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Surprise! I Made a Book: The Official Guide to Living with DINOS

Shut the front door. I made a book! The Official Guide to Living with DINOS is on sale. Right now.

WHAT?! Yeah girl, it is. Look at how pretty:

DINOS book cover

This tiny book took me so long to get done that I thought it would never happen. But let’s be honest.  It once took me an entire year to make a tri-fold pamphlet.. I’m nothing if not slow moving.

Weighing in at just over 60 pages, my book is technically a booklet. I think the let makes it sounds more mysterious. Like it’s a French woman who, unlike me, knows how to wear a scarf the right way.

The booklet is a collection of ten lessons I’ve put together to help anyone who is living with DINOS for the very first time. Some lessons are brand new. Some are old favorites from the blog. But they’re all in one place now, so that the next time you come across someone who is new to living with DINOS and they’re having a panic attack, you can say,

“Breathe into this paper bag, then check out Jessica’s booklet The Official Guide to Living with DINOS. It won’t teach you how to wear a scarf, but it will make life with your dog way easier.”

And no, the book isn’t about dog training. It won’t tell you how to fix your dog’s problems (I’ll leave that up to the experts). The guide is all about how to make it through the day with a dog that needs space. It’s a 60 page pep talk with practical tips.

I know you guys with fearful and reactive dogs are the ones struggling the most, so you were at the front of my thoughts as I wrote this. I’m hoping that dog trainers, dog walkers, and shelter workers who have clients that are feeling really down about their fearful and reactive dogs can offer up the booklet as support. So instead of feeling isolated and overwhelmed, the newbies will feel empowered and excited about living with their not-so-perfect dogs.

Here’s a look at the Table of Contents so you can get a feel for what’s inside:


I was definitely writing the booklet for people who are brand new to the DINOS scene, but I think some of you who have been around since day one will really enjoy this too.

Jenny Williams, Team DINOS member and creator of the 66 Dogs Project, has been reading my ramblings for years. I was truly lucky that she gifted me her brilliant editing skills for the book and after reading an earlier draft, this is what she wrote about it:

“Reading this I laughed, I cried, and I took snuggle breaks with my dog to remind myself of how lucky I am to have him in my life, in spite of (and because of) his challenges.”


Crying! Laughing! Snuggling! What more can you ask for from a booklet, right? Seriously though, Jenny’s feedback was the kindest and I hope – down to my toes – that you all feel the same when you read it.

You can pick up a print copy or ebook on Amazon.

Or you can buy a print copy straight from Createspace.

Finally, a big fat thank you to Jenny for the editing and feedback, Nat and Bill for the gorgeous cover design, and my mom for the encouragement, proofreading, and for pointing out that using the term “stewardess” in the book was old fashioned and kind of sexist and, uh, maybe I should use “flight attendant” instead. Good call. Thanks mom.

But, wait. There’s more!

Want to win a free print copy of The Official Guide to Living with DINOS?

Here’s what you have to do:

1. In the comments tell me: Your dog just published their first book. What’s the title?

For example: Birdie’s would be This Beagle Don’t Bark: A Memoir 

And Boogie’s would be How to Touch Your Butt to Your Forehead: Maximizing Your Unique Talents and Creating the Life You Want*

*He’s into self-help books.

2. The deadline to leave your comment is Monday 4/27/15 at midnight EST.

3. One comment will be chosen using randomizer. On Tuesday 4/28 I’ll announce the winner here and on Facebook. I’ll also contact the winner via email to get their mailing address, so I can send out the book!

So go, one tell me: What’s the title of your dog’s book?


4/28/15: The winner was just drawn….Congratulations goes to Hannah of Eriesistibull! Thanks to everyone who commented. Your creative answers always make me laugh!!

  1. I love your blog posts. I just bought the Kindle Book from Amazon. Thank You for putting all of your information into one place. As a pet sitter/dog walker, I am often asked to care for dogs who are not great around other dogs. Your advice has helped me a lot.

    April 23, 2015
    • Thank you Kelly (for buying the book and for taking care of other people’s DINOS)!

