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Feline Friday: Ask Amy~Why Cats Drool During Petting

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Cats (especially show cats) can learn to tolerate and even appreciate hugs. What does this kitty's body language say? Look at the ears, the whiskers, the eyes...

This week’s Woof Wednesday post on hugging dogs garnered a LOT of attention and started some great discussions both here, at my puppies.about.com site, on Facebook and even in my IAABC email list among the behavior consultants. And it’s true that the “hugging rule” applies to cats, as well. Hugging is not generally considered a cat behavior that expresses affection, even though cats can learn to enjoy this. As others have said, it all depends upon the cat, the owner, and the circumstances (and also, how you define a “hug”).

But that begs the question, what do cats enjoy? And how do you know they like it? What do you do if a cat’s expression of affection or enjoyment doesn’t appeal to you–or even disgusts you?

WHY DOES MY CAT DROOL, EWWW!

How many folks have experienced a drooling, bubble-blowing saliva-spewing kitty? Since they’re much smaller than dogs, the drool factor may not be quite the same level as, say, a St. Bernard. Lovers of drooly dogs invest in drool-resistant attire and regularly hose down walls, furniture, or anything else within drool-flinging range.

I exaggerate, but not by much.

Cats also can turn on the water works. Sometimes that’s a sign of dental issues or sore mouths. While the sight of something tasty can get my Magical-Dog soaking wet with slobber-icity, the same thing rarely seems to happen with cats.  When a cat feels stressed, excessive grooming may be a way he helps calm himself. That could require increased salivation, but I’m not aware of a direct link between drooling and stress.

But some cats salivate when petted. The more they get petted, the greater the drippy flow. I really don’t know why some cats drool and blow bubbles while others don’t. They must simply be wired differently. The mechanism to turn on the water works has to do with the same pleasure triggers that prompt petted cats to knead/tread in satisfaction. Cats’ impulse to knead hearkens back to the sensation they felt when nursing, and eating would trigger salivation. So it’s not a huge jump to attribute salivating and drooling to these same pleasurable sensations. Drooling when petted is one more way cats show us love.

Do your cats drool? What are the circumstances? I’m curious if cats in the same household might “copy cat” behavior and more than one do this or is it primarily an individual issue? What are some other ways your cats show you they LIKE something? What else have I missed in the Ask Amy video below? Please share!

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: Big Hairy Deal & Stop Litter Box Snacking

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On Monday Mentions you saw my Hairball Celebrity Creature, and a number of folks had terrific guesses. Today you can find out just WHO that was supposed to be–featured on PeoplePets.com, a gallery of 9 of the hairy hopefuls are profiled.

To see the whole gallery plus the five finalists, and vote for your choice of winner, click on the logo, above.

In the spirit of Woof Wednesday, but with a nod to the cats, today’s Ask Amy has a cross-species problem to address. Does your dog (urk!) snack from the litter box? Learn why dogs eat dung in this article. How do you keep Poochie away from the poo?

I’m in the process of completely revising my ComPETability book to be even more prescriptive, and some of the tips from the book are presented in the video, below. What are some other ways you handle the problem? Do tell!

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: How To Talk To Dogs

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Puppy

"Say, what? I don't get it..." Image copr. Lewis Gardner

Once you understand the language of dogs and what your puppy “says” with his barks, wagging tail talk and other body language, you’ll know how to talk to a dog with effective puppy communication. Remember that your puppy is not a mind reader and what’s “normal” behavior for people may be a totally foreign language and offensive to dogs. Instead, you can use “dog talk” to get your message across. Here’s an article with some detailed “do’s and don’ts” about how to talk to your dog.

Are there certain words, phrases or silent signals (hand gesture commands?) that you’ve taught your dog? Did you teach them, or did the dog simply pick them up? Magic understands “car ride” and “Frisbee” and learned on his own, but I taught him hand signals for sit, down and wait. Here’s the first in what I hope will be a series of Ask Amy videos on how to talk to your dog. What else would you like to see?

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 pet book give-aways!

