Sunday, March 30, 2014

Book Review: Big Bunny Bump Off (mystery, animal shelter)

Big Bunny Bump Off: A Zoe Donovan Mystery with Recipes, by Kathi Daley (Katherine Daley, 2014, 187 pages, $6.99)

A Russian Contemporary Mystery Novel with Recipes?

Do you like long, convoluted Russian novels? If so, you will love this shorter contemporary mystery.

So contemporary that each chapter is titled with the day and date of the story AND it is this year -2014! How cool is that? From Sunday, March 23rd through Easter!

The first chapter sets the stage with more characters than I could keep track of. I did become familiar with most of them, but since I read Big Bunny too slowly, I didn’t recall all of them. I should have begun Big Bunny with a pen and paper to take notes with.

For Adults - Or is this a Book for Junior High Kids?

Yes, I have been known to be naïve but I am also intuitive. However, somehow, I missed what Big Bunny was all about. At first, perhaps looking at the pastel cover with daisies and bunnies and a little dust-mop of a dog, I somehow thought this was a young adult book. It took quite a while to figure out it was an adult novelette. The protagonist is probably in her mid-20s as it turned out, not 10 or 12 years old as I thought for a long time.

A Holiday Series of Recipe Mysteries

Of course, Big Bunny is not the first in the series. If I had read the previous four, I would never have expected a child to solve this mystery. Previous titles center around Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Daley also has Beach Blanket Barbie, a Paradise Lake series (Pumpkins, Snowmen, and Bikinis) and a Road to Christmas romance - quite prolific with her very intriguing titles.

What’s it All About?

Zoe runs an animal shelter* and may soon be getting engaged to the wealthy and wonderful Zak. Everyone is just about perfect in this West Coast small town (except for the murderer, of course, and perhaps even the murderee).

In a nutshell, the selfish banker in town is the bunny in the small town’s annual Easter play but is found dead by our heroine. Who could have done it? Well, as it turns out, about five folks (peripheral to the main stories)!

Cooking up a Mystery

I love the recipes and even though to say I am a non-cook is an understatement, I believe I may just try a couple of them – they have very few ingredients which I need in a recipe. However, I totally forgot about the recipes in the back of the book until I was almost finished reading and then some dishes were mentioned whose recipes were not supplied. Perhaps in her next book, Daley can mention the recipes in the text and point to their location in the back of the book.

For Adults?

With babies born at the end of the story, expensive gifts and bills paid, with single parents ‘hooking up’ to live happily ever after, with Zoe who lives on a (sigh!) houseboat and other characters to numerous to mention or even remember, this is a good beach read for the summer. But, by then, Daley will have a summer beach book out!

On second thought, even a young pre-teen girl would like Big Bunny: it’s fast-reading, has animals and babies and good, good people (with one or two exceptions).

*Reminds me of another recently read book about an animal shelter manager woman with a wealthy benefactor who solves murders, The More the Terrier.

Caveat:  This book was sent to me for review.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

It's Logo Wednesday! (Nearly) Wordless Wednesday: De-Lightful Dog Logos, featuring the Greyhound rescue conference

EverythingDogBlog #145 Features the Upcoming Greyhound Rescue Conference

Is there a greyhound in your life? If so, or if you are involved in dog rescue or even if you are just interested, come to Pittsburgh in June!
Three rivers meet in Pittsburgh. . . .the Ohio, the Monongahela and the Alleghany. Greyhound Pets of America (GPA), the national greyhound rescue group, will be meeting (see logo above right) from June 20th through the 22nd in Pittsburgh, as well, for their annual greyhound rescue conference, hosted by the Three Rivers Greyhound Rescue (see logo below). 

