HELP THE PEOPLE WHO SAVE OUR DOGS

As many of you know, Eugenie, Lou & I donate a portion of the proceeds from GIMME SHELTER to animal rescue groups. So many organizations do amazing work that we’d need another book to list them all. Instead, we’d like to give a well deserved shout out to some of our favs, like Karma Rescue, Downtown Dog Rescue, St. Martin’s Animal Foundation, Linda Blair’s Worldheart Foundation, Animals Advocates Alliance, Canine Adoption Rescue Leage (CARL) of Ventura, and Healthcare for Homeless Animals (formerly Malibu Pet Companions). If you have some spare Benjamins, they’d be happy to take them off your paws so that they can help more dogs like me, and Freckles, whose life was recently saved for a second time by the folks at Karma.

Freckles
In keeping with our rescue theme, if you live in the Los Angeles area and you’re thinking about a rescue dog, or cat, then be sure to check out the Best Friends/No Kill LA mega-adoption this weekend Saturday, May 3, and Sunday, May 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. The popular event has a mission of turning L.A. into the nation’s largest No-Kill City by 2017, will feature more than 1,000 adoptable pets from 50 rescue groups.  “Last fall, the NKLA Adoption Weekend found homes for close to 400 dogs and cats in 48 hours and we hope to beat that number this spring,” said Marc Peralta, executive director of Best Friends Animal Society – Los Angeles. “Any Angeleno who is looking to adopt should check out the NKLA Adoption Weekend, as it’s the perfect venue to find your new best friend. You can even bring your dog along for a meet and greet.”

Eugenie and Tanner @ last year’s event

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MORE TO B.R.A.G. ABOUT…’A PLACE TO CALL HOME…AVONDALE PET SHOW: A FAMILY AFFAIR

Just a few weeks back, we were thrilled, and honored when GIMME SHELTER was awarded the B.R.A.G. Medallion for Non-fiction. Paula and the indieBRAG folks gave us glowing reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Goodreads, the internet’s largest book lovers group, along with shout-outs on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. What more could we want? How about an awesome author interview with Stephanie Moore Hopkins on her writers blog, Layered Pages. Thanks to her probing questions, Lou comes across like a real writer, who wrote a great book about a riveting subject – me!

When you have a second, give it a look.
Tanner on what used to be Lou’s side of the bed
If you like great books with dog heroes (and who doesn’t?), check out G.A. Whitmore’s new volume, A Place To Call Home, the moving story of a rescue dog named Toby, who suffers the slings and arrows of outrageous doggie fortune before finding his happy ending.

As I mentioned a few posts ago, Lou and I have been invited as special guests to the 12th Annual Avondale Charity Pet Show in Palm Desert, CA on March 30 from 4:00 – 6:00. Thanks to sweet Joan Hopp, it’s now a family affair because Eugenie will be showing her sculptures while Lou hawks copies of Gimme Shelter. As always, a percentage of every sale will go to charity, in this case The Pet Rescue Center. Before signing off I wanted to alert our local SoCal friends to some other very cool upcoming dog events. First, on Saturday, April 5 at 10:30, Lou, Eugenie and I will be leading the pack at the American Cancer Society’s  Simi Valley ‘BARK FOR LIFE’ Fundraiser at Lemon Park. So if you live nearby, slap the leash on your best friend and join us for a good time and a good cause. Then, on April 27, my amazing vet Dr. Lisa and her colleagues at the Malibu Coast Animal Hospital will be joining forces with the angels at Heathcare for Homeless Animals (formerly Malibu Pet Companions) to host WOOFSTOCK, a combination block party and fundraiser featuring great music, fun events and celebrity hosts. I’ve already told Lou that we WILL be there, so book it, Dan-o! 
No explanation needed