Ask Amy-Why Is My Dog A Licking Maniac?

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Sebastion and Mabel

Sometimes licking goes a wee bit overboard! This is Sebastion and Mabel (thanks to Copr. Esagirl for sharing!)

Dogs lick for all kinds of reasons. We like to think of those slurpy tongue-swipes as canine kisses, and certainly they can be a way for your pet to show affection. In puppies, licking can be a way to show deference to an older dog and even adult dogs may use licks to show respect to their people. It may even be a way for dogs to show their love.

Dogs also use lip licking as an appeasement gesture. These are signals that other dogs  interpret, “I mean no threat.”You may catch your dog lip-licking when he feels stressed in a strange environment at the vet, for example.

Licking also is used to self-groom, but that can get out of hand when a dog lick-lick-licks a sore such as a hot spot. Other times, dogs just lick out of boredom when it becomes a habit or they’re rewarded in some way for the behavior.

Magical-Dawg loves to lick my hands after I’ve used lotion. Or when I’ve eaten (by hand) KFC or something similar. I’ve also heard reports of dogs who lick-lick-licked a particular spot on the owner that–once examined by a human doc–turned out to be cancer! While licking has many potential reasons, from serious to innocuous, it shouldn’t be shrugged off, either.

Today’s Ask Amy describes yet another licking issue. Yes, dogs can have OCD problems. Have you ever had a dog who displayed obsessive-compulsive behaviors? Magical-Dawg is pretty obsessive about his Frisbee (he has a 6-Frisbee-A-Day habit). That’s the way I keep Magic happy–how do you know your dog is happy? How would you deal with a dog that licks everything all the time?

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? 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 pet book give-aways!

Feline Friday: Ask Amy-Why Cats Hate Cars

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"Nice bed...as long as it doesn't move, Mom..."

I’ve blogged about traveling with pets before. Chances are, you won’t have to worry about cat plane travel with your kitty-kids, but every pet must at least visit the veterinarian for well pet exams.  My Seren-kitty is due a vet visit this month, too, and she’ll be wearing her brand-new cat-designed Thundershirt to see if that helps calm her down (stay tuned for a review!).

P1010012

A halter and leash gives you something to grasp, other than slinky-kitty.

Kitty crate training goes a long way toward helping cats feel more comfortable about the car ride. But to date, I’ve found a number of things help keep my cat calm for the ride. I sit in the back seat with her while my husband drives to the clinic. Should we have a fender bender, the airbag from the front could crush a pet, so the fur-kids always ALWAYS stay in the back.

Meanwhile, Seren wears a halter and leash. The snug fit of the halter uses the same principle as the TTouch body wraps, which I suspect are what prompted products like Anxiety Wrap for dogs and the Thundershirt. I like having her secured with a halter, though, for something to grasp if she gets wiggly, even though she stays in her carrier.

By scheduling appointments so dogs (spit!) aren’t around when we enter the clinic, and so she’s seen immediately, Seren has less time to angst. I’ll also admit that part of choosing this clinic was they’re less than a 10 minute drive away–again, less time for the kitty to get wound up on the ride. It’s awesome, though, that our veterinarian not only takes great care of the Magical-Dawg but also has managed to get a hands-on full exam of my 7-pound devil-kitty without blood-letting.

Do your cats tolerate, love or hate the car? How do you manage the trip? Please share your tips! The Ask Amy video answers the question, but what else would you add? For those of you with kittens, now is a GREAT time to teach car-etiquette to prepare for the adult feline life (kittens tend to be clueless about such things!). You’ll find crate training tips in Complete Kitten Care.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? 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 pet book give-aways!

Woof Wednesday: Ask Amy–Why Do Dogs Love Underwear?

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You asked, and I delivered– finally I’ve recorded more Ask Amy videos, and this new one is a doozy. For all the cat folks out there, I’ve previously written about why cats (and dogs) follow us to the bathroom so the answer has something to do with the same issues.

