Monday, February 22, 2016

Book Review: Lady Louise (poodles, little girls, ladies, castles)

Lady Louise: The Adventure Begins, by Karen Petit (Karen Petit Books, 68 pages, 2015, $19.95, ages 3-8 – just right for an older child to read to a younger sibling)

Definitely for Little Girls!

With a pink castle on the cover and curly-haired poodles inside, Lady Louise is definitely a book written with little girls in mind (little boys will guffaw at the name of the country where the story takes place, PoodleLoo).

But boys are not forgotten: In the next book, Lady Louise will be accompanied on her world tour representing PoodleLoo by the queen’s reluctant younger brother, Darcell Andre LeRoy Bernard Louis-Charles, or Prince Brother for short - who can’t walk without  his nose in a book (my kind of guy!)

Every Little Girl can be a Lady

And Lady Louise will show the way. As author Karen Petit told me, “The only princesses are in fairy tales or, rarely, in real life countries now-a-days, but every little girl can learn to be a lady!”

But before she leaves on her adventure, her mother, the Loveliest Lady Cecile, bequeaths  her words of wisdom that work for every little girl – lessons on how to be a lady (since we can’t all be a princess) since she will be representing her entire county abroad to the rest of the world.

The First Lady of Kindness and Grace

Lady Louise is the First Poodle-in-Waiting in the Land of PoodleLoo to Queen Elise Josephine Margaux Caroline Hortense de Guise, known as the Beloved Queen, for short.  (Love those names!) Lady Louise has many collars and crowns, and jewels, bows and ribbons, and capes and robes.

She loves looking out over the Ocean of Hope but wants so badly to travel the world that she connives a plot to be able to do so, and it works! As the story ends (the first in a series), Lady Louise has finished packing for her new adventure which begins the next day. Stay tuned for the rest of the story!

A Longer Book with Shorter Chapters

Girls aged 3-6 love being read to and those 7 or 8 can read Lady Louise all by themselves! The illustrations are precious and the poodles are lovely.

Final Points

Print on left-hand pages is blue-green and print on right-hand pages is black. Shall we guess why? And the only disadvantage may be having to wait for the next book in the series, in which the lovely Lady Louise begins her world tour representing PoodleLoo – in Paris!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Book Review: The New Yorker Book of Dog Cartoons (New Yorker magazine)

The New Yorker Book of Dog Cartoons, by “New Yorker” (Knopf, 1992, 112 pages, $22)

Short, Sweet and Fun to Pick Up!

The New Yorker Book of Dog Cartoons will bring back smiley memories even if you have never subscribed to the magazine. I bet, however, that you have picked up an issue or two in the past and are familiar with the unique font and font size, the original covers, the style of stories, even the list and write-ups of movies and Broadway plays, but most of all – the priceless cartoons.

By famous cartoonists whose names you know and whose cartoons you immediately recognize . . . . but you may not be able to connect the illustrator with his work - clever “drawers” and wordsmiths like Charles Addams, James Thurber, Peter Arno, Robert Mankoff, and George Booth.

Never fear. This is just a fun book of quiet humor.


You will have your favorites, just as I do. You may even “dog-ear” those pages – or not - but every time you pick up this Book of Dog Cartoons, you will gravitate toward your favorites.

My favorite, by Robert Mankoff, depicts a dog at a typewriter, typing out the caption: “The quick brown dog jumps over the lazy fox.” (Like it did with me, it may take you a while to ‘get’ this one, but then you will laugh, if even to yourself.)

And my other favorite (by Robert Weber) has a dog, sitting (something dogs do so well) while his person says, “Speak.” No response. Then the person tries, “Heel.” No response. Then, “Roll Over” Again, no response. And, finally, the person achieves success, as he walks away, with “Stay.”

More New Yorker

Check out The New Yorker Book of Dog Cartoons or The New Yorker Book of Cat Cartoons, The New Yorker Book of Doctor Cartoons, or The New Yorker Book of Lawyer Cartoons, The New Yorker Book of Teacher Cartoons, or The New Yorker Book of Library Cartoons, or The New Yorker Book of Golf Cartoons, or . . . .

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Spectator's Guide to America's Dog Show, 15-16 February

Everything* you always wanted to know about dog shows but were afraid to ask!

