Friday, July 31, 2015

8 People Types Who Should Read 'All Dogs Go to Kevin' - Book Review + Giveaway!

I received a Digital Galley advance copy of this book from the publisher for my "reviewing convenience." And I was like, "Hot dang!" Because I've been reading Dr. V's blog, Pawcurious, for years, and I would've read the book anyway.*  I would not, however, have reviewed the book if I had not thought y'all should read it too. (Or, at the very least, gift it to someone who fits one or more of the people types in this review, doggone it.) And, while I'm being honest, there are affiliate links below. Your purchase will not only support the author, but also my high-end coffee pets' high-end treat habits. On behalf of all of us, thank you.☺

* In fact, she had me in 2012, when she published the dog** parody of Poe's "The Raven." I'll have you know, I am still finding (under layers of dusty dog hair) dried up remnants of my blown mind in the crevices around my computer desk.
** The dog in the Poe parody is named Kekoa, an endearing black lab rescue, who also has a prominent role in the book.

by Dr. Jessica Vogelsang

From the publisher: "ALL DOGS GO TO KEVIN is a humorous and touching memoir that will appeal to anyone who has loved an animal or lost hours in James Herroit's classic veterinary stories."

I wouldn't know about the James Herroit thing; I've not lost even a minute in his stories (simply because they've never before crossed my path to read). But I will say this: if Herroit's writing is anything like Dr. Vogelsang's, I'd be smart to click over to the Kindle store as soon as this review is published!

My summary of ALL DOGS GO TO KEVIN: A memoir (meaning real-life, first-person life story/non-fiction) about a self-described nerdy female human who discovers - among other things - she's an animal person (after getting a dog as a kid), grows up, eventually gets married, goes to vet school, has some kids, and gets a job. Oh, and she gets a couple other dogs and a cat along the way, and learns a bunch of poignant lessons (from her dogs) about the life-altering love of animals. (Bam!)

Oh, and *full disclosure* some pets die. And maybe a person. And there are some really gross scenes in a morgue (unless you're a pathologist, and enjoy morgues. Speaking of morgues, Dr. V, what the heck was in that bag?! No, really, I need to know).

Wait a second.

What kind of lame review is this, anyway? I'm trying to convince you to READ this book, right?!

Oh. Kay.

So, it's really funny (I awkwardly cackled and snorted a few times at my neighborhood pool). And I rushed to tell my husband a few of the crazy vet clinic stories.

I also sobbed (in between snort fests at the neighborhood pool), but not because anyone died (I misted a little when those happened). I sobbed because *I* (from about age 12) wanted to go to vet school, too - was accepted and enrolled in a pre-veterinary track at N.C. State University, even. But at the last possible minute - and as a complete surprise - I received an appointment to attend a military academy (100% free education), which started me on a life trajectory as far from veterinary medicine as I could imagine.*** My point being, parts of the book were emotionally hard on me. But I'm better for it, you know? A little ugly cry (while submerged in the 5-ft section of one's pool) can be incredibly cathartic. Also, shedding tears underwater is odd (like my face was all squished up and stuff, but I couldn't feel anything coming out of my eyes. Never mind☺).

*** Until five years ago, when I acquired two corgis, and installed a revolving door on my house for abandoned and misfit cats. Then those events serendipitously necessitated my beginning this blog, with which I have realized my previously repressed dream of being an animal-related comedy writer.

Random, subliminal message meme.

OK, people. Whether you need further persuasion or you're like me, and have a tendency to skim straight to the bullets in blog posts, you're in luck: take a look at this list and see if you (or someone you know well enough to pass a book to) fits any of these types. If yes, then you should probably go ahead and read the book.

People Types Who Should Read "All Dogs Go to Kevin":
  • Ladies who work in jobs that require occasional bending, stooping and lifting of large, often squirmy, items. 
  • People who have had to pick up, wipe/scrub off, smell or look at poop which is not their own.
  • Those who've had (or plan to have) babies and dogs at the same time.
  • Crossword puzzle and Scrabble fans (you're gonna learn some new words****).
  • People who've ever taken a pet to the vet.
  • People who've ever been teased.
  • Busy people who only have a couple hours a day, if that, to read a book (this one is a page-turner).
  • Anyone who's ever wondered about the presence of pets in the hereafter. 
**** Including (unless you already know it) "sonorous." (Note: If you're a long-time reader of this blog, you might recall I once denounced the word and refused to speak it aloud in public. Well, as of today, I retract that statement. HOWEVER, I still strongly recommend never using it as your dog's name.)

