Just keep swimming

Has it already been a week since my mother died? I feel like I’ve been in a haze, dropped in the middle of the ocean and swimming only because I have to, not because I actually know where I’m going. I’ve found a new appreciation for Dory, a different nuance in Finding Nemo.

I don’t know why life insists on dumping everything on us all at once instead of pacing things one month at a time, but it seems to be a rather consistent theme. What I’d like to be doing right now is sitting in bed with the sheet over my head, but there’s just too much to do.

When a death ends, the work just begins. Closets to go through and memorials to plan and family dynamics to breathe through. In this case, all these tasks are intermingled with the other responsibilities of being a mother as well as a daughter. I pick my mother’s casket, and on the way home pick out a birthday cake for my son. That sort of thing.

My daughter graduated fifth grade this week. I was not really aware fifth grade graduation was a big deal. I thought we might hear a song, clap politely, and get on with it. I was sorely mistaken. What we were in for was a two hour event with five speeches, two processions, music, slideshows, choreography. It was longer than my high school and college graduation combined.

The line for the auditorium starts an hour and a half early. I walk into the auditorium with the grandparents behind me, mentally counting off the number of seats I needed: 2, 2, 2….oh. 2, 2, and 1. It’s the little moments like this that catch you unaware. Mom would never have missed a graduation.

When the ceremony finally ended and the kids file into the lobby, I pull out the flower bouquet my father picked up for us on his way over. I hand it to my daughter, who stands surrounded by children wearing leis made of dollar bills. Mom would have brought a lei. She always did stuff like that. My daughter smiles politely, seeming vaguely disappointed, but she always seems vaguely disappointed. I am told this is part of being a tween. I am too tired to care.

I was supposed to volunteer at the promotion picnic today, but I leave early because I have to get Brody to the groomer in advance of the family arriving this weekend for the memorial. That, and order programs, write a eulogy, bring an end of the year gift to the teacher, bring a blanket to the funeral home, clean the house, find something to wear, pick up the kids from school, celebrate something, I guess. People offer to help, but these are all tasks I need to do myself.

I am exhausted, in a bone wearying way I didn’t know could exist.

Brody comes back from the groomer, and sits next to me on the couch. He is never disappointed with his lot in life. He just is. I put my head on his back and inhale, feeling the rising waves of grief intruding on my to-do list. He smells like one of those old Strawberry Shortcake dolls. When I cry, he doesn’t say anything or search for unhelpful platitudes or edge away uncertainly. He is surprisingly absorbent.

He is here, breathing with me. It is enough. For now, he is enough.


Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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Backyard Snapshots

We brought Lacey home yesterday after her operation on Monday.  We don’t really have much news yet.

Due to the location of the tumour, there was no way we could get clean margins (which is usually the goal of any tumour removal) without taking her entire leg.  We still might need to do that, but it will depend on the grade of the tumour.  Unfortunately you can’t determine the grade of the tumour without removing it, and there was no point in removing it without taking as much as we could. If it is a low grade, it will hopefully be “good enough”, at least for now.  But because of the location, it means they had to do a skin graft to seal up the area, which made things a little more complicated.  They took skin from her thigh and grafted it to her foot and leg.  She’s gonna have a pretty hairy section if all goes well!  :)

They also took the nearest lymph node to determine if it had spread.  The node was definitely bigger than usual but that could have just been because it was working overtime to combat the tumour OR it could mean it’s spread.

We should have results in a couple of days – hopefully by the end of the week.  The only decision we’ve actually made is that if it is a high grade, and hasn’t already spread, we’ll take her leg. I was really tempted to do it this time to save her a potential 2nd surgery but they really didn’t want to do that if it was a grade 1 tumour.  Apparently for dogs that get Mast Cell Tumours repeatedly, they are usually all the same grade. As her first one was a grade 1 tumour we have high hopes that this one will be the same.

We haven’t really figured out what we’ll do if it has spread and we don’t really know all our options yet either.  We are taking it one step at a time.

She’s already feeling quite a bit better.  Yesterday she wasn’t barking at anyone but today she not only barked at people in the park, but she picked up her favourite toy too.

Crazy Coulee and Little Lacey

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Book updates, giveaways, and TREATS!

On we soldier, because that is what we must do. A few months ago, my mother asked to read the galley of All Dogs Go to Kevin, and I said, “No, you have to wait till the book comes out like everyone else.” Later that afternoon I felt terrible about that so I said, “OK, I changed my mind, here you go.”

She read it in a day then called to tell me how much she loved it. I am really, really glad I changed my mind. I imagine things are a bit chaotic for her right now but I have high hopes she’ll find Taffy in short order. All she has to do is follow the Meaty Bone crumbles and look for sticky pee spots.

In the meantime, my job right now is to convince you to pre-order my book 1. because I’d like to do another and I need to sell a few in order to do that and 2. I heard the Food Babe presold 15,000 copies of her treatise and it’s always good to have goals.

Happy Happy

Good News: The Saturday Evening Post listed All Dogs Go to Kevin as one of their Top 10 Summer Reads! I almost keeled over to see my name on the same page as Harper freakin Lee. And since you’ll already be online pre-ordering that, and my book comes out on the same day, why not just add it on? Booyah!

