Want to sell more books?

Write Monday for author know-how

What I wish I had known when I started writing a novel. What I wish I knew before I launched my blog. What did you wish you knew, if you could, before you began blogging or writing for publication?

First thing this morning I wrote two blog posts. Then I cut the second blog post out of a Microsoft Word document and pasted into an MW file, which I named and saved. This afternoon, the new file for today’s post had been lost!

Don’t you hate that? 


Thank goodness for Time Machine back up. I actually found the entire lost file and restored it. If you use a Mac computer,  you need this. I will add a little on Time Machine at the bottom of today’s post.

Writing sites worth knowing in 2018

This morning, about 6AM, I read three writing newsletters. I subscribe to a variety of blogs and newsletters on writing. Not more than five at a time. In the next weeks, I plan to blog about each one of these five long-lasting value email newsletters for writers.

I have challenged myself to define how each writing site and email updates provide ongoing value. Plus make a case for why other writers would benefit from subscribing.

Do you fight for time to write?

Like all bloggers and writers, I must fight for time to write. Family demands time. Work demands time. Preparing and eating healthy food takes time. Home management and cleaning demands time. Of course, planning for fun activities takes time too. Maybe that’s why those social and fun events are last on my list.

My struggle with writing time continues. As well as keeping up with my three separate volunteer commitments. The artist inside must live in a balance of reading for inspiration and recreation.  Due to advanced technologies of the World Wide Web, ongoing time must be spent on technical know-how (and problems created by computers, word processing software, software bugs, wifi, and connectivity, etc. The list goes on, and on. But let’s not go there.

Sometimes, I unsubscribe too.

What it takes to keep me subscribed to a newsletter?

What makes me drop newsletter subscriptions?   I ask myself this because I look at the time when I also will offer email updates for my Dog Leader Mysteries fans.

What lists do you subscribe to?  What newsletters do you keep reading? Week after week, year after year, what of value to you gain by your reading choices?

My short list of why I read and keep reading

  1. Valuable writing content.
  2. Personable writers who disclose enough in their topic choices, word choices, writer’s voice (humor helps, honesty, asks interesting questions, a writer that illuminates novel ideas or includes inspiring thinkers and thoughtful quotes.
  3. Writers who spark my own writing mind to write fresh content.

Why I stop reading. What makes me unsubscribe?

  1. Repeated selling of a writer’s products
  2. Constant selling of other peoples products.
  3. Too many emails a week, which disrupts my workflow to crunch emails.

Ideally, I like a newsletter email no more than once a week.

Some weeks my workflow contains flextime. My general rule of accepting only once a week update bends. Especially for special events, new products or learning opportunities.

Are you an author who wants to sell more books?

Tim Grahl happens a thought leader in book marketing and sales. His experience stands as a solid understanding of what authors can do to sell their books. I want every writer who has written and gotten his or her book published to meet Tim Grahl.

Why? Because Grahl creates the best content for writers, who are serious about writing.

His updates and newsletter vary depending on new content and new professional webinars. After taking webinars with Grahl and signing up for his self-directed online courses, Author Guides, and

“Tim Grahl is fast becoming a legend, 
almost single-handedly changing the way authors around the world spread ideas and connect with readers.”

This is what Grahl offers Indie and traditionally published writers, too.


Get Tim Grahl’s FREE 7-day course on how to connect with readers, build your platform, and sell more books.

"What does it take to run a successful book launch? Over the last 
decade, I’ve worked with hundreds of authors and launched dozens of 
books to the top of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, 
and other bestseller lists. Along with the launches, I’ve run, and 
I’ve studied hundreds of others."

He states, “Anyone can run a successful book launch. A successful book launch always starts with a good plan.”


Tim Grahl proposes three mindsets for book launches. There are three different mindsets that an author brings to every launch. If you start from the wrong mindset, I can give you all the tactics in the world, but they’ll fall flat. Every author brings one of these mindsets to a book launch:

So, do you want to sell more books? What are you waiting for? Ride a link over to Booklaunch.com

clock edited

Thanks all for dropping by. If you liked this post and this blog please subscribe to our email list. We will be moving sites in the coming year, 2018. If you are subscribed to us (not following just on WordPress, then you will keep receiving our blog posts and author support posts on Write Monday.

Thanks for reading, Deborah Taylor-French

About Time Machine for Mac Computers: Time Machine is a backup software application distributed with the Apple macOS computer operating system. The software is designed to work with the Time Capsule storage product, as well as other internal and external disk drives. It was introduced in Mac OS X Leopard.

ABC’s of Grooming Poodle Dogs

DIY Care of Poodle Dog Hair

By Cindy Grant, guest blogger

Poodles are one of the most popular breeds in the U.S. Although all dogs require general grooming, the poodle does need more care when it comes to their coats.

Here’s the ABC’s of taking care of poodle hair.

Acclimation for Dogs to Grooming

Ensure that you acclimatize your poodle. From as early as six weeks of age to all the different facets of grooming to prevent fear, aggression, and troublesome sessions later, take time to get your dog comfortable with grooming tools, sights, and sounds. This includes brushing, nail clipping, and even the sound of an electrical clipper. Petfinder “Dog Grooming for Hounds.

Bathing Poodle Dogs

It’s safe to bathe your poodle weekly but no more than that as it will strip their natural oils causing the skin to dry out. Always use shampoos and conditioners that are specifically designed for canines.

When bathing your dog, ensure that your poodle’s coat is fully saturated with water. Bear in mind this can take some time as poodles came from an old breed of hunting dogs with dense coats.

Once done towel dry to remove excess moisture. Being careful not to burn your pet, blow-dry while using a slicker brush to make your dog’s coat tangle free and fluffy.

Beauty from The Inside Out

The diet of your poodle affects the health and shine of his/her coat. Kibble should consist mostly of lean meats. Avoid by-products such as bone, organs, and beaks as well as fillers like corn.

Nutrient-wise, omega-6, and omega-3 fatty acids are great for the skin and also help to reduce inflammation.

Brushing Poodle Hair

The curly coat of the poodle can mat easily. This is because about 80% of poodle coats may consist of secondary hair or an undercoat of dense cottony hair with the outer layer being wiry, wavy, or wooly.

Matting is not only unsightly and makes the coat dull but causes discomfort for the dog because it pulls the hair.

A brushing a day will efficiently keep matting away. A wire-bristled round-head pin brush works best on curly hair. If the coat has already started matting, consider a greyhound comb or a slicker brush which has shorter wire bristles.

Another benefit of regular brushing is that it removes loose hair that tends to get trapped, improves circulation, and releases the natural oils. This helps to keep the skin moisturized as well.


Clipping Poodle Hair

Although poodles are not known to be shedders, their hair grows fast, which increases the matting problem. Your poodle needs to be clipped monthly to remedy this common hair growth challenge,

Don’t despair if a professional groomer exceeds your budget as you can do this at home yourself too.

All you need is an electric clipper with different sized blades to improve clipping while limiting hair pulling and a pair of scissors. The latter is for cutting out heavy matting and more precise trimming around the eyes, ears, and tail.

If you’re a novice, stick to the primary, easier cuts first. There’s the puppy cut where the body gets grown long, while specific areas get shaved or use the lamb clip grooming style.

Go to YouTube and watch this video. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkjda6tdiow) This clipping demonstration features the favored top knot.

You can also grow in skill into the trendier styles like the Continental with the ankle bracelets that look like pom-poms and thicker tufts of hair on the back and chest later.


Coloring Poodle Hair

Poodles come in about ten different shades ranging from silver or white, gold or apricot to café-au-lait and black.

To boost the brightness of their natural coloring and create a uniform shade throughout, use color-enhancing shampoos. Blue or purple shampoo brightens white, red for golden tones, and green for both black and certain shades of gold.

Although taking care of your poodle’s hair is more work than with other breeds, it sure does create a fantastic opportunity to bond with and enjoy with your pet.

About our guest blogger, Cindy Grant:

We thank Cindy Grant for this informative and thought-provoking post. Additional thanks to Grant for the three handsome professional photographs of adorable poodle dogs. 

Cindy Grant is a crazy fan of dogs, cats, and all kinds pets. She is a blogger, and the founder of No Wild Longer, a U.S.A. pet lovers community.

Please follow Cindy Grant on Twitter: Cindy Grant @cindypetlover
Find and like her Facebook page: Facebook No Longer Wild

When you share this post on social media or by email, your actions encourage good writing and healthy pet care. Afterall, pet lovers want the best for their pets. Pet bloggers and writers want the best for ALL PETS.

We love our readers. We love your comments, too.


  1. Daily Puppy (.com) Tips Hair Care Poodles
  2. Wiki How How to Groom a Poodle
  3. Grooming Angel. (.com) 
  4. Pets.thenest.com Make Poodles’ coat shiny healthy
  5. How to use dog clippers
  6. Pedgree.com Health Poodle Hair Care 101


  1. Acclimatize your poodle
  2. Omega-3 fatty acids
  3. The lamb clip for dogs

Why do dogs yawn?

Sydney suddenly feeling relaxed.

Have you ever wondered what happens when your dog yawns?

Could your dog be bored or sleepy?

According to Spott’s CanineMiscellany by Mike Darton, when a dog yawns, it is often an expression of contentment. We have observed Sydney yawning. Usually, he yawns while he stretches his front legs out and settles down for a nap. When does your dog yawn?

Have any photos of your dog yawning?

Would share a photograph with us?

We would love to see a photograph of your pet and publish it here on Dog Leader Mysteries. Leave us a note so we can connect. We will email you and accept your photograph, then publish along with a photo credit.

Thanks for reading Dog Leader Mysteries, 

Deborah Taylor-French

We don’t need no education!

Love this blog.

This post has a wide scope aimmed on American values. Are we willing to help each other? 

This is a hot topic these days. What we see when disaster strikes is far removed from bigotry and rasism in America. So I share this post with you. 

I wonder if you know the Pink Floyd song “We Don’t Need No Education” and its refrain of “Hey, teacher leave those kids alone.”? That hook made me think of the few truly awful teachers I have had in grammar and high school. Turns out most of my teachers wanted all students to learn.

Well, are we all born with prejudice? 

Turns out there exists scientific research on young children that seems to show that racial prejudice starts early as stranger fear. In fact, we saw this same fear in our child early on. But with education to examine those early fears most people learn to accept a wide range of people in their lives and communities. Our child has grown up and now champions the rights of all people to be free, have mutual rights under the law, and to enjoy the pursuit of happiness. Would that this was the normal educational work of most families.

Turns out, most of us need some help

As we go forward into each day, I hope and pray that each of us can and will offer our empathy, sympathy, and helping hands to others. If we love animals, it starts the opening of the heart to the wonderful and strange world of all animals. Our curiosity and affection can extend our range to those we call friends and family.

Of course, my blog topic and goal is to ‘save dogs’ lives and dog lovers’ sanity’ so I hope you will hop on over to this post on “A Dog’s Life?(Stories of Me and Him) and leave Colin a like or share his blog.

My best to you all,

Deborah Taylor-French at Dog Leader Mysteries

Source: We don’t need no education!

I smell goodies!
Sydney as a one-year-old, “I want it now.”

3 Treats to bake for your dog

Guest blogger Joe Hughes

3 Treats pet parents can bake for dogs

Pet parents have a deep love for their dogs – I hope. And when we see films, such as Marley & Me, tears start flowing from our eyes like water from a faucet that’s been left on. If you’re like me, you want your dog to live the best life possible with homemade treats that will make your pup jump for joy.

But you can’t just give your dog everything you eat either.

There are a lot of foods people eat (tomatoes and chocolate, for example) that are toxic to dogs. I’m going to share with you a few baked treats that are safe for your dog to eat and super easy to make, too.

1. Peanut Butter and Sweet Potato Biscuits

Peanut butter is one of a dog’s favorite treats, and it’s amusing to watch your pup slap his mouth together after eating it, too. You can make a delicious homemade biscuit (doggy biscuit, not a traditional biscuit or roll) with peanut butter and another treat: sweet potatoes.

This recipe is very easy to make, and you’ll need just a few ingredients to get started:

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup smashed sweet potato
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups flour

Dogs love sweet potatoes, so this is a treat you’ll find yourself making often. You’ll want to set your oven to 350F and place parchment paper over your baking sheet before getting started.

You can try using a bread machine with this recipe if you wish, or you can mix all of the ingredients by hand:

  • Sweet potato
  • Eggs
  • Peanut butter

Mix until thoroughly combined and then add in your flour, starting with 2 cups and adding in more until the dough isn’t sticky. You’ll want to combine slowly and not rush through this process for best results. Lightly flour a surface where you can knead the dough before rolling it out to 1/4″ thickness.

Cut into your desired shapes and bake until golden brown. Let cool before serving.

Joe Hughes and Family
The Village Baker, John and family cerebrating his birthday

2. Standard Dog Biscuit

A standard dog biscuit may seem a little plain to you and I, but dogs seem to love them. When making this recipe, we’re going to use chicken broth, but you can also use beef broth if your dog favors beef over chicken.

My pup doesn’t do well with beef, so we’ll stick to chicken here.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter

Super simple to make, you’ll want to preheat your oven to 350F again, and start to mix your flour and oats in a medium bowl. Add in 1/2 cup of broth and your peanut butter. Mix everything together well until a thick dough is formed.

If you find that the mixture isn’t a thick dough consistency, add in more broth as needed, mixing until a dough consistency is achieved.

Roll out your dough to 1/4″ and cut into little bone shapes or any shape you wish. Bake your biscuits for 20 minutes or until they’re golden brown in color. Make sure that the biscuits cool completely before serving, as they can be very hot.