So, did you recognize yourself (or anyone else) in that list??

Well, hold on a minute! Before you run off to Amazon, the publisher is giving away a hardcover book to one of my readers (who's based in the US or Canada)! Yay!

To enter, LEAVE ME A COMMENT with the name and breed/species of your first (cherished) pet! (Mine was my Siamese cat, Thomas, whom I got when I was in kindergarten.) Once you do, click the Rafflecopter widget (below) and record your entry (I'll use the Rafflecopter to randomly select the winner). One entry per person, please!

Good luck!
(I'll announce the winner on Facebook and Twitter, the morning after the contest closes.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sweatin' to the Summertime Oldies: Corgi Beach Karaoke with Jon Farleigh, Dewi and Merrick Seasonals Dog Food

Note: This post has nothing to do with exercising to old music, leg warmers, or Richard Simmons.

Disclosure: There's no beach in our backyard. Just pretend the brown grass is sand.


Merrick has given me (for free) 100% of their summer seasonals dog food pictured and 88.6% of the creative spark for this blog post. The dogs' good looks, tacky holiday-themed accessories, singing voices and opinions, however, are 100% their own.

And with that, here's Jon Farleigh. 

[Shhh, y'all. Please don't let on that you've noticed his outfit. You wouldn't believe how hard it was for me to get him to go on camera like this!]

Thanks for coming, everybody; I'm Jon Farleigh.

When I think of summertime, six things come to mind:
  1. Meat
  2. Getting hot
  3. Cooling off
  4. Meat and fish
  5. Foods that go well with meat and fish
  6. Singing festive songs
OK, maybe there's an extra meat in there, but it's like this: When I'm slinking around the backyard and all that grill smoke goes wafting by my nostrils, it just makes thinking about anything but meat near impossible. Shoot, I should've added a third (and in all caps) MEAT to that list! (Next year, for sure!)

Tip: Click the play button down below for a heightened sensory grilling-experience.

But before I get going here, let's just make a couple things clear (for us dogs):
  • Meat is good, but GRILLS ARE HOT! Just DO NOT get on, nor anywhere near, them while the peeps are charring that meat! Have you ever smelled burning fur? No? Well, I smelled some burning peep fur that got caught in the hair dryer, and let me tell you, IT SMELLS BAD. Nasty, burning fur smell does NOT mingle well with burning meat smell. Plus, singed fur. Just no. 
  • Meat is good, but the human kind, with the grease and sticky marlinades (sp?) and stuff? It WILL MAKE YOUR colon BLOW (pardon my French), if you eat too much! And by too much, I mean, not even enough to make you full! Yes, it sucks! But think of your colon, and - for the love of regularity - be happy with the measly scraps they throw you!

Hold up; I dropped my bribe treat. Hey, does that say "POO"?? 

OK, I'm back.

Hey, you know that old peep saying that you "can't have your cake and eat it too"? (Ha, you can have it IN YOUR BELLY. Sorry, I digress.) Well, guess what? It doesn't apply to grilled meat! Nope, thanks to the magic chefs at Merrick - who cooked up all their new, summer seasonals* recipes - we can have our grilled meat (no flames required) AND...EAT IT ALL! (OK, not all, as in a whole truckload of a seasonals recipe, but enough to fill your regular-sized dinner plate!) Woo hoo! Yay for summer and Merrick dog food!

Do you know what else? With all the delicious, summer music-inspired recipe names, I thought Dewi and I would do a little karaoke for you all! Maybe your peep'll get you some of this mouth-slobbering summertime food, so you can have some dinner while you watch! It'll be like we're having a virtual barbecue on the brown grass dog beach! 

Hey, Dewi, you're up! Get over here!

(to Jon Farleigh, off camera) Yeah, man. What am I supposed to be doing?

(Jon Farleigh, from off camera) Turn around and talk to the party-ers, ya dork!

(Dewi, to himself) Takes one to know one, butt munch.

Oh, hey, y'all. Having fun yet? What was that? You say, "your fun quotient will rise a thousand percent when JF and me get up and sing"?? Well, HOT DOG! Let's get this party started, baby!

Yee haaaaaaaaaaw!

Inspired by Summer Lovin' Stew™...

Summer Nights (Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, Grease original soundtrack)

Click the play button to hear the song!

♪♪ Summer lovin' had me a blast.

♪♪ Summer lovin' happened so fast.

♪♪ Met a girl crazy for me.