      April 23, 2015
  2. Trail Mutt-Info #

    Congratualtions! Check us out on Kickstarter

    This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain information that is confidential, privileged, proprietary and protected from disclosure by applicable law. Any unauthorized review, use, duplication, disclosure or distribution is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and immediately destroy all copies of this message, including electronic and hard copies. Thank you for your cooperation.

    April 23, 2015
  3. steveandmoe #

    Moe’s would be: How To Eat Anything In Under 30 Seconds

    April 23, 2015
    • That’s the name of my book too! Me and Moe would get along well : )

      April 23, 2015
  4. Reba #

    Islay’s would be “Kissing the World, One Person at a Time”

    April 23, 2015
  5. Holly #

    “Throw the Damn Frisbee Already” by Chico Southern.

    Congratulations on this book! I can tell I will love it, and obviously if I don’t win the free copy, I will have to get one on my own. I already feel better (and need to get home to hug my dog) just by reading the table of contents.

    April 23, 2015
  6. Mary Anne H. #

    Pigwidgeons’s book would be “Dachshund World Domination – we may have lost two world wars but we never stop trying” Subtitled “How to eat poop, act like a ninny, yet still be endearing to your human” I see this turning in to a series of books very much like Harry Potter in scope and depth.

    April 23, 2015
  7. leora orent #

    I just ordered your book. My dogs will love it! If I win another one I will give it away to a friend from Austin Pets Alive.

    April 23, 2015
  8. Bella’s would be: How the amazing yellow machines clean up zombies from the streets (in the morning) A guide to peacefully observe school busses at pick up time.

    April 23, 2015
  9. Kathy #

    Jaco, Malinois Shepherd mix: “I use my snout to bury my poop and my pee; I think I am a cat.”

    April 23, 2015
  10. Rose Tremblay #

    Shila’s Shenanigans: My life with a difficult dog

    April 23, 2015
  11. Ann Johnson #

    Pepper’s book title would be, “Are you gonna eat that?: a dog’s guide to successful begging”

    April 23, 2015
  12. Anne Davidson #

    Trevor’s book is titled “Do Unto Others Before They Do Unto You”

    April 23, 2015
  13. Chelsea Kirtley #

    Mama’s book would be “If Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy!”

    April 23, 2015
  14. Jaime #

    Ginkgo’s book: “How to perfect your Miss Piggy impersonation”

    April 23, 2015
  15. Lita 13yo pit bull “Aging gracelessly, and loving it: How to lose your mind happily and drive everyone else crazy doing it!” (She’s totally into embracing her senility and forcing other people to enjoy it, too.)
    Layla 10 yo pit bull “Mine. The true story of why we can’t have nice things.” (Resource guarder’s memoirs)
    Andre 3yo pit bull mix “Running for weenies” (a collection of cartoons celebrating one utterly spineless, neurotic, pit bull mix who runs for exercise and stress relief.)

    April 23, 2015
    • Bobbi O. #

      Juli, I see a fabulous line of “…for weenies” books down the road! I can’t wait to see what else Andre comes up with!

      April 23, 2015
  16. Cindy Daws #

    Oden’s book is “Do I smell treats in your pocket? A Guide to Prosperous Pickpocketing”

    April 23, 2015
  17. Bobbi O. #

    “All Clear!: The path to living and loving life in small doses” by Caedus Bane.

    April 23, 2015
  18. Tobylcsw #

    Fabulous! Congratulations on your book! Toby Friedman

    April 23, 2015
  19. Maegan #

    My dog’s book would be “Who do you think you are? one dog’s mission to tell they world it can suck it.

    April 23, 2015
  20. Kimberly Hansen #

    Afrienda’s book would be “How to Hug Humans”, Annika’s would be “Let Me Teach You How to Play Fetch” and Jack’s would be “Scavenger Hunts in the Woods for Dogs”. Love that you have done a book Jessica. I live with a DINOS and life has been wonderful AND challenging with my boy.