3. Applesauce Treats

If you have some spare applesauce, oats and an egg handy, you can make your pup a great applesauce treat that he or she is sure to love. This treat is simple to make, and if you want to help relieve your dog’s stinky breath to go along with their clean teeth, you can even use applesauce with cinnamon mixed in.

You’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup instant oatmeal
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup applesauce

Preheat your oven to 350F again and pour your applesauce and oatmeal into a large bowl, mixing it well. After everything is mixed together well, add in your egg and continue to mix until thoroughly combined. Grease your cookie tray lightly and scoop out the mixture into small cookies. Make sure to separate the cookies well before baking so that they don’t cook together.

Bake for 20 minutes, and then take out and allow to cool.

You’ll find that since all of the ingredients are already cooked aside from the egg, you won’t have to keep cooking for additional time to get the right texture. Just make sure that the cookies don’t just fall apart when picked up.

Allow the treats to cool, but remove from the tray immediately to ensure that they don’t stick.

These treats are all so easy to make for your dog, and they come out really well, too. Your dog will love the extra treats in the house, and you’ll love seeing your pup’s tail wag like crazy when you feed them their new treats while they snuggle up to you.

Enjoy baking your own dog treats.

Since our dog, Sydney, has many allergies, we will be baking the applesauce treats. He loves fresh bits of apple, carrot, berries and sugar snap peas. If your dog should be on a low calorie diet, try giving him or her cut fresh veggies. Do limit fruit to special moments as too much natural sweets can still cause diabetes.

About our guest blogger Joe Hughes

Joe Hughes, known by most as the Village Baker, is an expert in homestyle cooking techniques, with a primary interest in baking. He runs the very popular website, http://www.village-bakery.com, which provides the latest homestyle cooking news, techniques, tricks, and recipes. He can be reached at Joe@Village-Bakery.com

Joe Hughes Website Village Bakery




Kristen Lamb on writing her first novel

The long game is fiction

As my readers know, I am also writing fiction. I have followed Kristin Lambs’ blog for several years. Looking back at 2002 when she began the marathon of mastering novel writing she shared her early enthusiasm and disbelief. Surely it would not take her years to write her first.

No beginner wants to hear the average span of time to produce a first novel, of worth, is five to ten years. Keep in mind that twenty years is not unusual either.

Well, what takes so long?🤷🏼‍♀️

Read my short list for a start.🙃

1. To write fiction you must read fiction

2. Numerous skills must be acquired, such as  understanding speech patterns to translate into believable & fresh character dialogue

3. A mastery of fictional world building  beyond mere description.

4. Familiarity with storytelling styles in sub-genres

5. Building versimilaiude to entrap readers in summary, scenes & recaps

6. Gaining skill in depicting past, present & future references to add clarity & tension

7. Drilling into the “metaphoric” world of character, which instills emotional unity with the novel

8.  Skills with similes used to forge equivalence between characters, experiences, settings, and emotional narratives

I am sure there are more and will save them for my Write Monday post. Oh, and we have a fab guest blogger coming up next week. Stay tuned🤓🤗

Meanwhile please visit Kristin Lambs Blog, and leave her a note that you found her here. 😎



Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Anamorphic Mike.Since the boom of the digital age, would-be writers have been practically coming out of the woodwork. Everyone wants to be a writer and hey, I can’t blame them. Sweet gig if you can score it. Yet, many of these eager folks are ill-prepared for the reality of…

via The Writing Process…It Ain’t No Unicorn Hug — Kristen Lamb

6 ways dogs help us heal

6 ways dogs heal us

  1. Dogs show empathy.
  2. Dogs give us affection.
  3. Dogs give us their complete attention.
  4. Dogs give us physical comforting. They snuggle and lie in our laps.
  5. Dogs live in the moment, sharing enthusiasm and joy.
  6. Dogs possess sensory abilities  beyond our sensory capacity.

They hear into the distance beyond our hearing range. Dogs alert us to the approach of other people and animals. With their gift of night vision, dogs often guide us, just go camping with your dog or walk a dog at night.

Examples: Therapy dogs of every kind help the blind, the mobility challenged plus visit the sick and in-firmed. Dogs sniff out cancerous tumors, this field is now being explored by science with the goal of creating a laboratory replica of how dogs detect cancer. Many dog lovers witness their dogs seeking out members coping with illness. The world over has many truth stories of dogs comforting the sick or dying.

Dogs sensing seizeures before they happen so they can maneuver their person to a safe position, such as sitting or lying down.


Give back to dogs

Want to help homeless dogs and cats but can’t adopt?

Click here and visit The Animal Rescue Site. Through this site you can download an app, which gives money to feed needy shelterless pets. This app is called Pet to Give. Just like its title, every pet gives a selected shelterless funds to feed dogs and cats.

Check out the Greater Good. I like it because they respect my time. When I signed up for email updates, I learned that I could put in vacation holds on email updates. This is the only site informational source that I have never subscribed from.

Please share to spread the ways dog heal us. In this terrible time following the mass murder in Orlando, Florida. I hope we all will spread loving kindness and healing.

Don’t have a dog right now?

No problem. Make dog friends.

If you do not have a dog, take some fresh sugar snap peas (cut or break them up for small dogs) sit in a park. As dog walkers if their dog is friendly with new people. Once the dog’s person says it’s okay to greet the dog, LET THE DOG COME TO YOU. A friendly dog will wag his or her tail and slink up to sniff your hand. After you have a relaxed connection, ask the dog’s person if you can give him or her a treat. Show them the snap peas. Hold one in the palm of your hand and let the dog eat off your hand like a dinner plate. There you go. You’ve made a good friend. Now go make another.

For eight years we lived in an apartment and could not have any pets. I missed having a dog so much. Most dog lovers know that pain and will be sympathetic. Dogs always have enough love for everyone.Ready-set….Dachshund-Mix.jpeg

We love our readers!
Thanks for 1,000 Likes

5 poets to raise your courage

Great poetry raises my courage

Kahlil Gibran, born in Lebanon, was a poet, artist, philosophical essayist and a novelist,who emigrated to New York in 1885. His work, written both in Arabic and English was very much influenced by the European modernists of the nineteenth century, with deep mystical, philosophical and spiritual understanding of the world. Gibran had simple, yet direct […]

via Kahlil Gibran’s timeless wisdom on the purpose of poetry and meaning of work —

This post begins with a reblog of Business in Rhyme.

The major joy of blogging on WordPress.com is discovering excellent thought leaders and fascinating content  that stretch the imagination.  Have just found Business in Rhyme written by Maja S. Todorovic.

What made me keep reading Todorovic’s blog?

Her unique blend of interests and talents made me curious. I wanted more. I will admit I ended up googling her background. Her Internet presence and publications cover several  pages on Google’s search engine.

“The latest Tweets from Maja S. Todorovic (@businessinrhyme). Writer, educator and entrepreneur: a place where creativity and poetry meet. Her Twitter biography mentions she writes from The Netherlands. (I love visiting The Netherlands for many reasons, number one being that the Van Gogh Museum grew out of the painter’s family treasure of his works.) So I’m intrigued in Todorovic’s travels and cultural background.”

From Todorovic’s blog, Business in Rhyme on WordPress.com.

As promised, here are five great poets to build courage

  1. Kahlil Gibran
  2. Anne Sexton
  3. Antonio Machado
  4. Maya Angelou
  5. Robert Bly

When you click the links you will see well-known poetry sites, who have permission to republish these poets’ poems, a single poem by each one related to the topic of courage. Thanks for reading. If you enjoy reading this, please share it. A friend or loved one may need cheering up. These poets and poems strengthen us in ways nothing else can.

Deborah Taylor-French writes at Dog Leader Mysteries

I like poetry that makes me laugh.
A good book makes a great day.

Synopsis: Summing up your story makes a difference by Andrea Lundgren

Readers like to know what they’re getting into before they start a book. They want to know if it’s a series, what genre, and what they can expect, overall, before they start reading (unless they trust you and your stories already, in which case they might just want to read without any foreknowledge). This is […]

via Synopsis: How Summing Up Your Story Makes All The Difference #amwriting #atozchallenge — Andrea Lundgren

Add a book synopsis

Dear Readers,

Longtime, no blog? Yes, I have been pouring on self made pressure to complete my novel, Dog Leader Mysteries (Book One).

I have missed you readers and blog writers on WordPress.com. Yes, I have missed your interesting comments, blog posts and smiling writer faces. Of course, I have missed your dogs too, well your dog photographs, I meant to say. So I’m sharing an excellent post by Andrea Lundgren on how to write a synopsis for Indie Published authors and for all self published authors. I wonder why this topic rarely comes up in Redwood Writers Club meetings or speaker topics. Many of the three hundred members of our northern California branch of the California Writers Club have self published or are planning too.

I have not made up my mind what I shall do in that regard. Self publishing has its pitfalls, but at least you have some control on book design, book cover and publication date.

So if you have self published a book, have you written a synopsis and printed it in the back of your book?

All comments get answered by me, Deborah Taylor-French.

Best of spring days to you,

Deborah Taylor-French

PS. I took this photograph years ago. It remains my favorite all time of our adopted keeshond dog, Dancing Bear Dawn and our super dog loving girl. The cute (seven-year-old) girl had just downed a yogurt, so that is what you see on the corner of her mouth.


March Hares?

Bunny madness or March hares?

crop Tux stands pantry

Blog Paws blog hop “Wordless Wednesday”


Our house rabbit, Tuxedo, loving his litter box and fresh Timothy hay

Want more rescued house rabbit stories and photographs? Please visit our Dog Leader Mysteries “Save Easter Bunnies: adopt, don’t shop“or “Good Luck, Yoshi: Photo Friday.”

Thanks for visiting Dog Leader Mysteries and for hopping around Blog Paw’s pet bloggers sites today (or any day).

Wild hares in art?

Wild Hares in contemporary art? Sure, why not. Check out this Sonoma County, California painter’s site. I loved this artist who noticed how wild hares freeze when facing their fears. Inspiring the artist to try the same approach to her fears.

Yvette Buigues

Yvette Buigues sitting-hare“200 Hares series. The hare has a rich history in folklore around the world. There are stories that tell of it’s courage and fear, its relationship to and use by the moon as a messenger to earth; the hare is associated with the Sun, fertility, the dawn, and even seen as a trickster.”

For more visit Wild Hare Studio Shows

Hey, come hop around
Blog Paws Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop


Little stinker dog

Do you have a little stinker, too?

What Sydney lacks in manners he makes up in sheer entertainment. Maybe you have a little stinker like our Syd? Living free but living off us for free, he often goes his own way and pretends he doesn’t hear our “Sydney, sit” or “Quiet” while his having a barkathon.

Come on, Winnie, rescue me.
Hope mom gets done soon.

Sydney’s been our bad dog for thirteen years, and he is not about to stop. We love him even when he does his own thing. So the following modeling sessions either came about as luck or an off-day, when he worked for pets, treats and praise.

Blog Paws Wordless Wednesday

Today is Blog Paws Wordless Wednesday blog hop. So please hop on over to the treasure hunt of pet blogs.

Thanks for reading, Deborah

Wordless Wednesday
Blog Paws Blog Hop

7 story start tips : Write Monday

What type of story do you want to tell?

I can think of dozens of types of stories, mythical, cultural folktales, fairytales, cautionary fables, historical or generational stories. Yet most stories will boil down to what the story leaves the audience or readers feeling. Happy or sad? I can think of happy endings in war stories, family sagas or generational stories. Romance and fantasy could end either way, even if contemporary fiction genres tend to lean romance to happy endings. But truly if you live through the loss of your first BIG love, you know romance does not promise happy endings. So you the story-teller or writer must make this first and huge choice, happy or sad.  

A sad or happy story?

Well, of course, there is the option of leaving the ending open to interpretation. You could leave your characters hanging, waiting for a phone call, not dying after being shot or wishing he had killed the guy, and wondering if he did? Yet the bulk of stories are looked at as happy or sad. Do you like to watch happy TV shows and movies? Do you enjoy sad endings? Some people do.

Alex Hair Flip

How to add emotion to a story

  1. Start with an undo character, fighting for someone else’s safety
  2. Hurt your main character either physically or emotionally early in your story
  3. Begin your story with a loss for the character, family or village, etc.
  4. Have your main character suffer a social rejection at school, within a town or by a good friend
  5. Show your main character fighting for emotional or physical control (We love grace under pressure.)
  6. Create challenging “bad” weather” that stops your character just as he or she starts wanting to achieve, learn, etc.
  7. Set up a worthy opponent or “bad” guy or girl early in your story 

For more ideas on helping your live audience or readers feel emotions from your story

visit “How to Add Emotion to a Story” at WikiHow.

See WikiHow post below on “Adding Emotion a novel your are writing.”

We love our readers.

Do you love rainy nights? Do you love telling stories that turn your audience’s expectations up-side-down? Do you love include weather references that set up one idea, such as a dark and stormy night and turn it into the best night your main character ever had?

Think of your story as a slice of an ongoing story.

Things have happened before we start listening or reading.

Know that things will happen after listeners or readers finish with your story.

Please share if you enjoyed our

“Write Monday” Dog Leader Mysteries blog post.

Readers, please suggest stressors for my list.

Magic snuggle

A heartwarming cuddle

My new friend, Fran, send me this dear photograph of her two rescue dogs. The black and tan saluki dog came to Fran with the name of Hunter. He’d been abused so his Fran, his new mom, gave him a new identity, Magik Hunter. She calls him Magik.

The whippet rescue dog has helped to calm and to reassure Magik. Of course his mom and a kind dog trainer helped him learn he now lives in a perfectly safe home. It took four to five months for Magkic to re-learn to trust. Now, as you can see, he loves his new family dearly. What could be a better Valentine pet photograph?