My Magical-Dawg loves socks. Not clean ones, he wants those my husband has worn all day, and hordes and stockpiles them so I must go on a sock-hunt each laundry day. The underwear love affair (hey that rhymes! could be a future lyric, hmnnnn) has to do with smells as well.

In keeping with the theme of underwear day, y’all might want to check out Kristen Lamb’s Pants Of Shame, or take a look at Jenny Hansen’s Undie Chronicles. WARNING! do not read while sipping beverage. Now consider how your dogs feel about those sorts of (ahem) undie indulgences.

So do your dogs love underwear? How do you manage to defend from furry marauders? What is your answer to the dilemma, below? Do tell…I mean really, please, DO TELL!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? 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 pet book give-aways!

Monday Mentions: Fractal Felines, Cats with Thumbs, Extreme Dawgs & HALLELUJIA!

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo links and blogs and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. When this posts, I’ll still be on the road (maybe away from the computer GASP!) so I put this list together late last week. To fill in the empty spaces, I left it up to Magical-Dawg and Seren-Kitty to pick out a couple of favorite videos.

WEIRD & FUNNY SCHTUFF

Excuses–You Want Excuses? a whole slew of laugh-out-loud insurance excuses from Colin Falconer (hey, you need to check out his BOOK too!)

Stacy Green’s Glover for Lovers If you’ve got cold appendages, this blog has the answer for you. Stacy also writes a Thriller Thursday blog that’s a must-read.

KEWL WRITER SCHTUFF

Guest Blogger Jodi Renner on Killer Thriller Tips from the awesome Doug Lyle’s blog.

Pearson Wants MORE Rights, read about it in this Writer Beware post.

Jenny Hansen’s Awesome Formatting Tips for Writers

Lessons From Attila/Designing From Bones Blog from the awesome Gene Lempp–writers can learn a lot from these strong characters

Pets for Kids Poetry Contest, great pastime for creative kids over the holiday vacation

On Being Vulnerable–great post by blogger Nissi

FURRY-TASTIC PET SCHTUFF

Baggage Handler Fired for Helping Dog She did the right thing. What would YOU do?

Ease Travel Angst with Travel Calm from Earth Heart Inc.

EXTREME DOG WALKING This man takes his 16 dogs out for a bike ride and swim in a river every day. Look how well trained they are and how much they love him. By the time they return home, they are exhausted and ready for a good rest.

Stray Cat Poisoner Sentenced

Cat Inherits $13 Million, now that’s the cat’s meow!

PETSIDE.COM Holiday Sweeps, take a survey and get in line for $500

ProCATinator from the uber-evil Karyl Cunningham! cats doing CAT things to music–weirdly addictive.

Vir-Chew-Al Pet Gifts quite a variety and a really nice (truly!) gang of pet lovers run this show.

FRACTAL FELINES: This video is awesome–and IMO rates pretty high on the OOOK factor. What do you think? These Fractal Felines are enough to give Magical-Dawg nightmares but I think Seren sort of likes it.

CATS WITH THUMBS commercial just won an award! Awesome. Wonder if there’s a movie in the making?

HOMECOMING FOR THE HOWL-IDAYS: Here’s another video and the Magical-Dawg chose this one. It’s one of my favs, too. What about you?

MR. BEAN’S NATIVITY GAMES Admit it, you’ve wanted to do this!

HALLELUJIA CHORUS: Right in time for the holidays, this came across my virtual desk and I just had to share. Feel free to sing along.

#AskAmy Sweet Tweets

Folks who “follow” me on Twitter @amyshojai and @About_Puppies are the most awesome Sweet Tweets around–they love #cats and #dogs and #pets, many #amwriting.  Just follow and include the #AskAmy in your tweets if’n you’re interested in pithy links to articles, books, blogs, experts, fictioning and sparkle-icity!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? 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 pet book give-aways!

Monday Mentions: Pets, Writer-icity & Bo Does Christmas

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo links and blogs and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Although I didn’t participate in the NaNo-nanny-boo-boo November fictioning project, I’m impressed by several friends and colleagues who have made great progress on their novels. I hope to have news on my own thriller-icity WIP in the coming weeks.

