December 20, 2015

Wishing You A Yule That's Cool!

I thought I'd share our Christmas card with you all today. I got the idea for the card, based on the immortal words of Louis Armstrong, last year while I was listening to Christmas carols.

December 15, 2015

Less-Wordy Wednesday: A Prickly Heart & A Pup

In Monday's post I mentioned we went hiking last week in red-rock country (Sedona to be exact). On one of our hikes, I noticed a heart-shaped cactus...

December 13, 2015

Darling Pigs & Dirty Paws

We took Rita on a little hiking vacation last week.

On one hike, we saw three javelina, which, according to Wikipedia, are also called peccaries or "skunk pigs". They were super cute, and Rita was pretty excited about the bit of piggy mischief!

December 1, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: She Just Wakes Up This Way

Why do people say someone's a "dog" if they think that person's unattractive? Makes no sense. Dogs are gorgeous!

I mean, siriusly. No makeup, no hair product. No weird sheet creases across her face. She just wakes up this beautiful!

November 29, 2015

A Moveable Feast With a Side of Mischief

I hope all of you in the States had a great Thanksgiving! Ours was very nice, if a bit complicated logistically.

Because my mom is in rehab (following a hospital visit, not for drug abuse!) about 75 minutes away and could only get sprung for 4 hours, we had to have a "moveable feast," which included Rita of course... and some mischief on her part.

November 22, 2015

Monday Mischief: Grooming on the Go

Rita is apparently blowing her summer undercoat out at the moment. She normally sheds a good bit all year long, but now it's just nutty. There are little clumps of fur coming out on her haunches and butt.

It's not her favorite thing to get brushed, so the dog-daddy has been trying to sneak a little brushing in here and there each time she stops on a walk to sniff or eat grass.
"Stop brushing me and let me graze!"

November 17, 2015

Wordless Wed. - When You Ask the Dogs If They're Ready

READY??

They look ready to me!

Thanks to BlogPaws for hosting Wordless Wednesday! Thank you for letting me be wordy! You can check out all the blogs in the hop here.

November 15, 2015

November 10, 2015

November 8, 2015

What Does the Dog Think When You're Sick?

I've had a terrible cold for almost a week now - the worst cold I've had in a while. Rita has been very sympathetic. And very interested in my chicken soup lunches. (Actually, maybe she wasn't sympathetic. Maybe she was thinking, "She's in a weakened state. I can probably take her and score that chicken soup!)

November 3, 2015

Speaking of Nuttiness... Cuddles & Close Ups

In my last post, I wrote about "nuttiness triggers." Today we have more nuttiness! I finally got around to pulling pics off my big camera, and I found these pics of Reggie's recent stay that I'd forgotten about.

Rita was minding her own biz in her usual spot on the couch in my office. 

November 1, 2015

The Dog's Nuttiness Trigger

Does your dog have a "nuttiness trigger"? You know... where one minute they're just walking along like a normal pooch, and then they hit that trigger and suddenly they're romping and bouncing and running like a nut??

With Rita it's getting her feet wet. When we're out on a walk and she walks through a puddle, we yell "Wet feet!" and she starts spazzing out. She often suddenly takes off running, dragging me behind.

With our angel Bailey it was "loose dirt." Don't ask me why.
Angel Bailey
We'd be on a hike and Bailey would just be trooping along on the packed dirt trail, and suddenly we'd hit an odd patch of sand or soft, loose dirt, and she'd turn into an absolute banana. We'd always yell, "Loose dirt!"

To this day, we still yell, "Loose dirt!" every time we hit a patch of sand on a hike, and up until today, Rita has just looked back at us like we're crazy.

But today, for some reason she channeled her angel sister and had a little spazz attack when she hit a big patch of sand on our hiking trail.

She immediately started digging furiously...

... she bounced around to try from another angle...
She's just a blur here!
...and grabbed a stick to try and bury.

Our little nut job. What a goofball. She reminded us so much of our Bailey today.
Love the splayed toes and the dirt all over her nose.
Is there anything similar that makes your dog get all nutty?

Thanks to My Brown Newfies for hosting Monday Mischief! Visit My Brown Newfies to see the other blogs in the hop!



October 27, 2015

An Introvert Comes Out of the Cave

Yesterday you might have seen a post I shared on Facebook. It was an essay I wrote on "6 Marketing Tips for Introverts" posted on the We Heart Writing site.

Well, sometimes it's good for introverts to come out of the writing cave and network with other writers, so that's what I did TWICE this weekend. (Okay, that's big for me! Twice, people. I put on makeup and everything.)

First of all, on Friday I met up with my local writing pals, Liz Fenton (of Liz & Lisa fame) and Dee DeTarsio. We always have a lot of fun when we get together.
Liz, me & Dee. Photo courtesy of the gorgeous Dee DeTarsio

October 25, 2015

An Impromptu Take-Your-Dog-to-Work Day

Recently the Dog-Daddy had to go in to the office to pick up a report on the weekend, so we took Rita along with us for a little Take-Your-Dog-to-Work Day. Since she doesn't always like strange men, it's best to go on a day when no one else will be there, rather than on the real TYDtW Day!

