Monday, September 22, 2014

Subaru Loves Dogs!

Subaru Shares Your Love of Dogs!

Like me, you have probably fallen in love with the Subaru* Barkley (“Dog-tested, Dog-approved”) commercials. Like the Budweiser horse-and-dog Superbowl commercials, and Jay and Duke**, the golden retriever of Bush’s Baked Beans fame, the Subaru commercial goldens and labs are a hoot to watch - over and over again. (More about these creative smile-causing snippets later.)

And, did you know Subaru owners like myself can get a limited edition Badge of Ownership and Lifestyle Icon (see photo) as part of the “Share the Love” program? The Subaru Badge of Ownership reflects the number of Subaru vehicles you have owned (we have had only one – but for 12 years) and can be personalized with a Lifestyle Icon. Ours is a dog paw print (of course)!

The badge and icon stick onto your Subaru, usually on the rear near the "Subaru" and look simply fetching! Now I’m on the lookout for other Subarus sporting badges and icons.

The program has been around since May 2010 but I urge you to take advantage of it now and share the love of your Subaru!

For more information, go to:

(Caveat: I received no compensation from Subaru for this article.)

*Love. It’s what makes a Subaru!
**”Jay Bush won’t reveal the secret family recipe for Bush’s Baked Beans. Duke? That’s another story.”

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Book Review: The Little Blue Dog Goes to School (therapy dogs, service dogs, children's book)

The Little Blue Dog Goes to School, by Karen Roberts (CreateSpace, 2013, 36 pages, $12, ages 5-9)

Teach Compassion. Inspire Kindness. Choose Adoption.

Third in The Little Blue Dog series, The Little Blue Dog Goes to School is the winner of the 2014 Second Place Feathered Quill Book Award in the Animal/Children fiction category. 

Just like the second book, The Little Blue Dog has a Birthday Party, in which Louie does a good deed, in this third book, he also has the opportunity to do good just by being his happy friendly wonderful self.

School for Dogs

Louie makes a new friend when he out walking with his person – a girl in a wheelchair and her service dog. Then Louie has a chance to visit a school for dogs. Some dogs are learning to be service dogs; others, to be therapy dogs: and still others, to be reading buddies for kids learning to read.

Lucky Louie then has the opportunity to go to school himself. Louie loves school and loves his job after graduation. Read the book to find out what kind of a helper dog the little blue dog becomes.

Louie’s Wish

There is so great a need for trained dogs to help people who need someone to open doors or pick things up for them and to visit them in hospitals and nursing homes. And there are so many dogs in shelters waiting for their second chance who would love to go to school to learn how to help people. Louie’s greatest wish is to match up more of these teams. Both ends of the leash benefit.

You, too, can help grant Louie’s wish, first, by reading this book. Hopefully it will send you to your local shelter for some two-way love.

Once Again

Once again, Karen Roberts has married a heart-warming story with delightful illustrations (and a challenge to find the little pictures in the big ones).

(Proceeds from the sale of The Little Blue Dog books go towards carefully selected animal rescue groups.)

(This review first appeared on Generation Wags, Read All About It.)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Book Review: The LIttle Blue Dog has a Birthday Party (dogs, shelters, children's book)

The Little Blue Dog has a Birthday Party, by Karen Roberts (CreateSpace, 38 pages, $12, 2012, ages 5-9)

Shelters and Second Chances

In this second book in The Little Blue Dog series, lucky Louie, the little blue dog, never forgets where he came from (shelters) and wants to “pay it forward,” so he is overjoyed to find his new family will welcome a fourth little pup into their happy home.

Family, Friends, Fun and - Canine Cake

Louie, half Chihuahua and half Italian Greyhound, is almost a year old and on Saturday will celebrate his birthday with family, friends and fun. Oh, and canine cake, too! And gifts galore, of course. And chasing and racing, and Frisbee and fetch, and barking and howling, . . . .

But Louie remembers where he came from and wants to help all the lonely, sad, scared yet deserving homeless dogs still in shelters, waiting for their new forever families. What he manages to accomplish with his dog friends and loving family will surprise and delight the readers – and maybe even challenge them to do the same.

Lovely Illustrations

I love the ‘water-colored’ little blue dog who lives in a big blue house. Perhaps there is a stuffie (stuffed animal) of The Little Blue Dog in the future?

In The Little Blue Dog has a Birthday Party, however, unlike the first book, only some of the pages feature a portion of the illustration on the facing page (other pages are strewn with paw prints and bones). The challenge is to find the differences in the little illustrations from the full-pagers – more fun for the reader and the little “read-to.”

