Dog Blog

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Today is the day to reflect upon our blessings and what we are thankful for. I'm thankful for lots of things too many people in the world don't have: a home, enough food to eat, clean water to drink, good health, friends and family, meaningful work, and so much more. 

I'm also thankful for my canine companions and the unconditional love and comfort they provide every minute of every day. I don't have to do a thing to earn their love. They just give it freely, without expectation. We have much to learn from dogs about how to be better humans. 

Throughout time, dogs have given their all for people, have given their service and even their lives for us in wartime, with no thanks or reward. So, today I am showing my dogs how thankful I am for them. Take time today to show your dogs the same, but please don't do it with food from your Thanksgiving table that might make them sick.


“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.” 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Stuck for gift ideas for your dog loving friends?  How about a copy of a doggone good mystery novel personally autographed by the author or awesome animal art created by local artists, including yours truly?  

Here's where I'll be autographing copies of my latest Maxwell-nominated book, BRACED FOR MURDER:

December 6, 2013
Friday, 12:30 PM
Paws & the Palette
1014 24th Street
Sacramento, CA 95816
Lisa Spurney, Artist/Owner
Meet the four-legged store greeter, Ladybug the Basset

December 14, 2013
Second Saturday, 6-9 p.m.
The Adamson Gallery
1021 R Street, Suite 15
Sacramento CA 95811 Colleen Adamson, Director

Happy Howlidays! Hope to see you there!

Monday, November 25, 2013


Brian Griffin died.  Hit by a car.  Say not so!  He was my favorite character on Family Guy.  You never kill off the star dog in a movie, book, or even a cartoon.  Well, except for Old Yeller.  I never did get over that one.    

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Fred Basset, the beloved English comic strip, was always one of my favorites.  Fred has been entertaining folks with his uniquely basset-y antics for 50 years.  I first became familiar with this hilarious hound on my first trip to England in 1977 and bought a book of the cartoons at Victoria Station to read on the train.  I immediately fell in love with the comic.  Fred's creator had the basset personality down pat.  Our first basset, Butterscotch, always reminded me of Fred.  

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Howling some great news:  Braced for Murder has been nominated for a Maxwell Award--Best Fiction by the Dog Writers Association of America.  Aaarooo!  

Friday, November 22, 2013


I'll be autographing copies of my latest book, BRACED FOR MURDER and showing some of my dog art at the following:

December 6, 2013
Friday, 12:30 PM
Paws & the Palette
1014 24th Street
Sacramento, CA 95816
Lisa Spurney, Artist/Owner

Come and meet Ladybug, the Basset Hound store greeter. She's a sweetheart. You'll find all kinds of pet products, accessories, and healthy baked goodies for Santa Paws to treat your dog with on Christmas.  Hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 14, 2013


I hope you'll enjoy reading my latest interview with Omnimystery News, where I discuss my mystery series, writing background, and share some advice about the writing process.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


If you care about your dog's safety, s/he should always be leashed when near traffic or even in your front yard if likely to rush out into the street or run after other dogs.  My neighborhood association has warned neighbors to keep their dogs tethered while in their front yards in response to a recent attack on a bypasser's dog. The other day when we were walking Peaches and Beau down the next street, a pit bull rushed across the road at them, but fortunately the dog was very friendly.  It can still make your heart stick in your throat when something like that happens.   

How do you feel about retractable leashes?  One veterinarian I have visited insists on exchanging my retractables for their leashes when I'm there because a client apparently got a rope burn from one.  It is admittedly a danger, among others, if the leashes are not used properly.  I still use them with my bassets because they are so doggone slow, and it allows me to walk ahead and let them catch up after they've finished smelling every blade of grass in their path.  Here are the reasons from Dogster why I and others still prefer retractable leashes. 

On another note, when I was at my local pet store the other day, I met Misty the Walker Hound, who had only three legs.  She was so sweet and kept rubbing against me for affection, which I gladly gave.  When I asked how she lost her front leg, I expected the answer might be cancer, but I was told she fell out of a truck.  I'm not sure if the people were Misty's original owners or her rescuers, but I hope I didn't look as disgusted as I felt to learn that information. Misty was lucky to have lost just her leg.  Many more untethered dogs in trucks lose their lives.  Still, I see this nearly every day, a dog bouncing around in a truck bed while his oblivious owner races along as though he didn't have a care in the world about that animal's safety, which of course he doesn't.  I underlined those pronouns because the drivers are invariably macho males. The dogs are often hunting dogs like Misty. This was a hunting trip gone very wrong for poor Misty, apparently.  For the owner, too, because now his fine hunting dog has only three legs.     

Monday, November 11, 2013


After I saw the albino Praying Mantis, I did go buy a lottery ticket. It was a crossword puzzle game. I won $40! Perhaps there's some truth to the tale that seeing an albino Praying Mantis brings good luck. 


Here's a long list of recalled pet foods from The Truth About Pet Foods dating from November 7, 2013 and going all the way back to 2006, when my Daisy and Bubba were both sickened, though I had no clue at the time what was causing it.  Neither did their vet.  I shudder to think how many pets have been sickened or killed since then by poisoned food their people unknowingly fed them, believing they were giving their adored pets the best of everything.  I am sickened and disgusted by this failure of our government to ensure the safety not only of our food but that of our pets.  Both I and my pets have been victims of these poisonings.  

I met a woman at the dog park who was touting the benefits of the raw diet her friend's Great Dane's is fed.  The dog was young, though the woman commented that it tires very quickly.  I wondered why that would be the case.  The dog looked too thin for its size, I thought.  She said the dog is fed a chicken thigh twice a day.  That doesn't seem like much food for a huge dog like a Great Dane, nor would I think a chicken-only diet would be a well rounded diet for a dog, especially considering the current dangers of raw chicken.  I think people tend to forget that modern dogs are not the same animals their wolf ancestors were.  They've been foraging from human garbage for eons.  Sure, a dog can subsist on meat only, but I don't think of that as an optimum diet for robust health in a domesticated dog. I'm sure BARF fans will vehemently disagree, but that's what my common sense tells me. 

You will see that there are several listings on the recall list of BARF and other raw pet foods.  Even lamb, duck, and other meats you wouldn't consider to be a danger are being affected.  If you are feeding your pet a raw diet, I would probably discontinue that for the time being, considering the salmonella danger.  I personally wouldn't feed my dogs any raw meats, especially chicken.  

These deadly drug-resistant bacteria are being caused by antibiotic-injected livestock and the terrible conditions animals are forced to endure before they are slaughtered.  When will it stop?  When will the welfare of living beings be considered more important than making the most money possible from their misery? 

Wednesday, November 06, 2013


Here's another take on the jerky treat mystery by a veterinarian.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013


On my bike ride this afternoon along the American River Parkway, I spotted an albino praying mantis.  They are supposedly rare, which is no wonder because they would be easily seen by a predator.  I helped him up into a tree so he wouldn't get stomped by the next person to stop at the rest area I did.  They are also said to be a sign of luck.  Guess I'd better go buy my lottery ticket.  

Sunday, November 03, 2013


Here's more information on the shame of pet food poisonings over the past six years (!!!appalling!!!) from the HSUS and how to stay in the loop with up-to-date alerts.

Saturday, November 02, 2013


Sugar the Golden Retriever reviews Braced for Murder.  You gotta love a Retriever Review.  You'll see she's really into my book.  Even the dogs are loving this book!  That's why I never mind saying my career has gone to the dogs.