The 10 Best Fun Books

Men with Cats by David Williams

Here are Tracie Hotchner’s year-end list of happy tales.

Need a last-minute gift?

From adorable photos, to laugh-out-loud humor, plus helpful tips: these delightful reads will capture your coffee table.

Pair one with a treat from Halo: Purely for Pets. My girls love Liv-a-Littles, high-protein snacks for dogs and cats. They come in beef, chicken, or salmon, and are the perfect size for a stocking stuffer.

Happy holidays from my pack, to yours!

  1. Neville Jacobs: I’m Marc’s Dog, by Nicholas Newbold. The world as seen through the eyes of fashion icon Marc Jacobs’ dog.
  2. Fly Dogs, by Todd Berger. Photos of exuberant canines bounding for joy.
  3. Men with Cats: Intimate Portraits of Feline Friendship, by David Williams. A photographer celebrates men and their cats in a series of portraits.
  4. How to Get Ahead In Business with Office Cat: Meownagement Guide to Purrfessional Success, by Ariana Klepac & Pete Smith. Advice from kitties on how to conquer the world.
  5. Zen Dogs, by Alex Cearns. Sweet-puppy portraits of dogs chilling out.
  6. The Shepherd’s View: Modern Photographs from an Ancient Landscape, by James Rebanks. A stunning account of a shepherd and his flock.
  7. Cat Castles: 20 Cardboard Habitats You Can Build Yourself, by Carin Oliver. Make your own cat havens.
  8. Life Works Itself Out (And Then You Nap), by Keiya Mizuno & Naoki Naganuma. Advice for happy living, plus cute pictures of cats.
  9. Dogs and Their People: Photos and Stories of Life with a Four-Legged Love, by BarkPost. Anecdotes, stories, photos, and insights from the contributors of BarkPost.
  10. The Dog Bible: Everything Your Dog Wants You To Know, and The Cat Bible: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know, by Tracie Hotchner. Guides to good living for you and your best friends.



Tracie began her career as a radio personality with a live show – DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) – on the local NPR station in the Hamptons, Peconic Public Broadcasting (WPPB) from Southampton, New York (the show is now also carried on the NPR station Robinhood Radio in Connecticut and the Berkshires). DOG TALK® won a Gracie® Award (the radio equivalent of an Oscar) in 2010 as the “Best entertainment and information program on local public radio” and continues weekly after more than 450 continuous shows and 9 years on the air. Tracie’s live weekly call-in show CAT CHAT® was on SiriusXM satellite radio for seven years until the Martha Stewart channel was canceled in 2013.

Tracie lives in Vermont where the Radio Pet Lady Network studio is based, on 13 acres well-used by her all-girl pack – two lovely, lively Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda, and a Collie-mix, Jazzy.

Halo Pets

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Protecting Your Kitties at Christmas Time

Decoration Dangers:

  1. Artificial snow spray is toxic to cats. Use it sparingly and make sure it is not accessible to a curious cat.
  2. Tinsel and other decorations can be swallowed causing abdominal blockages. Glass ornaments can break and injure a kitty. Place tempting ornaments up high. Better yet, place the dangerous ornaments in a room the cat cannot get into.
  3. Chocolate is a poison for both cats and dogs. Usually it will only make your pet ill, but it can kill. Make sure visitors know the dangers of chocolate being around your pets.
  4. Plants such as mistletoe, holly and poinsettias are poisonous to cats if eaten. Place them up high and out of reach of twitching noses. If you have a cat that generally likes to nibble the indoor plants, it is strongly recommended that you refrain from bringing these plants in to the home at all.
  5. The Christmas tree, cats love Christmas trees. The tree can be like an enormous playground for your cats. Cats can shred a tree, knock it over or destroy all of the ornaments. Buy a tree that does not shed needles. Place weights at the bottom of the tree and secure the top to something rock steady. Place dangly ornaments up high, hopefully out of paws reach. Spray the base of the tree with a diluted solution of lemon juice. Place pinecones around the base of the tree so your cats hopefully won’t get too close.

A Cat Christmas:

  1. Cats often feel left out or overwhelmed by all of the Christmas activity. Set aside special time to play and cuddle with your cat.
  1. Make a safe room for your cat to retreat to if it all gets to be too much for your cat. Place a note on the door telling others not to enter. Put the cat’s bed, favorite toys, a litter tray, and fresh water in the room.
  2. Cats need Santa to bring them toys, too. Any cat would enjoy a stocking with a few new toys.

