Sunday, October 23, 2016

Book Review: You Wouldn't Want to Live without Poop! (poop, even dog poop)

You Wouldn’t Want To Live Without Poop by Alex Woolf (Salariya Book Company, $8.42 paperback, 32 pages, 2016, 8-17 years!)

Everything you always wanted to know about poop, but were afraid to ask! Here it is – all of it. And more. Facts so fascinating you won’t believe them. And yes, even dog poop. (After all, this is a dog blog.)

‘Twas the Title That Done It!

I must admit, it was the title that reached out and grabbed me. What a perfect book for a young boy of any age to read over the summer or during winter vacation - sort of like Wikipedia for kids, one book at a time. Maybe this series is the new encyclopedia of science and history.

I ended up spending a Saturday afternoon in my local public library going through the entire series of probably 87 books, 4 at a time. Was my bum ever numb!

I’ll bet your son will bring this book to the dinner table!


Inside the front cover is a timeline of poop and inside the back cover is information about the poop bus, plus some questions. The poop book also contains an index and glossary, to satisfy teachers who catch their students reading “all about poop.”

You’ll learn about the poop cycle and how animals use poop. (“Really?” says Mom.)

You’ll learn how poop makes us healthy. (“Gross!” says Sister.)

You’ll learn what happens to poop and what we can make from poop. (“Johnny! Not at the table!” says Dad.)

Poop can make you sick. Poop can make you healthy. Poop can help your doctor make a diagnosis. And now we even have fecal implants – yuck!

What it Looks Like

The book, not poop!

Poop has plenty of colorful, intricate illustrations, illustrating the dangers of dog poop and cat poop, for instance. Thank goodness the dung beetle and housefly eat poop or we would be swimming in it! And would you believe the leaf beetle makes his house out of his poop – you can call it his “dungalow”. . . .

The poop book is chockfull of facts that are somehow not boring. Maybe it is the illustrations or perhaps just the subject matter.

Poop Power

Would you believe burning ‘cow pies’ can be green? Then why is poop brown?

And dried poop has no smell? And a cow produces 150 pounds of it daily, more than your average elephant?

And some people even buy worm poop? (I must admit that I did, in the form of worm castings, to fertilize my plants. Got the castings at Greenfest in April at my local College.)

There are even bags of poop on the Moon, left by Apollo astronauts – just in case we run out down here on Earth, I presume.

You Can’t Live Without Poop is a fun picture book with just enough words to get your kids reading. !t worked for this kid!

Read more about it. Some of the other titles in this series include the following:

You Wouldn’t Want to Live without Books/Toilets/Electricity/Clean Water/Extreme Weather/Cell Phones/Antibiotics/Money/Bacteria/the Internet/Fire/Computers/ Insects/Vaccinations/Writing/Dentists/Plastic/Pain/Sleep/

You Wouldn’t Want to Work on Hoover Dam

You Wouldn’t Want to be Married to Henry VIII, Be Sick in the Sixteenth Century, Be a Medieval Knight

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Oops, Again! But Here is the Movie Trailer

Dog Movie Trailers, including “Who Gets the Dog?”

I can’t believe it! DogEvals goofed again. We left out the most important part about the movie “Who Gets The Dog?” when we reviewed it earlier this week - the link to the trailer! I must admit that I have watched the trailer many times: I am so in love with Wesley the yellow lab! And not just because I have one, either.

Here’s your chance to fall in love with Wesley too, before you watch the entire movie: click here.

A Dog's Purpose

And, while you’re at it, here’s an advanced peek at the movie everyone is talking about because it is the book everyone is talking about: A Dog’s Purpose is coming to the big screen in January. Stay tuned for the book review, too!

In the meantime, while you are waiting, why not read W. Bruce Cameron’s other book, Puppy Chow, with the most adorable book cover in the world.

See you at the movies!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Face-off in Real Simple Magazine: Dogs vs Cats

Friday Face-Off: Dogs vs Cats in Real Simple (November 2016)
November's Real Simple

(We at DogEvals like Real Simple so much that we may pit dogs against cats in Real Simple every month! And in Sunset, too!)

P 48 – Cute dirty dog with cute dirty kid (OxyClean)
P 69 – Golden and cat for Purina Beyond Natural Pet Food
P 101 – black and white Border Collie smiling for Milk-Bone GoodMorning Daily Vitamin Treats
P 111 – Cat for Rachael Ray’s Nutrish
P 119 – Cat selling Purina ONE
(not exactly pets, but animals on page150. Article about sleep habits with 4 types of people and how they sleep – drawings of a lion, a bear, a dolphin and a wolf to illustrate the 4 types of sleep)

P 118 – finally, a pet not selling anything! A white dog with brown ears (Foxhound?), sitting on a chair in front of a whole roasted turkey with an American flag hanging in the background. The article is titled “Your Vet Will See You Now.”

And, being the November issue, lots of turkeys throughout the magazine.

Final score: Close – Dogs, 4; Cats, 3


DogEvals – another Oops!

