August 31, 2012

What's In a Name?

Today's post was inspired by Dakota's Den's post on How Did You Name Your Dog.

Dakota's Mom shared this very fun graphic produced by Matt Beswick for Pet365. {Click here to view Matt's full post.}

Dog Names

Who knew that George Washington had so many dogs? (I assume not all at one time...) And both G.W. and Queen Elizabeth had dogs named Vulcan?? What's up with that? (And doesn't that seem like sort of an imposing name for a cute little corgi?)

Anyway, I thought I'd share the story of how our pups got their names:

Bailey was named after Bailey's Bay, which was near where we lived in Bermuda. We thought we were being so unique and original! But suddenly there were Baileys everywhere, because there was a popular character on... I forget... a show we didn't watch so we had no idea. Maybe 90210? Something like that...

Abby's full name was Abby Louise, because that used all the letters in Bailey's name. Awww. Miss that girl!

Rita was named after Rosarita Beach, the beach in Baja Mexico where the rescue group found her. When she came to us, her name was Peaches. (Which was a funny coincidence, because there is a minor dog character in What the Dog Ate named Peaches.) Anyway, Mike makes a mean peach margarita, so in addition to being named after the beach, she’s also named after peach margaritas.

A pearl in the poppies
After reading Dakota's mom's post about how she found that Dakota means “trusted friend,” I decided to look up what Rita means: “Pearl.” This is another funny coincidence, because I joked with Mike when we were trying to come up with Abby's name that I wanted to name her Pearl so that I could be “Mother of Pearl.” (I know - I'm a dork.)

I guess we picked the right name for Rita, as she is definitely our special gem!

How did your pup get his/her name?

Very Brief Book/Writing News
In book news, I got another nice review on Chick Lit Central. Also, I had another idea for a book that I like and think could be a lot of fun to write - so I'm now working on three, yes three, different books at one time. And making myself crazy(er). Going to try to focus and finish one!!

August 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: I Gotta Wear Shades

That's right - Rita's future is so bright, she's gotta wear shades. (Okay, really it's just cuz she likes to hang her head out the window...)

Remember last Wednesday when I posted pics of Rita sporting her Doggles? Well, Sunday was the first time we actually remembered to try them in the car:
"I know it's cute, but must I wear them?"

August 27, 2012

Monday Mischief: Scavenging!

This Monday Mischief is actually mostly about me and some mischief Mike's admin asked me to join in - but Rita benefited from the mischief as well!

Last week I participated in a scavenger hunt that was a team-building event for my hub's Finance department at work. The hub's admin was the one who invited me to be one of the "things" they scavenged for, so he didn't know I'd be there.

The hunt took place in downtown La Jolla, full of nice restaurants and shops and always bustling on a Friday afternoon - especially in the summer. I was told to hang out reading What the Dog Ate on the bench outside Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. There were 6 teams, and even though the hunt was to last all afternoon, they were told that my particular clue was only good from 2 to 3 (so I didn't have to sit there forever).

The clue was something like: "The dog ate my homework" is one of the most common excuses in America. Stop by this 3000 mile mountain range for a sweet treat, where you'll find a La Jolla author who can tell you what else the dog ate.

When I got there, the bench I was supposed to sit on was otherwise ocupied by a homeless guy. Luckily there was a tiny little wall about 6 inches off the ground in front of the shop, so I sat on that and pulled out my book and tried to make the cover obvious.

August 24, 2012

What's Better Than a Good Book?...

...A FREE good book!

It's time to announce the winner of my giveaway of Peggy Frezon's Dieting With My Dog, and the winner is... Danielle Murgia! (Yep, that's right... If you checked Peggy's blog this morning to see who won What the Dog Ate, the same lucky lady won both books! What are the odds? But Rafflecopter is totally random, so, it's just Danielle's lucky day. Maybe she should pick up a lottery ticket today!) 

I'll email you shortly, Daneille, to get your address. Congrats on the double win!

Speaking of being lucky... I won two books myself this week! 

August 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Lovely Rita

For this week's (mostly) Wordless Wednesday, I figured we'd focus on the cuteness of Rita. (And, okay, I admit... there's some book-related wordiness at the end.) But mostly, there are a LOT of cute pics - and even a painting! - of Rita:

"This is cute enough, right? We can stop now, right?"