♪♪ Met a boy cute as can be.

♪♪ Summer days drifting away
To, uh oh, those summer nights.

Well-a well-a well-a huh?

::: CUT! :::

Oh, NO! The karaoke stops right here, y'all! There's nothing more to tell here, got it?!

(darn straight.)

Alright, alright. That's not the only song we're playing. Check this out...

Inspired by Surf n' Turf USA™...

Surfin' USA
(The Beach Boys)

Click play, if you wanna hear it!

corgi dewi sings karaoke

♪♪ If everybody had an ocean
Across the USA.
Then everybody'd be surfin'
Like Californi-a.

♪♪ You'd see 'em wearing their baggies
Huarache sandals too.
A bushy bushy blond hairdo
Surfin' USA.


What the heck is this song even about, man? I'm talking about surf n' turf! Steak and shrimp! If everybody had an ocean, everybody'd need a fishing pole! And what the fudge pudding does a bushy bushy blond hairdo have to do with it?! Maybe we can see the hibachi sandals...wait. HIBACHI SANDALS? Surfer shoes double as hibachi's??

OMD, that's just DUMB!

But speaking of shrimp, hold up, y'all! It's time for our bribe snack...

OK, next up: our finale! Let's leave this brown lawn sandbox with a BANG, y'all!

Inspired by Star Spangled Supper™...

The Star-Spangled Banner
(Francis Scott Key, lyrics)

You know the drill!

♪♪ O! Say can you...


You know what? Some songs are better left unsung by two hammy Cardigan corgis, agreed? But the kids who're singing in that sound clip? Give them a listen, K?

What an AWESOME country this is, y'all!

Hey, wasn't this fun? Let's do it again sometime, OK? Bye, now!

(Jon Farleigh to a fan on the front row) What's that? A pawtograph? Yeah, find me in the yard later. 

* Just like their year-round wet dog food recipes, Merrick seasonals (in addition to having punny names) are always grain-free, contain real, deboned meat as the first ingredient, and are made in the USA, in Merrick's own kitchen, using locally sourced ingredients. Give them a follow on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and deals!

Psst! Hey, you! Wait up a minute. I'm Chef Bobby Flay O'Fish, and you can't leave without one LAST song from me, the feline grilling (and Cardi-house) master himself!

Though, please note: I DO NOT eat dog food. But I do eat Merrick CAT food when it's served. 

Here we go: Barnyard on the Grill (by Jeff YokeUp Petkevicius)!


♪♪ Barnyard on the grill
It's a barnyard on the grill.
It's cows and pigs and chicken on a heap
Cuz that's what we all love to eat!
(repeat verse)

Let's go barbecue! 

{drops mic}

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Epic, Classic Cardigan: Did you know I wrote a pet-parody of Bohemian Rhapsody AND Wayne's World? Here it is.

I will never forget that sunny Saturday afternoon - sitting at my kitchen table - when I finished writing these lyrics. They had been days and countless re-writes in the making, and before that, the cause of MONTHS of angst-producing thought-percolation in my head.

When the last word was on paper (I wrote the whole thing long-hand), I just remember dropping my pen, running to find my husband and reading him the whole silly song. While at the same time, trying - in my quiet voice - to keep the lyrics' emotion and emphasis true to Mercury's original (wasn't even close, but that's OK).

My husband (who, frankly, had hardly ever read my pet humor, much less heard me read it aloud) just looked at me and smiled. I felt like a rockstar.

The piece was (and still is), creatively, the hardest thing I have ever produced for this virtual space, maybe ever. It's my epic rock ballad of dog-blog parodies.

And now, two years later, I give it to you afresh (and slightly revised). It still makes me feel like a rockstar. And I sure hope it makes you smile! ☺


Dwayne's World Presents: Bohemian Dog Rhapsody (a song parody)

In case you aren't aware (and most of you won't be), I used to employ Dwayne (pictured above) on the blog as a roving tabloid reporter (of sorts). Here's his job experience. He was pretty good, if you ask me. But a while back - rumor has it - he went on a reporting sabbatical in the Chihuahuan Desert, and after that, well, word was he hooked up with some frizzy red-headed guy named Darth. And the two of them? Well, they got into this retro, public-access TV thing (as in: they had their own show called Dwayne's World - consisting mostly of a bunch of mindless blather and music videos). 