About the Logo
Three Rivers Rescue recently told EverythingDogBlog, “We wanted to highlight the Pittsburgh skyline in our logo. Kent Roberts*, a well-known greyhound artist who designed the logos and shirts for Greyhounds in Gettysburg (an annual reunion of over a thousand Greys and their people), designed our fantastic conference logo. He used our group's colors as a base and also designed our phenomenal Three Rivers logo!”
The Conference
The 2014 North American Greyhound Adoption Conference (NAGAC) is being held at the Sheraton Inn, Station Square, in Pittsburgh. This event is open to ALL greyhound adoption groups and greyhound lovers across North America! Speakers will cover a wide variety of greyhound topics. In addition, you will find  delightful items to purchase, an unforgettable riverboat cruise and banquet** to remember, and plenty of greyhound stories to be told by all.
For more information, please visit or email Registration forms for the conference and a link for hotel registrations are available on the website. Three Rivers Greyhounds look forward to seeing you this summer!
**The banquet will be held on The Gateway Clipper riverboat - a 3-hour dinner/dance cruise while sightseeing up and down the beautiful Three Rivers in Pittsburgh!
(Logos courtesy of Three Rivers Greyhound Rescue.)
(This article first appeared on on 26 Marych 2014.)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Little Rascals Movie Give-Away! (details below)

Remember Petey the Dog from Our Gang?

The Little Rascals are back!
EverythingDogBlog #142: Those Lovable Little Rascals from Our Gang, with Petey the Dog, are back!

“The Little Rascals Save the Day”*
Do you remember watching the Little Rascals on TV in black and white when you were just a kid, wishing you could have the adventures they did? Maybe your Mom and Dad did too, or your grandparents. Now you can relive those adventures and share them with your own kids.
Movie Combo Pack Release on April 1st - No Fooling!
On March 18 the digital version of The Little Rascals Save the Day was released. Thrill and giggle as they try to save Grandma Larson’s bakery time after time (the Blu-Ray Combo Pack will be available April 1st – no fooling!). Will they succeed at crummy caddying, a terrible taxi service, a disaster of a dog wash, panicky pet walking, or can they possibly win the talent show with Alfalfa’s “singing”?
Everykid Wants to be a Little Rascal!
Even during the Depression, the Little Rascals of Our Gang managed to scrape together enough scraps to make a clubhouse, a treehouse, a soap box derby car and more, and get into more scrapes than you can imagine, thanks to Spanky, their fearless leader.
Originally filmed from 1922 – 1944, 220 episodes entertained generations of American kids who laughed hilariously at Alfalfa’s singing, worshipped the beautiful Darla, were mesmerized by Spanky’s mischievous madcap hare-brained schemes which always went awry, and, of course, wished they too could play with Petey the Dog. Only Stymie could wear a derby hat and get away with it. Did you know the real Jackie Cooper was a Little Rascal? Remember Buckwheat’s suit - and Froggy and Butch and Porky and Uh-huh? And Grandma Larson’s (from Everybody Loves Raymond in this new movie) cupcakes for kids?
Give-Away Details
Comment on why you or your child want "The Little Rascals Save the Day" AND share on Facebook. You can also subscribe to DogEvals if you scroll down to the very bottom of the page. Thanks, and good luck! (This article appeared on on 24 March 2014 but the give-away is for readers of DogEvals.)
*Brought to you by Universal Studios Home Entertainment – check out the trailer here.  I can’t wait to see the deleted scenes, animatics, and gag reel, too.

The Bloodhound: A Nose with a Dog Attached

One of the best dog books of 2013!
EverythingDogBlog #141: Book Review - Bloodhound in Blue
Yesterday EverythingDogBlog reported on a local police bloodhound: as promised, here is the review of the fantastic book, Bloodhound in Blue, about the fantastic police bloodhound, JJ!
Bloodhound in Blue: The True Tales of Police Dog JJ and his Two-Legged Partner, by Adam Russ (Globe Pequot, 2013, 274 pages, $24.95)
Because I reviewed this book on DogEvals previously, I don't want to repeat the review word-for-word so I am just linking to my previous post here that appeared on Saturday, 22 February, 2014.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bloodhounds in the News!

EverythingDogBlog #140: Bloodhounds in the News! Police Bloodhounds and Patrol Dogs, Too!