August 20, 2012

Monday Mischief: UnbreakOBall & Monkeybutts

It's Monday Mischief time again, so this week we've got a video of Rita being mischievous with another little something that we won. Yes, we won something again! We've been so lucky lately! Remember a while back I posted about the UnbreakOBall contest and encouraged folks to enter? And remember I included the link to my entry for Abby versus Barney, which Liz from the Indestructible Dog Gear blog turned into: "The Tale of Abby & Barney: A Love Story"? Well, Abby was named the "Indestructible Dog of the Month" for July (whoohoo!) so Rita received an UnbreakOBall in Abby's memory.

"More mail for me??"

August 17, 2012

Dieting With My Dog - Giveaway!

One of the really great things about publishing my book has been meeting other writers - like Peggy Frezon, author and dog columnist. So, today I wanted to introduce you to Peggy and her book, Dieting with my Dog: One Busy Life, Two Full Figures…and Unconditional Love.

My copy is on its way, so I haven't read it yet, but the book tells "the honest and heartfelt story of one overweight woman and her chubby spaniel, struggling to lose weight together. Their wonderful results will inspire anyone who wants to get fit and healthy…with their furry best friend."

“Peggy Frezon has written a charming and delightful tale. Dieting With My Dog is sweet, funny, inspiring and adorable, just like Peggy and Kelly!”
–Julie Klam, bestselling author You Had Me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness

August 15, 2012

Post Olympics Blues

Now that the Olympics are over, we have the post Olympics blues... We have had to resort to entertaining ourselves with our own sporting events around here - like Pancake Catching, Puppy Pouncing, Open Water Swimming, and the Sweet Potato Chase.

Open Water Swimming 
Remember last week I posted about Rita's first swim, and how we didn't have our camera? Well, this past weekend I remembered to bring my iPod Nano along, so we caught some videos of her in the act. (Luckily we went both days of the weekend, as the video from the first day was mostly of the hub's finger...)

So, here she is, our own little Rita Lochte: (it just occurred to me that Ryan has the word for "lake" in his name; he must have been destined to be a swimmer.) Note - please ignore my high-pitched squeaky voice in this video. She was probably trying to swim out to hold me underwater to make the squeaking stop....

August 13, 2012

Pancake Catching Fail

Hi all - Rita here. Today it's time for Monday Mischief. Momma thinks I am a good girl, so she doesn't really think I get up to much mischief. (She's soooo wrong!)

Momma made this video of me yesterday -- it's supposed to be a game of catch with Momma using pieces of a leftover pancake from their breakfast to get me to learn to catch. (You can't really hear the sound very good - but it's mostly just Momma saying "Are you ready?" and then laughing at me. Nice, Momma. Real nice.)

August 10, 2012

The Kona Interview

Today I'm very excited to have Kona here for an interview. Kona doesn't get to have his say in the What the Dog Ate, so it was nice to sit down and chat with him and see what makes the big guy tick. So, let's get started.
Q. Hi Kona. Welcome to the blog. Let's start with some basics. What breed of dog are you?
A. I’m a chocolate Lab. I am very handsome. My Momma says so.

Q. Are you a purebred dog?
A. No. Why would you ask that? Do I look doughy? Are you suggesting I'm a flabrador? I think I’m kind of muscle-y. I mean, I’m not pure muscle, but I have a lot of muscle. I do have some doughy parts, but man. Pure bread. I like bread, don’t get me wrong, but that just seems like a mean question. [Looks down and shakes head.] [Muttering] If this is how this interview is going to be, I'm outta here. I thought this was going to be a puff piece. Man, talk about hard-hitting questions.

Q. No, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you. You’re very muscular! [Kona sits up and smiles.] I meant, you know – where did you come from. Do you have papers?
A. [Tilts head.] Papers? You mean like the papers you pee on? I haven't done that since I was a puppy. Geez. What is this??

August 8, 2012

One-Word Wednesday: Pounce!

It's Wordless, or as I prefer to call it, One-Word Wednesday again, so I give you this photo of Rita:

If you've been around here a while, does this remind you of anypawdy?