    April 23, 2015
  21. saydox #

    My dachshunds’ (primarily Holly & Lana) book title would be: The Point of Senseless Barking (& How to Perfect It so as to be Most Irritating). 😦

    April 23, 2015
  22. saydox #

    My dachshunds’ book (primarily being Holly & Lana) would be titled: How to Bark Senselessly at Nothing: The Art of Perfecting This Barking to be Most Irritating.

    April 23, 2015
  23. Avis Jobrack #

    “Because I Want To! The Life of a Wheaten Terrorist…

    April 23, 2015
  24. Angel Plute #

    My fearful Aussie/border collie’s would be: Ari’s Anxiety Tails and other random stinky stuff to roll in

    April 23, 2015
  25. Lynne Moore #

    Cowboy Roy’s book is – How to hunt for lizards: it’s not just a hobby, but a lifestyle.

    April 23, 2015
  26. Lisa #

    Jeremy’s book title: “Yes, I Do Know Where Poo Poos Live”

    April 23, 2015
  27. Buddy (Dog fear-reactive rescue border collie) “Dog see, Dog do: Tails of a vocal Border Collie”

    April 23, 2015
  28. Kota’s would be: How to keep micro management from destroying your personal life.

    April 23, 2015
  29. Monica Kelly Wright #

    Sugar’s would be “Don’t Worry Mom, I’ve Got This: A Fearful Rotty’s Guide to Taking Care of a Clueless Human”

    April 23, 2015
  30. loveapit #

    Simba’s book would be: DINOS: Leave me alone, I just want to sleep because I’m lazy.

    Mia’s would be: Smiles & Wags: The Tail of a Dog Who Loves Everything.

    April 23, 2015
  31. Karen josephson #

    Accentuate the Positive: Using your looks to overcome your fears. by Shorty, my Pit Bull Bassett Hound boy.

    April 23, 2015
  32. My dog just published her first book – How to poo while running

    April 23, 2015
  33. Mikelle #

    Lilo’s Would Be: Why Can’t I Lick That Cat

    April 24, 2015
  34. Thank you so much to share all these in one. i like to read your books. though i love my dog very much. your writing just awesome and every sentence is so much informative

    April 24, 2015
  35. “I Bark At Old Ladies Minding Their Own Business 50 Yards From My House”
    A Dog’s Guide To Guarding The Home From Non-Threatening People and Things

    by: Mitch Hedberg The Chihuahua

    April 24, 2015
  36. Theresa #

    My Jerry bears would be ” How to claim the king size bed “

    April 24, 2015
  37. Della Pedano #

    From Wild Woobie Beast to WonderBull is 5 easy(not always) steps.

    Congratulations on the book. I know I will be recommending it a lot!

    April 24, 2015
  38. “I Bark At Old Ladies Minding Their Own Business 50 Yards From My House:”
    A Dog’s Guide To Guarding The Home From Non-Threatening People and Things

    by: Mitch Hedberg The Chihuahua

    April 24, 2015
    • Bobbi O #

      Love it!

      April 24, 2015
  39. playinglife #

    Layla’s would be “Will Work for Cheese!”

    April 24, 2015
  40. Mary #

    My dogs book would be titled – I’m a human trapped in a dog costume !

    April 24, 2015
  41. Lynn Graham #

    Thank you for this book!! Just ordered it–very excited! Will recommend it to friends with DINOS and to others at the shelter where I volunteer since we get several DINOS there. (You might have to come up with a special price for bulk purchases!) Your blog posts have been so wonderful & helpful–now we get a book TOO. Whoa!!

    April 24, 2015
  42. woofmew #

    Yay! on your book! my Siberian Citrine’s book would be called “yeah, right” what a Sibe says to commands… i always wanted a Citrine, so i could say “Sit! Citrine!” she does do that, but apparently the rest are not necessary, unless the cat says so.

    April 25, 2015
  43. Whoa, congrats on the book! You’re kind of my idol now. Can’t wait to check it out!

