ALSO REMEMBERING THE HEROIC DOGS OF 9/11
The last surviving search dog of 9/11 is still helping to save lives.
EXPANDED DOG FOOD RECALL
Be advised that the recall for Pedigree has been expanded to include 55-pound bags of Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition dry dog food products sold in Sam’s Club in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. Bags purchased from Sam's Club and Dollar Stores may contain bits of metal in them. That sounds completely nutritious, all right. This is a voluntary recall, they stress, but I wonder how many pets had already ingested the kibble before the recall?
It's becoming more and more difficult to find pet food that's safe to feed our beloved companions, and price isn't always a factor. Just about every brand has been on the hit list at some time or other. I will say that I avoid purchasing my pets' food at stores like Costco, Sam's Club, or other discount outlets because of the Cheapo China Syndrome. Our previous dogs were sickened by the Waggin' Train chicken jerky treats bought at Costco. Fortunately, I figured out what the problem was before it became more serious.
I am stunned that those treats were still sold on shelves at pet stores and my neighborhood Raley's Superstore long after I informed their corporate office about the problem. Another well known pet chain put their tainted treats on sale but did not remove them from the shelves to prevent other pets from being sickened or worse. They were going to sell all those boxes of poison, come what may. Their bottom line is what matters to corporations. And that, folks, is what America is all about. Profit reigns supreme, not pets or their people. It makes me sad and angry, but we have the power to change it by not spending our money on their products.
BACK TO SCHOOL BLUES
Kids get the blues when summer's over and it's time to go back to school. So do their canine companions. Now that dogs are allowed on restaurant patios in many cities and people can take them to the office, maybe it's time to institute Take Your Dog To School Day, where children could take turns bringing a well-behaved dog to class, one that is comfortable being with children, obviously.
It's been proven that workers in offices are calmer and more productive when their pets are present. Might that not also be true of children in school? I know I would have been in dog heaven if I could have brought my old childhood playmate, Dusty, to school with me. There are now Read to Your Dog programs at libraries, which encourage children to read more books, and it works! Thus far, dogs aren't reading books back to the kids, but why not take it a step further?
Yes, I can hear the collective howls and they aren't coming from the dogs. I know teachers have enough on their plates already, but perhaps the children would be easier to manage with a canine present in the classroom. Dogs do have a way of making everyone feel more relaxed. I know it works for me. It could work in schools, too. It would have the added benefit of teaching youngsters to be kind to animals.
Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dog Did What? is currently ranked #4 in the Kindle Store under Miracles and Spirituality.
THE HOUSE OF PUDDLES
Cleaning day at House of Puddles. Man, they must spend a lot of time cleaning with this lot. Looks like the kind of house I'd love to live in, though.
CHICKEN SOUP RELEASE
Chicken Soup for the Soul: THE DOG DID WHAT? came out for sale yesterday. I have waited years to see a story of mine published in one of these books. It isn't easy to make the final cut out of the thousands of submissions they receive, so I am pleased to be included at long last and glad that it was my story, Crazy for Daisy, that got published in Chicken Soup.
Daisy was certainly my most challenging adoptee, worthy of an entire cauldron of Chicken Soup for my soul. It would have been tempting to give up on such a nutty dog. Many others would have, including her first owners, who did, but my love for her prevailed. She enjoyed a long, happy life with us and left me with memories I'm still writing about.
There are 101 wonderful stories in this book, so I encourage you to visit your local Barnes and Noble or other bookstore and purchase a copy of THE DOG DID WHAT? It's also sold on Amazon, of course. Royalties from all sales of the book benefit the American Humane Association.
I'm proud to have an essay of mine included in
the upcoming PEN Oakland anthology, "Fightin' Words-25 Years of Provocative Poetry and Prose from "The Blue-Collar PEN," which will be available for purchase November 2014 from Heyday Books. I consider myself fortunate
to share the pages of this literary volume with some illustrious
company, including Norman Mailer, Paul Krassner and Kitty Kelley.
Some of the advance praise for the book comes from Eugene B. Redmond, who was my poetry professor at CSUS. I took his Black Poetry class and loved hearing him read from the works of other notable African American poets like Paul Laurence Dunbar and Langston Hughes. Unfortunately, my timing was a bit off to have studied with Maya Angelou, who was also teaching at Sac State around the same time. I think I'd already graduated by then. Born too soon.