2014…THE YEAR OF THE PIT BULL

Lou says that, according to the Chinese calendar, 2014 is the Year of the Horse. I say, hogwash; as far as I’m concerned this is the Year of the Pit Bull. Among the goals I’ve plotted out for my humans is to sell several thousand copies of GIMME SHELTER, and to get the book adopted as part of the curriculum at the L.A. County Juvenile Probation Camp Schools where Lou teaches part-time. On top of that, we’re aiming to work with Project Unleashed so we can help a whole gang of homeless dogs and kids at risk. 
                                                              ~ ~ ~
Lou sometimes gets discouraged so I had to point out all that we accomplished in 2013. For example, in January we published Gimme Shelter as an e-book on Amazon. The following month saw the arrival of the paperback version, both courtesy of our ‘angel’ Kathryn Galan. April saw a great Pet Life Radio interview with our friend and animal advocate Megan Blake, a flurry of newspaper articles in the Malibu Surfside, Malibu Times and Around About Peterstown (NJ), plus an SRO author’s night at Diesel Books in Malibu. May brought a similar gig at Bank of Books, a Top 10 ranking in The Times book list (Malibu Times, that is), a magazine photo shoot with the amazing Roxanne McCann, and featured placement on Amazon’s dog section. In June, Lou penned a story on ‘Adopting A Pit Bull‘ for India’s WOOF! Magazine. July saw us featured in the Malibu Times Magazine. In August, we kicked off the American Cancer Society’s first Malibu  ‘Bark For Life’ event, were featured in stories in the Agoura Patch and Acorn, signed books at the Westlake Barnes & Noble, and reprised our Diesel reading at their Brentwood store. September found us gracing the pages of American Dog Magazine, where we received a glowing review, and chatting with Tom & Sandy on on Live 805, KVTA (listen here). During this stretch, our paeano, Al Santillo, was busy selling copies of Gimme Shelter faster than we could print them. Grazie, Al. In October, we spent a great Saturday holding court in the author’s corner at Agoura Hills’ Reyes Adobe Days. December brought a nice surprise – a #16 slot on Diesel’s Top 50 Books of 2103, and another story on Dogs In Winter for WOOF! If that weren’t enough, along the way we made a ton of new dog friends like Chip & Alicia from Project Unleashed, the folks at Malibu Pet Companions, Linda Blair’s Worldheart Foundation, Animal Advocates Alliance and the Canine Adoption Rescue League. Couple that with a slew of parties, dinners, Eugenie’s gallery show and a slew of crazy days with the Trancas Dogpark gang and it added up to one delicious, stupendous circuit around the sun.

2014, The Year of the Pit Bull!


A few months back, we posted about neuro-research confirming that dogs are people, too. Well, now comes shocking word that cats, yes, cats, have human feelings, too. According to ‘According Animals Dignity’ by Frank Bruni in the NY Times:This [trend] is only going to build, because at the same time that scientific advances force us to gaze upon the animal kingdom with more respect, the proliferation of big and little cameras — of eyes everywhere — permits us to eavesdrop not just on animal play but also on animal persecution. It’s all documented, it all goes viral, and we can’t turn away, or claim ignorance, as easily as we once did.


GRAZIE, MERCI, DOMO ARIGATO, GRACIAS, DANKE…THANK YOU!

Each year, my 2-legged parents and the rest of their breed set aside a special day to be ‘Thankful’ which looks to me like an excuse to eat way too much yummy food that I don’t get to share. This year’s festa (Lou’s word) was at the home of Eugenie’s dad, Gene, and his wife, Sandra. Although they’re cat people, I like them very much and appreciate them letting me attend the party and steal the spotlight, as we pit bulls often do. Although I was denied a share of the goodies, I’d like to mention some of the many amazing things I’m thankful for

For Lou & Eugenie, who took me into their home and made me part of their family when no one else wanted me. They shower me with love, calm me when I’m frightened and make every day a fun adventure, even my baths and the car rides. Lou even wrote a book (with lots of help from Kathryn) and made me a local celebrity…For their friends and family (too many to mention) who treat me like a real person to be loved, respected and cherished…For my dog pals, Ceba, Otto, Dexter, Kona, Lola, Porter, Lucky, Coco, Charley, Buddha, Aldo, Harley, Magnus, Rocky, Rusty, Blur, Lady, Charger, Luna, Carl, Bobby, Roxie, the 3 Bellas and all of the gang from Malibu Villas and the Trancas Dog park. For the dog park, the beach, the farm, the meadow, and all of the other cool places were I get to run and explore. For squeaky toys, Skinnees, Kongas, tennis balls, Lou’s socks and the Malibu Villas cats. For chicken strips, Denta Bones, Check-ups, liver bits and the very occasional (hint, hint) table scrap. For the great SoCal weather. For my three comfy beds, and my parents’ Tempurpedic, where we get to cuddle and watch TV. For Dr. Lisa, Tony Rollins, Rob Lerner, and all of the staff and volunteers at the Agoura Hills Shelter where I started out. For Malibu Pet Companions, Karma Rescue, C.A.R.L., Linda Blair’s Worldheart Foundation, and all of the other amazing rescue groups that work to help dogs in need, especially pit bulls…For all the amazing humans who choose to share their lives and loves with dogs like me. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