There are four writers/reviewers at DogEvals and we have to laugh sometimes at our bloopers. Here is (almost) one that we want to share with you, Dear Reader. This is a Friday Face-off of Real Simple magazine – one we not only forgot we scrutinized for the eternal competition between dogs and cats but also one we forgot about! So the magazine cover is not included – we forgot which issue but it is not the current one anyway. We voted and decided to include these statistics anyway, since the dogs won!

Real Simple?

I remember when Real Simple first came out – I loved it. I still do. But it has become high-end.

I still remember the best advice I ever got was from Real Simple: you only need three sets of sheets per bed – one, on the bed; one, in the linen closet (as if I had a linen closet!); and one in the dirty laundry. You also only need three sweatshirts, according to Real Simple. But I’m a dog trainer! I need more!

Back to the subject of dogs and cats in magazines. Real Simple has hit the jackpot so far!

Three dogs sell clothing from Talbots – two are JRTs and one is a pocketbook Bichon.

I love the editor’s page: she always has a photo of her with her black lab. Lucky dog!

As for cats, there is one on a cooler (p. 32 – New Uses for Old Things).

A cat is peeking into a bag of Rachel Ray’s Nutrish AND the side of the bag is clear: one can look into a fishbowl catfood bag. How creative but only it you stop to really look at the advertisement will you be rewarded.

Purely Fancy Feast and treats earned more than a page with a pristine white cat, blue eyes and pink nose. Another page, towards the end of the issue, uses 4 cats to sell Fancy Feast Medley (does that count as 4 cats or just one since they are all on the same page?).

Would you believe Synthroid, a prescription med, showed off a gorgeous young yellow lab (sigh!).

Dogs are for life and Iams shows a puppy and senior photo of the same dog. Iams – Good for Life. Turn the page over and you see items for the first day of kindergarten including letter cards: A is for Apple, B is for Butterfly, C is for Cat and D is for Dog.

Purina is the equal-opportunity pet food with white silhouettes of both a dog and a cat (chicken and fish).

And, finally,
The Border Collie was shy. Not so, the Golden!
an adorable black and white border collie says, “A dog day starts with a good morning.” Milk Bone makes Good Morning vitamin treats using red and white in a plastic jar shaped like an old bottle of milk. Tastes like a treat, works like a vitamin. Three different formulations are shown including the border collie’s Total Wellness and a golden retriever’s Healthy Joints.

Total score for this unknown month: 
Dogs 14, Cats 10. Dogs rule!
October issue

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Book Review (Classic): The Yellow Dog (murder, France, dog)

The Yellow Dog: An Inspector Maigret Mystery, by Georges Simenon (written in 1931, translated from the French and reprinted by Penguin Classic in 2013, 134 pages, $10.00)

Just One of Many Good Ones

Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple (Jane) and Hercule Poirot, Dorothy Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey, PD James’ Adam Dalgliesh, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Belgian Georges Simenon’s Inspector Maigret – which is your favorite? And I believe they all appear in movies.

If you like one, you will probably like them all: a bit old-fashioned perhaps, set in Europe, very continental in language, style, and character development.

Simenon, who lived (and loved many) from 1903-1989, was either a Collaborator or a Jew, both or which (or either of which) adds to the mystery behind this mystery.

Cold and Dark . . . .

Although not a dark tale, memories of The Yellow Dog are of the cold, during a dark night, in a small coastal town and of the small bar and inn where much of the book takes place. The town of Concarneau is probably set on cliffs and becomes more deserted with murder after murder yet when something untoward occurs, a ‘mob’ soon forms, then disperses.

DogEvals was drawn to The Yellow Dog for several reasons – it was the first Inspector Maigret novel to become a movie (the 6th book, though, in the series of 78!) but not yet available on Netflix. And, of course, DogEvals loves dog books – some of them, at least. And we keep rooting for the yellow dog to play a larger role and for the book to earn the title given it. Or at least to have the title explained – the reason the yellow dog appears at the scene of the crimes. And the cover photo has us stumped.

Strictly Continental

The Yellow Dog is a murder mystery albeit a fairly short one and, being European rather than American, it is rather long on what just happened rather than what is happening now. In other words, long on explanations of action rather than on the action itself, so you can put it down and pick it up later when you have time or remember to.

In the Beginning

Let’s begin, shall we, with a murder, three suspects, a dark seaside port in France after the first war when phones and cars were not common, a young barmaid, reporters come down from Paris to inflame the newspaper stories, an anonymous reporter, and, of course, a yellow dog whom we never really get to know so when it is shot and stoned.  .  . but then treated by a veterinarian, thank goodness.

Pointing the Finger

We suspect the barmaid, then we suspect the mother or perhaps the non-practicing doctor. We want to be slick and guess the right one but the twists and turns in the end explain all. We only wish there had been a few more clues so we would have at least had a chance at being right.