To get my brain back in nonfiction book gear, tomorrow the Tuesday Tips begins the next series–this time on putting together book proposals. Stay tuned–and please check in to offer your own tips and suggestions.

Also please send your Ask Amy suggestions for future videos. Next weekend I’m putting on the sparkle-icity for more Q & A. Hey, if I don’t know the answer I’ll find out (or make something up!).

PET SCHTUFF

Pepsi Refresh Project! My friend and colleague Mary Ann Miller was just notified that her project idea for saving older stray cats has been approved to participate in the Pepsi Refresh project. You can help to get the word out and vote for this project three times a day with this link. You can go directly to the link and vote, you can vote via FB or you can text in a vote. In the 2 field you need to put 73774 and in the body of the message 110725 then send it. Spread the news–cats will thank you for it!

Cat Lady Land, great kitty photos with funny captions (how does she read those feline minds?)

Fidose of Reality gets dogs ready for winter–with a contest for safe ice melting product from Morton’s Salt

Cats Around the World by BJ Bangs. We love cats here in America but kitties don’t have it so lucky elsewhere.

Dog Food Company Tour, behind the scenes at Hill’s Pet Foods

Pet Store Picketed, article by my colleague Sally Bahner

Animals Predicting Earthquakes–fascinating!

Holiday Pet Portraits, a very kewl article on the subject from Sandra Murphy

Morris Animal Foundation funds studies that help companion animals as well as wildlife. Check these articles on keeping pets free of pain, and novel canine cancer treatments as well as help for feline oral cancer. You’ll also find information about what they’re doing to help aging horses. 

WRITING SCHTUFF

What Editors Think of Writers, hoooo boy

Inglish Spocken Here a hilarious blog from Colin Falconer on translations (sorta-kinda-in-a-way)

Publishing Options analysis helpful to judge pros and cons for authors

Ode to Traditinally Pub’d Authors, a great blog post by Libby Fischer Hellmann

NaNoWriMo Now What? from Alexandra Sokoloff, great advice as always

SEO for Bloggers, great tips and information for bloggers of all furry stripes from Karen Nichols

Bo does Christmas–Merry Ho-Ho-Ho! A fun video from the Whitehouse.

#AskAmy Sweet Tweets

Folks who “follow” me on Twitter @amyshojai and @About_Puppies are the most awesome Sweet Tweets around–they love #cats and #dogs and #pets, many #amwriting.  Just follow and include the #AskAmy in your tweets if’n you’re interested in pithy links to articles, books, blogs, experts, fictioning and sparkle-icity!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? 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 pet book give-aways!

Feline Friday: Cat-mas Trees & Book Winners

two Persian kittens with Christmas ribbons

Red & green--festive, but be sure all decor is safe!

The Christmas tree might as well be an early holiday gift to your cats. Kitty can’t resist the urge to sniff, cheek rub, claw—and scale the branches to reach the highest possible perch. Don’t blame your cat. It’s normal for cats to compete for the top spot (literally and figuratively) to secure their place in kitty society.

Youngsters won’t care about social standing, but high energy kitten play turns the holiday tree into a jungle gym. Tree encounters of the kitty kind not only risks breaking your heirloom ornaments, your furred family members can be injured by chewing or swallow dangerous items.

Rather than fight a losing battle to keep cats at bay, create a second cat-safe tree with these 12 tips, so the fur-kids can enjoy the holidays as much as you do. Today, I’m a guest blogger over at Petflow with these 12 tips for a cat-safe Christmas tree. For all you dog lovers–and especially the folks with SQUEEEEE! puppies, check out the Woof Wednesday topic just for doggies here.

Hey, I’m not the only one with cautions for pets this holiday season. My colleagues over at VNN (Veterinary News Network) just posted this excellent video.

WINNERS WINNERS & MORE WINNERS!