Happy Valentines
Fireside snuggle  Photo credit: Fran Claggett
Dog Breed: Saluki
The Saluki, is a dog which was historically bred 
in the Fertile Crescent where agriculture originated. 
The Saluki is classed as a sighthound and has their typicaldeep-chested, long legged body. 
Scientific name: Canis lupus familiaris
Life span: 12 – 14 years
Speed: 43 mph (Maximum, Adult)
Mass: 40 – 60 lbs (Adult) - Google page for Saluki dog

Read more about saluki dogs on the American Kennel Club Saluki Dog Breed page.

Remember to adopt a saluki dog from a rescue, ethical breeders like the one who raised Magkic went to great trouble to find and rescue this handsome and gentle dog. Millions of dogs in America die in animal shelters due to lack of a home. The number of purebred dogs has remained at a steady 25% for the past 30 years. So keep calm and rescue, give foster care,  rehome and adopt dogs. Thanks for reading.

This is a Blog Paws blog hop Pet Love. Please visit the other pet bloggers and leave them a response or thanks for their Valentine photographs and pet blog posts. Thanks for visiting Dog Leader Mysteries, Deborah Taylor-French.

Rescue, foster and rehome
Everyone can do something. Every kindness matters.
Wordless Wednesday
Blog Paws Blog Hop

PS. We love comments. So please leave us a note, share or reblog.

2 paws up: Learning from Dogs

 Learning from Dogs: new nonfiction book

Happily a gift arrived a week ago from a friend. Paul Handover’s nonfiction book came and now has a place on my desk. Having connected through our blogs on WordPress.com. We shared a few chats on the phone. Our conversations led to Handover requesting a book endorsement for his Learning from Dogs: Innate Wisdom from Man’s Best Friend,  his nonfiction on the wisdom of dogs.

Paul Handover's nonfiction book on the innate wisdom of dogs
Paul Handover’s nonfiction book on the innate wisdom of dogs

As Agatha Christie’s famous detective, Poirot likes to put it, “My little gray cells…” so in an email to Paul, I wrote, “‘My little gray cells’ are spinning from jazzy ideas for your book blurb.”
“…fine insights on dogs by  Handover, who loves them, lives with dozens and learns from dogs.”

A rich resource of ideas, experience and knowledge, both large in scope.

Handover delivers in terms of descriptive of canine behavior, historical and detailed memoir..

“Paul Handover’s book will open your eyes to man’s best friend. Forget that bogus male alpha dog or alpha wolf. Make way for the three dogs needed for a healthy dog pack. Make peace with multiple dogs in your family’s life.”

Learning from Dogs
A lovely gift from Paul Handover, a wonderful blogger and author

“You will love this book. Paul Handover sets us free from false ideas of what dogs need. Read and learn to make a healthier relationship with your dog and dogs everywhere.”

“What do our faithful and loving dogs have to do with hope and a better future? Everything. Discover the five things our dogs teach us. Paul Handover tells us how to make a better world for our children and grandchildren. Read parts of this book aloud to your family and friends. I also recommend this book for book clubs, especially for clubs reading nonfiction and discussing current events.”
In Learning From Dogs Handover returns us to our origins. Readers, find how early humans were helped and comforted by dogs, plus the rich evidence of man and dog co-evolution. Dive into this personal and species adventure. Reading this will change your perspective on dogs, wolves and humankind. Most importantly, “Learning From Dogs” values life on planet earth offers ideas on peaceful co-evolution and holds out a hand to readers, a hand called hope.

 “It takes a long time to become young.”~ Pablo Picasso

In Learning From Dogs, Handover returns us to our origins investigating the mutual survival and social relations of early humans and dogs. Visit the rich evidence of man and dog’s coevolution. Reading this changes our perspective on dogs, wolves and humankind. Most importantly Learning From Dogs values life on Earth and offers ideas on peaceful coevolution. Handover holds out his hand to readers, a hand called hope.”

Please visit Learning from Dogs blog and read more about the book.

Deborah Taylor-French, author and blogger of Dog Leader Mysteries, writes books full of animal rescue and positive dog leadership plus non-fiction books for adults.

All You Zombies by Robert Heinlein

A story stranger than fiction

“I’m going to tell you the strangest story you ever heard.”

Thus opens a famous fantasy story by Robert A. Heinlein. How could I not read the original story after watching the movie version entitled, Predestination?

As we watched the first fifteen minutes of Predestination (streaming on Netflix), my friend related, “Oh, I read this story as a teen. I think this is the same story. Back then, I thought it was the best short story I had ever read. I think this is it.” After watching for another ten minutes, he paused the movie to explain that the story and characters came from Robert A. Heinlein.

A short fantasy fiction entitled, “All You Zombies.”

Available on Amazon
What is predestination?
"Learner's definition of PREDESTINATION: the belief that everything that will happen has already been decided by God or fate and cannot be changed" Merriam Webster, anEnglish Language Learners Dictionary

pre·des·ti·na·tion prēˌdestəˈnāSH(ə)n/ Google
noun (as a doctrine in Christian theology) the divine foreordaining of all that will happen, especially with regard to the salvation of some and not others. It has been particularly associated with the teachings of St. Augustine of Hippo and of Calvin.”

The subject of predestination, as an article of Christian faith, ruled my life. As a bookish child, I read often. Looking back, my study of the Bible had been colored by the church I attended. I began attending Sunday morning services with my beloved grandmother, Alice. I remained in that church from eight years old until the age of fifteen. As a solemn introvert and serious thinker, I attended Wednesday night Bible study along with friends. As preteens go, we lived in our heads and looked like nerds. In mid-week Bible study, we discussed the idea of predestination. We grappled with why an all-powerful God allowed free will, why that same one God let innocent babies and young children suffer and why God gave humankind the choice to commit violence, war and torture.

Fast forward a year or two, the church that baptized me, split in two! Feeling shocked, hurt and confused, the Bible study group  ask me to choose between them and the mother church. By this time, the Bible study group believed that humanity did not have free will, that God predestined individuals for salvation or damnation. Could I stay where I began my study and belief in Christianity?

Did I believe in predestination?

In hindsight, I chose the wrong church. The new one held the belief that God creates all human beings and either predestines them for salvation or damnation. This idea of God seems twisted and cruel. Why would God send the bulk of all mankind into sin and suffer an eternity in hell? That’s not what I believe now. But the idea that humanity lives without free choice, comes as a premise in the bizarre and fascinating story, All You Zombies.

Robert A. Heinlein at his desk reading
Robert A. Heinlein
Living in a time loop?

After seeing the movie, I got busy and found a paper copy of Robert A. Heinlein’s at my local library. Now I find I want to read all the stories so I will be looking for my paperback copy. Living in a time loop, what would that mean to you? Would you repeat parts of your life to figure out what happened and why? Would you relive your best times over and over? Would you live all the parts of your life, playing different roles, such as your best friend, your father or brother?

By the way, the story opens from the barkeeper point of view with data as to date, and time and setting. The movie opens and ends differently. I liked both versions, the original short story and movie. The only spoiler I will add is that the movie has been stretched into an action thriller. Thus the close character point of view seems weakened, yet I found the end of the movie an example of how to end a story splendidly.

Could you read just one?


Predestination, a movie take on All You Zombies-

Ethan Hawke Is A TimeCop

“The most famous story of time travel and predestination is getting a movie adaptation, starring Ethan Hawke. Robert A. Heinlein’s “All You Zombies” features a guy whose very existence is a time paradox — but the movie looks like more of a gritty, noir-influenced thriller. The movie entitled Predestination comes from Peter Spierig and Michael Spierig, the Australian brothers who previously directed Hawke in the futuristic vampire film Daybreakers.” In the movie of Heinlein’s All You Zombies

A bit more that I read on this movie from the site link above:

“Peter Spierig and Michael Spierig, the Australian brothers who previously directed Hawke in the futuristic vampire film “Daybreakers.”
The new movie, made from Heinlein’s story, received mixed reviews and a weak response, but we enjoyed it for the story and the bareness of the filming. No special effects were used, an exception to the rule of thrillers. The film focuses on the plot and doesn’t let us marinate in the characters’  internal conflicts, yet the characters become unforgettable.”

You will find available as an Amazon e-book with four other fantasy stories by Heinlein,  “All You Zombies-“: Five Classic Stories by Robert A. Heinlein Kindle Edition

The image of Heinlein at his desk came from “Robert Heinlein and the Harsh Politics of Science Fiction.”

Thanks for reading and sharing, Deborah Taylor-French

Bonus: Blast from the past band, The Hooters, singing (of course) “All You Zombies.”

Rainy day dog play

Rain never stops our play

We adopted Sydney in January. From traces on copy paper, I noticed he had been born on my birthday (or had I been born on his?)! Yes, I felt amazed. Sydney = kismet!

For me to at last find Sydney (in a local animal shelter) after searching local animal shelters, Petfinder.com and shelter Websites on the World Wide Web. Never had I worked so hard to find a dog to adopt. All in all it was seven months, that our dear child (a preteen at that time) waited and cried for her promised dog.

I smell goodies!
Sydney as a 1-year-old, learning new behaviors

All dogs in our family had previous homes. All dogs came to us about one year of age. I had trained each of them with positive methods of food rewards, praise and petting. Not true, the old saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

Happy campers
Keeshond Dancing Bear Dawn &

I taught five dogs new tricks

Rainy days a perfect for indoor training and play. Instead of playing chase the dog, make your dog  chase you. Have extra yummy treats. Make your dog sit and wait. Go and hide, any corner will do. Then call your dog and reward him or her the instant he or she sits at your feet. Repeat for a good five to ten minutes, depending on your dog’s interest, health and age.

All you need for a good game
  • Yummy & small bean-sized treats
  • a hungry dog
  • teach your dog to  sit and wait
  • a corner, bathroom or bedroom to hide in
  • call your dog’s name and say, “Sydney, come” in a cheery tone
  • reward with treat and pet your pooch
  • repeat

This is a Blog Paws blog hop. Please share and hop around to learn how to get exercise with your dog. Thank you.

Saving dogs on adoption at a time.
Keep on Hopping

Please follow this Visit other Blog Paws pet bloggers.

Happy Birthday, Sydney

“They say it’s your birthday.”

a true beach lover, dog
Happy Birthday & adoption day Sydney

Happy Birthday to you, Sydney

Sydney begs, “Adopt, don’t shop.” I had to wait in Petaluma Animal Shelter for three weeks. But I got my forever family. Never letting them go. They said they would keep me forever. So I’m still one happy camper.

Wishing all dogs were as lucky as Sid.

“They Say It’s Your Birthday”

Remix of The Beatles Original


Zen Rabbit

Love watching our house rabbit

Our house rabbit, Tuxedo, makes me laugh. Everyday. Due to Tuxedo’s in the moment aliveness, he often startles me with his playfulness. He shifts, sniffs, tracks and twirls.

When he desires, Tuxedo hops to a wall (with no thought of gracefulness) flops his whole body down. Legs splay behind, ears akimbo and completely relaxed, he rests. The time span of these time outs are for as long as he needs!

What natural wisdom rabbits show, effortlessly present like a Buddha or zen master.

Tuxedo nearly knocked me over.

I had just put a small handful of pellets (his nightly snack) into a little bowl. As I stepped near his Ex-pen. He jumped straight up, hit his bowl plus my hand. When he landed on the floor outside his pen I think he surprised us both. I think he intended to land inside the bowl of food.

So I put the bowl down and let him take a bite. Then I picked him up and placed him back in his night pen. Of course, he got his snack.

House  rabbit, Tuxedo, insists on his snack

One night I forgot his snack. I usually do not sleep all night but that night I did. I woke up once to hear thumping coming from downstairs.

In the morning, my spouse said, “Last night, Tux thumped so hard I thought he’d break his back bones.” All that day, Tuxedo continued to show his anger by lifted both back legs and thumping loudly.

So at  least one Walt Disney film got rabbit behavior right, watch Bambi and hear Thumper use his back leg.

The only distraction in Tuxedo’s life is spelled c-a-r-r-o-t.

Secrets to tame a rabbit?

  1. Infinite calm
  2. Loving kindness
  3. Softly stroke his cheeks
  4. Feed by hand often

Please visit the House Rabbit Society Website for great information on living with and loving house rabbits. Rabbits make great companions for adults. Most rescued rabbits come house trained. They use litter boxes lined with about a dozen sheets of newspaper and will happily munch Timothy Hay in the same box!


1 thing more toxic than chocolate for dogs

More toxic than chocolate?

Yes, and it’s everywhere.

Please visit my guest blog post on 4Knines blog “One common thing that is more toxic than chocolate for dogs”  Then please comment! Of course, after you comment, I’d love it if you would share far and wide for the love and lives of dogs. After working on this post for about a month I shared it as a guest post so that it may reach a larger audience of dog lovers, beyond my WordPress blog.

If you missed my first guest post on 4Knines blog, then go see my guest blog: “3 tips that could save your dog’s life”

"Hey Mom, what's up?"
Syd the kid

As a writerly treat and encouraging read, I’m sharing Ursula Le Guin’s famous acceptance speech and noting the context. Not a single writer of science fiction nor fantasy genre were honored before her award in 2014. She states that all her fellow authors in those genres were over looked for fiction that fell within the category of “realistic” or “realism.” Enjoy.

