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Thursday, October 28, 2010

5 Best Selling Books on Dogs

Are you ready for some autumn reading? Here are five best selling books about dogs that are heartwarming and a joy to read. Feel free to post your comments if you have other recommended readings.

1. Red Dog
Red DogAlready considered almost a classic, Red Dog is a collection of stories of Tally Ho, better known as “Red Dog” who charmed his way into the hearts of many “mates” in Western Australia. This book will make you laugh, cry and cheer for Red Dog as you read about his independence, adventures and loyalty to a man named John.  Red Dog was written by Louis de Bernieres, who wrote the award-winning novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. For this book, De Bernieres got his inspiration from a famous bronze dog statue in Western Australia during his visit to the country in 1998.

2. The Art of Racing in the Rain
Art of Racing in the RainMeet Enzo, a dog whose main obsession is to become human. On the eve of his death, Enzo recounts his life from a dog's perspective - his relationship with his owner who is an ambitious race car driver, his relationship with his owner's wife and daughter, and his lifelong dream of someday becoming one of us. Throughout the book, Enzo gives a very good analogy of life and car racing. Beautifully written by Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain will give you some ideas of what your dog might possibly be thinking in some familiar situations. Be prepared with a box of tissue as you read through the pages of this book.

3. Marley and Me
Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst DogWould you love a stubborn, mischievous dog? For author Josh Grogan, the answer is yes, no matter how difficult it was to train their dog Marley. This “dramedy” of a book is told like a journal and takes us into the issues of marriage, raising a family and a misbehaving yellow Labrador. I wonder if the Grogans have ever heard of Cesar Millan during the time when they were raising Marley.

4. A Dog's Purpose 
A Dog's PurposeWe often read stories about man’s search for life’s meaning, but rarely do we read about dogs understanding their purpose on earth. This book shows a dog’s journey in four separate lives through reincarnation as he tries to see his purpose as a dog. Now I’m not a fan of reincarnation, but this book was wonderfully written with a lot of poignant and moving moments and laugh out loud scenarios.  A Dog’s Purpose was written by W. Bruce Cameron who authored humor books How to Remodel a Man and 8 Simple Rules for Marrying My Daughter. I've read that this book is going to be a movie soon.

5. Amazing Gracie: A Dog's Tale
Amazing Gracie: A Dog's TaleI first saw this book on a Wal-Mart shelf along with dog treats in their pet section. Gracie is indeed amazing and an unlikely canine who launched a bakery! It’s the story about a deaf and partially blind albino Great Dane named Gracie and how her sensitive stomach forced her owners to create homemade food for her.  It’s an inspiring story of hope and salvation written by Three Dog Bakery co-founders Dan Dye and Mark Beckloff.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Videos of Dogs Praying

There's an interesting viral video going around about a dog named Djaingo who prays before eating his breakfast. I was so amazed when I've watched it and wondered if I could also teach our beagle to say grace before every meal. I must congratulate Djaingo's owner for teaching his dog to thank the real Master for his food. In case you haven't had the chance to watch it, here's a video of Djaingo saying grace before breakfast.

Interestingly, when I searched for "dog praying" on YouTube, there are many videos about dogs who know how to pray. Here are some cute videos that I've found (although I think Djaingo's video is still the best):

Southern dogs praying

Chihuahua praying

Great Dane praying

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Black Cats Give Love Not Bad Luck

A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere. - Groucho Marx

Black cats have been associated with witchcraft, sorcery and bad luck. It is no surprising that they have become one of the popular icons during Halloween. Sadly, this reputation might have also something to do with black cats having the lowest adoption rate in animal shelters and also the highest euthanasia rate. How unfair it is that black cats are ignored and persecuted simply because of their color!

I think Marx said it rightly. A black cat crossing your path does not have anything to do with bad luck. It is simply going somewhere. And the truth is, black cats give love NOT bad luck.They are no different from other cats. They can just be as rewarding as any pet. Let's help in stopping these myths against black cats. Here are some ways you can help:

1. Adopt a black cat. There is nothing more rewarding than saving a life. Black cats can be affectionate and loving too. Plus, they can be stylish (black goes with anything).

2. Help promote adoption of black cats. Volunteer at your local animal shelter or with rescue groups and help spread the word about black cats that are available for adoption.

3. Educate people about the truth. Start with your family and friends. Give the facts that black cats do not have anything to do with bad luck.

With Halloween coming up, NOW is the best time to help black cats find a home.

Photo: The beautiful kitten above is Simcoe who was recently adopted from the Chesapeake Humane Society.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

October is "Adopt A Shelter Dog" Month

Annually, the ASPCA, the American Humane Association and other animal welfare groups celebrate October as "Adopt A Shelter Dog" month. During this time, there is increased efforts to heighten public's awareness on adopting a dog from a shelter instead of buying from pet stores. Shelter dogs have suffered from a lot of stigma and misconceptions. Contrary to the beliefs that they are unhealthy and untrained, shelter dogs give so much love and affection. We got our beagle Comet from an animal shelter and we are blessed to have him in our lives. Comet had a clean bill of health when we adopted him. His shots were updated, papers complete, and he even has a microchip! Also, Comet is well-behaved, house broken and crate trained. He is really a perfect dog!

Right now, thousands of dogs in animal shelters in the US are eagerly and patiently waiting for a family to bring them home. Shelters are becoming overcrowded with lots of people surrendering their pets or dogs that are left alone in the streets. We all have a role to play to help this over pet population. Please consider adopting a shelter dog. Or if you can not, how about donating your time or resources to help them?

Above photo: Bucky, a retriever mix puppy from Chesapeake Animal Control, who is in need of a forever home