She had a good time checking out where the heck Daddy goes for such long stretches of time every weekday!

October 20, 2015

A Book's Birthday - In Pictures

I thought I'd share with y'all some of the highlights of today, my new book's birthday, and let you know what Pub Day is like!

To start your book's birthday, you wake up all excited that your book is out. But your dog is all like "Whatever. Can we play? Can we go for a walk? Let's do SOMETHING!"
"Whatevs, Momma!"

October 18, 2015

Attention Walmart Shoppers: A Giveaway! #GetHouseTrained

Tuesday is the big day - the official launch of HOUSE TRAINED! (Eeek!)

Apparently it's already on some shelves though at Walmart, because Rebekah from My Rotten Dogs sent me this:
Photo credit: Rebekah, My Rotten Dogs

October 13, 2015

Me at Parties. Yes, I'm *That* Person

This weekend we had a party for my mom's 90th (!) birthday. Her kids (all 6 of us!), most of her grandkids (only 1 was missing), and one great-grandkid were there. Also two sets of neighbors that we lived by for years when I was growing up were there.

And do you want to see the only pics I took? There's this one of my "great-nephew", Frank, gettin' some lovin' from the hubs:

October 11, 2015

The Trees Say "Fall"; The Thermometer... Not So Much

We've been having what the weatherman calls "unseasonably warm" weather in San Diego recently. (I would call it "grossly hot." Or another phrase that would need censoring.) It was in the 90s on Saturday, even here at the coast, so we had to cut our usual morning walk pretty short.
Ice cubes in the water bottle keeps us both cooler!

October 6, 2015

Getting Crafty Again - Of Course It Involves Dogs!

My sisters and I recently had another of our once-in-a-while forced crafting get-togethers. (We call it forced crafting because it's like a forced march. You will participate. And you will enjoy it, dammit.)

This time we made necklace pendants out of old Scrabble tiles. And of course mine were mostly of dogs!
Click to bigify

September 27, 2015

We're Walking Here... Or Not

As I mentioned last Monday, we're dog-sitting our nephew, Reggie the corgi, at the moment.

Here's a pic of Rita and Reg on our walk the other day. Of a twenty minute walk, about 13 seconds of it looked nice and organized like they are in this photo.

September 22, 2015

Vacationing with the Dog in Cambria

I'm finally getting around to sharing pics from our recent vaca with Rita to Cambria, which is a small town on the coast in Central, CA. We had a lovely, relaxing time.

We spent a lot of time walking on the bluffs (where we could see seals, dolphins and sea otters - LOVE them! - below us in the water). This was in the huge dog-friendly Fiscalini Ranch Preserve. I liked the bluffs path best because dogs have to be on leash there. If you go there, there are other trails where your pups can go off-leash.

September 20, 2015

Muchas Pooches Equals Muchas Mischief

We are dog-sitting Reggie right now. (If you're new around here, Reg is my sister's corgi). When Rita and Reg get together there's always plenty of mischief! Here's a recap of some of it from this past week. Sorry about the quality of some of the pics. My phone doesn't take the best pics in bad lighting. Or maybe it's operator error!

First of all, I never met a dog who resists going on a walk. If he sees me coming with the leash, he takes off running. He seems to like it once we're out, but I have to corner him to get the leash on him. Funny boy.

September 15, 2015

Balancing to Build Up the Dog's Confidence

I wanted to try to do a pictorial of our vaca with Rita to Cambria in Central CA today, but I didn't have time to get organized, so instead I'm sharing a subset of Rita balancing on things while we were on vaca!

I'm always impressed by Mr. N., the adorable Tenacious Little Terrier and the Adventures of Zoe & Phoenix and all the other talented dogs out there who can hop up on trees and whatnot and pose for photos. Since Rita has a lot of fears, I figured we'd try some hoping-up-and-posing pics, too, to build up her confidence - but we started small!

Here she is on a bench. (I know: easy-peasy. But they had all these cool benches made of logs and driftwood so it was mostly for the photo op and to practice her "go to your bed" command. That was the command I used to get her up on all these things. If I pat something - sofa, her bed, bench, whatever - and say "go to your bed" she'll get on it.)

September 13, 2015

A Puffy-Faced Puppy

We were away last week on vacation so took a little bloggy break. Missed you guys! Catching up on recent mischief today, and hopefully I'll get around to sharing our vaca pics soon!

Some of you may have seen this on Facebook, but recently, Rita was happily hanging out on the deck outside, as she often likes to do...

September 1, 2015

Our Dog is Calling the Drought Police - We Gave Her a Bath

Rita LOVES the drought in California. Because of it, she hasn't had a bath in ages! She was terribly over-due so we had to give her one this past weekend. (Siriusly, Rita - we had no choice!)

Since I knew we'd be giving her a bath when we got home, I let her indulge in one of her fave things to do on a hot walk - dunk in a puddle.
Filthy dunking puppy

August 30, 2015

What the Dog Ate - In Real Life

If you've read my first book, What the Dog Ate, you know it starts with a woman finding out at her vet's office that her dog has eaten a pair of thong panties... but they aren't hers.

