Dog Blog

Friday, September 27, 2013


Here's a review of my book from Crime Spree Magazine:

A Beanie and Cruiser Mystery. Cruiser is a basset hound, whose owner is Elsie “Beanie” MacBean. The two-legged partner of the sleuthing team has taken in another hound, Calamity, on a foster basis with the idea that the hound will be trained and ready for a forever family. The dog came from the local shelter, which is a mess. Set in Lake Tahoe, the shelter manager, Rhoda Marx, ends up being euthanized in the machine she used freely on the animals. “Braced” in this context means teamed up. There is a lot of information about bassets, the famous Basset Waddle fundraiser, and about how a shelter is run – or not , in this case. Beanie comes up with some suspects; one is the owner of a dog that was euthanized within a day of being found, even though it had an ID chip; and the other is Doc Heaton, a veterinarian who was opposed to Marx’ tactics. A possible third is Tori who leads a militant animal rights group, and who may or may not be responsible for letting all the dogs loose. There are subplots with Beanie’s daughter, and with her Washoe heritage. Humorously told, with a lot dog puns. The author also writes non-fiction about dogs. 

By Gay Totl Kinman

Thursday, September 26, 2013


World Rabies Day – Saturday, September 28, 2013, 9am-5pm
Free services will be offered across the Sacramento region on World Rabies Day. The Front Street Animal Shelter will provide free rabies vaccines, free micro-chips, and free one-year licenses (first time license only and you’re your animal must be spayed or neutered to qualify).  Pet owners may also go to any of the other locations listed. Participating locations are attempting to get a Guinness World Record for the most rabies vaccines given, as well as for the most micro-chips ever implanted in one day. We live in a rabies endemic region, so let’s help our furry friends stay healthy!

Thursday, September 19, 2013


I took Beau in today for his cardiac evaluation with Dr. Lori Siemens, an exceptionally nice woman I instantly liked.  Beau did, too.  That dog is so easy going, he thinks going to the vet is an adventure.  He was calmly lying on his side on the waiting room floor with his head on my foot, just like he does at home.  How many dogs ever do that at the vet's office?  Certainly not Peaches! Everyone was quite taken with him, and turns out he wasn't the only basset in there today. Dr. Siemens was utterly charmed by Beau, saying "He's already in the perfect position for the test."

The EKG took about half an hour.  I waited nervously for the verdict, and I'm happy to say that the news was good. Her diagnosis was that Beau is in a mild stage of degenerative mitral valve disease, which she said is common in basset hounds and that she lost a basset to it.  Who knew?  None of our other dogs have ever had it. We've been through every other inherited disorder with this breed, but this is a new one for us.  It is more common in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, though.  

Anyway, his EKG was normal, and his good ol' heart is not enlarged from the leaky valve yet.  It might get worse with age; might not.  Only time will tell.  I sure hope not.  Doc told us what to watch for, and I read up on it.  No further tests are needed at this time, and no heart medications or restrictions are required, although it was suggested he be rechecked if his murmur becomes any louder.  I am much relieved by this outcome.  Praying to the Dog God worked!  He is good to go for the surgery to remove the tumor, which should be uncomplicated. We're just waiting for the estimate.  Now, if only that tumor is benign, we're home free.  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Sorry to report there's been no change in Beau's tumor, so it's off to the cardiologist tomorrow morning for an EKG to get a readout on that heart murmur and find out whether he's fit for surgery.  Otherwise, he seems in fine fettle today.  The wind is blowing so hard this morning that bassets could fly. Just lift up those airfoil ears like Dumbo's and away they go. The birches in our yard are raining seeds with every gust.  At last, autumn is in the air.  My favorite season.  How I love it!


Some more good words for Braced for Murder from Our Stack.  I love the dog reading my book.  I hope people read it to their dogs.

"Dogs, dogs, dogs," the reviewer says.  Pretty much says it all about me, my books, my life.  Wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Remembering the four-legged heroes of 9-11 who gave their all that day.  Get out your Kleenex.  This is a 10-tissue story.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


USDA landmark rule cracks down on online puppy mills.  New legislation closes a loophole in the Animal Welfare Act that allowed puppy mills to sidestep federal oversight and sell puppies online.  One can only hope this will reduce their profits of dealing in misery and shut some of these hell holes down for good.

Monday, September 09, 2013


Our veterinarian says the cytology on the growth that has popped up rather quickly on Beau's anus shows it's a superficial tumor of some kind, but whether or not it's malignant won't be known unless he undergoes surgery to have it removed and tested.  The problem with that is he is a nine-year-old dog (possibly older) and has a heart murmur, which may make an operation very risky for him, Doctor says.  I'd hate to needlessly lose him on an operating table if it turned out to be a benign growth, but if it is in fact a malignant tumor, not removing it could be bad, too. Take your pick.  I hate these kinds of decisions!  

After our horrid experience with Daisy in 2006, who had an inoperable tumor in the same region that finished her off in short order, I'm plenty distressed by this news.  I couldn't bear to lose my darlin' Beau.  This dog has captured my heart like no other dog I've had, though they've all ultimately broken it.  I hope he won't break it too soon.  

The doc prescribed an antibiotic to administer to him for the next 10 days and said to apply warm compresses on the growth to see if it goes down on its own.  I'm praying it does.  I'll watch it for the next week.  The next step will be a trip to the cardiologist, lab work, and then surgery if he is deemed fit to undergo the procedure.  We're entering the phase of a dog's life that I most dread, old age and what surely follows.  

Words to the wise from Rudyard Kipling in his poem, "The Power of the Dog":

THERE is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day; 
And when we are certain of sorrow in store, 
Why do we always arrange for more? 
Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware 

Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.  


In my latest Inside Pubs Pets & Their People column, I talk about housetrained pets who suddenly forget their house manners. (Are you listening, Beau?)  Turns out there may have been more going on with Beau's lapses than just having one of his pack go AWOL for two weeks.  He's going to the vet today for what I suspect is an anal hematoma.  It seemed to come up over the weekend, so maybe it's not connected to the problems earlier this summer.  If that's what it is, they are rarely cancerous, but after our experience with Daisy, who died from anal cancer, a fast growing cancer in dogs, I'm understandably concerned.  It bled a lot last night, and I was about to cart him off to the ER when the bleeding fortunately subsided. I already had an appointment for today to take him in for his rabies booster, so I was hoping we could hold off until then.   

Saturday, September 07, 2013


Here's a new review of my latest mystery, courtesy of Linda Morelli at My Shelf.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013


Beau is due for his rabies vaccinations.  Three years have gone by fast!  Fortunately, our experience at the vet will be nothing like when I have to take Peaches there for even the most minor treatment.  Beau actually enjoys going to the vet or at least he seems to.  He doesn't start to shiver, shake and whine the moment he senses we are going in a different direction than toward the park or our other familiar haunts.  He just loves attention from people wherever he can get it, even from the veterinarian.  He is the only dog I've ever had who didn't freak about going to the vet.  Daisy was even worse than Peaches is.  Bubba was pretty easy going about it, but not as much as Beau.  It sure takes the headache out of the whole thing.  

I spotted this article about how to desensitize your dog to vet visits.  Unfortunately, it's too late for Peaches because the training has to start very young, with the cooperation of your veterinarian doing things to help reduce your pet's fear.  Lollipups, anyone?