Here’s hoping you and your loved little cat have a wonderful and safe Christmas Season!


– Written by Linzy Trueblood, owner of Passionate 4 Pets in Orange County, CA

PetsitUSA Blog

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My Visit to Dog-Friendly Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas

Even if you’re not an HGTV lover like I am, you’re no doubt familiar with Chip and Joanna Gaines of “Fixer Upper.” From the show to a bestselling book to an upcoming magazine,…

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Grandparents are the first best friends a child has. Their stories and wisdom are passed on to the next generation with their love and kindness. A grandpa is the best caretaker and the time spent with him contains the most loving and impressionable memories. Wish your grandpa on their birthday and tell them how much […]

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Sunflower Faith

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Last Minute Gift Guide!

OK, procrastinators, the time has come to make your holiday decisions! Have no fear, though, because it’s not too late to order a gift for your favorite dog or dog lover. Check out our picks…

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Win Bully Sticks from Bully Bundles!

Regular readers of DogTipper know how much we like to give our Irie and Tiki bully sticks. Both dogs have fractured teeth on marrow bones so we’ve switched them to bully sticks for their…

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Woman tosses dog into traffic, relieves herself in patrol car

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Zen Dogs by Alex Cearns — A Book Review

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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WE NEED YOUR HELP – In Honor of Emmett!

We Need Your Help! Emmett The Brave's Child Neurology Foundation Parent Coach Program Fundraising Campaign

Emmett The Brave’s Child Neurology Foundation Parent Coach Program Fundraising Campaign

When Emmett was given the diagnosis of Infantile Spasms on August 9th, 2016, our lives were instantly thrown upside down. In addition to learning that our 7 month old baby boy had, out of nowhere, one of the most dangerous forms of childhood epilepsy (one that in the vast majority of cases has an incredibly poor prognosis), and despite a wonderful team of caring doctors and nurses, we were left feeling overwhelmed. Navigating the medical, social, economic, and psychological challenges of having a child newly diagnosed with a serious neurological condition is both isolating and horrifying. You are suddenly buried in an abundance of unfamiliar medical terms and expected to make tough decisions that will affect your child, with no experience – all while attempting to emotionally digest what is undoubtedly some of the worst news you’ll ever receive.

This is where having another parent – one who has walked the same path – as an advocate for you is so important. We were lucky in that we had a few other parents who had been through this reach out to us to share their stories, but we would have done anything to have an actual person with experience by our side to help us navigate this terrifying new journey. Thankfully, Child Neurology Foundation is in the process of building an incredible program that will offer Parent Coaches to help guide other parents and caregivers going through the same experience. And I am humbly asking you – Emmett’s friends, family, and fans – to consider helping us and CNF expand this program so more parents can give back, and so those new to the path never have to walk alone.

We will never forget, and never stop being grateful for, the positive thoughts, prayers, and general love from all of YOU, that have helped him, and us, through the most devastating experience of our lives. While Emmett’s journey is not over, we feel incredibly fortunate for how well he is doing. He has been an “exception” when it comes to Infantile Spasms, with a very good chance of continuing to develop normally and lead a typical life. And that is why we feel it is our karmic responsibility (truly) to help other parents who are faced with this journey. It is also something we feel we can do in Emmett’s honor, as a way to continue to cheer him on through therapy, doctor and specialist appointments, and childhood/life, now that (hopefully!) the most difficult part of this is over for us.

During this season of giving and in the new year, please consider making a donation, no matter how small (even $ 1!), to Emmett’s the Brave’s CNF Parent Coach Program campaign. So many of you have already done so much to help Emmett, and we know that it may not be possible to help with this as well. Even just sharing this post and or the campaign link (there are even links to share directly on your social media channels via the fundraising page) is so greatly appreciated and would mean so much to my family. And if you can donate, please know that your dollars will be going directly toward building something truly incredible that will ultimately make a profound difference in the lives of other families going through heart wrenchingly difficult and uncertain times.

We promise we will keep you updated about this absolutely wonderful program, including our own roles as possible future Parent Coaches – so that, in honor of our Emmett, we can devote ourselves to making this journey easier for others.

From Emmett the Brave, his sister Essley, and his parents Melissa and Robbie, happy holidays and happy 2017! We love you guys.

P.S. Check out this beautiful flip book put together by Child Neurology Foundations outlining all of their accomplishments in 2016! We are so honored that Emmett’s neurologist is featured on page 10, and our family on page 11. Thank you CNF!


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Jax the dog wears Doggles to help him see better

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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