Thursday, November 22, 2012

Dog Bites Girl

Dog Bites Girl
            I sat on the wooden porch steps looking out at blue slivers of Wisconsin's Little Muskego Lake peeking between oak tree trunks, while my mother scrubbed my grandfather’s log cottage getting it ready for summer.
            I’d been told not to move off the porch and I was being very good—until a blur of black and white flew across the lawn, bounded up the steps, jumped at all two and a half feet of me. The black pug nose and bulgy eyes of the Boston Terrier next door bumped my face. I stood up. One of his teeth stuck into my cheek. I screamed.
            Grandpa came running, saw blood, wrapped me in a scratchy army blanket, and carried me to his black Ford. He drove to a country doctor—later he called him a horse doctor. My grandfather insisted the doctor apply a bandage so big it covered half my face to be sure the dog’s owners couldn’t miss it. Back home, he walked next door, carrying his shotgun, and suggested the “Boston bulldog” be destroyed.      
            As a petless kid, I had always loved dogs—at a distance. After that day, I shrieked at the sight of any dog, any size.
            Every day for the rest of that summer, Grandpa, sweat re-staining the brim of his brown Fedora, wheeled my walker along the rutted country road. I whimpered every time we approached the yard with a barking dog. He always stopped and so stood close I inhaled the comforting smell of the old wool suit pants he wore for fishing. “It’s OK,” he told me. “The doggie’s behind the fence.”
            Grandpa must have been right about that doctor. My scar stayed visible for the next thirty years. The fear mixed with fascination stayed until I got my first dog, a golden Cocker Spaniel who only looked dangerous when someone pretended to hurt me.

When I found the picture of me on the steps, I guessed it was about the time of the dogbite. After I scanned it, for fun I zoomed in, and in and in. And I found my cheek was swollen, proving it must have been right after the bite. My mother must have removed the bandage for the photo. :)

The second picture must be my dog talking to me or me reading to her.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Authors & Their Dogs - Pat Frayne & Charlie

Amber: Welcome Pat Frayne, an author of cat stories who loves her rescue dog Charlie.

Pat: This is Charlie, our nine year old black lab, border collie mix. He was thirteen months old when we adopted him from a family who had two other dogs. They'd rescued him from the streets of Phoenix when he was just a puppy.

We call Charlie our wild child, because he gets along better with coyotes than he does with other dogs. Actually, he prefers people to other animals. He especially loves children.

For a nine year old dog, Charlie’s in good shape. He walks 3-4 miles a day with Ron. When we first got him he had a stainless steel chain on his neck. His legs looked longer because he was lean and almost totally black. He looked like a prince. People used to turn around and stare at him. He really was a beautiful dog.

Pat Frayne, grandmother, author and retired registered nurse lives with her husband, Ron and their black lab mix, Charlie, in a small town in northern Arizona. 

Pat writes fast-paced adventurous mysteries about a mystical cat with unique powers. They're a bit scary, lots of fun with an emphasis on the value of friendship and loyalty. The creation of the character, Daisy, a young fawn with hazel eyes, was inspired by Pat's granddaughter, Cait. Daisy makes her first appearance in Topaz and the Plum-Gista Stone. The second book in the series  Tales ofTopaz the Conjure Cat. The books can be read in any order.

Stories for parents and grandparents as well as children who wish to retreat into a world inhabited by mystical characters…

An evil sickness has befallen Topaz's old friend, the great owl, Otis. Topaz, Dooley the racoon, and Daisy the fawn take him to the Healing Gnomes at North Fortress to be cured. As for Topaz and Dooley, their journey doesn’t end here. Grim circumstances compel them to leave the fortress tin search of the Plum-Gista, a rare precious stone, in a mysterious and forbidden land. Topaz and his friends face life-threatening dangers as dark magical forces close in.