Yeah, I wasn't buying any of that malarkey, either (who does public-access TV anymore?). But then - out of the clear blue sky - I heard from Dwayne himself. And he told me it was all true. Then he sent me something for all of you (sort of a belated adios-and-have-a-nice-life e-card). I think you'll like it. 

Such a talent, that Dwayne. Gosh, I miss him!


 Dwayne's World presents...

You'll laugh. You might cry. But, please, don't hurl; it's unbecoming.

Bohemian Dog Rhapsody

by Knave
(Queen canine cover band)

Tip: Click the PLAY button on the player below for the instrumental/karaoke track, so you can sing along! DO IT! ☺

♪♫♪♫ Is this my life?
It seems such a tragedy. 
Caught in a warped mind.
No escape from this parody.
Open your eyes.
It's just make believe, you see?
I'm just a red boy, from a red family.

And I am easy come, easy go
Never high, always low
Any way the wind blows, it's just passing gas to me.


Mama, just licked a (small) man.

Put my tongue upon his head
Dragged it hither, now he's wet.
Mama, I had just begun
But he squealed, and then he shoved my head away.
Mama, ooooh

Didn't mean to get his eye
But it'll dry, and if not, I'll need to borrow...
The ShamWow, the ShamWow
As if slobber really matters.


I see a boy who stacks legos with his hands.
Wants a pooch; wants a pooch
Have you tried the Petango?
Thunderbolt and lightning, pups might find it frightening
Try these (thundershirts - not an endorsement).

Galileo! Galileo! Galileo!




But I'm just a red boy and everybody loves me.
He's just a red boy, from a red family.

Spare him his pride from this blog malady.
Easy come, easy go - will you let him go?
Pepto Bismol! No - she will not let him go - let him go!
Pepto Bismol! She will not let him go - let him go!
(blah blah blah)
Never let me go - let me go!
Never let me go - oooh
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
Oh, mama mia, mama mia, mama mia, let me go.

The peeps at have a web page set aside for me.
For me.
For meeeeee!

(Hint: click image to crank up the volume!)

So you think you can make me a frat boy who smells pie?
Wrap bacon round my neck then leave me high and dry?

I Smelta Pie

Oh, baby, you must me bat-$#*t crazy!
I just gotta get out, just gotta get up outta here!


Ooh yeah, ooh yeah
As if slobber really matters
Really, can't you see?
Slobber doesn't matter to me.

♪♫♪♫ Any way the wind blows...

The End


Pure genius, it is (the video, and Jim Henson)!


P.S. Dwayne's World isn't really real; neither is Wayne's World


If you could turn a song into a parody about your pet, which song would you choose? 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

(Besides the Obvious) 5 Reasons I'm Happy to to Be Home From the BlogPaws Conference

For the most part, conferences (especially when they're in popular vacation spots, like Las Vegas and Nashville, for example) are fun. So much fun, in fact, that I need about three days to recover after returning home. 

(Note: Recover = sleep and minimal mental exertion = for example, {to child} "No, I can't drive you to X place at 8 a.m." and {to husband} "Sorry, but am I going to have to actually get up, get dressed and talk to the irrigation people when they get here? Or will they just remember what you told them on the phone, do all the work and leave quietly?")

The good news is that it's been three days since I returned home from the BlogPaws Pet Blogger and Social Media conference in Nashville, TN, so I'm refreshed and raring to put to use some of the many things I learned! The bad news? I have to deep clean my whole house in preparation for events surrounding my daughter's graduation from high school this weekend, so those ambitions will have to wait until next week. (Also, yes, I am aware that it's almost Friday, which doesn't give me a lot of time for chores. Let's just say the "deep" in "deep clean" is relative.☺)

That's me, walking the red carpet before the BlogPaws Nose-to-Nose Awards gala. My blog was a finalist in two categories: Best Blog Design and Best Humor Blog. I did not win.**  I was, however, awarded a certificate of excellence for my blog's About page.
image courtesy BlogPaws and

Here is the full, live-streamed Nose-to-Nose Awards ceremony, if you care to see it. The video will start (I'm sorry, I'm just so thrilled my little blog was mentioned, I had to cut it right to the chase!) where the Best (pet blog) About Page is announced.

But back to BlogPaws for a bit: Holy dog and cat, what a flipping good time! There is so much I could say about the learning (in acclaimed author and Vietnam veteran, Lon Hodge, aka "Mr. Gander's" creative writing session, titled, The Raccoons Stole My Peanut Butter; award-winning writer and blogger, Maggie Marton's authenticity in writing session; and the Web-building genius, Jill Caren's advanced SEO session, just to name a few places). But, I won't - because I'd bore you and you'd leave, and I don't want you to leave because I have an important list for you to read. (In only 3.5 more minutes, I promise!)