This month as a special “thank you” to all my furry-fantastic-followers, I’ve drawn two names from all the awesome folks who commented on this blog during the past month. There were FORTY-FIVE INDIVIDUALS who commented about their aging dogs and/or cats, wow! Although there wasn’t extra incentive to comment more than once, some of you did–5, 7, 9 and one person 18 times during the month. WOOT! So instead of just drawing two names, I’m adding one more winner (I can make up the rules *s*) and giving one book to the 18-comments follower:

KARYL CUNNINGHAM–I’ll email you to get your snail mail address, your choice of either the AGING CAT or AGING DOG book and how you’d like it paw-tographed. Thanks so much for following the blog and adding to the conversation.

The other two winners by random drawing are:

LESLIE SMITH

GRACEY

CONGRATULATIONS! And thanks so much for commenting on the blog and adding to the conversation. I will email each of you for your choice of which book:  Complete Care for Your Aging Cat or Complete Care for Your Aging Dog. If the book isn’t for you but will be a gift, I’m happy to send it to the winner or paw-tograph to the person of their choice for a holiday gift.

And as an EXTRA-special incentive–and to encourage all of y’all to mentor each other and spread the blogging/twitter/Facebook love–LESLIE SMITH and GRACEY each get to name one purr-son  (someone who gives them wags of support) and I’ll send those chosen mentors a paw-tographed book, too!

#AskAmy Sweet Tweets

Folks who “follow” me on Twitter @amyshojai and @About_Puppies are the most awesome Sweet Tweets around–they love #cats and #dogs and #pets, many #amwriting. We’ve become a great community including those in the #MyWANA social network twibe hosted by the awesome @KristenLambTX.  I’ve created my own hashtag to make it easier to follow my writerly & sparkle-icity endeavors by including the #AskAmy in your tweets. Lots of like-minded folks have started using this #AskAmy to find pithy links to articles, books, blogs, experts, fictioning and more!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? 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 pet book give-aways!

Monday Mentions: Awards, Mentoring, Pets & Writing

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo links and blogs and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Thanksgiving weekend was a time of catch-up, too much food, and playing with the fur-kids so there aren’t quite as many links as usual. There ARE some fun videos at the end, and don’t forget to comment to get in on the book give-away (only three more days!).

I have to take a moment to  thank everyone who made the recent Cat Writers Association event such a stunning success, and all who have worked publicly and behind the scenes for the past 19 years. One of those CWA heroes was Michael Brim, a cat lover and feline advocate, brilliant communicator and tireless cheerleader for cats, and for the CWA. When he died way too early, the organization created a memorial award in his name and he was the first recipient last year of the Michael Brim Distinguished Service Award. This award goes to those who have made a positive difference in the lives of cats through their work.

In past year’s I’ve been very fortunate to have my work recognized by my peers. As writers and communicators everyone relishes–in fact thrives–on receiving an “atta-boy/girl” now and then. But I don’t think I’ve ever been so moved as when I received Michael’s namesake award. He had some very large paw-steps to fill and I’m humbled to be considered for this honor. That’s the plaque on the right–but my name will also be added to the wall plaque at the Cat Fanciers Association headquarters, along with Michael’s. Wow.

A big part of the original CWA vision of the founders was to create a place for experienced and beginning writers to gather and share their love of cats while supporting each other’s writing success. If you come from the world of either “cats” or “dogs” or “animal welfare” or any of the other labels used today, you’ll realize how divisive it sometimes can be. Heck, put three dog trainers in one room and you’ll get 5 opinions on the RIGHT way to train. Place three cat lovers in a room and you’ll get that many and more opinions about breeds, animal welfare, showing, ferals and on and on and on. So the CWA from the beginning was designed to be ALL-INCLUSIVE’ and to foster an atmosphere of mentoring. And to recognize how important that concept is to me personally, each year  the SHOJAI MENTORING AWARD recognizes the CWA member that by word, action and/or deed has made a positive difference in another’s professional cat writing life. The plaque features a pair of hands giving a kitty a boost up to reach that star hanging from the moon. This year’s winner is Dr. Debra Eldredge–she was nominated by three different individuals, all who purrred her praises as a helper, guide and mentor on their cat-writing journey.