Find out more about Pat &Topaz

This is the first in a series of 
"Authors & Their Dogs"
If you interested in 
sharing a little about your dog
in 2103

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Barista Vincenzo Imhoff (St. Bernard) Character Interview

Vincenzo Imhoff (St. Bernard)
Shipsfeather Academy Barista

I’m the manager of Starbooks and Starbarks cafés in the Shipsfeather Academy. I don’t do it all myself. We run 24/7 and for many years provided the only entertainment and gathering places for 200 dog-shifter  staff and librarians.

My top manager is Fábio Rodrigo, a solid black Fila Brasileiro. The guy is huge like a Mastiff, as big as Cynerik Trent-Croft. None of his staff brace him or argue about their schedule. He’s super self-confident but isn’t good behind the counter, because he has a problem with strangers. His family owns mucho coffee plantations in Brazil and supplies us with a wide variety of beans for custom roasting.

I love developing new recipes. I’ve worked out a version of Pacifico’s grandmother’s Mexican hot chocolate recipe with hot peppers and coffee that is one of our best sellers. Godiva Anglesey loves it, but then Diva loves anything chocolate. 

During the curse, when Liberty and Chronus discovered that caffeine and sugar consumed in human bodies did serious damage to dog bodies if shifting happened before these substances were fully digested. I worked with Fábio to develop a completely caffeine free coffee drinks based on a new strain of varietal bean from a secret location. We’re proceedings with patenting it under the name NoNoCaf. Griswald agreed to act as our patent attorney for free food and drink in all locations. 

My good friend Pacifico Lopez and his programmers are my best customers. Pacifico is helping me create a franchise opportunity for the Starbooks/Starbarks concept. I think the Starbarks café franchises will be popular in other shifter academies worldwide. Starbooks in libraries in this country could also catch on, especially considering all the dog-shifter librarians employed in U.S. academic and public libraries. And Starbarks dogpark kiosks is in the planning stages.

Hobbies: Cookbook collecting, Mountain climbing, cross-country skiing, yodeling and accordion playing.

Menu Items I developed -

Proprietary Blends: Retriever Roast (subtle blend with hint of chocolate), Komondor Kona, Rottie Robusta, Wirehaired Espresso

Specialty Drinks: Malamute Mocha, Whippet Frappe, Irish Red Rover, Lhasa Lattes, Chihuahua Chai, Cocker Cappuccino, Maltese Macchiato, West Highland White Chocolate

Starbarks Food: Liver and Liver, Lamb and Cheese, Chow Chow Chow, Schnauzer Schnitzel, Borzoi Borscht, Poodle Noodles, Bichon Quiche, Shar-Pei Chow Mein

Desserts: Eskimo Pie, Spinone Italiano, Cannoli Corso, Clumber Cobbler, Swiss Mountain Mousse

Favorite Books Julie and Julia, Mastering the Art of Shifter Cooking, Producing Your YouTube Cooking Show.

The Shapeshifters' Library Series


to learn more about Vincenzo's Starbarks cafe, the dog-shifters, and the werewolf book-burners.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Have You Voted? Dogs or Cats?

Is America A Cat Nation or a Dog Nation?

Get Pawlitical! 

America’s Pet Debate will be settled 
on November 9, 2012
when the votes are tallied and the winner 
cat or dog – is announced.

For every vote in America’s Pet Debate
Purina will donate $1 to
up to $100,000!

Meet the Candidates 

Team Cat Why are cats better than dogs?

  • America owns approximately 86,400,000 cats
    (more are female than male)
  • 33% of Americans are cat owners, and 52%
    own more than one cat
Team Dog Why are dogs better than cats?

  • America owns 78,200,000 dogs, which are
    equally male and female
  • 39% of Americans own dogs, and while
    60% own just one dog, 28% own two dogs and 12% own a pack of three or more

And leave a comment and tell why you voted for Team Cat or Team Dog! 

Personal Opinion:
In The Shapeshifters' Library series I come out strongly for dogs (and dog-shifters) because dogs are noble with solid values. In pointing out the good qualities of dogs, as opposed to wolves and cats, occasionally I may write things that seem to demean the cat-loving public. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing bad about cats -But dogs are just better.

I can't figure out why cats are winning!
Only 1 state has more dog votes.
Come on dog-lovers, get out the vote!