And, . . .

Little dogs take over the living room when they nap: every home should have four little dogs, thinks Louie. Or, hopefully even more – from the shelter, of course!

(Proceeds from the sale of The Little Blue Dog books go towards carefully selected animal rescue groups.)

TOMORROW: The third book in The Little Blue Dog series.

(This review first appeared on Generation Wags, Read All About It.)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Book Review: The Little Blue Dog (dog adoption, children's book)

The Little Blue Dog, by Karen Roberts (CreateSpace, 2012, 40 pages, $13, ages 5-9)

Lovely Little Story, Lovely Blue Dog!

I am constantly encouraging adults to read children’s books and The Little Blue Dog is no exception. Any award-winning book is worth reading, but especially The Little Blue Dog books: The Little Blue Dog won the prestigious 2013 Indie Excellence Award for Children’s Fiction!

This little blue dog, a designer dog (mutt), is half Chihuahua. (His other half is Italian Greyhound.) How this little blue dog from the pet store, a nice home, and two shelters (with a cross-country plane trip in between) becomes Louie is a story the child in you will savor.

Illustrious Illustrations!

The illustrations in almost-watercolor are simply adorable! (I want more and would love a poster of Louie.) with just the right facial expression in human and dog. An extra is the two-page map of the United States, showing the plane flight of the little blue dog from California to Massachusetts.

Secret Bonus

Many two-page spreads have the story on one side with a full-page illustration on the facing page and, on the page with words is also a very small portion of the large colored drawing. It may take you a while to find the small slice on the opposite page: however, I wager your child will find it before you do!


Little Louie loves his cats and chickens and reminds us to never give up hope. . . .

(Proceeds from the sale of The Little Blue Dog books go towards carefully selected animal rescue groups.)

TOMORROW: The second book in The Little Blue Dog series.

(This review first appeared on Generation Wags, Read All About It.)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Book Review: A Home for Dakota (children's book, puppy mills)

A Home for Dakota by Jan Grover (Gryphon, 2008, 24 pages, $15.95, ages 5 and up, in the Sit! Stay! Read! series)

A Story of Hope, Fulfilled

How I wish A Home for Dakota were written in 2014 so I could claim it as my book of the year!

Warm. Second chances. Delightful illustrations.

Dakota was honored with the ASPCA’s Henry Bergh Award, Fiction, Companion Animals, Children’s Book Honor and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) Youth KIND Children’s Book Award (best children’s picture book of the year) so you know it is special.

A Kid’s Book for Grown-Ups, That We All Need to Read

Before Dakota was Dakota, she was simply dog #241, a breeder-dog in a puppy mill whose puppies were taken away, time and again. Dog #241 lived in a crate all day, every day.

Until Emma

Emma took her and comforted her, gave her a name, bathed her, gave her medicine and her first-ever hug. Slowly Dakota’s fur started to grow back but in patches. And then a little girl came to meet her - but didn’t want her because Dakota wasn’t yet perfect. 

How could such sadness happen twice to one little dog? What will become of her? To see what happens to girl and dog, you have to read the book. It is a book you will remember.

Gryphon Press, A Voice for the Voiceless

The Sit! Stay! Read! Series of books for children by The Gryphon Press have garnered many awards since they began in 2006 - and deservedly so. The illustrations are water-color warm and touchable, the stories are sad yet hopeful, and they impart a powerful lesson for children and grown-ups alike. Lessons we may not want to hear but need to help with. Puppy-mill puppies, abandoned dogs, . . . .

Other titles in The Gryphon Press series include Buddy Unchained (2006), At the Dog Park with Sam and Lucy (2006), Max Talks to Me (2007) and Are You Ready For Me? (2007), as well as It’s Raining Pups and Dogs (2013). These books were recently named to the recommended reading list of the National Humane Education Society.

Each book also includes a fact page in the back. Dakota’s info page for adults is the best information on the subject that I have ever read, from Definition to Conditions to What we can do to ‘what puppy mill dogs need to successfully live with a family’ to websites and other resources.

The Value of Dakota

I believe these books should be required reading for all first-graders.  They are difficult subjects, handled gently and with hope for change in the future – for all animals and people alike. For the dogs in the book, hope is turned into love and a future.

Maybe we can change the world after all!

Read more about it:

Here is a teaching guide to use, the existence of which tells you it is a great book!

Disclaimer: I checked this book out of my public library.