National Book Foundation Medal

Speech in Acceptance of the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters

To the givers of this beautiful eward, my thanks, from the heart. My family, my agents, my editors, know that my being here is their doing as well as my own, and that the beautiful reward is theirs as much as mine. And I rejoice in accepting it for, and sharing it with, all the writers who’ve been excluded from literature for so long — my fellow authors of fantasy and science fiction, writers of the imagination, who for fifty years have watched the beautiful rewards go to the so-called realists.Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom — poets, visionaries — realists of a larger reality.

Right now, we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximise corporate profit and advertising revenue is not the same thing as responsible book publishing or authorship.Yet I see sales departments given control over editorial. I see my own publishers, in a silly panic of ignorance and greed, charging public libraries for an e-book 6 or 7 times more than they charge customers. We just saw a profiteer try to punish a publisher for disobedience, and writers threatened by corporate fatwa. And I see a lot of us, the producers, who write the books and make the books, accepting this — letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant, and tell us what to publish, what to write.Books aren’t just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable — but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art, the art of words.I’ve had a long career as a writer, and a good one, in good company. Here at the end of it, I don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. We who live by writing and publishing want and should demand our fair share of the proceeds; but the name of our beautiful reward isn’t profit. Its name is freedom.

Thank you.

Ursula K. Le Guin
November 19, 2014

This text may be quoted without obtaining permission from the author, or copied in full so long as the copyright information is included:

Copyright © 2014 Ursula K. Le Guin, Ursula K. Le Guin Website


Readers you will find a video of her Speech in Acceptance of the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to Amercian Letters by clicking this link: Ursula Le Guin National Book or paste this link into your browser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Et9Nf-rsALk

Happy New Year 2016

to writers and readers, may your be blessed by art and publication of work written from freedom to freedom.

May all beings be happy.

Deborah Taylor-French


What’s your story? Write Monday

Listening to your story

Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth. ― Rumi

 What an idea! Are you living your own story?

How do you know if you are?

How to tell if you are living your own story quiz

  1. Do you wake up glad to be alive?
  2. Do you ask yourself what you want to do for fun?
  3. Do you plan fun things to do each week?
  4. Do you make time to talk with friends and family?
  5. Do you smile at people?
  6. Do you listen to others stories and enjoy them?
  7. Do you often remember good dreams?
  8. If other’s boss or control you, do you stand up for what you want?
  9. Is what others think of you more important, most of the time?
  10. Can you be lazy and enjoy your dog for most of a day (without feeling guilty)?


Add up each “yes” answer for 10 points each

Extra Credit

  1. Make time to do regular exercise? Add 10 points
  2. If you have a score of at least 70% or above, you are living your own story.
  3. If you have a lower score, how about adding more kindness, exercise and fun to your life?

A Pair of Noses

 Share your story at NPR.org Story Corps


What stories do do others tell about you? Are you listening? Do those stories fit? Is it time to tell a new story?

Go give StoryCorps a try. I hear that the app is free and helps make interviewing a family member or friend easy. Do you want to know more about someone in your family?

A few of my life stories, odd & true

You can read some of my true stories on two of my blog pages, Adopt, save the life of a dog or a child and Long Distance Dog Mystery: Grief Plus ESP.


Protect dogs from toxins: Dog Food Alerts

Keep your dog healthy by recall alerts

My purpose for this blog and my tagline is ’saving dogs’ lives & dog lovers’ sanity. I want all my readers to know The Dog Food Advisor.  Editor Mike Sagman,  has personally helped Dog Leader Mysteries receive over 1,600 visitors in one day.  That is not why I want to write about him. Mike provides at least two essential services for dog lovers. Both remain free of charge.

Essential free services for dog lovers

Don’t miss out on these two important, and potentially life saving, services from the Dog Food Advisor. The most important thing I believe we dog lovers can do for our pets is keep them healthy. Keep the avoidable health issues down to a minimum. Do not leave medications, candy, gum or toxic chemicals where your dog can ingest them. Think of your dog as a toddler. For the lifetime of your pet you need to ‘child proof your home and car.’ Vets will tell you that many visits are unnecessary, if the dog owner had thought ahead and prevented the ingestion of toxic and damaging stuff.

Our sick  dog, Sydney, after ingesting a toxin

Our little, Sydney, got into toxins someone tossed into our backyard. He felt awful, would not drink, EAT, walk or play for days. We spent over $200 at an all night Vet clinic to find out why he suddenly became afraid of us, could not walk and would not come out from under the sofa. The Vet tested his urine and discovered he had ingested cannabis. Because we never use, buy or handle that, Marc had to look very hard the next day to find out where our dog gained access. Dogs do not like the smell of cannabis. They avoid it, unless it  is mixed with…please read my post, Marijuana made our dog sick.  Learn why you should be concerned for your dog.

2 sick Sid

 2 simple steps for dog care

Read about dog food brands and formulas. The Dog Food Advisor provides years of facts and ingredients, which he regularly updates on both dry and wet dog food plus dog treats.

Sign up for The Dog Food Advisor’s free dog food recall list. Simple, short and to the point emails on what has been recalled and why. Of course you can always follow the links to his site and read more about each recall alert. Below is a sample alert I received December 2, 2015.


“Dear Fellow Dog Lover,

Dave’s Pet Food of Agawam, Massachusetts, has confirmed it is voluntarily recalling one production lot of its Dave’s Simply the Best dry dog food due to the presence of an “off odor”.To learn which products are affected, please visit the following link:Dave’s Dog Food Recall of December 2015. Please be sure to share the news of this alert with other pet owners.

Mike Sagman, Editor, The Dog Food Advisor

P.S. Not already on our dog food recall notification list yet?”


Sign up to get critical dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. There’s no cost for this service.

First go to the Dog Food Advisor and sign up for his recall email notices. Next, search and find the brand and type of food you are feeding your dog. For many of us, his food research was both eye-opening and empowering.

Thanks for reading. If you do visit the Dog Food Advisor and comment, please tell him I sent you. Thanks,

Deborah Taylor-French

Please leave comments, responses  or questions, I love hearing from my readers.

Comment Love Prizes

Comment Contest goes live today

To enter, visit 4Knines and read my guest post 3 Tips That Could Save Your Dog’s Life. For a chance too win, leave a comment with your email.

Raise your chances of winning by sharing on Facebook, LinkedIn or GooglePlus. Just come back and leave me a note with links to your shares.

1st Prize – $30 Gift card to Copperfields Books or Amazon

2nd Prize – $15 Gift card to Copperfields Books or Amazon

3rd Prize – Shares of your Web site or blog (choice of Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. You pick dates for 10 total shares.

Hey, come on down the water's fine
Walking on a Pacific North Coast Beach

My guest post on 4Knines blog

When Brianna Miller, Managing Editor of 4Knines.com, sent me an email invitation to be a guest blogger, I visited 4Kinines Web site and blog. After I felt sure that they never encourage buying dogs from puppy mills or pet shops, I emailed back to accept the challenge.

But as life goes, and “…life is what happens when your busy making other plans,” John Lennon. I needed to take a trip to help my family and missed the opening day my post went live.

Please help me receive more comments because…

your comments & shares can get me a paid blogging job!

live on November 18, 2015!

Guest blog Comment Contest closes on November 28, 2015. 


Three Redwood Writer Club members have a head start on you, so please get to reading and to making those comments. I love writers and readers.

My first contest so I hope I can get 50 contenders 

100 commenters. 


Write Monday: a Guggenheim Flash

Does this start a story? Self portrait inside Guggenheim designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

Do spirals have a focal point?

A blasting cold wind sent us inside that autumn. Entering the Guggenheim Museum in New York, we became disoriented to the point that we began to whisper.

The power of visual art to hush the human mind, is that what changed everything that day? The sheer power of an utterly unique building silenced inner chatter. Other people whispered, too.

Clusters of people meditated on form and color,  magnifying a zen like experience. Considering the history of human art, that humans began drawing figures in soft earth, then painted magical or sacred figures in red ochre on cave walls, may have been a factor in our experience. Our human drive to commune with and express visually has not slowed. Looking upward at the circling ovoid dome, I felt grateful for the chance to visit the Guggenheim.

When it comes to paintings we happen to share preferences for cultural forms, historical periods and specific artists. Art history had sparked a lifelong love of painting and history. Not being a stranger to museums, I was alarmed that standing on the ground floor of the Guggenheim I  felt disoriented. I tried to reclaim my balance in this off balance building by holding still and listening to the hushed voice echoes. Where there any echoes?

Do spirals have a focal point? As we walked up the ramp, a sense of vacuum lead our curiosity. Spans of titled walkway seemed to vary into an ever expanding open space. The contemporary art installations drew clusters of viewers. We joined a group of a dozen, puzzling over meaning and intent. What does this artist do? Using negative space, words on a wall drew a crowd. A clever installation artist literally nailed the wall with a cry for help.

Awe felt in the presence of greatness? Beyond the sweeping structure, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, New York, holds a treasury of Kadinsky’s paintings. Each painting compresses what appears to be a complete and alternate visual world. Each of these worlds pump, fall and rise with action. Each painting tumbled in a play of color. The Kandinsky Gallery burned memories intensely alive. The brilliant colors of each painting enthralled. The passion of the painter Kadinsky opened eyes and revived sensations of childhood running and leaping. Such active swaths of black, blue, yellow and red.

It was then I saw the man guiding a blind woman by the arm. A lightning second of recognition hit my eyes, then he guided me to the next painting, whispering descriptions so shameless that I followed him for the rest of my life.

The End

A few glimpses at what we saw at the Guggenheim.


Once in a lifetime visit the Guggenheim 

The Guggenheim, New York, New York, U.S.A.

Kandinsky Gallery Guggenheim

Guggenheim Blog Architectural Digest “Visit the Guggenheim from your own home”Frank Lloyd Wright

Dear Reader,

I love comments and questions. “Write Monday” posts center on storytelling. Instead of writing about storytelling, I’ve written you a story. I want to know if this flash fiction entertained or made you curious.

Thanks for reading Dog Leader Mysteries,

Deborah Taylor-French

Big big Dog

Do I need a narrator?

At three minutes to midnight by our planetary Doomsday Clock does it matter?

No, most likely not. But if you have a good story to tell outloud or to write down and share, you need to know about your options. What choices do you have for story narration? Upward to several hundred but let me help narrow that down for you.

A few memorable narrators

  • Cousin Mary in “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • The self loathing man telling “Notes from Underground” by  Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Alec (a fourteen year old boy) in The Black Stallion by Walter Farley


    So far, these narrators happen to also be main characters but do not let that fool you! 

      As I began this new series “Write Monday” I gave an example

      I started with a storytelling example by one of my favorite contemporary authors. A brief introduction: this a unique writer who writes novels both for adults and children, also an author who’s fame owes much to the Broadway stage adaption of his novel, Wicked: the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West,” Gregory MacGuire.

      Wicked…written in the third person pronoun, nevertheless this novel entralls me, due to a strong narrative voice. As a reader I felt instant curiousity for a storyteller who dared tell the story of an longheld character defined as “evil.” 

      Not being a longsuffering reader, I refuse to any boredom in a novel, but will stay longer in a nonfiction book, reported to teach a valuable stream of knowledge! 

      Yep, I read like a hopeless snob! 

      Wink, wink. I write fiction. I hold myself to a near impossible standard of excellence, I know “…the better is the enemy of the good.”

      What do narrators do 4 stories?

      A short list of narrator benefits

      • The Black Stallion by Walter Farley
      • Rivet readers by their voice
      • Layer story POV
      • Take a story to a larger world
      • Shift a story into a new time frame
      • Questions strengthens or foolishness of characters
      • Scatter clues, false or true
      • Make judgements on the plot, the character or the secret history 
      • Add complexity & other stories designed to enrich the central plot or readers bond with characters
      • Make readers love or hate the main character more


      It's not whar u look at that matters
      Vincent van Gogh painting

      Would this postman make an interesting narrator? I imagine he would speak at least three languages and take his job seriously.

      Thanks for reading & sharing Dog Leader Mysteries. Deborah Taylor-French

      Write Monday: a story must have legs

      A story must have legs

      I believe this phrase comes as part of a fable or joke, if you know the origins please leave me a comment. A big part of my day ended up being in learning mode on human and mammalian evolution. We even took a turn into the engaging long galleries on dinosaurs, filled with families taking photographs and selfies posed before the bones of many an extinct creature.

      So we sit, still in Act I, our opening for creative nonfiction or fiction. Of course, the legs our stories need do not have any real component, these legs we think about help us to define, form and structure our story like an animal that can stand up and walk. Why do I suggest our stories need to walk on their own legs?

      Can you believe these were herbivores?
      Can you believe these were herbivores?
      Writers need surprises, too

      When a story has good or great bones, it can walk, swim or fly off into surprsing territories. Once you examine what type of animal or genre you write. Much of your headaches settle in the area of telling the story. No matter what Act you happen to be writing, knowing the bones of your story makes the writing come much more easily.

      • bones give shape to stories
      • bones help stories walk, crawl, swim or fly
      • bones help writers pace their stories in readers hands
      • bones lend mood to stories & hint at the ending
      • bones can glow in the dark, long after the story has end
      Does this start a story?
      Am I looking down or looking up through a mirror?

      “…no surprises for the writer, no surprises for the reader.” Robert Frost

      Comparing stories to stage plays

      We can also look at stories and compare them to types of performance art or stage play. Choosing wether your story leans into comedy toward laughter, romps, mixups and ending in marriage and song, or if your story leans toward tragedy bring tears to our eyes and ending in the main character’s death, or for that matter if your story fits a hero’s journey full of challenges, action, thrills, fear. death, mystery and triumph. Defining your genre or story type helps the read know right away what type of a story he or she has landed in.