All About Westminster
A choreography of grapely-purple and sparkly-gold on a backdrop of a rich green carpet. A cacophony of canines amidst a murmuring of voices and sporadic cheering.
And so begins another premier dog show, the Westminster Kennel club Dog show, a February TV tradition, a seemingly out-of-reach dog show but, yes, you CAN walk in off the street and, luck permitting, sit in the first row ringside and theoretically ‘reach out and touch’ the dogs competing in the ring during the day (a faux pas – but you CAN meet them ‘backstage’ with their owners’ permission – champions all!) for only $35 a day.
You’ve watched it (live breed judging videos available starting Monday and Tuesday on the Westminster website, on TV (this year, 8-11pm Monday on CNBC and 8-11pm Tuesday on the USA Network). The Westminster website also has the exact time your breed will be competing.
Monday night the Hound group finals are aired as well as the Toys, the Herding dogs and Non-Sporting group. Tuesday you will watch the Sporting dogs, the Working group, the Terriers and, finally, Best in Show!
In Canada, check out the Animal Planet channel and, for repeat showings, check out this Westminster webpagewhich includes information on digital live streaming: Fox Sports 1 will air the Agility finals on Saturday, as well.
But this year is the year to attend in person. It’s in nearby New York City, so you have no excuse for staying home! Read on for all the information you need to have a grand ol’ time at the show! Then you can always say, “I was there!” - one of thousands of in-person spectators.
Last year, Champion Tashtins Lookin For Trouble (Miss P)15-inch Beagle, was declared America’s Dog, winning over 2752 dogs in two days. The excitement was electric. Dogs competed first by breed or variety, then the 7 group finals were held in the evening with winners from the daytime breed shows, and the ‘final final’ on Tuesday evening pitted one finalist from each of the 7 groups of dogs (Toy, Terrier, Working, Sporting, Non-Sporting, Herding, and Hounds) ‘against’ the 6 others.
*Unfortunately, the Westminster Kennel Club does not permit blogs to use their photos. For photos, go here.

It's Dog Show Time!

. . . . and dog show time, too!

Tuesday, the Empire State Building in New York City will be lit up in purple and yellow (gold) to honor the 140th annual Westminster All-Breed Dog Show, the Greatest Dog Show on Earth. How cool is that?

The Westminster Kennel Club dog show is on TV tonight, live from New York City. Be part of the excitement!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Seven New Dog Breeds at Westminster Kennel Club's Dog Show!

Here are the new breeds at Westminster!

(Unfortunately, blogs were not given permission to use the Westminster photos)

Read More About It at the Westminster Kennel Club's fantastic webpage here.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Book Review: A Breeder's Companion (basic information and for record keeping)

A Breeder’s Companion: Record Keeping for Your Dogs’ Litters, by Leila Grandemange (SunnyVille Publishing [self-published], 2015, 213 pages, $17.95)

Great Beginnings

A Breeder’s Companion is a handy book for the novice breeder – not too much information, not too little in the 8 ½ by 11 inch volume – the same size as a regular piece of paper. The Companion has more articles and thus more information than Leila Grandmange’s other 2015 ‘book’ of handy charts* to fill out for your dogs (with medical data and achievements for at least 20 dogs).

Redundancy can be Helpful

Grandemange repeats the same information in different places so that if you don’t have time to digest the entire volume before your pups arrive, you will have found the most important information. A few pages also appear in the other Grandemange book*: the AKC-written information about required records, a phone and address ‘book,’ and similar pages of recommended reading and useful web links.


The most indispensible pages in The Breeder’s Companion list whelping equipment, including items you would not have thought about but which make definite sense – clean towels, preferably light colored; at least two washcloths per pup; isopropyl alcohol; flashlight and leash for the mom-dog’s breaks; cottage cheese, yogurt or vanilla ice-cream as a source of calcium; surgical gloves; and a large garbage bag, among other items.

The crux of Companion is the set of charts for you to fill out for up to 12 litters – charts for the mom-dog’s temperature starting a week before her due date, puppy weight charts and supplemental feeding charts, deworming – in all, 16 pages per litter to help you keep things straight, including information on their new homes.

Important Reminders

Caring for the mom-dog, caring for the pups – before, during and after birth. How to sterilize equipment. Vaccinations, development, socialization, a whelping date prediction chart, plus differences between a healthy pup and a sickly pup so you know when to call the veterinarian. As you can see, just about everything is covered – all the basics – in enough detail to whet your interest in other breeding books!


I might recommend a copy editor look over Companion – deleted words and creative yet inconsistent punctuation might not be noticeable to some readers but serve as bumps in the road to others, slowing down comprehension and acceptance of the information presented.

All in all, Companion may be good value for your buck if it is the only breeding book you read – and it is short enough to be read in its entirety and to serve as a record keeper to assist your veterinarian to care for the dogs and pups more easily. I’d say, Go for it!

* My Beloved Dogs: Record Keeping for the Canine Competitor and Multi-Dog Homes