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Posts tagged ‘books’

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:

contents

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!!

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The Incomplete Book of Dog Names

When I saw this little treasure in a bookstore in Chatham, New York I had to buy it. It’s got four of my favorite things in one wee package:

Books

Dogs

Tininess

Quotes

 

Behold, the letterpress miniature book The Incomplete Book of Dog Names:

dog names

 

This 3.25″ x 4.5″ nugget is a “…collection from actual creatures now living either in the flesh or in memory.”

There are pages of dog names, most of which fell off the Top 10 Most Popular list long ago. Many of the names are historical and literary in nature, which I dig.

Personally, I’m putting Ms. Marple on my Names-for-Future-Dogs list (right next to Hoagie, which currently has the #1 spot). You guys have a list like that too, right?

 

dog book inside

 

A few quotes about dogs are sprinkled through the list of names. My two favorites:

 

quotes Incomplete Dog Names

You can purchase your own tiny copy here.

 

p.s. for those of you who work or volunteer with animals, I’ve been writing about the emotional side of our work over on my new blog. If you want one easy place to find everything I’m writing about, you might like to subscribe to my monthly(ish) e-letter. I’ll be sending one out next week!

 

 

Walking and Reading: 6|13|14

It's lupine time in Maine.

It’s lupine time in Maine. Not too shabby.

 

For the Humans:

I just discovered Evernote  (I know, I’m kinda late to the party). It is flat out rocking my world.

One of my oldest friends, photographer Ryan McGinley, just gave a fabulous commencement speech at Parsons. If you’re an artist, you’ll want to watch it. If you’re not, watch it anyway.

“Don’t compete. Find what’s uniquely yours. Identify what that thing is and do it.” – Ryan

 

For the Dogs:

It’s that time of year here in Maine: bug bites, rashes, and other dog boo boos abound. Bad Rap’s classic post has some good advice. 

Dogs Out Loud reminds us to catch our dogs doing something good. Amen to that.

Did you know dogs used to (literally) rule? Meet the Dog Kings.

 

For the Laugh:

Finally, I have a pro wrestling persona (I bet a few of you can relate)!

 

And Offline:

I just listened to the audio version of Into Thin Air, which had me running to Netflix to watch the IMAX Everest movie. And I’m currently laughing my way through Sister, Mother, Husband, Dog  by Delia Ephron. What about you?

 

 

Walking and Reading: 3|29|14

 

For the Humans: 

See that quote above. Phew. That’s a biggie. Do you have a hard time asking for help? I do. Watch this.  It’s short but it’ll blow your mind.

I am addicted to taking classes and this one is next on my list. 

And I think we should all be wearing this.

 

For the Dogs:

Lately, I’ve had a few people ask me for resources about medications for fearful and anxious dogs. Here’s a good place to start. 

Vintage photos of dogs on the high seas. Ahoy!

I may have shared this before, but I recently passed this along to some friends and thought, what the heck, let’s make sure everyone has a copy of “Relax on a Mat” from Whole Dog Training.

 

For the Laugh:

I just discovered  a new cartoon to keep me in the laughs. Meet The Rut.

 

And Offline: 

Along with some textbooks and a stack of magazines, I’m enjoying Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hanson (author of Buddha’s Brain).  It’s brain science and I can still understand it. So bonus.

 

What about you? Books? Classes? What are you learning about these days?

 

 

Walking and Reading: 2|21|14

I wish someone would hire me to pet sit a Highland Cow (otherwise known as a "hairy coo").

I wish someone would hire me to pet sit a Highland Cow (otherwise known as a “hairy coo!”).


For the Humans:

Old folks and young whippersnappers swap clothes. Sweetness ensues. Photos here.

How to say “no” to everything from smarty pants Alexandra Franzen.

Someone please make this for breakfast and send me some. Thanks.


For the Dogs: 

Does your dog hang out at dog parks? Please read this. 

Renting with dogs can be tough, particularly if you have large dogs or certain breeds. Good advice here. 

We should all get this t-shirt and this pillow (or just send them to me with that breakfast you’re packing up).


For the Laugh: 

I can’t stop watching this video.  It’s not new, but man, it’s the funniest.


And Offline:

I’m reading Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn. How about you? Any good books keeping you busy this chilly winter?

Top Dog: Thelwell’s Complete Canine Compendium

Things might be a little quiet on the DINOS Facebook page/Notes From A Dog Walker blog front for a bit. I’m not going anywhere, but I’m redirecting some of my energy to a couple of other projects this winter. Specifically:

1. I’m currently taking a graduate level course to help me decide if I want to go back to school and get my master’s degree. Homework is happening.