      Tune in next Monday for more on Act I

      I promise to talk about POV or what is known as point of view and choices available to writers as they being a story of any length. If you write for adults and an educated audience, then switching points of view can work well. Often writers of fiction tell stories from multiple points of view. Your first choice does not have to limit you in your revisions, but it helps to have a solid idea, through reading many, many books like the one your are working on, to gage what works effectively for you as the reader.

      • First person point of view uses the pronoun, I..
      • Second person point of view uses the pronoun, You…
      • Third person point of view uses the pronouns, she, he, and they,

        Does this dog look fearful?
        What’s the story here?

      Thanks for reading, caring and sharing, Deborah Taylor-French

      Write Monday: the craft

      New topic on Dog Leader Mysteries?

      While studying fiction as a writer, I began this blog. All of my Dog Leader Mysteries have dog characters, dog humor and a thread of information on positive vs. negative training.

      After dozens of years of studying and writing fiction, I have decided to write about the craft of writing stories and to share tips for writers who need to tell compelling stories. Writers need support of other writers and quality information on how to connect with readers.

      Although I have written for most of my life, writing fiction still feels new. Well, when does eleven years feel new to you?

      How to study the craft of fiction

      • How to write fiction books
      • Read tons of fiction
      • Write at least a million plus words then keep writing
      • Join a writers’ group or club
      • Attend author book talks
      • Take online seminars on writing
      • Attend writers conferences
      • Participate in writers’ critique groups
      • Become a beta reader for writers you respect

      My bank of knowledge keeps growing

      I’m adding this Write Monday feature post, due to a decade of years as an active member of Redwood Writers. Our club has grown from the forty members when I first joined to a whopping team of nearly three hundred. We also are the most active of the twenty-one branches of the California Writers Club. “Educating writers of all abilities in the craft of writing and in the marketing of their work.”

      Redwood Writers motto? “Writers helping writers.” So in that spirit I will also offer some valuable insight, resources and skills I learn as Redwood Writers Author Support Facilitator.

      Topics RW Author Support Group tends to visit often include:

      • What is craft?
      • Can you define your genre?
      • How do I overcome writers’ block?
      • Where can I find an editor?
      • How to get published?
      • Where can I find readers for my books?

      Facilitator Chair: Deborah Taylor-French writes a monthly column for The Sonoma County Gazette. She has published in The North Bay Business Journal, Changing Hurt to Hope’s Cry of the Nightbird and winning video scripts for Sonoma County Regional Parks. Her stories and poems appear in seven Redwood Writers’ Vintage Voices.

      I like poetry that makes me laugh.
      A good dog + a good book make a great day.

      The business side of writing

      This August at Redwood Writers monthly meeting, our speaker delivered a hot topic with dozens of juicy details all serious writers need to know by Linda Lee. The title of the talk?

      “The Author Website: building a site that works for you”
      Who is Linda Lee?

      Linda Lee is a Web designer, WordPress expert and educator. “…an online expert. She is a writer, speaker, educator, and website designer who demystifies the online experience. Whether you are a novice or veteran Internet user, Linda can help you optimize and monetize your website.” As a former expert marketing executive, Linda Lee, continues to use and teach winning strategies for author Web sites and offers professional editing services.

      Please visit Linda Lee’s Web site Askmepc-webdesign

      Writing fiction tends to be a seven-day a week obsession. A grand adventure in self-employment or a hobby for some who love the craft of storytelling. A number of writers work as magazine editors, literary agents work in the business of publishing or write for pay in the fields of technical, business or news.

      The writing I love tells compelling stories.

      Diverse types of writing demand good storytelling skills. Bloggers, news features, newsletters of nonprofits, creative nonfiction, magazine stories, educational textbooks, even letter writing (a lost art?) all benefit from good storytelling.

      Write Monday: why tune in?

      Tune in to discuss questions like these.

      1. Can you define good storytelling?
      2. What mistakes do bad storytellers make that you hate?
      3. Have you ever helped someone write a better story?
      4. Tips for better storytelling.
      5. Lists to strengthen on your next blog post. Fun discussion on what helps writers get better at writing. Samples of the good, the bad and the ugly writing.

      The writing I love to read for pleasure falls in the category of fiction, especially historical fiction and mystery fiction. I happen to love learn. Plus I love stories!

      Safe rides 4 dogs

      Go for a ride?

      “Go for a ride.” These words sound so sweet to our dogs. Of course, they love to have their nose out the window smelling the world that is speeding. But your dog needs a seatbelt or to ride safely in a tied down pet safe crate. specially  if they must ride in an open truck bed. California law and public safety states that dogs in truck beds must be cross tied though their harnesses to each side of the truck. An acceptable alliterative inside to secured each dog inside a dog crate rated for vehicle transport. Each crate must be firmly tied down for the weight of the crate plus the dog and will not come lose in the case of a traffic accident.

      Please don’t let your dog ride loss in the back of a truck. I have watched a dog flip and hit the street as a mini truck driver hit his breaks, luckily the dog was not hurt (that time).

      Not safe for dogs to ride.

      Dog time is longer than people time.
      No tie downs for 2 young German shepherds

      “It has been estimated that at least 100,000 dogs die each year when (accidentally) tossed from pickup trucks, For your dog’s safety, don’t let it ride in the back of an open pickup truck. Even if it isn’t killed, it could be lost and you might not even know where it fell out.”

      ”In Pickups-A Bad Idea” The Humane Society of Utah’s website.

      Also please read my page for safety tips, laws and resources “Dogs die falling off pickup trucks>”

      This is a Blow Paws Wordless Wednesday so please visit these other pet blogs. Some featuring cats  and other small or pocket pets who are going for a ride.

      Scary for the dog, scary for other drivers too.

      Why let a dog ride where a child cannot?
      Loose in a truck bed is deadly for dogs. It’s also against the law.

      This is a Blog Paws blog hop.

      Please visit the other pet blogs, thanks. Deborah

      The Nose Knows
      The Nose Knows
      Saving dogs on adoption at a time.
      Keep on Hopping

      Linked to: http://www.blogpaws.com
      1. BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday
      Linked to: mydoglikes.com/wordless-wednesday-smiling-is-my-favorite/
      2. MyDogLikes
      Linked to: bionicbasil.blogspot.com.au/
      3. Basils Blog
      Linked to: lifewithlycanlexie.wordpress.com/2015/07/29/wordless-wednesday-grumpy-pants/
      4. Life With Lycan & Lexie
      Linked to: http://www.poochsmooches.com/2015/07/there-goes-peter-cottontail.html
      5. Pooch Smooches
      Linked to: animalsheltervolunteer.blogspot.com/2015/07/almost-wordless-wednesday-chappy-and.html
      6. Animal Shelter Volunteer Life
      Linked to: http://www.create-with-joy.com/2015/07/wordless-wednesday-cat-on-the-hearth.html
      Linked to: http://www.mochasmysteriesmeows.com/2015/07/wordless-wednesday-truffles-is-home.html
      8. Truffles is Home
      Linked to: talesandtails.com/
      9. Tales And Tails
      Linked to: http://www.mkclinton.com/2015/07/have-you-ever.html
      10. Have You Ever. . .
      Linked to: http://www.ownedbyahusky.ca/2015/07/dogs-speak-to-those-who-listen.html
      11. Love is being owned by a husky
      Linked to: fidoseofreality.com/why-your-dog-may-not-need-yearly-vaccines/
      12. Should Dogs Get Vaccines?
      Linked to: thispuglife.com/2015/07/pug-reviews-natures-variety-raw-boost-mixers.html
      13. Pug Reviews Raw Boost Mixers
      Linked to: tenaciouslittleterrier.blogspot.com/2015/07/its-hard-knock-life.html
      14. Tenacious Little Terrier
      Linked to: http://www.bzdogs.com/2015/07/happy-birthday-henry.html
      15. BZ Dogs
      Linked to: http://www.ohmyshihtzu.com/dog-bloggers-rock/
      16. Dog Bloggers Rock – OMST
      Linked to: http://www.sugarthegoldenretriever.com/2015/07/sugars-new-home/
      17. SUGARs New Home
      Linked to: whenthecatisaway.com/cat-ignores-me-after-i-have-left-her/
      18. Whatever
      Linked to: pawesomecats.com/2015/07/28/raw-food-diets-for-cats-the-pros-and-cons/
      19. Raw Food Diets
      Linked to: zoephee.blogspot.com/2015/07/zoe.html#more
      20. ZoePhee
      Linked to: http://www.athenacatgoddess.com/2015/07/wordless-whiskers.html
      21. Athena and Marie
      Linked to: http://www.sparklecat.com/diary/kitty-and-mirror-kitty
      22. Summer
      Linked to: http://www.baileyunleashed.com/2015/07/going-going-gone.html
      23. bailey unleashed
      Linked to: piranhabanana.blogspot.com/2015/07/wordless-wednesday-finding-our-way.html
      24. Piranha Finds The Way
      Linked to: http://www.browndogcbr.net
      25. Hawk aka BrownDog
      Linked to: catladyconfidential.com/2015/07/29/i-came-i-saw-i-conquered/
      26. I came, I saw, I started. . .
      Linked to: image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/07/variations.html
      27. image-in-ing: LINKY
      Linked to: barktime.co.uk/2015/07/29/wordless-wednesday-2/
      28. Bark Time – Sand Lover
      Linked to: http://www.wagnwoofpets.com/52snapshots-of-life-nature/
      29. Wag n Woof
      Linked to: catsherdyou.com/wordless-wednesday-birds-of-a-feather-edition/
      30. S
      Linked to: kittypartay.blogspot.com/2015/07/wordless-wednesday_28.html
      31. Kitty Par-TAY
      Linked to: spencerthegoldendoodle.blogspot.com/2015/07/drseuss-what-pet-should-i-get.html
      32. Spencer the Goldendoodle
      Linked to: http://www.thedailypip.com/2015/07/tall-grass-rising-waters.html
      33. The Daily Pip
      Linked to: lapaylor.blogspot.com/2015/07/cole-manages-to-find-mischief-even-in.html
      34. Cole and the giant squirrel
      Linked to: petsawarenews.com/?p=1073
      35. Sleepy Sisterhood
      Linked to: wp.me/p3Ama1-2WS
      36. Mom Is As Old As A Dinosaur
      Linked to: greyhoundscansit.com/wordless-wednesday-dont-worry-be-happy/
      37. Greyhounds CAN Sit
      Linked to: thefrenchdog.blogspot.com/2015/07/looking-at-bright-future-this-wordless.html
      38. The Life of Louie
      Linked to: wp.me/p3HJme-1O5
      39. Dollys Museum Visit
      Linked to: http://www.somethingwagging.com/dishonest-dog-wordless-wednesday/
      40. Dishonest Dog?
      Linked to: bermudabluez.blogspot.com
      41. bichonpawz
      Linked to: http://www.catchatwithcarenandcody.com/2015/07/can-cat-get-little-help-here-please.html
      42. Can a Cat Get a Little Help He
      Linked to: comewagalong.com/blogpaws-blog-hop-wordless-wednesday-missed-us/
      43. Missed Us?
      Linked to: http://www.talking-dogs.com/2015/07/rosie-and-security-patrol-wordless.html
      44. Talking Dogs
      Linked to: http://www.thedogtraininglady.com
      45. They will remain in my heart.
      Linked to: tailsofteach.blogspot.com/
      46. Tails of Teach
      Linked to: americancanine.wordpress.com
      47. American Canine
      Linked to: thecatonmyhead.com/?p=16275/
      48. Wordless But Not Squirrel-less
      Linked to: sandspringchesapeakes.wordpress.com/2015/07/29/one-daywordless-wednesday/
      49. Sand Spring Chessies
      Linked to: poodleatplay.blogspot.com/2015/07/wordless-wednesday_29.html
      50. Poodle At Play
      Linked to: sweetpurrfections.blogspot.com
      51. Sweet Purrfections
      Linked to: http://www.lapdogcreations.com/
      52. Lapdog Creations
      Linked to: aussiesincharge.blogspot.com
      53. Aussies in charge
      Linked to: emmysits.blogspot.com/2015/07/wordless-wednesday-go-for-ride.html
      54. Emmy the Pet Sitter
      Linked to: dogsluvusandweluvthem.blogspot.com/2015/07/just-chillin-in-yard.html
      55. Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them
      Linked to: dogtreatweb.com/fleas-8-photos-of-happiness/
      56. 8 Photos of Happiness
      Linked to: http://www.playfulkitty.net/2015/07/29/lazy-summer-day/
      57. Playful Kitty- Lazy Summer Day
      Linked to: wp.me/p5viVv-8b
      58. National Mutt Day
      Linked to: ghfsheepdogs.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/wordless-wednesday-42-dramatic-pony-butt.html
      59. The Dogs of Greenhill Farm
      Linked to: christypaws.com/wordless-wednesday-the-thinker/
      60. Echo The Thinker, Christy Paw
      Linked to: lifeinthedoghouse.ca/2015/07/28/wally-bella-family-reunion/
      61. Family Reunion
      Linked to: lifewithspirit.ca/2015/07/29/8-months-old-time-is-flying/
      62. 8 Months Old
      Linked to: http://www.stylepetsboutique.com/2015/07/lost-pet/
      63. Style Pets
      Linked to: bellfurzoo.blogspot.com/2015/07/wordless-wednesday_29.html
      64. Wordless Wednesday
      Linked to: nalathewonderdog.wordpress.com/2015/07/29/speak-softly-wordless-wednesday/
      65. Speak Softly
      Linked to: myrubicondays.blogspot.com/2015/07/sisters-on-summer-evening.html
      66. Rubicon Days
      Linked to: kamekroten.wordpress.com/2015/07/29/turtle-fact-12-tricking-turtles-to-eat-vegetable-and-cuttlebone/
      67. Underneath The Shell
      Linked to: http://www.inspiregreytness.com
      68. Inspire Greytness
      Linked to: http://www.shespeaksbark.com/2015/07/waterside-wandering.html
      69. Waterside Wandering
      Linked to: susanspetblog.com/2015/07/29/is-your-dog-or-cat-obese/
      70. Wordless Wednesday-Cleo
      Linked to: http://www.stunningkeisha.com/2015/07/wednesday-wordselfies.html
      71. CK: Wednesday Word—Selfies
      Linked to: groovygoldendoodles.com/doodle-fun/is-my-dog-a-prince/
      Linked to: talenthounds.ca/news/my-8-photos-of-happiness/
      73. Talent Hounds- 8 Pics of Happy
      Linked to: http://www.sewdoggystyle.com/2015/07/4th-annual-national-craft-for-your_27.html
      74. Craft for Shelters Results!!!
      Linked to: forestpoodles.blogspot.com/2015/07/wordless-wednesday-stare-down.html
      75. Forest Poodles
      Linked to: terratoby.blogspot.com/2015/07/52-snapshots-on-wordless-wednesday.html
      76. Terra Toby
      Linked to: coonhoundtales.blogspot.com/2015/07/wordless-wednesday-francesca-gets-bath.html
      77. Francescas Bath
      Linked to: mylifewithflyballdogs.blogspot.com
      78. So Fly
      Linked to: http://www.boccibeefs.com/2015/07/blogpaws-wordless-wednesday-pet-blogger_29.html
      79. Boccis Beefs
      Linked to: http://www.gspotsylvania.wordpress.com
      80. His name IS Bruno!
      Linked to: http://www.island-cats.com/?p=27701
      81. The Island Cats
      Linked to: http://www.sidewalkshoes.com/2015/07/coco-in-the-morning-happy-caturday.html
      82. Coco in the morning
      Linked to: itschewytime.blogspot.com/2015/07/wordless-wednesday_29.html
      83. Its Chewy Time!
      Linked to: http://www.dzdogs.com/2015/07/wordless-wednesday-flyball-video.html
      84. Flyball Video!
      Linked to: http://www.nakedandhungry.com/2015/07/barry-say-whaaaaaa-words-for-wednesday.html
      85. Barry Say Whaaaaa?