August 6, 2012

Puddle-Plopping Pleases Puppy

It's Monday Mischief time and this morning Rita's mischievous idea was to plop down in a puddle on our muggy morning walk. Swell. The girl can sniff out a puddle at 50 paces. She finds puddles that I don't even notice and suddenly plops down or pounces with her front legs into them. And the muddier the better! Unfortunately I didn't have my camera, but fortunately, she dried off before we got home.
Awww. Every hike needs a stream!

August 3, 2012

Catching Up: Winnings, Hedgehogs & Mini Cover Models

So much to catch up on in this post! But it's mostly pictures...

More Goodies for Rita
Last time, I posted about the winner for my giveaway (Baba HooHoo!) but Rita's winnings also continue to come in! Remember all the stuff we won during K9 Kamp? Well, this week we got two more items. First, Rita got some stuffed squeaky bones from Flint & Lars
"I love mail!"
Not just one; not just two...
...but THREE squeaky bones. So spoiled!
Then she got her Dog Cookies book from Hubble and Hattie
The hub's reaction was "wow, some of these look really good!"

These we didn't win (I actually paid for something for Rita for once!) but to celebrate Abby's third birthday, Rita got a bag of hedgehogs:
"It says here these are wheat and gluten free. Interesting..."
"I'm goin' in!"

He's a little dirty - she ran outside with him, afraid I'd steal him!
Looks like she's checking out his (nonexistent) hedgehog naughty-bits in this photo.
In addition to her new toys and treats, Rita has a new friend. The hubs has (luckily) been getting home at a more reasonable time all week, so we've been going on a 20 minute walk most nights to a little park by the ocean where pups and their humans gather. The pups meet to play, the humans to watch the sunset. Rita's new little friend is named Bee. Rita loves Bee! 

Teeth, claws, and blurry-quick movements to the contrary, Rita does actually play really nicely with Bee:
Bee is a tiny thing & she often hides between anyone's legs.
And they both share their water nicely - even with other random pups:
"No, no, after you!"

A Mini Cover Model
In needle-felting news, my sis and I felted a Charley - the cover model from my book! I was worried we wouldn't do him justice since Charley is so handsome, but I think he came out cute. 

Real Charley & Mini Charley
Mini Charley & Mini Abby, Charley's Angel
Book-related News
I've had several reviews, interviews, posts, etc. lately. Here's a list if you want to check any of them out (most of you have already seen these since I posted them on Facebook/Twitter):
  1. A wonderful review on My Tail Hurts from Wagging So Much. (I made her stay up too late.) :)
  2. I was the featured "Writer of the Week" on
  3. I got to answer fun questions on Coffee with a Canine (have a look if you want to know the one thing I would ask Rita if she could answer a single question in English).
  4. I got my first blurb! A "blurb" is when a published author gives a lovely little sound-bite for your book. The wonderful Elsa Watson, author of Dog Days, called my book a "a cheer-me-up read, the story of a smart woman putting her life back together. Maggie is the character women have been waiting for - she's clever, funny, and REAL." So, that immediately went up on my Amazon page for the book! Hooray, and thanks again to Elsa!
You'd think with all this good book news, sales would be a little better, but - not gonna lie - they haven't been great. They've been just OK. Nothing you could live on... unless, maybe you were a pet hamster. A pet hamster could probably live pretty comfortably on the proceeds - could maybe even be like the Kardashians of hamsterdom - but that's about it. Anyway, hoping for some momentum to build, but in the meantime, it's nice to hear from folks that they've enjoyed the book. 

If you want to make an author's day - send them an email telling them how much you liked their book!

August 1, 2012

One Word Wednesday: WINNER!

OK, it's supposed to be Wordless Wed., and I'm changing it to One Word Wed, but of course I can't limit myself to just one word... But the main word for today is Winner!

Without further ado, the winner of the big giveaway is (do you hear the drum roll??): Baba HooHoo!! (Isn't that the cutest login name?)
Here's how she won... I used to generate a random winning number which was 23. (I like #23 since it's my birth date.) Baba Hoohoo had the 23rd comment slot, so she's our winner! And now a signed copy of the book, Smooches treats, The Honest Kitchen cookbook, and an adorable pink & brown bookmark hook all tucked up in a cheery pink tote bag will be winging their way to her!