2. I’m working on a DINOS eBook! So far it’s shaping up to be the best of my blog, with a bunch of new essays and helpful tips thrown in for funsies. I’m writing it for the newbies who are living with DINOS for the first time. It can be overwhelming and they need a one-stop booklet to help boost their morale.

2a. The stuff I’d normally publish here about DINOS is getting saved for the book.

3. And I have to go to work. Those pesky jobs and their silly paychecks.

I find that the best way to deal with an impossibly long to-do list is to run away to the movies on a Sunday afternoon after doing a little thrift store shopping. Am I right?

Yes I am and here’s the proof. I scored this yesterday:

Top Dog by Norman Thelwell

Cover of Top Dog by Norman Thelwell



Published in 1964, this gem of a book is a compilation of the British cartoonist Norman Thelwell’s Sunday Express illustrations.

In the book he covers everything a dog owner needs to know about caring for a dog.  Such as “Choosing Your Dog”:

Top Dog by Norman Thelwell


How to care for their health:

Top Dog by Norman Thelwell


How to train dogs: “Some dogs bark and bark and bark…until the sound becomes unbearable…the only way to stop a dog from barking….”

Top Dog by Norman Thelwell

…is to learn the violin.”  That is, by far, the most sensible dog training advice I’ve ever gotten.

Top Dog by Norman Thelwell


There is an entire section devoted to how to handle your dog outdoors (clearly Thelwell was an early member of Team DINOS).

Top Dog by Norman Thelwell


“Meeting other dogs can be tricky. Restrain your own animal…and keep calm…above all…avoid a fight.”

top dog 3

The book also covers responsible dog owner laws:

Top Dog by Norman Thelwell


And my favorite illustration spans two pages.  “And he must be kept on a lead in public parks.”

Top Dog by Norman Thelwell


It’s a wonderful book, filled with cheeky text and illustrations and more than a few surprisingly helpful and progressive tips for real life dog care. If you ever come across a copy, scoop it up.

And now, it’s back to work for me – see you guys soon!

Walking and Reading: 1|18|14

New Year's greetings Newsboy throwing confetti

It’s still New Year’s right? We get until February before it’s Ye Old News, I think.


For the Humans:

Being busy isn’t a badge of honor.  It’s not enough to just be busy. How are we really using our time?

The award for best cartoon tribute in the “Man + His Cat” category goes to this dude. 


For the Dogs:

Tips for living with a blind dog (super cute Beagle alert)

Please read this one. It’s going to help you and your dogs. Pinky swear.

Are you following The Dogist yet? I love these photos of dogs on the streets of New York (and elsewhere).


For the Laugh:

Imagine waking up to this.


And Offline:

I’m taking a night class right now so these days my offline reading is heavy on books related to Adult Education. We’re discussing Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write. Ever read it? She’s the woman behind The Artist’s Way.

Walking and Reading: 12|13|13

chickenfriday13_2

Happy Friday the 13th! (source)



For the Dogs:

Historical dog breed photos.  Some breeds have undergone some changes (and not for the better). What she said. 

People with Service Dogs: this one’s for you.

It takes a village (or at least a few trusted friends) to raise a reactive dog.



For the Humans:

This man’s tutu is powerful medicine. 

The Mayors of New York: If you’ve ever lived in a big city, you know a few “mayors” too.

If you only click on one link, please make it this one. 



For the Laugh: 

Are you watching Bob’s Burgers? It’s my laugh-therapy. Here’s why you shouldn’t fight old people. 



And Offline:

I’m reading a collection of stories by Dorothy Parker and The Compassion Fatigue Workbook by Francois Mathieu. How about you?
 

 

Animals From History: Interview with Artist Christina Hess

In another lifetime I worked at an Irish bar in Philadelphia called Moriarty’s. The staff back in those days was a pretty awesome bunch. One of them was the artist Christina Hess.

More than a decade later, Christina is the brilliance behind the recently released project Animal From History:

The Fitzgeralds - Copyright Christina Hess - All Rights Reserved

The Fitzgeralds – Copyright Christina Hess – All Rights Reserved

 

I love this series of illustrations. A lot. Lucky for me (and you) Chris was up for a few questions about her work. Let’s dive in!


Jessica: What was the inspiration behind Animals From History?

Christina: Animals and history always interested me, but this project came together for a few reasons. I painted a white cat (Queen Elhissabeth) for a client who wanted his cat immortalized as a queen. I did some research and felt that a generic queen would not have been as fun to do as someone that actually existed.  So I researched Queen Elisabeth and I found wonderful imagery that I could pull from. It ended up resonating with many people.