      Tags: blog hop, BlogPaws blog hop, networking, Wordless Wednesday

      Collar vs Harness

      Collar dangers?

      Collars and tags get caught on furniture, fencing and the collars of other dogs. Yes, pet lovers have reported pet deaths and super close calls. The Dog Food Advisor witnessed one of his dogs in a life or death struggle when a collar caught and began strangling his dog. Not that many pet lovers know that collars can endanger their pets breathing and swallowing. Certain dog breeds, like pugs, inherit inbred weaknesses of their nose and larynx. So do be very careful if you put a collar on a pet that already struggles with breathing. For facts and examples of collar dangers, read my page No More Death by Collar.

      Comfort is important!
      Our Sydney in his best harness

      To harness or not to harness?

      With so many new types of dog and cat harnesses available, I recommend talking to people who have a pet like yours. Some dogs and cats manage to stretch and wriggle out of harnesses and car seat-belts. It actually took us several  try to find two options for our Sydney. We really love the soft orange one. We believe it must be comfortable because he does not try to get out of it.

      Please microchip and license your pet so others
      can find & return

      In the age of microchips (often free at city shelters) you can put a harness with tags on your dog or cat, but add a microchip too.

      Microchip us, please.
      Please don’t let us get hung up on collars.

      Blog Paws Wordless Wednesday

      This is a blog hop. Please visit the other pet bloggers writing about pet safety! Plus thanks for caring and sharing, Deborah Taylor-French

      Wordless Wednesday
      Blog Paws Blog Hop

      Linked to: http://www.blogpaws.com
      1. BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday
      Linked to: http://www.cascadiannomads.com/pet-adventure-blog/a-quiz-in-the-summer-get-summer-pet-safety-savvy-with-a-quiz-eight-tips-a-pet-first-aid-kit-giveaway
      2. Pet Safety Quiz & Giveaway www.mochasmysteriesmeows.com/2015/07/forever-young-my-precious-truffles.html
      3. Forever Young, Truffles www.thecatonmyhead.com/good-day-sunshine/
      4. The Cat on My Head Good Day mydoglikes.com/wordless-wednesday-vacation/
      5. MyDogLikes: Vacation www.lifewithbeagle.com/2015/07/traveling-with-dogs-practice-summer.html
      6. Life With Beagle whenthecatisaway.com/cat-statue/
      7. Statuesque kamekroten.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/look-at-how-i-have-grown/
      8. Underneath The Shell www.poochsmooches.com/2015/07/wordless-wednesday-headrest.html
      9. Pooch Smooches talesandtails.com/
      10. Tales And Tails www.ohmyshihtzu.com/mourning-the-loss-of-a-dog/
      11. Mourning the Loss of a Dog www.bzdogs.com/2015/07/old-glory.html
      12. BZ Dogs pawesomecats.com/2015/07/07/whats-dinner-feeding-cat/
      13. Pawesome Cats www.sugarthegoldenretriever.com/2015/07/send-someone-special-a-smile/
      14. SUGAR: Smile Cards www.mkclinton.com/2015/07/it-is-snood.html
      15. It is a Snood thispuglife.com/2015/07/the-importance-of-pet-hydration-petsafe-pet-fountain-giveaway.html
      16. Pet Hydration Giveaway
      Linked to: http://www.athenacatgoddess.com/2015/07/wild-wordless-wednesday.html
      17. Athena and Marie
      Linked to: groovygoldendoodles.com/blog-hop/a-pet-bloggers-nightmare/
      Linked to: karineumeyer.com/2015/07/07/back-to-the-beach/
      19. Back to the Beach
      Linked to: http://www.create-with-joy.com/2015/07/wordless-wednesday-cats-can-sleep-anywhere.html
      20. CREATE WITH JOY – LINK UP! www.yourdesignerdogblog.com/2015/07/08/seeing-double/
      21. YourDesignerDog chasingdogtales.com/who-does-your-dog-look-like-2/
      22. Chasing Dog Tales www.browndogcbr.net aka BrownDog
      Linked to: tenaciouslittleterrier.blogspot.com/2015/07/author-photo.html
      24. Tenacious Little Terrier
      Linked to: http://www.ownedbyahusky.ca/2015/07/every-once-and-while.html
      25. Love is being owned by a husky
      Linked to: http://www.sparklecat.com/diary/fourth-of-july-outtakes
      26. Summer
      Linked to: zoephee.blogspot.com/2015/07/sisterly-love.html#more
      27. ZoePhee
      Linked to: http://www.baileyunleashed.com/2015/07/love-is.html
      28. bailey unleashed
      Linked to: catladyconfidential.com/2015/07/08/curiosity-thrilled-the-cat/
      29. Curiosity thrilled the cat
      Linked to: bicontinental-dachshund.blogspot.ch/2015/07/tootsie-and-alpenrose.html
      30. Bicontinental Dachshund
      Linked to: zoolatry.blogspot.com
      31. ZOOLATRY
      Linked to: bermudabluez.blogspot.com
      32. bichonpawz
      Linked to: image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/07/a-community-with-holiday-spirit.html
      33. image-in-ing: LINKY
      Linked to: http://www.wagnwoofpets.com/lesson-learned/
      34. Wag n Woof
      Linked to: http://www.goldendailyscoop.com/2015/07/wordless-wednesday-maggie.html
      35. Golden Daily Scoop
      Linked to: http://www.feelingbeachie.com/bowled-over/
      36. Feeling Beachie – Lucy
      Linked to: catsherdyou.com/ashton-is-four/
      37. Sometimes Cats Herd You
      Linked to: kittypartay.blogspot.com/2015/07/wordless-wednesday.html
      38. Kitty Par-TAY
      Linked to: wp.me/p3Ama1-2Us
      39. My GBGV Life
      Linked to: http://www.thedailypip.com/2015/07/water-under-bridge.html
      40. The Daily Pip
      Linked to: lessonsfromaparalyzeddog.com/dr-buzbys-toegrips-stops-dogs-from-slipping/
      41. Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog
      Linked to: greyhoundscansit.com/wordless-wednesday-jumbo-was-not-impressed/
      42. Greyhounds CAN Sit
      Linked to: jaxdogmom.blogspot.com/2015/07/wordless-wednesday.html
      43. Hello Jedi!
      Linked to: lapaylor.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-sky-is-fallingcole-little.html
      44. the sky is falling!!
      Linked to: lapaylor.blogspot.com/2015/07/we-celebrated-5th-of-july-and-cessation.html
      45. Celebrate the 5th of July
      Linked to: cardiganshirecorgis.blogspot.com/2015/07/wilsons-wagonful-of-woe-on-wordless.html
      46. A Tail of Two Cardis
      Linked to: lifewithdogsandcats.com/haiku-by-dog/haiku-by-dog-scent/
      47. Life w/ Dogs & Cats: Scent
      Linked to: sandspringchesapeakes.wordpress.com/2015/07/08/buzz-off-horse-flywordless-wednesday/
      48. Sand Spring Chesapeakes
      Linked to: tailsofteach.blogspot.com
      49. Tails of Teach
      Linked to: blog.hachiko.me/2015/07/08/translate-that-bark/
      50. Translate that Bark
      Linked to: http://www.somethingwagging.com/onward-and-upward-wordless-wednesday/
      51. Onward and Upward – Surprise!
      Linked to: http://www.gspotsylvania.wordpress.com
      52. Charles
      Linked to: midnightcalicofarm.wordpress.com/2015/07/08/soaking-up-the-sunshine/
      53. Soaking up the Sunshine
      Linked to: tylersat99.com/2015/07/08/wordless-wednesday-stop/
      54. stop raining
      Linked to: thefrenchdog.blogspot.com/2015/07/im-so-titled-which-is-different-than.html
      55. The Life of Louie
      Linked to: http://www.oztheterrier.com/2015/07/jelly-wellies-rain-boots-for-dogs.html
      56. Oz the Terrier
      Linked to: sweetpurrfections.blogspot.com
      57. Sweet Purrfections
      Linked to: http://www.scruffylittleterrier.com/2015/07/08/helping-hand/
      58. Helping hand. . .
      Linked to: http://www.talking-dogs.com/2015/07/high-anxiety-and-fireworks-wordless.html
      59. Talking Dogs
      Linked to: talesfromthebackroad.com/merrick-backcountry-dog-food-review/
      60. TalesFromBackRd
      Linked to: wp.me/p3HJme-1M8
      61. Dolly at Dawn
      Linked to: talenthounds.ca/news/wordless-wednesday/dog-food-brand-makes-a-difference-dog-for-dog/
      62. Talent Hounds Dog for Dog
      Linked to: itsdogornothing.com/fun-on-the-fourth/
      63. Its Dog or Nothing
      Linked to: aussiesincharge.blogspot.com
      64. Aussies in charge
      Linked to: http://www.playfulkitty.net/2015/07/08/the-scary-story/
      65. Playful Kitty – Scary Story
      Linked to: dogsluvusandweluvthem.blogspot.com/2015/07/animal-shelters-fill-up-following-4th.html
      66. Animal Shelters Are FULL Now
      Linked to: 2punkdogs.blogspot.com
      67. 2 Punk Dogs
      Linked to: http://www.nakedandhungry.com/2015/07/red-wordless-wednesday.html
      68. RED www.twofrenchbulldogs.com
      69. Two French Bulldogs dorysbackyard.blogspot.com/
      70. Dorys Backyard
      Linked to: http://www.random-felines.com/2015/07/wordless-wednesday_8.html
      71. Random Felines
      Linked to: http://www.stunningkeisha.com/2015/07/wednesday-wordpants.html
      72. CK: Wednesday Word—Pants
      73. Earls World!
      Linked to: http://www.shespeaksbark.com/2015/07/wordless-wednesday-a-dog-and-his-dahlias.html
      74. Dahlia loving dogs! dogtreatweb.com/a-little-schnauzer-fun/
      75. A Little Schnauzer Fun: wp.me/p4HCeF-sD
      76. Tiffanys Diamond Dogs
      Linked to: http://www.herecomesnoodle.blogspot.com/
      77. Its Noodle
      Linked to: http://www.pawprintpetblog.com/2015/07/08/gecko-tank-updates-2/
      78. Paw Print – pugsquared.blogspot.com/2015/07/wordless-wednesday-blog-hop.html
      79. PUG SQUARED nalathewonderdog.wordpress.com/2015/07/08/wordless-wednesday-squish-2/
      80. squish noodlesthepug.blogspot.com
      81. A Bowl of Noodles
      Linked to: piranhabanana.blogspot.com/2015/07/not-my-finest-moment.html
      82. Piranha Bananas Not So Fine
      Linked to: http://www.sewdoggystyle.com/2015/07/4th-annual-national-craft-for-your.html
      83. Craft for Shelters!
      Linked to: dais15pops15.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/wordless-wednesday-go-mad-its-two-days.html
      84. Poppys Dog Blog mykidhaspaws.org/2015/07/08/how-to-control-corgis-hair-in-your-home/
      85. My Kid Has Paws www.scratchingsandsniffings.com/2015/07/wordless-wednesday-pet-safety-month-.html
      86. Olive zones out coonhoundtales.blogspot.com/2015/07/wordless-wednesday-i-have-no-dignity.html
      87. No Dignity
      88. Pawsitively Pets Linked to: trailsnailmud.wordpress.com
      89. The Amazing Vermont Paddle Pup
      90. Bark & Swagger: Pet Safety!www.lapdogcreations.com/
      91. Lapdog Creations
      Linked to: christypaws.com/wordless-wednesday-stretch/
      92. Big Stretch – Christy Paws mylifewithflyballdogs.blogspot.com
      93. So Fly dogdaz.com/2015/07/08/wordless-wednesday-another-rescue/

      6 health problems in senior dogs

      "Dogs and cats age 5 to 7 times faster than humans and are considered to be elderly... from the age of about 7 years (on average about 50 human years of age).”