More than one murder, several attempted murders – could there be two mysteries involved at the same time, just by coincidence? And could any of the attempts be accidents? And the yellow dog seems to appear whenever a murder occurs, then disappears.

As Good as Snoopy

The Yellow Dog begins better than just about any other beginning with the exception of “It was a dark and stormy night. .  . .” The reader sees, smells, hears, nearly tastes, and almost feels the French quai at night and is transported to the dark and stormy, lonely scene. Unfortunately, although such details appear throughout the book, this magic soon exhausts the reader.

For a light weekend read, to educate oneself on the great European mystery writers, to finally meet Inspector Maigret whom one has heard about all one’s life, to find out how a yellow dog could be the major character in a French novel or just because this is one of nearly 500 books written by the prolific Simenon (who had an affair with Josephine Baker) – all reasons to read The Yellow Dog or at least see the movie.

Caveat: this book was purchased for review.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

EverythingDogBlog: Teach a Dog a Trick! It's Easy When You Know How

You and Your Dog – A Magic Combination

Have you always wanted to be a magician? Now you can be! You and your dog, that is.

Fun, Easy, Positive

Tricks classes are fun and easy. And remember, it’s all tricks – even Sit.

Have fun and take the pressure off you and your dog. Do you know how easy it is to teach your dog to open or close a door? Or how much fun to teach a Paws-Up (on a chair or the back of the sofa or on a bed) which is a handy skill for therapy dogs?

Tricks classes use positive reinforcement training methods for rapid learning and to teach your dog how to learn and offer new behaviors - some that will surprise you.

Books, DVDs, Classes

A book can teach you to teach your dog tricks. So can a DVD but the easiest and most fun way is to take a class.  Learn how awesome your trick dog can be and join in the fun watching other dogs catch on.

Read More About ItOriole Dog Training Club in nearby Halethorpe, Maryland [(410) 565-6651]  is offering another Tricks for Treats class for you and your dog, starting in November on Tuesday nights. At the end of 4 weeks, your dog can learn enough tricks for a title, Novice Trick Dog! Tricks like Sit and Down and Commando Crawl and Open a Door and Jump through a Hula Hoop and Say Your Prayers and more. Join the fun. Oriole even has a class that teaches all the skills you want your dog to have (sit, come, down, loose-leash walking, stay and more) using tricks.

Book Review: Dog Tricks (traditional training methods)

Dog Tricks, Step by Step, by Mary Ann Zeigenfuse and Jan Walker (Howell Book House, 135 pages, 1997/2009, $19.95)

Written by the trainer of President and Barbara Bush’s dog Millie, Dog Tricks has plenty of photos and cute little dog drawings as well as a cute little personality test for your dog.

Sounds good, eh?

DogEvals does give this book some leeway since Dog Tricks was written in 1997 using outdated dog training methods but Amazon told me there is a new book out or a new version (hard to tell with Amazon) or something – new cover (shown here) - a few more pages anyway. (We searched and searched and finally discovered it is a revised edition.) We believe the softcover came out in 2002 and a revised edition in 03 and in Kindle in 09.

DogEvals looked up the author onlin and find she still trains and uses a rather old-fashioned method (according to her webpage) so I am waiting for a call-back to find out if that is still true [decided to post this anyway since I haven’t received a reply].

Old-fashioned trainers use the words, obedience and command, they jerk (however slightly) on the leash and often use some physical means, not all of which are aversive, however, to all dogs.

What’s New

Trainers who have kept up to date with new advances in dog training over the past few decades no longer use those words, no longer push down on a dog’s rump to get a sit or push down on the dog’s shoulders to get a down – these old methods show the dog what passive learning is. Today’s trainers use active training methods that are hands-off.

Old-fashioned traditional methods work, of course and have for a long time, but the newer methods are quicker, more fun for dog and person alike, and teach the dog how to learn. What could be better?


Now, back to Dog Tricks.

The first two of five chapters deal with basic obedience (Let’s Start Tonight and What Every Good Dog Should Know) rather than jumping right in to tricks (which can be done).

The personality test in chapter one is outdated and sorts dogs according to ‘drives’ – prey drive, pack drive, and defense drives (either fight or flight). The current dog training world has left these terms way behind in the dust a couple of decades ago because they are not useful.

The other three chapters focus on tricks (practical tricks, useful tricks and Hollywood bound) and how to teach them according to your dog’s personality (based on traits no longer useful – see above paragraph), so in order to use Dog Tricks, I would have to rewrite each trick in modern words which would take quite an effort.

Dog Tricks is well-organized, as are the instructions for teaching the tricks. You must, however, begin at the beginning since many tricks follow from earlier basic skills.

What To Do With This Book?

Should I sell it to a used bookstore? Should I give it away to a student or shelter with the caveat that it is old-fashioned and espouses a non dog-friendly way of training? Should I burn it? (Maybe wait for Banned Books Week in October?)

So, . . . .

DogEvals will continue to evaluate other tricks books and we are sure we can recommend some very good ones. Stay tuned!

Caveat: This book was purchased for review.