Wednesday, September 26, 2012

5 star reviews of Heart of a Hero and Welcome Home by Critique de Book


Title: Heart of a Hero
Author: Billi Tiner
Genre: YA/Animal
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 28, 2012)
Available: $2.99 at Amazon
Rating: 5 stars
Rater: Lauri

From the author:
Lady, an Irish Setter puppy, is leading a simple life on a farm in Ohio during the 1940’s. Lady’s biggest desire is to become an expert hunting dog like her mother. She has no idea that her life is going to take her down a path where she will find herself in the middle of incredibly dangerous situations, including a world war. On several occasions, Lady will have to find the courage to risk her life in order to save someone she loves. The loyalty and bravery that Lady shows throughout her lifetime illustrate what it truly means to have the heart of a hero.

What I liked: Ms. Tiner’s second adventure story is just too cute. And the story really moves. This dog truly is the hero – she goes from situation to situation, and sometimes things are very sad. She carries on, keeps loving, and does her very best. It’s a story about some of the most important things that help makes us – dogs and people – good.

What I didn’t like: Neither my son nor I liked the dog’s name. It’s just too trite. Maybe Jenny, or Oya?

In sum: One for all animal-loving kids, and grown-ups who like this genre.

Title: Welcome Home Title: Welcome Home
Author: Billi Tiner
Genre: YA/Animal
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 24, 2011)
Available: $2.99 at Amazon
Rating: 5 stars
Rater: Lauri

From the author:
Welcome Home is the story of Jake, a black Labrador Retriever mix. For as long as Jake can remember, he has been having the same dream. In his dream, he lives with a wonderful man in a beautiful home. He has never seen the face of the man in the dream, but he knows his voice and is certain that they are meant to be together. When the day comes for Jake to be given away to his new home, he believes that he will finally get to meet the man from his dreams. However, when he is chosen, it is definitely not by the man from his dream! He is taken to a home where he is terribly mistreated. After suffering years of abuse, Jake finally escapes and is able to begin the search for the man he has been dreaming of his entire life. Along the way, Jake meets some interesting characters, survives amazing adventures, and forms life-long friendships. Join Jake on his incredible journey home.

What I liked: This is a sweet, sweet book, and I loved that the hero is a dog. My son, who is nine, loved this book, and really got into the story. It’s a gentle adventure, but delves deep enough to inspire warmth and teach a lesson or two.

What I didn’t like: Not one thing.

In sum: Well worth owning - for dog lovers of all ages.
Click to visit Critique de Book

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pet Health Tip #24- Chocolate Toxicity

We are moving into the holiday season.  This is the time of year when we go chocolate crazy; from Halloween candy to baking various candies for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  So, I thought I would write a post about the potential dangers associated with chocolate toxicity in dogs.  The symptoms of chocolate toxicity can range from mild diarrhea and vomiting to seizures and death.  They include:  Vomiting, Diarrhea, Fever, Muscle Spasms, Rapid Breathing, Increased Heart Rate, Seizures, Coma, and Cardiac Arrest.

The severity of the symptoms depend upon the amount and type of chocolate ingested.  The toxicity levels include the following:

Milk Chocolate: Mild signs at 0.7 oz per pound of body weight; severe toxicity at 2 oz per pound of body weight.  In other words one pound of milk chocolate can cause severe signs in a 20 lb dog.

Semi-sweet Chocolate: Mild signs at 0.3 oz per pound of body weight; severe toxicity at 1 oz per pound of body weight

Baking chocolate: This one is the most toxic and can cause severe symptoms with as little as 2 small 1 oz squares.

In most cases, you will only see mild signs of chocolate toxicity.  However, if enough is ingested, it could cause severe toxicity.  Therefore, it is extremely important to keep chocolate stored away from pets.  If you know your dog has ingested chocolate, then keep in mind the above information when determining whether or not your pet will require veterinary attention.  If it is just a piece or two of milk chocolate, then be prepared for some mild diarrhea.  On the other hand, if your dog ingested an entire bar of bakers chocolate, then you will need to seek veterinary attention.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Pet Health Tip #23- Intestinal Parasites

There are several intestinal worms that infest dogs.  The most common intestinal worms are: Roundworms, Hookworms, Whipworms, and Tapeworms.  However, the one that is most commonly SEEN by the owner is the Tapeworm.  It looks like a small grain of rice.  The dog is not actually passing the whole worm.  It is actually passing an immature worm that breaks off the mature worm.  The mature tapeworm can be several inches long and is flat.  Occasionally, if the worm burden is high enough, the owner may also see Roundworms.  These are long spaghetti shaped worms.  Most of the time the dog is only passing the worm eggs which are microscopic.
Symptoms of intestinal parasite infestation include: weight loss (or failure to gain weight) and loose stools.  Occasionally in small puppies, you will also see vomiting.  Hookworms can also cause bloody stools.