Do you have a mentor? Who has helped you succeed and reach your writing (or other) dreams? Maybe it was someone’s quiet comment of praise on your WIP or another’s suggestion about improving a query, or just a friend who took the time to listen. Please share!

PET SCHTUFF

Remember the PetNet promotion a couple weeks ago? I received word just before Thanksgiving from Petside.com that this year’s Pet ‘Net event has resulted in the donation of 41,450 bowls of food from Iams to local pet shelters. Bravo!

Kristl and Lee Franklin have just opened a new boarding and doggy daycare facility Camp Bow Wow in The Woodlands, Texas (outside of Houston). I met Kristl at a writers conference–hey, pets and writing just seems to go together. *s* Unfortunately that’s a bit of a commute for me but from what I’ve seen at the website, my Magical-Dawg would be in canine heaven. I wish them all the best on the new business.

Airline traveling with your pet over the holidays? Stacy Mantle has some great tips here. You can find some tips for car travel with puppies here.

Great Dog of the White Man, a blog from Judy Ridgley all about horses–for writers who write about riding. Terrific history and info, check it out.

Have you seen the new Animal Planet show SAVED? From these excerpts, looks like a winner.

Cat-mas Cards for the Holidays from Jane, creater of “The Pride” cartoon. I hear-tell there’s a new series of the 12 Cats of Christmas, what feline fun.

More holiday cards from MORRIS ANIMAL FOUNDATION, and an opportunity to donate to worthy animal causes.

Can't be destroyed--or is that a challenge YOUR dog wants to take?

Chelsey’s Toys (above) for the dog who destroys everything. Go over to Chelsey’s facebook page and tell Chelsey you heard about her toy here. *s*

WRITING & PUBLISHING SCHTUFF

Jodie Renner: Essential Elements of a Bestselling Thriller from D.P. Lyle’s “The Writer’s Forensics Blog–bookmark this site, you won’t be sorry.

Kristen Lamb’s  Novel Structure Series–Balancing Scenes, the yin & yang (or in pet-speak, the Push-Me, Pull-Me of scene structure). Awesome info.

Learn More about SEO –search engine optimization and all that hoo-haw important stuff, from the cat-tastic folks over at MouseBreath (cat bloggers unite!)

Using Internet Images–the low-down on the copyright, fair use and more on online images (you’ll be surprised–and not in a GOOD way).

Messages from the Beyond–really? from the Boomers & Books Blog–you have got to see this video, with ways to thumb your nose (or send your love) from beyond the grave.

The perfect gift for your dog–well, maybe. Are they kidding? Actually they’re not kidding. And I have to give a shout out to Piper Bayard who finds some of the kewlest videos around.

And below that first one, two more videos that are the REAL present your pet wants this holiday season.

THREE MORE DAYS UNTIL FREE BOOK DRAWING!

This month as a special “thank you” to all my furry-fantastic-followers, I’ll give away a paw-tographed copy of Complete Care for Your Aging Cat and Complete Care for Your Aging Dog. To get in the running, simply post a comment in the blog about your special pet (old fogey or not) and I’ll draw two names at the end of the month. You can use these award-winning updated books as a resource for yourself or wrap up for a pet-friendly holiday gift to a fur-loving friend. And as an EXTRA-special incentive–and to encourage all of y’all to mentor each other and spread the blogging/twitter/Facebook love–the two winners get to name one purr-son who gives them wags of support and deserves a book, too!

#AskAmy Sweet Tweets

Folks who “follow” me on Twitter @amyshojai and @About_Puppies are the most awesome Sweet Tweets around–they love #cats and #dogs and #pets, many #amwriting. We’ve become a great community including those in the #MyWANA social network twibe hosted by the awesome @KristenLambTX.  So I’m stealing borrowing Kristen’s methods and creating my own hashtag. Just follow and include the #AskAmy in your tweets if’n you’re interested in pithy links to articles, books, blogs, experts, fictioning and sparkle-icity!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? 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 pet book give-aways!