Copyright Christina Hess All Rights Reserved

Queen Elhissabeth – Copyright Christina Hess – All Rights Reserved

 

Another inspiration was our Basset Hound, Roscoe. He was a character and gave me a lot of stories. I often wondered what he would be saying if he were human and I coincided his rumbles with famous quotes or lyrics from songs.

At that point I felt like it would be a really fun project to bring together animals and history to make a world that I could continue working with.


J: Now that I’ve seen William Wallace as a scruffy terrier and Joan of Arc as a dignified German Shepherd, I can’t imagine them as any other kind of dog. How do you choose a particular animal and historical figure pairing? Does the person’s animal alter ego speak to you or vice versa?

C: It’s funny because when I first started this idea I had wild animals involved and had animal/human personalities match up. But then it took a domestic animal turn. I had used Kickstarter.com for funding the project and through that I offered original artwork of people’s pets as their choice of historical figures.

What I found is that people did not associate their pet as a personality because of looks or general attitude – it was all about the individual animal. Sometimes the choice lined up perfectly – like Kiddy Roosevelt. The cat really looked like Teddy Roosevelt!

It really became a community project and I learned so much about people’s pets. For example, the dogs behind Joan of Bark and Henry V are canine siblings in real life. When “Henry” moved in with “Joan” she terrorized him quite a bit.  So their owner and backer thought that two opposing personalities were appropriate for both of her German Shepherds.

Joanof Bark - Copyright Christina Hess - All Rights Reserved

Joan of Bark – Copyright Christina Hess – All Rights Reserved

 

With the wild animals I wanted to pair the personalities of them with the people. Snow leopards rarely stay together, as The Fitzgeralds did not. Mountain Lions are loners who are ruthless, hence the portrayal as Steve Jobs.


J: Your late dog Roscoe, an adorable Basset Hound, is depicted as Napoleon. What inspired that particular pairing?

C: The obvious short man syndrome applies to his breed a lot. Those Bassets act like big boys, including my Roscoe! He was also very vociferous and had a bit of prissiness to him that reminded me of Napoleon and his pushy personality. He was short, pushy, loud, obnoxious and loved french bread. I’m not kidding…bread was his catnip! He had a big personality, as did Napoleon.

Also, I really wanted him to hide his paw, so it appears he is scratching his own belly.

Copyright Christina Hess - All Rights Reserved

Napoleon Boneapart – Copyright Christina Hess – All Rights Reserved


J: Is there an animal or a historical figure you’re dying to bring to life next?

C: Many! I’m currently working on a pit bull as Queen Bessie Coleman and have many others on the list. Mary Shelly as a skunk. The Wright Brothers as Kiwi birds. Frank Lloyd Wright as a Greyhound, John Smith and Pocahontas as a deer and wolf. The list goes on…

William Pawllace - Copyright Christina Hess - All RIghts Reserved

William Pawllace – Copyright Christina Hess – All RIghts Reserved


J: Where can we see more Animals From History? Is the Ebook available to purchase?

C: Right now the images are online at ChristinaHess.com and AnimalsFromHistory.com. I also have them for sale in print form and in a 2014 calendar. I had to postpone the eBook, because I’m reworking some of the writing in order for my agent to pitch it to publishers. Hopefully it’ll be out by next year. I’ll keep you posted. Wish me luck!


I can’t wait for the book – I have no doubt it will be a huge success! Thank you for the interview Chris!

Walking and Reading: 11|8|13

If you have a couple hundred bucks to spare, this vintage Dapper Dandy Dog can be yours!

If you have a couple hundred bucks to spare, this vintage Dapper Dandy Dog can be yours!

For the Dogs:

I shared this helpful blog Will You Be Coming Home to Your Dog Tonight? on Facebook earlier this year but: 1. it’s too important to forget, so read it again and 2. there’s an update at the end from medical and emergency personnel that you may have missed the first time around.

A collection of vintage photographs of Man’s Best Friend. I’ll tell you my favorite, if you tell me yours!

 

For the Humans:

This is what a porcupine sounds like when it’s having a snack. You need this right now.

What Captures Your Attention Controls Your Life.  I am controlled by dog turds and cat yak.

There are rules to city walking. Get to know the Step-and-Slide and do some urban strolling like a pro.

 

For the Laughs:

Behold! Shittens.

Don’t miss the soulful jingle in the video. Best lyrics ever.

 

And Offline:  I’m reading so many books and magazines and articles right now that I’m not sure which end is up. I just listened to The Great Failure by Natalie Goldberg and if you’re into Buddhists, Jews, New Yorkers, complicated relationships, and writers (I am!) it’s amazing.