course, has a fur coat (how politically incorrect!) and revels in throwing doggy snowballs at me and scooping white stuff onto Frisbees he proudly carries into the house.

By today (Woof Wednesday), snow stopped but temps dropped. The inside of your nose freezes with each inhaled breath. Any pet allowed outside risks frostbite or worse. Fur provides great weather protection, but even fluffy cats and dogs can suffer frostbite on the thinly furred parts of the body.

Cold climates offer the most risk. Even moderately cool temperatures can be dangerous due to wind-chill. Wind strips away the protective layer of warm air trapped by fur next to a pet’s skin. Getting wet makes the cold even worse, and body parts that come in contact with the icy ground have little protection from the cold. You can learn more about preventing frostbite, recognizing it, and giving first aid in this article. Until next week—STAY WARM!

Woofs & Wags,