Not only was a bloodhound the Hound Group Winner (click on Group Judging for his official winner’s photo) at Westminster this year, but recently in Prince George’s County, Maryland, a police bloodhound (see photo, courtesy of the Prince George’s Police Department) successfully located an elderly dementia patient who had wandered away from home and become lost, according to an article in the Bowie Patch.  

The 62-year-old District Heights grandmother left home during the night but the bloodhound, Tayaut (see photo courtesy PGPD), located her within two hours, about 70 yards into some woods where she had fallen and become tangled in the brush.
Tayaut, Police Bloodhound in Prince George's County, Maryland
Maryland Bloodhound School
In a phone interview while your favorite reporter was grocery shopping in BJs, Corporal Don Smith of the Prince George’s Police Department told EverythingDogBlog that Tayaut is a 2 ½ year old who left her home state of Colorado at the age of 10 weeks.  She is a donation from the ALIE Foundation which, since 1993, has donated bloodhounds to police departments all over the country to aid in finding lost children and other people (named after Alie, a 5-year-old girl who was kidnapped and whose body was found by a bloodhound four days later).
Tayaut and Smith were trained by the Maryland State Police for 10 weeks and their training continues every day. They were taught search methods in various locations around Maryland and at all hours of the day and night at “Bloodhound School.”
What Does a Police Bloodhound Do?
Both Tayaut and Corporal Smith’s patrol dog, a Malinois, work full-time, rotating shifts, but can be called out at any time of day or night. One of three bloodhounds on the force, Tayaut loves her job!
When not hard at work, Tayaut is “just another pet dog,” but, with at least 50 times more olfactory cells than humans have, the Police Bloodhound is not trained to apprehend, bite or chase a suspect like a patrol dog is. Rather, the Bloodhound finds missing persons and is so excited by the job that the human officer must be in good shape to keep up and follow after!
Note: Howard County, Maryland, does not use bloodhounds.
Read more about it:
See EverythingDogBlog’s review of a great book for 2013, Bloodhound in Blue, about the first Bloodhound “police officer” in the great state of Utah. This review will be posted here tomorrow, as well.
Also available from are Dog Detectives: Train Your Dog to Find Lost Pets by Kat Albrecht (to be reviewed later by EverythingDogBlog) and Ready! The Training of the Search and Rescue Dog by Susan Bulanda, former Maryland resident.
(This was first published on on 20 March 2014.)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

EverythingDogBlog #139: De-Lightful Dog Logos

How Operation Paws for Homes (OPH), a dog rescue in the mid-Atlantic region, got their branding

EverythingDogBlog #139: Operation Paws for Homes

Last week we shared the story of the Operation Paws for Homes (OPH) logo. This week we follow up with the story of how they decided on their story-telling masthead. So, check them out at!
Operation Paws for Homes (OPH) – The Masthead
Liza Hamilton, Operation Paws for Homes’ logo designer, also built the masthead on OPH’s home page (and above). Liza humbly says she simply brought the concept of OPH's founder's (Jen Dodge) vision to life.

This time, OPH wanted a series of scenes, a story telling about a dog rescue and an adoption – told entirely in silhouette. It took many hours of experimentation to realize this vision.
Shelter Life
The first scene - of black, white and grey “knock-outs” – without color – represents the depressing, colorless circumstances of a shelter.
Leaving the Shelter
The next scene is emotional: a volunteer carrying the dog out of the shelter to freedom.
Finally Home!
The final scene depicts the dog and his forever home, again surrounded by that blue sky that you find in the logo.
A “Moving” Story!
The masthead actually is the story of OPH and is shown in theirYouTube documentary “600 Miles Home,” because it is the story of all of OPH’s rescues. In viewing this short (13 minutes) documentary, you will see how the masthead fits perfectly with the logo.
(This article first appeared on on 17 March 2014.)
For more information on how you can help OPH help dogs find their forever homes, check out Operation Paws for Homes