Another common intestinal parasite is Giardia.  This is not a worm, but is a protozoa organism.  Dogs with Giardia infections usually have very loose stools to runny diarrhea.
Puppies will often times have multiple infestations.  It is common for them to have Roundworms, Hookworms, Whipworms, and Giardia all at the same time.  This is why it is very important to deworm puppies.  Typically, your veterinarian will deworm your puppy at the same time that it receives its vaccinations.
Roundworms, Hookworms, Whipworms, and Giardia are all transmitted fecal-orally through the ingestion of the eggs.  The infested dog will pass the eggs in their stool and then the next dog usually picks the eggs up on their feet.  Then, when they groom themselves, then ingest the eggs.  The eggs then mature into adult worms.
Tapeworms are transmitted by the flea.  Dogs typically get tapeworms from the biting at the fleas that are biting them.  They then accidentally ingest the flea and the immature stages of the tapeworm are released and mature into tapeworms.  Cats often become infested with tapeworms by eating a rodent (rat/mouse) that has fleas.
Most Heartworm medications also contain medication that will kill Roundworms and Hookworms.  So, you are giving them a monthly heartworm and intestinal worm treatment with each monthly dose.
Tapeworms are not killed by most Heartworm medications.  Also, most over-the-counter medications DO NOT kill Tapeworms.  It is important if you see evidence of your pet passing Tapeworms to make sure you are using a dewormer that kills them.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Bo and Rico are two puppies who meet at a pet store.  The puppies are dognapped from the pet store by two goons.  Realizing they are in danger, Bo and Rico must work together to escape the dognappers.  After their escape, Bo and Rico find themselves scared and alone on the mean city streets.  They are rescued by a streetwise stray named Tank.  Tank takes the puppies under his wing and teaches them how to survive on the streets.  Bo and Rico embark on several adventures including avoiding the local Animal Control officer, Jimmy; several run-ins with a pack of dogs led by a stray named Mongrel; and rescuing a beautiful lost Poodle named Pearl.  Through it all, Bo and Rico form an incredible friendship that will last a lifetime.
"Tiner manages to breathe life into the book's four main characters...An entertaining read..."- Kirkus Reviews

5 star-"Friends for Life" is so much more than just your ordinary dog story...It is such a feel good tale that you will want to mark this as one that will be a classic..."-Reviewed by Lorraine Carey for Readers Favorite

"Friends for Life" is a strong pick for youth readers who enjoy a dog-driven tale."- The Midwest Book Review

"Friends for Life may be a children/teen book but any true dog lover will fall in love with Rico and Bo and their mentor Tank. The book formed pictures in my mind of the dogs as they grew and lived their lives. I could hear the doggy voices just from the words Billi used to describe the dogs. The story is a glove on a cold day..sun after the rain...a soft pillow after work. It made me smile and laugh and cry. I am 49 and am an avid book reader. This is one i will never forget . All my dogs (3 of whom are at Rainbow Bridge) have always and will always be my Friend gor Life. So happy i found this book. I hope to meet Rico and Bo again...maybe on a playdate with Tank."- Amazon Reviewer 

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pet Health Tip #22- Hairballs

One of the most common issues that cat owners face is the issue of hairballs.  Hairballs are caused by the cat swallowing hair when it grooms itself.  Most of the hair is digested and passed through the intestinal tract.  If the hair isn’t digested completely, it sits in the stomach and aggregates into a hairball.  Young kittens don’t typically have hairball issues for two reasons.  First, they don’t lose much hair when they groom.  Therefore, they don’t swallow much hair.  Second, their digestive tract is better able to break down the hair is swallowed and pass it through.  As cats age, they tend to shed more hair; thus causing them to swallow more hair.  Also, they are not able to break the hair down as efficiently.  As a consequence, the hair sits in the stomach and aggregates into a hairball.  The hairball irritates the stomach causing the cat to retch.  Typically, the cat is able to successfully rid itself of the hairball. 

Hairballs are a normal part of a cat’s life.  They don’t usually cause many problems other than to the owner who has to clean up the mess.  However, on rare occasions, a hairball will sit in a cat’s stomach and harden.  This can cause blockage and can become life-threatening.  Again, this is a rare occurrence, but one to be aware of if you have a geriatric cat that retches repeatedly, but does not bring up a hairball.

So, what can you do about hairballs?  There are some hairball remedy products available that will aid the cat in digesting the hairballs.  They work well and I recommend using them for geriatric cats who have reoccurring issues with hairballs.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

PET HEALTH TIP #21- Ear Mites

Ear mites affect both dogs and cats.  However, the most common victim of ear mite infestations are kittens.  Ear mites are microscopic creatures.  Under the microscope, they resemble a tick.  These little creatures will set up residence inside the kitten’s ear canal.  The mites crawl around inside the ear causing the kitten constant irritation.  The most common symptom the kitten will show is constant scratching and digging at its ears.  The kittens will also shake their heads a lot.  Ear mites feed on the dead skin, so they don’t cause damage to the ear.  However, due to the constant scratching, the kitten can cause damage.  So, you can see inflammation in the ears as well.  The other most common symptom is a black debris build-up that has a gritty quality.  It has a consistency similar to sand.  This build-up is essentially mite waste.

Ear mites do not infest humans.  However, as I said, they will infest both dogs and cats.  It is common to have more than one animal in the household affected.  The treatment is simple and involves thoroughly cleaning the ears and applying medication.  It is important to consult your veterinarian for treatment.