Treats for Reads

Even more good news: I have so many awesome treats to offer people who preorder the book. I’ll be sending out an email to people on the All Dogs Go to Kevin mailing list with an official announcement this week and then following that up with a post here. The mailing list will have exclusive book giveaways and first go at all the goodies! First book giveaway is this week! Click below to sign up:




Signed Copies

We’ve made an arrangement with Warwick’s La Jolla for signed books. All copies pre-ordered through them will automatically come signed. What I’ll sign it with I don’t know yet but I still have a month. :)


If you ordered through another site, I can happily send a signed bookplate. Details to come.

Spot Eats Socks

As an additional preorder incentive, I’ve written an ebook for anyone who preorders at least one book. My agent suggested a nice prescriptive book along the lines of “How to Clean Ears at Home” but you know, you can get that anywhere.

What you cannot get anywhere else is a twisted children’s activity book, so that’s what I wrote instead. Spot Eats Socks is 13 pages of mazes, Mad Libs, word scrambles, and coloring activities. I guarantee this is the only place on the net you will find a word hunt featuring “ANALGLANDS” and “DEMODEX.” I’ll be telling you how to get it sent to you shortly.



I am truly excited for this! Thank you all so much for being a part of this journey- I couldn’t do it without you!

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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This is Iris, the lovely golden retriever belonging to my friend and neighbour, Agnès.  It is Agnès who corrects the French on my Menton Daily Photo blog each day. No mean feat!


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Monaco Dog Show – Chinese Crested

They say dogs look like their owners! Well in this case I think it’s true.  Pretty lady, pretty dog at the Monaco Dog Show. This is a Chinese Crested dog, which is hairless, except for head, lower legs and tail. (There is a variety called the ‘powderpuff’ that has hair on the body as well).


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Today's Water-Logged And Getting Wetter Stock: Colgate-Palmolive (CL)

Today's Water-Logged And Getting Wetter Stock: Colgate-Palmolive (CL)
Colgate-Palmolive Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets consumer products worldwide. It operates in two segments: Oral, Personal and Home Care; and Pet Nutrition. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 2.3%. CL has a PE …
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Inside Deal: Daniel Marsili Sold 14000 Shares of Colgate-Palmolive Company
The Company operates in two product segments: Oral, Personal and Home Care, and Pet Nutrition. The Company's oral care products include Colgate Total, Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief, Colgate Max Fresh, Colgate Optic White and Colgate Luminous White …
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These Scenarios Could Significantly Lift Colgate-Palmolive's Valuation
Colgate-Palmolive is the world's leading manufacturer of oral care products. It reported revenues of $ 17.3 billion in 2014 and currently has a market capitalization of $ 62.8 billion. The company derives nearly half of its revenues from its oral care
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Lawyers defend celebrities endorsing Maggi, fault Nestle for excessive lead
"Madhuri Dixit also endorses toothbrush brand Oral-B. If anything goes wrong while a child is using it, can she be blamed for it? Celebrities cannot be held liable. Globally, endorsement contracts specify clauses to safeguard the ambassadors. Indian
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Killed By Cancer

Today is Murphy’s birthday.  
This photo was taken on our walk from Austin to Boston in McEwen  TN.  We pitched a tent the night before on the grounds of a local church and upon remarking to the pastor about the Bradford pear trees full in fall colors, he recommended stopping at a local farm completely encircled by them just east on Hwy 70.  
It was a magical moment that day perfectly captured in time.  
For whatever cruel twist of fate the Gods graced us with we made it the 2,300 miles to Boston but within only a few weeks of walking the final mile from the Rose Garden at Back Bay Fens to Boston Common, Murphy was diagnosed with nasal adenocarcinoma.
The tumor inside his head must have been growing for many months as evidenced by the CT scan nearby.  
Murphy went down hard and what he did for this cause will never be forgotten. #RememberMurphy #MurphySmiles


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Take Flight! by Robin Jones Gunn {Book Review}

Take Flight! by Robin Jones Gunn My rating: 5 of 5 stars My first impression of “Take Flight” was the fact that this isn’t the “usual devotional book” that I normally would read or review. The writing is best described like a series of encouraging notes and letters that reminds me of texts and emails,…

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Sunflower Faith

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Latest Pet Oral Care News

Best of 2015: Lakewood Animal Hospital
We provide your dog or cat with quality routine dental care. This may be advice on proper preventive care like brushing. It may be routine dental cleaning or even tooth extraction. We will offer referral for advanced procedures such as a root canal or
Read more on Coeur d’Alene Press

New Pet Supplies Plus store opens in Painesville Township
In addition, the 7,543-square-foot store will feature a self-service dog wash and a full slate of grooming services tailored to every pet's needs, including haircuts, full body brushing, flea treatment, and nail, skin, ear and oral care. To contact Pet
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3 Top Stocks to Own in Retirement
Andres Cardenal: Colgate-Palmolive has a presence in several consumer-staples categories, including oral care, pet nutrition, home care, and personal care. However, most of the company's sales and profits come from its leadership position in oral care, …
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I was shocked by that first photo, because the eco…

I was shocked by that first photo, because the economy is really improving, so I actually went on Zillow and searched for foreclosure and pre-foreclosure homes in Oakland, and there were plenty (over a 100) but not nearly as many as your visual seems to show? What am I missing? In my neighborhood in Oakland (not a great neighborhood, definitely not the toughest), houses are almost back to early 2008 values now and foreclosures are way down from where they were a few years ago.

Regardless, it is still a sad reality that many dogowners are forced to give up their beautiful dogs involuntarily when they lose their home, and I strongly support providing dog owners (rich and poor!) with as much support as possible. Thanks for all your hard work.

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