Coming home from Trancas dog park 
Exploring ‘The Farm’


REMEMBRANCE & GRATITUDE

Dogs serve as a daily reminder to live gratefully, and gracefully in the moment. Offer a bowl of kibble, table scraps, a romp at the beach, a visit to dog park, a new squeaky toy or just a few kind words and it’s a safe bet that you’ll be whacked with a whipping tail, or slurped across the mug with a sandpaper tongue. How often do we, their two-legged partners, match their joy or appreciation? I mention this in honor of Anthony Battista Greco, a friend who passed away last week after a long struggle with lung problems. 


If Tony were a  dog, he’s have been one of those happy oversized breeds (my neighbor’s Bernese Mountain Dog, Bruin comes to mind) that bowl you over with the force of their good nature. Tony was a talented musician, director, writer and entrepreneur and an amazing husband, father of four and devoted brother. If we get to choose our heaven, I see him playing piano with George Harrison (Tony loved the Beatles) hosting a raucous, never-ending party for all of the fabulous artists that have gone before him, and any fun-loving strangers, too.
                                                                                  ~~~~
This post is about saying ‘Thanks, Grazie, Danke, Merci, Domo Arigato’ and so we’d be remiss not to mention Bank of Books, our intrepid West Malibu booksellers who hosted a signing for me and Tanner last Saturday. It was a gorgeous day and we had a ball chatting with friends and strangers who stopped to buy Gimme Shelter and have us ink their copies. Volunteers Ellen Naumann, and Andy from the Agoura Hills Animal Care facility were there with information about the shelter’s work helping dogs, cats and even rabbits in need. ‘Skittles’ the miracle dog was there, too. After a host of surgeries to fix a severe leg deformity (performed ‘pro bono’c courtesy of Malibu Pet Companions) the brave little guy is 100%. Now all he need is someone to step up and give him a full-time home.

Ellen, a respected dog trainer, had just started at Agoura in early 2009 when Tanner was brought in by a kindly woman who found him roaming on Las Posas Road in Camarillo. Eugenie and I always wanted to thank her for saving him and on Saturday we got the chance when Nancy stopped by to introduce herself. She remembered Tanner as a cowering stray, all head with an emaciated body.  She and Ellen were both thrilled so see him looking so healthy and happy.

Lou & Tanner w Agoura volunteer Andy & ‘Dusty’ (also a rescue dog)
Trainer & volunteer Ellen Naumann w ‘Skittles’ and Tanner
Lou, Eugenie and Tanner @ Bank of Books, 5-18-13


YOUR FIRST IS ALWAYS SPECIAL

Just like romance, that first book signing carries a special charge. That was true for Tanner, Eugenie and me at Diesel, A Bookstore the other night, where we had our fist author ‘event’. The SRO crowd of 50+ people included so many dear friends and family that I would need a separate post to thank them all. Instead, I’ll give a communal shout out – Grazie Mille! We sold every copy of GIMME SHELTER (If you weren’t there and want a copy don’t worry, they’ll be restocking or you can buy from Amazon or from us at www.buygimmeshelter.com). According to reports, I gave a terrific reading/Q & A, and we were thrilled to present our first donation of the Gimme Shelter Campaign to Malibu Pet Companions, a local non-profit that provides heroic, free vet care for the animals at the Agoura Hills (L.A. County) Animal Shelter, where Tanner once stayed. A special thanks to MPC Board chief and volunteer extraordinaire, Robin Kahrs, and Dr. Lisa Newall from Malibu Coast Animal Hospital, Tanner’s doc, and one of the amazing veterinarians who donate their time and love to help the dogs and cats. If you’re feeling generous, maybe stop by the Malibu Pet Companions site and contribute. 
Tanner before his Coming Out party
Lou signs ‘Gimme Shelter’ for a fan





















Eugenie and Lou with Tanner’s trainer, Tony Rollins

Dog park pals Wendy & Karen
Robin Kahrs president Malibu Pet Companions
&  Dr. Lisa Newall of Malibu Coast Animal Hospital
Eugenie and Tanner with Lynn Aime, of Disel Books, Malibu
Tanner greets friend and shelter volunteer Rob Lerner