      6 senior dog health factors Vets must check

      Now that medical scientists know dental health in humans affects our hearts’ health, dog parents need to apply this finding to our dogs. Rotten teeth hurt. Rotten teeth may prevent a pet from eating and infections often block or mask to other wellness issues. Infections in older dogs, like in older people, can lead to serious, life threatening hospitalizations.

      On reading this useful list of what Vets should be checking for in our over the hill dogs, I thought of you, dear readers.

      1. When is the last time your dog had a wellness checkup?
      2. Do you brush your dog’s teeth everyday?
      3. Has your dog had his or her teeth cleaned?
      4. How long since your dog had a blood test?

      What about your old dog’s brain?

      Keep it kicking with new games and learning new behaviors

      Senior dogs depend on us.
      Senior dogs depend on us.

      Even my all time favorite dog magazine The Bark confirms my personal experience, “You can teach an old dog new tricks!”

      Just get your dog off the couch and start playing.

      Check out the fun and the good advice on The Bark “Teach Senior Dogs New Tricks to Stay Healthy” by Jeannette Cooperman.  To get a taste of this great article read this quote from the opening section “Check your assumptions.”

      “Another thing to remember is that you need to observe your dog closely, scrutinize your own assumptions about aging (some of us think getting old is the end of the world) and act accordingly. “The most crushing thing is this sense—I’m sure it’s not intentional—but it’s almost like the worth of the dog isn’t the same anymore,” Haug says. “People will stop giving heartworm prevention or shots; they say, ‘Oh well, he’s old, we’re just going to feed him until he dies.’” She pauses, then says quietly, “They deserve better than that.”

      “Ted Kerasote, author of the acclaimed memoir Merle’s Door, is a superb athlete; when his dog Merle couldn’t do the ski runs anymore, it broke Kerasote’s heart. Then it made him examine his own impulses. “The first thing to be clear about is whom you’re indulging. Very often, because we want to run or mountain bike, we delude ourselves into thinking, ‘The dog loves this,’ and we push the dog far beyond where he needs to go. The problem is, dogs age much more quickly than we do. Say you get a dog when you’re 30, you’re now 38 and in fine shape, and the dog is possibly geriatric.”

      Cu white ears back copy

      My thanks to the veterinarian writer at the link below for inspiring my post with his list of health factors most often seen in senior dogs. Go visit his Website, which has both a blog and an e-store.

      Geriatric Pet Health Services

      The Most Common Age Related Problems that Veterinarians See in Elderly Pets

      • Periodontal disease
      • Organ failure (i.e. heart and/or kidney failure)
      • Osteoarthritis (commonly referred to arthritis in humans)
      • Cancers
      • Blindness & deafness
      • Dementia

      Follow on Google Plus Dr. Renier Delport

      “Port Shepstone is situated on the mouth of the largest river on the south coast of KwaZulu-NatalSouth Africa, the Mzimkulu River(the great home of all rivers). 120 kilometres (75 mi) south of Durban, it is the administrative, educational and commercial centre for southern Natal.” Wikipedia Port Shepstone

      Thanks for reading, caring and sharing, Deborah Taylor-French

      The Face Foundation: Benefits of Spay and Neuter for Dogs and Cats

      This reblog applies also 2 pet rabbits

      Do you love lists? I do. These lists will convince you of the health and welfare benefits to of spay and neuter for our pets. In many counties and cities in the USA free or low-cost shelter or Vet clinics are available. Don’t let cost block you from helping your pets stay healthy. This organization FACE Foundation saves dogs and cats lives by paying for spay and neuter costs when pet parents cannot pay for them. What a good service to spread the word for!

      Reasons to spay & neuter dogs & cats
      Be smart spay or neuter!
      Infographic 4 pet health

      When you spay and neuter your pets you are doing your part in helping to decrease the huge number of unwanted puppies and kittens that end up in animal shelters each year. Fixing your pet also has many health and behavior benefits for male and female dogs and cats. Here is a run-down of the benefits of spay and neuter.

      Please spay or neuter us!
      kittens & cats live longer and healthier lives when spayed or neutered.
      Female Spaying
      1. Stops heat cycles
      2. Reduces desire to roam
      3. Reduces or eliminates risk of mammary gland tumors and ovarian/uterine cancer (especially when done before first heat)
      Male Neutering
      • Reduces spraying and marking
      • Reduces desire to roaming
      • Reduces or eliminates risk of testicular cancer and prostate disease
      • Decreases aggression
      Spay or neuter & take me home
      Lost puppy on a street
      Spay and Neuter by the Numbers
      1. Altering increases the lifespan of dogs an average of 1-3 years
      2. Altering cats increases their lifespan by 3-5 years
      3. 80% of dogs hit by cars are unaltered males looking for mates
      4. 90% of cats hit by cars are unaltered males or females
      5. For every human born, 15 dogs and 45 cats are born
      6. 55% of dogs and 47% of cats surrendered to shelters are unaltered

      Thanks Face Foundation on WordPress for giving me permission to reblog this post.

      About Page for FACE Foundation:

      “Established in 2006, The Foundation for Animal Care and Education (FACE) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) public charity, whose mission is to enhance and preserve the quality of life of animals by providing access to necessary medical care and education. Based on established criteria, FACE provides financial grants to animal owners who are unable to partially or fully cover the cost of their pet’s emergency or critical care.

      As many people today experience increasing economic challenges, their pets are suffering too. The number of people who cannot afford critical medical care for their sick or injured pet is growing at an alarming rate.

      In what is being labeled as ‘economic euthanasia,’ these beloved companions are being euthanized because their owners cannot afford the often unexpected cost of treatment needed to save their lives. The FACE Foundation was created to address this tragedy. What started out as a beautiful vision to stop the surrender and euthanasia of beloved family pets, has become a supportive center where families in crisis can get a helping hand to save their pets’ lives.”

      “FACE relies solely on donations to continue its mission of providing access to life saving veterinary care and to enhance and preserve the quality of life for these loving pets.”

      Readers, please visit their blog.

      They also have success stories on their Web site  FACE Foundation

      Please share their mission with pet lovers in California.

      Gratefully, Deborah Taylor-French

      This entry was first posted under Cats, Dogs, Education and tagged animal care, Animal Education, Animal Welfare, cats, dogs, Education, health, medical care, Pets, saving lives, spay/neuter, veterinary care by FACE Foundation.

      Dogs and Kids: Stop pretending that dogs don’t bite

      Dear Reader,

      The importance of this topic cannot be stressed enough. Dogs’ lives depend on our understanding of their hardwired survival needs. A dog who bites other dogs or people often loses his or her life, regardless of the human misbehavior involved or the situation the dog was forced into. I  hope you will visit and read the full blog on its home site, No Dog About It.

      We have a family story on this topic of dogs biting children. Saving dogs’ lives means saving children’s lives and their faces, too. I know because a neighbors’ dog bit our five-year-old on the face and sent us all to the ER for hours. If the bite had been a few inches to either side, our daughter’s eye or nose could have been damaged beyond repair. I promise to write up this event for you next week.

      Thanks for looking in on Dog Leader Mysteries,


      Thank you for your thoughtful comments, personal stories and for helping to educate others on social media or on your blogs. I love comments. Please discuss your own experiences on this topic as I plan to add to and write more on the often unseen dangers when children and dogs mix or live together.

      I love comments. Please discuss your own experiences on these safety issues.

      Learning (in short sessions) to wear a muzzle
      Muzzle training for a dog who liked to bite

      No Dog About It Blog

      Jasper's new friend. He threw his stick for him until he could barely chase it anymore.On Wednesday night, I took the dogs to the dog park (like I usually do). Jasper spent his time chasing after sticks, Daisy explored the woods and Cupcake sniffed to her heart’s desire. We even walked with some friends (Tom and his dogs Ruby and Max), and said hello to a few others. It was fun evening

      It was towards the end of our walk that we first heard them. Children. Little ones. We could also hear their dog barking, and the owner calling it over and over again, with absolutely no success. Trouble was coming. I could just feel it. I called Daisy, Jasper and Cupcake to me and we headed out of the woods and across the field to the far end of the park.

      I admit I am always little wary of anyone bringing kids to the park. You just never know what can happen. I watched from across…

      View original post 826 more words

      5 tricks for dogs or pet rats

      5 tricks pet rats do, your dog can learn

      Today, I feel like playing hooky from writing. Working on a new “Before” chapter for my Dog Leader Mysteries book, I have arrived at the challenge of revising. I wrote the first draft on Tuesday and want to keep my momentum going. But oh, the fun of finding a wonderful pet video.

      Our girl trained a pet rat

      My niece posted this darling fun example of positive clicker training with pet rats. Our kid had four different pet rats over about a five year span of time. Her favorite rat, Silky, learned to run across her electronic keyboard then jump on her head. Great entertainment and interaction for a seven year old who had suffered a broken arm. Within a day or two, she demonstrated cueing Silky when to run up her cast and perch on her shoulder. Of course, she trained her rat to run down from her head or shoulder, over the broken arm cast and jump off too.

      Alex + Silky her pet rat
      Alex & Silky, the smartest rat she ever had.
      See what positive training can do?

      I will never know why people use force or intimidation to train pets, when positive training works so well. Yes, I have used clicker training with my dog and rabbit. Yes, both responded super fast and eagerly to clicker training. We reinforced basic and important safety behaviors like.

      1. Come when called
      2. Wait
      3. Jump objects
      4. Shake hands
      5. Fetch a ball or toy
      Portrait of Alex + Silky
      Smiling girl with pet rat

      Please share this post for positive and cruelty free training of pets.

      Thank you for reading, Deborah Taylor-French

      Little dog in hurricane

      Dogs in hurricane weather

      Darkness & 125 mile winds
      Darkness & 125 mile winds

      Si es verdad. It is hard to believe.

      In reading the weekly free paper, Gringo  Gazette in Baja, CA Sur, Mexico, a tiny dog (smaller than the one in this photograph) lived through Hurriane  Odile without shelter. When they rescued her she now suffers from injuries. If you would like to help this sweet survivor, see the link at the bottom of this page.

      Volunteers for Baja SAFE San Jose Del Cabo

      “It never stops , I just don’t know how people could just walk by this and not do a damn thing ! Well we stopped Val and me. …she is just a sweet little thing . Suffering from mange ,starvation, and love . Another one LEFT TO DIE !! Her name is MALI about 2 years old small dog, Mali needs a sponsor to help with medical costs , I can’t believe she made it through the hurricane .. A true survivor ….”

      The Bajal Gringo Gazette reported that

      “A larger challenge for pet lovers and humane society volunteers here in Cabo San Lucas turns out that much of the Humane Society animal shelter lost it’s roofing. The poor dogs huddled together, waiting for their volunteers to return and bring them food and water.

      Another link below to share and to click the to help shelter volunteers provide roofing, once again for homeless pets.

      Thank you for reading, sharing and donating to the four legged victims of hurricane Odile.

      January 11, 2015

      New topics for blogging came to me, on the beach, in my dreams and photographing the dogs of Baja CA. Sur, Mexico. On my first trip to this region I met and spoke with dog lovers, dog adopters and dog rescue volunteers in La Paz and in San Jose del Cabo. Of course, reading about this tiny mutt who survived out and all alone made me think that you would be interested n her story too.”


      Deborah Taylor-French

      January 2016 update

      Volunteers have raised money for new animal shelter roofs! So go woof these pet rescue volunteers up.

      Visit Baja Safe Humane Society

      Get updates from Volunteers for Baja SAFE San Jose Del Cabo on Facebook

      Lost a pet? 4 tips to search Facebook

       Search Facebook to find a lost pet

      Here is an idea I did not think up. Using a hashtag to search Facebook for a lost pet. Yes. A hashtag tags any post makes it searchable by others.

      Hashtag Tips

      1. Begin with the number sign # then add a top key word or words (run together like a web address or link) such as #lostdog and where you lost your pet such as this hashtag #SonomaCountyLostPets.
      2. You can then update or comment using up to three hashtage per entry.
      3. Include a photograph of your pet.
      4. Add a description and any medical needs

      A new writer friend, Brigid Wasson, shared this information on Facebook. If you live in Sonoma County, this could get your pet back quickly. Also if you live in a different California County, contact your county animal control and see if they have a Facebook Page and a way to connect with you on social media.

      Of course if you have lost or found a specific breed of dog, cat or rabbit in a location you can label, add those as hashtags too.

      Waiting is hard to do.
      Waiting is hard to do.


      Lost a pet? Found a pet? Inserting the hashtag #SonomaCountyLostPets into your lost/found Facebook posts will connect them with all other posts so tagged. Click in the link in this post to check it out. Remember if you want more than your friends to see these posts you’ll need to mark them “Public.”” Brigid Wasson, Director of Animal Services at County of Sonoma.

      Found a lost pet? Hashtags can help you too.

       Deborah Taylor-French

      Join us. Help animals.
      Blog the Change for Animals

       Thanks for caring and for helping lost pets find their way home.


      Neuroscience key to animal happiness

      “…research in neuroscience has been showing that emotions drive behavior, and my thirty-five years of experience working with animals have shown me that this is true. Emotions come first. You have to go back to the brain to understand animal welfare.”

