Friday, May 15, 2009

A Friday Fave - Gracie

Today we're taking a break from special needs topics and simply recognizing one example of why any pet can make our lives more enjoyable and inspiring. Here's to good ol' Gracie.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Woo-Hoo! Another of our authors makes a splash!

Our own Cheryl Caruolo is making headlines in her Boston-area hometown blog, Wicked Local! She talks about her piece, Battle for Life: Krieg, that appears in our Almost Perfect anthology.

Little Krieg, the runt of his litter, didn't stand
much of a chance when he was born.

This affecting piece about how a runt-of-the-litter German shepherd managed to beat the odds to live a fulfilling, inspiring life is truly a shining example of what this book is about. Way to go, Cheryl!

Come. Sit. Stay!

What an original and excellent idea!

Artist Kimberly Kelly Santini is an artist, specializing in pet portraiture. She has been painting daily dogs (and cats and horses and guinea pigs and bunnies) since 2006. Proceeds from the sale of these paintings support Kim and often animal-related causes, as well. Anyone who knows what it takes to create ANY kind of work of art—much less skillfully accomplished portraits—will appreciate the immense amount of work and dedication it takes to keep up a commitment like this. And yet, she keeps on, with dogged determination (yes, pun intended).

Well into her third year of this endeavor, and inching toward 700 finished paintings, Kim admits that she often asks herself, What the heck!?

"Yeah, I ask myself that constantly," she writes in her blog. [It's] insanity, yes, but good times all around as well."

Certainly, you can't miss the joy she packs into her paintings—all you have to do is look at one. The images are powerful and impactful. The American Kennel Club was so taken with Kim's work that they used a colorful collage of her Dog-A-Day images to adorn its 2007 Eukanuba National Championship poster:
Kim's all about the animals and the art at her blog. She takes commissions for your own special pet portrait, talks about her works-in-progress, features an "In Memoriam" section for animals she's painted who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge, and even tells us what she's currently reading. Speaking of which—yes, you CAN buy a book containing her Dog-A-Day imagery!

There's more there, as well, my favorite part of which is the "Been Rescued by a Rescue?" section. Here, Kim invites visitors to share their rescue story with her, and your furry loved one may appear in a future Dog-a-Day painting. Now, I happen to know at least eleven ladies who have a story like this...

Get on over to PaintingADogADay. You'll be glad you visited this little corner of the blogosphere, I promise.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ruby Runs Again in San Francisco

...well, at least in the pages of its paper, the San Francisco Chronicle!

Our own Vicki Tiernan, who wrote about her wonder dog, Ruby, in Almost Perfect, was interviewed on Chronicle writer Eileen Mitchell's Pet Tales blog in mid-March. It happened amid a flurry of PR work going on here at the Word Forge Books/Enspirio House offices, and I neglected to get the story posted here.

So—hoping that Vicki and Ruby will forgive my shortcomings—I share this triumph with you now. Ruby is our "cover girl," and we're so proud of all she accomplished in her too-short life, and what she continues to accomplish now...namely, getting people to pick up the book and buy it! Thanks, Ruby!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Roberta Makes Headlines for Greek Animals!

Roberta Beach Jacobson, one of the illustrious contributors to our Almost Perfect anthology, has made the front page of the Greece & Cyprus area of the Best Friends Network website with her story, "The Sea Dog of Karpathos Island."

Opi and friend

It's a heartwarming, true story of Roberta and her husband, Alf, adopting a scruffy little one-eyed dog. Roberta and Alf are cofounders of Animal Welfare Karpathos. Karpathos is an island with no resident vet or animal shelter and the idea for creating AWK came about in 2001.

Since that time, German veterinarian Martina Greve has been volunteering on Karpathos twice a year to neuter and spay dogs and cats. She also tends to any farm animals in need of medical treatment.

The organization's clinic is always busy. In between vet visits, Alf gives routine injections, hands out flea and tick treatments and does lots of dog grooming. 25¢ from each copy of Almost Perfect sold goes to support this worthwhile group.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Keeping Pets From Becoming Disabled

Fellow author Christina Selter is a pet safety expert and founder of Bark Buckle UP, a pet restraint manufacturer and advocate for pet travel safety. With its slogan "Be Smart, Ride Safe™," Bark Buckle UP tours the US and Canada, educating people about and promoting awareness of pet safety while traveling with pets.

National safety statistics conclude the number of pets traveling in vehicles is at an all-time high. Most of these animals travel unrestrained, and the corresponding risk to other vehicle occupants, to the pets themselves and to first responders called to an accident scene is of growing concern. Especially with the latter, there is a genuine risk: For first responders called to render aid, the challenge of securing a frightened or injured animal before treating victims can be of immediate concern.

Just as with people, it only takes a few minutes to safeguard your pet’s safety by buckling them up. Accidents do happen, and you owe it to your pet to protect them against possible injury. Christina hopes that unleashing this lifesaving message through Bark Buckle UP will increase the number of pets traveling safely, and will save both human and animal lives.

When riding in a vehicle traveling at 35 mph, a 60-pound, unrestrained dog can cause an impact force of 2,700 pounds, slamming into a car seat, windshield or another passenger. Even if the animal survives, it can impede the progress of rescue workers who need every moment possible to safely care for human accident victims.

This very real danger is acknowledged by many states and provinces, which now require pet restraints in moving vehicles, since they offer several proven advantages. In the event of a collision, they help protect
  • pets
  • other occupants from being struck by the pet
  • first responders from frightened or injured pets who might be aggressive due to fear
Even without the specter of an accident, pet restraints are just a good idea because they:
  • keep pets from running loose and distracting the driver
  • prevent pets from escaping the vehicle through an open window or door
  • keep pets from being injured through extending any of their body parts outside the vehicle
Bark Buckle UP has a Stat-Tracker program that collects and stores valuable, in-depth statistics about pet safety. The data and hard facts collected on an ongoing basis are compiled and used in improving pet safety laws.

Christina is often featured as a Pet Travel Safety Advocate at international auto shows, pet expos, on TV and radio. She's also quoted in news articles and appears at guest speaking engagements nationwide. She works closely with Fire and Police personnel who support her safety program. If you'd like her to speak at one of your events, you can reach her at 949-361-BARK (2275).