    If Rufus published a book, it would be called “It’s Complicated.” You know, because there’s never just one explanation or reason for his “issues” and behavior. 😉

    April 25, 2015
  44. yote54 #

    Jethro’s book would be “I’m a Red Ball Jet!: running faster, jumping higher, doing agility in places no dog has gone before.” Ziva’s would be “Diary of a Warrior Princess:treats are mandatory, compliance is optional.”

    April 25, 2015
  45. Laura A #

    Your dog just published their first book. What would the title be: Millie’s would be “Millie’s Many, Many, Many Misadventures and Misfortunes”

    April 26, 2015
  46. Laura A #

    Or “Miss Millie’s Many Loving Ways… and Mishaps”

    April 26, 2015
  47. Laura A #

    Another book about Millie, “Dog-ter Jerkyl and Miss Hyde”

    April 26, 2015
  48. Laura A #

    And lastly, “Are You There God, It’s Me Millie, We Need Your Help!”

    April 26, 2015
  49. Robbie #

    Eat, play, sleep – Ivie’s Guide for Success

    Thank you, Jessica, for all the wonderful posts and now a book!

    April 26, 2015
  50. My Lab’s book would be “Ball! I have one brain cell and it says ball.”

    April 27, 2015
  51. Casey McGee #

    You Can’t Handle The Truth: Keeping the World Safe, One Bunny at a Time

    April 27, 2015
  52. Jane Marquis #

    Marco: I like who I know but I’m not sure about you if you’re new. Give a dog a space

    April 27, 2015
  53. Emilia #

    Happy’s book title would be:

    1000 ways to be Happy (who would not like it!)

    April 27, 2015
  54. Tesla’s – Pathetic: One dog’s journey and the face that got her there
    Edison;s – Sh!tfaced (the true story of a poopeater)

    April 27, 2015
  55. “Tucker’s guide to snacking, a.k.a. fluff doesn’t have calories”

    April 27, 2015
  56. Maple’s book would be called A Girl’s Guide to Eating Pooping, Killing All The Animals, and Getting Your Man.

    Morgan’s book would be called How to Train Your Human and Obtain World Domination.

    Barney’s book would be called How to be The Chillest Dog in Town: A Dangerous Dogs’ Memoir.


    April 27, 2015
  57. Stacey #

    “A Connoisseur’s Guide for Sniffing Out the Finest Gourmet Bunny ‘Treats’ – in Your Yard and on the Go”

    April 27, 2015
  58. Amber Kostoff #

    “How Many Licks DOES It Take? Learning to Live and Love with a Freshly-Applied-Lotion Oral Fixation”. By Ramey Dog.

    “I’m Not Creepy, I Just Love You!!!!…In a stare at you while you are sleeping kind of way…” By Warren Dog

    Congrats on your booklet!! Can’t wait to read it!

    April 27, 2015
  59. Congrats on your book-let! I’m so excited to get my copy and pass it along to my training clients, adopters and dog walking group as I often do with your posts. You are an inspiration to fearful & reactive dog parents everywhere!!! Keep up the great work Jessica!

    April 29, 2015
    • Thank you so much Dee – your kind words made my day!

      April 30, 2015
  60. I am truly impressed! To write a book has been on my bucket list for years now, once I even got as far as writing the contents list! Kudos to you for seeing through, very exciting indeed 🙂

    P.S. I will be ordering my copy as soon as I’m finished here.

    May 14, 2015
  61. Congratulations, Jessica! I received my brand new copy of The Guide today…. and a second copy for the Jessica who walks my DINOS.

    You have been such a tremendous source of support for us, both online and off, and I am so genuinely thrilled there is a new venue for others to experience your insight.

    I can honestly say your work has given me a better life. Thank you.

    Lynn (the mom) and
    Molly (the pit)

    May 14, 2015
    • Hi Lynn! Thank you so much for buying the book and for ALL of your kind words – they mean a lot to me. Truly.

      I hope you and Molly are both doing well (I didn’t know her dog walker is also named Jessica – I like that very much!). Give her a “good girl” belly rub for me, ok?

      May 15, 2015

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