In real life, Rita's cousin Reggie recently had to visit the vet a few times. At first my sis and her hubs thought he was eating his own hair. He'd thrown up a hair ball, and then tried to throw up a few times at night, so off to the vet he went, where he had to endure the mischief of being prescribed some cat medicine! (Oh, the indignity...) (Did you know dogs can get hairballs, just like cats do? Especially long-haired dogs? I had no idea!)

No self-respecting dog wants to take medicine with a cat on the box!

August 25, 2015

Less-Wordy Wednesday: A Little Library

I found a little library in our 'hood. So fun!

I was out walking Rita the other day, and someone had put a "little library" on one of the side streets by our house. It had just started, so there weren't too many books then, but I did get Room, which I've been wanting to read.

August 23, 2015

Dog Normal or DOG CRAZY? Meg Donohue #Book #Giveaway!

Today for Monday Mischief, I have some exciting mischief. I recently read USA Today bestselling author Meg Donohue's DOG CRAZY. I really enjoyed it and I think you will too! So, today I've got an interview with Meg (#squee) and a giveaway of a signed paperback copy of DOG CRAZY!

Read on!
Isn't the cover adorable?!

August 16, 2015

Mad Dogs, Englishmen, and Us

Do you know that saying that "only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun"?

Well, you can add us to that list.
"I wouldn't say I'm *mad*, just annoyed."

August 11, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Wild-Eyed

As you know from Monday's post, Rita's cousin Reg was here for four days last week. Usually he is the one trying to get Rita to play, but sometimes she tries to entice him first, which is what she was doing here when she flung herself into her bed and struck this "come and get me!" wild-eyed pose. 
Nutty girl.

August 9, 2015

August 4, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - Spreading the Happy

I was tagged by Dolly (thanks, Dolly!) over at Dolly the Doxie to participate in the "8 Photos of Happiness" tag that is making it's way around the interwebs. Thank you to Ariel’s little corner of the internet for coming up with the idea!

With all the "sad" that's out there in the news everyday, it's good to spread a little happy!

Here are my photos, in no particular order:

This funny puppy makes me happy!

August 2, 2015

Monday Mischief - Custom Bedding for the Dog Part II

Remember when Rita took it upon herself to customize her own bedding? (In a nutshell, she purloined a no-longer-needed twin mattress topper that I didn't know where to store and "customized" it to fit her fuzzy little form.)

July 26, 2015

Monday Mischief: Rita and the Breadsticks

From the title of this post you might suspect Rita got into a package of breadsticks and ate them.

Nope. Our girl would never do that. Siriously, never.

She won't even eat one breadstick.

Here is a (not very good) picture of her enjoying a bite of a breadstick.

But she won't eat a whole one.

July 21, 2015

July 19, 2015

Weather Mischief - But We'll Take It!

Doesn't it seem like the weather's crazy everywhere lately? It certainly was here in San Diego this weekend. Everybody knows California is in the midst of a terrible drought and we've been hoping for rain while others are getting pummeled.

Just the other day Sue at Talking Dogs was wishing she could share some of their excessive rain with those of us praying for rain. Well, it seems like her wish came true!

Saturday morning we woke to a rare sound here - thunder! Rita was a little concerned, but not too bad.

However when the rain meant we had to cut our usual Saturday long-walk short, she wasn't thrilled.

July 14, 2015

Less Wordy Wed: The Dog Doesn't Want To Be A Bother

Usually Rita sleeps later than I do and I'm up before her, but the other morning I came around the corner and here she was, waiting patiently by the backdoor to go out:

This is what she does when she wants to go in or out. She waits.

July 12, 2015

Marriage Is Not "Work"; It's More Like a Game of Bitey-Face


I'm not a big fan of Hollywood news, but if you've been online at all recently, you probably saw that "Ben & Jen" (Affleck* and Garner) are divorcing. As part of the news, Ben's Oscar acceptance speech where he stated that marriage "is work, but the best kind of work" got some more play. 

I love to watch the Oscars every year, and I remember Ben making that speech, and I also remember thinking, "Uh-oh, red flag."


Now, some folks may agree that marriage is work, but not me. And not the hubs either. When I asked him if he thought marriage was work, he made a "the milk's gone sour" face and said, "Work?! No!"

July 7, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Headrest

The hubs and I both like to lie on the floor when we watch TV. (Yes, we are a little weird. But we stretch, and do tennis ball massage therapy*, etc.)

Usually while we're on the floor, our spoiled pup is on the sofa or in her comfy memory foam bed. But sometimes she'll come and hang out on the floor with us. Like the other day when I looked up and saw that she and the hubs were hanging out together. 

June 30, 2015

A New Cover, Some News, and a Thank-You

A New Cover
About a month ago via my quarterly author newsletter*, I shared the new cover for Rescue Me, Maybe (due to be re-released on Aug. 25). I just remembered I never shared it here! So, here it is:
Final New Cover