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday: De-Lightful Dog Logo

EverythingDogBlog #138: Operation Paws for Homes
(How Operation Paws for Homes [OPH], a dog rescue in the mid-Atlantic region, got their branding)
This week we share the story of the Operation Paws for Homes (OPH) logo and next week will follow up with how they decided on their glorious masthead. In the meantime, check them out at!
Operation Paws for Homes (OPH) – The Logo

Liza Hamilton, logo designer, began volunteering with OPH when the rescue was brand new, before they had a logo: this became one of her first missions - to create branding so OPH would stand out and look like the professional organization that they are.
OPH wanted a logo design incorporating all three themes in their name (operation, paw, and home).
For operation they decided on a circle with stars like a military operation logo because OPH has many military veteran volunteers.
“Paw, Home”
Next the logo needed something for paw and for home, so Liza explored how to make them work together through black and white “knock-outs.” She wanted the paw inside the home, since OPH places dogs in homes.
Completing the Story
The result looked good, but the logo still felt a little incomplete. OPH then realized that the paw needed a DOG inside the house, too. The dog in the paw suddenly made the paw almost look like a doorway within the home, which OPH really loved.
Light blue in the color palette represents the blue of the sky -something dogs in shelters don’t always see.
And finally, encircled around this loving home is a sky full of stars.
The black and white of the house, paw, and dog convey a nice bold modern feeling that stands out and attracts savvy adopters and volunteers who enjoy hip modern designs.
Don’t you agree?
(This article first appeared on on 12 March 2014.)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Book Review: Tennessee Tails (veterinarian, dog, cat)

Tennessee Tails: Pets and Their People, by Kathryn Primm, DVM (Amazon Digital, 2014, $8.99, 131 pages)

Deceptively Delightful!

“Oh, no!” I thought when Tennessee Tails arrived in the mail, “Not another ‘self-published’ collection of animal tales by a veterinarian turned amateur-author!” I had read so many of these recently that I wished I hadn’t.

But I was pleasantly surprised. More than pleasantly. Kathryn Primm is a writer as well as a veterinarian. And a darn good one, at that (both writer and veterinarian).

Of course, being a dog book reviewer, I had to count the number of tails (tales) about dogs versus the cat ones, and, fortunately, the dogs won again! (by a hair)

Caring and Competent

Primm truly is in love with her patients and their people, and that love and respect shines through her stories: that, along with her wisdom and knowledge, helps heal her patients and their people more than words can convey. I wish there were more Dr. Primms in this world. . . . or at least one more - in Maryland, near me!

Though the book starts with horses and ends with horses, it is interspersed with ‘creative non-fiction’ stories of dogs and cats, the crux of Primm’s practice.

‘Chuckle and Choke Up’

Yes, tears did come to my eyes upon reading several of these pet tales, even some of the cat ones. And, no, I simply can’t name my favorite one or two of these 14 stories. (It might be a cat tale, after all.)

Perhaps it is the one about the cat who saw Primm through veterinary school and managed to exhibit each condition as Primm was studying that system – from dermatology to cardiology - and all the rest.

Perhaps it was Jake the dog who lived an amazing five years after mast cell cancer – because he was so beloved.

Perhaps it was the tale about the time Dr. Primm was trying to inject an animal but mistakenly injected herself! I’m sure she is not the only veterinarian to have done this, but perhaps the only one to reveal it.

 ‘Goose Bumps and Warm Fuzzies’

From TicTac, the right (not left) shoulder dog, to the Parvo siblings, vaccinated by their breeder rather than a veterinarian, which turned into a real heartbreaker of a tale.

From a snakebit hero of a puppy to the ‘couple’ (actually, neighbors) who managed to ‘meet’ at the clinic twice a week for ‘sick’ cat appointments until the man’s wife brought their dog in, at the same time: need I mention that the clinic never saw either member of the ‘couple’ again?

What Didn’t I Like?

Being a reward-based dog trainer, I didn’t especially relish the word, housebreaking, on page 60, rather than the more gentle, dog-friendly term, housetraining.

And the length – too short! More, please, Doctor!