      Animals Make Us Human : Creating the best life  for  Animals

      by Temple Grandin & Catherine Johnson

      Water dogs having a blast in Spring Lake Park
      Water dogs having a blast in Spring Lake Park

      By Deborah Taylor-French

      Those of us who live and/or work with animals know…

      animals have emotions.

      Temple Grandin has made the understanding, care and handling of farm animals her life’s work. I refer to her book Animals Make Us Human because not only has she studied farm animals, but she also loves and lives with pets. In her books, especial this one, she insists that we must understand how animals brains work, how they see, hear and smell every sensory detail in their surroundings.

      Animals emotions drive their behavior.

      To make a better life for our pets, for domestic and wild animals we must understand the main emotions that drive behavior. This will help us to turn on their positive emotions and avoid turning on FEAR, RAGE and GRIEF.

      Example: Rabbits and horses are prey animals.

      • Never chase either rabbits or horses.
      • Teach your pet rabbit or horse come to you.
      • Always reward them for recognizing their name and coming when called.
      • When you chase a prey animal, you make him or her fearful of you!

      Emotions are the gifts of our ancestors. We have them and so do other animals. We must never forget this. When it comes to animal welfare we can always do better. Most of the time “good welfare” is not “good enough.”

      The Emotional Lives of Animals by Marc Bekoff.

      Dogs Depend on us for freedom from fear and safety

      • Never tied up your dog unless it is in your company in a human training session.
      • A dog needs to feel he call flee to safety.
      • Be sensitive to your dog’s fear signals and show him you will protect and calm him.
      • Increase your dogs positive emotions by interesting, but not overstimulating activities.
      • Always stop training before your dog gets tired.

      Dogs are the only animals that live with us inside of their flight zone.

      Dogs depend on us for positive and playful lives

      When you help increase an animal’s curiosity, you turn on his or her positive emotions of SEEKING and PLAY.

      Example: Dogs love to play.

      • Find a time and place when both you and your dog seem relaxed.
      • Invite your dog to play by doing a play bow or picking up his favorite toy.
      • Use an excited and happy tone of voice to call your dog.
      • Run away.
      • When your dog chases you, stop.
      • Wait for your dog to run then chase.
      • Always stop before your dog seems fearful or overexcited.

      Dogs love this game, which dog lovers know dogs play every chance they get.

      Temple Grandin Website and Book Orders

      Blog the Change for Animals
      Blog the Change for Animals

      Thank you for reading.

      Please share for the sake of all animals, because as

      Temple Grandin says,

      “Animals make us human.”

      Please visit and share Blog for the Change for Animals – this October 15, 2013

      Animals defy our tendency to define their lives and their limits.

      For further information on brain research, emotions in animals and the primary-process emotional-affective networks of mammalian brains read US National Library of Medicine  National Institutes of Health on the work of Jaak Panksepp, Ph.D. Affective neuroscience of the emotional BrainMind: evolutionary perspectives and implications for understanding depression


      Wolfish or Puppyish? Dogs speak

      Is your dog cool with other dogs?

      If not, do you wonder why?

      Dogs vary widely in dog-to-dog manners and social graces. Some dogs seem born with confident, easy and even temperaments. Like people, dogs can rise or fall in social ranking, depending on the mix of other individuals in a group. Experience and health changes too can change a dog’s social functioning and status among other dogs.

      Stanley Coren, in his book How to Speak Dog, explains that due to breeding programs over a long-span of time, certain breeds tend to produce dogs that are more puppyish or selected for their neoteny. Neoteny is retention of juvenile characteristics in the adults of a species.

      Puppyish dogs = companion dogs, often small.

      They rarely relate to other dogs by social ranking.

      Where did my people go? Mom, come back.

      Watch a small dog puff up & growl or bark at a larger dog?

      Welcome to my world. Our fifteen pound dog, Sydney, lives like a prepetual puppy. He shows no manners when big dogs enter his world. His anxiety, at times, changes a calm trail walk into dangerous moments. We don’t know why he objects or is fearful of certain dogs. If he  real danger from an aggressive or out-of-control dog, we always pick him up.

      and makes a fool of himself if he likes another small dog. He jumps allover other little dogs (if we let him) when at play. He acts cool with some big dogs. He likes puppies of all sizes. But on a trail walk, he will turn with a snarl and strain at his harness toward big dog we just passed. Go figure!

      Little dogs goof up more often than big dogs.

      Sydney O'
      Sydney O’

      Big dogs speak a different language

      Often big dogs ignore little noisy dogs. A number of larger breeds have good manners and treat these little dogs like puppies, at times ignoring or gently correcting a small dog’s bid for attention.

      Cool Dudes at a Street Market
      Unflappable. Love calm cool and collected big dogs.

       Big dogs show cool-headedness

      According to Coren, these calmer, often larger dogs act more wolfish or adult-like. They develop beyond the stage of puppy rudeness and silly mistakes. They obey social ranking and use body language, which prevents most dogfights. By turning sideways, freezing or sitting in the presence of a higher, socially ranked dog, these more grown up dogs communicate, “I’m no threat to you.” These superior ranking dogs read and accept the “wolfish” body postures and facial expressions of other big dogs.

      Coren makes it clear that there are different dialects of “Doggish” being spoken between dogs.

      Little dogs & little dog parents

      People with little dogs or dogs that don’t understand “Wolfish” should be on the alert and protect their more puppy like pets. Careful parenting of small or young dogs can prevent them from making life-threatening mistakes. Young dogs under the age of two also need extra supervision to understand, respect and obey the unspoken rules of  “Wolfish.”

      Observe mutts or mixed breed dogs during their dog-to-dog social behavior. Does the dog turn aside, freeze or make himself smaller when greeting larger or socially dominate dogs. Does he jump or go nose-to-nose with larger dogs? If this is the case, then socializing with other dogs will always need close supervision.

      There is a range of social maturity and skill in dogs. Good dog parents learn this. Dog leaders must learn this too. The safety of both little and big dogs are at stake. If a big dog bites or injures a smaller or younger dog that big dog is at risk of being labeled an aggressive dog, and in some cases the big dog may lose his life. So dog parents with big more “Wolfish” dogs should be alert to this wide variation in social maturity and “Doggish” language skills.

      How to Speak Dog (page 215) offers a list of ten different dog breeds studied by a research team at Anthrozoology Institute at the University of Southampton in Great Britain. This team ranked dogs from the breeds that spoke only “Puppyish” versions of the canine tongue to those breeds who spoke the more adult, “Wolfish,” ranking social language.

      1. Cavalier King Charles spaniel

      2. Norfolk terrier

      3. French bulldog

      4. Shetland sheepdog

      5. Cocker spaniel

      6. Munstterlander

      7. Labrador retriever

      8. German shepherd

      9. Golden retriever

      10. Siberian husky

      My nose loves smelly sands
      Lucky dog, well mannered with good off-leash training

      If you want to learn more about how dogs communicate with each other and people, read How to Speak Dog. Each page offers insight, observation and research on the world of dogs. Plus “A Doggish Phrasebook” at the end and illustrations of dog facial and bodily expressions and what those expressions communicate.

      How to Speak Dog Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication by Stanley Coren

      What does your dog speak “Wolfish” or “Puppyish?”

      Calf lives with family & their dogs

      An infant cow cannot nurse from his mother. The ranch family begins bottle feeding the calf. Then the family dogs adopt the calf, and he plays with them. After trying a second time, the ranch’s cattle herd rejects young calf. What the parents of the ranch family do next surprises everyone.

      Ever heard an animal story like this before?

      Me neither.

      Calf lives inside with family & their dogs

      Due to WordPress.com change of service to my blog, the charming animal video did not post. As a temporary workaround, I have posted it on my Facebook wall so that you may view it there.

      Delight when life hands out surprises.
      Life is creative.

      As I have written, we are working on a new author site to launch Dog Leader Mysteries first series novel. I am happy to say that today I emailed my editorial changes clean copy back to the publishing company. So we feel excited to be moving on to cover design, book blurb polish and production phrases.

      Dog Leader Mysteries blog is back

      Dear Readers,

      My apologies to you if you have clicked on our Dog. Leader Mysteries site, only to find our menu missing. After several hours, over a few days, I deleted a temporary menu for our blog. At first, I blanched. I yelped. Then I clicked on the Main. Menu.

      Wowie zowie, my eyes rested our missing menu.

      Can’t say when or why I couldn’t find the proper dashboard click to find the site menu options before. Yet I felt so overjoyed, I did a bit of a happy dance. Next, I sat and worked slowly through my options for menus. This Franklin Theme offers three or four menus.

      Why the confusion?

      Too much of a good thing turned out to be confusing.

      After my happy dance, I plodded along one click at a time. Restoring my original menu took some doing, some pages had left the building, so to speak. Between reordering pages and posts, we find ourselves back in business.

      Thank you for your patience.

      Please look in again and see our new posts. Especially, Cindy Grant, our new guest blogger’s post,

      ABC’s of Grooming Poodle Dogs



      Bon Chew. That dog speaks French?

      When I want to laugh I hop over to “Mischief Mo(a)nday” or “Trouble Tuesday, Bon Chew” post on the Easy Blog: All about our truly  best friend. I think that dog may speak French. Plenty of a clever dog has made me laugh. But only this dog makes me laugh every time I see him. He says the most darn things. He understands life as only a dog can, with his likes, dislikes, and doggie understanding. Also, he has an overflowing empathy for his Mom.

      Oodles of fun, I love the reaction dog photos, and the lively banter works on me like a cartoon or graphic action comic book. Rarely, do I look at comics. When I do I like the twists and turns of “Calvin and Hobbes “and Charlie Brown and his dog, Snoopy, A.K.A. as “Peanuts.”

      Plus the un-fine words of the dog mamma when life goes wrong, as it often does. Even the comments add to the humor. So this morning, I want to share the laughs, the twisted dog words, the doggie opinions, the daily life of a pet blogger I admire.

      Hope you enjoy the ride on the Easy Blog.

      Please tell them,

      Deborah at DLM sent you.

      BTW I like this definition of comic books via Wikipedia. “A comic book or comicbook, also called comic magazine or simply comic, is a publication that consists of comic art in the form of sequential juxtaposed panels …”

      img_2034PS. What do you look at or read when you want to laugh?

      We love our readers. We love our readers’ comments too.

      P.P.S. Stay tuned tomorrow for our guest blogger, Cindy Grant. You will want to read her post and visit her website, too. Grant proves to be a hardworking writer with a rich site for pet lovers.

      NaNoWriMo Sustained Story Mind

      “William Faulkner’s conviction that the writer’s duty is “to help man endure by lifting his heart” comes to mind — storytelling is still literature’s greatest duty.” Susan Sontag, Sontag on Storytelling, BrainPickings

      Thoughts of my writing friends moved me to write this morning. Shout out to my friend, poet, scientist, and animal lover, Briahn. Another shout to Redwood Writers, a branch of the California Writers Club. We need inspiring and thought-provoking quotes. I hope you find in this post a kernel of encouragement.

      I am a storyteller writing novel-length fiction.

      Like most of you, I continue reading a variety of nonfiction in the form of news, writing craft advice, history, and biography. This day I find myself charmed by a post on BrainPickings.  BrainPickings brings together both sides of my mind. Currently, it is the only email subscription I read daily. You might want to pop over and steal a few minutes to read the full post.

      “Be serious.” By which I meant: Never be cynical. And which doesn’t preclude being funny.” Susan Sontag

      “Serious fiction writers think about moral problems practically. They tell stories. They narrate. They evoke our common humanity in narratives with which we can identify, even though the lives may be remote from our own. They stimulate our imagination. The stories they tell enlarge and complicate — and, therefore, improve — our sympathies. They educate our capacity for moral judgment.”

      Hi-fve or low fi, I love music.
      You’ve got dog music?

      By the way, I have thrown caution to the winds and jumped into my third National Novel Writing Month. Although I “won” the two years I entered, this year seems a wilder breast to get a handle on. On one hand, it does not matter if I write a 50,000-word manuscript again in thirty days but on the other, I want my Dog Leader Mysteries book two in good shape to go in 2018. Book one in the series sits on the editor’s desk, and hopefully, I will have a final draft off to copyeditors early next year.

      Remember, it is not how many words you write.

      Think of it as how many story arc’s you keep. Only keep the parts of story action, theme, and words in your story that matter. The revision comes much later. Keep writing forward in your first draft,  add all the details the story needs.

      Later, like months later, you will revise by creating a new document draft to fit your dreamed-first draft story vision. Keep going. You didn’t learn to walk in one day. No one writes a novel in one day either. One page, one step, and fall. One page, one step, and fall not as far. Two steps, find your balance in your story world. Look around inside, write what you see. Fall.

      Write what you envision and keep going. Feel your story. Write each day in a state of expectation that your dream story can be caught on paper.

      If you stop writing, don’t beat yourself up.

      Start again.

      Be glad for starting. Be grateful for the story mind in you that wants to know the deeper story you write or want to write.

      Get closer to your vision (outline or synopsis) in your story mind

      Do not let go.

      • Keep asking, where does my character want to go?
      • Am I lifting my reader’s heart?
      • What happens next in this story?
      • What do my main characters want and need?
      • Where do I see this story ending?
      • Try out a few endings (early to see where it is headed).

      Do you read novels? What fiction do you enjoy? Do you write stories? Are you taking on National Novel Writing Month this year?

      Thanks for reading and sharing,  Deborah Taylor-French

      Don’t miss this Wednesday’s post by Cindy Grant.

      You will want to see and read it. High-quality informative writing from a writer who loves pets. Plus fab professional dog photographs,