And, don't even get me started on the fantastic people (I can't name them all, so I won't even try. If I talked to you at the conference, consider yourself included. Except for that one person who looked at me like I was a five-headed alien...KIDDING! No one looked me that way {not to my face, anyway})! ☺ 

Then there were all the pets...oh my gosh, SO many (besides my own, who were chilling at home)! Here's just a small sample (shot with my cell phone). 

So this is Adorable Sleeping Foster Kitten (I don't know his real name, nor who was holding him, because I was running. If someone else knows, please let me know in comments so I can correct!)

And here we have the lovely (and terribly modest) Luna and her mama, Jessica S. (fellow Virginians, I will add), from the budget-conscious and DIY dog-blog, Beagles and Bargains

(Nope, I am not sh^tting you.☺) Any Instagram-ers out there? If so, you might recognise Priscilla here! She and her bro, Poppleton (who is smooshed down in the stroller beside her), the mini-pigs are BIG Instagram stars, with nearly half a MILLION followers! (@prissy_pig) (I still can't believe I saw these two at the conference.)
And last, but not least, for Corgi Nation...

This is the lovely Eve Corgi Coulter (aka "VP of Princessology"), who, along with her brother, Ty Coulter, are the stars of the popular blog and Facebook page, Corgilicious! (Miss Eve was the ONLY corgi at the conference, and meeting her made my whole day!)

Y'all, this was my fourth BlogPaws conference, and let me tell you, it takes massive will-power (and practice, I've learned) to get anything "serious" accomplished with all the critters running around! And they are all so well-behaved!

Do you wanna know a secret? I started pining for Jon Farleigh, Dewi and (most of) my cats by the second night. Yep. Turns out it's hard for me to sleep un-cramped in a queen bed, in relative silence (relative to the humming of the kitchen exhaust fan, just beyond the balcony). So even though I had a wonderful time in Nashville (including getting out on the town for a day), it was really good to get home to my furry family (and, I suppose, the un-furry family, too). ☺

That's not all. I've realized, this week, a few other (less-obvious) reasons I'm happy to be home, too. Perhaps you can relate. 

5 Less-Obvious Reasons I'm Happy to Be Home From the BlogPaws Conference

1. No more loneliness in the bathroom! Seriously. I never know how much I appreciate furry potty-time companionship until I'm without it for a stretch. 

2. (And speaking of potty-time...) REGULARITY! As in, it's back! (Can someone please tell me what it is about not being able to go when one is away from home? Especially when one has a roommate? I mean, it's not like (in my own experience) I eat any less, or fewer fiber-rich foods (I might even eat more fiber), or that I'm actively trying to will off the urge for several days straight - it just simply DOES NOT HAPPEN. But when I'm home? {hurry! insert mental image of baby foxes in a hollowed out log, to cancel out the other...image of a baby panda in a bamboo thicket!}

3. Less-than-casual Fridays are back! OK, less-than-casual ALL the days! (Less-than-casual = pajamas or too-embarrassing-for-even-the-grocery-store sweats. Oh, and no makeup.) Hoorah!

4. (Here's one that many of us probably take for granted...) I'm the best blogger in the room! (I'm just saying, there should be an award for that. And if you're NOT a blogger? Well, just insert whatever it is that you ARE: freelance writer, mom, bookkeeper, painter, 900# phone operator, WHATEVER! If you're the only one in the room, you're the BEST! ☺

5. And, finally (this one is pretty confined to my personal situation, I have to say), 99.42% confidence (after all the learning I did in the advanced SEO class at BlogPaws) that NO ONE is going to find this blog post through a Google search! (.58% of me is still hopeful that someone will look up "SHY BOWELS WHEN AWAY FROM HOME + BLOGPAWS," because then, I win! Woo!) 

And to were right: There's no place like home! (♪♪ Dun dun dun dun dun...dun dun dun! ♪♪)

OK, what did I leave off the list, you guys? Anything? Did you go to BlogPaws (or any other conference, ever)? Why are you glad to be home?

* BlogPaws '16 is going to be in Phoenix, AZ! Will you be there, too? 

** The Nose-to-Nose award for Best Blog Design went to Jessica W. and You Did What With Your Wiener. The award for Best Pet Humor Blog went to Jennifer C. and My Brown Newfies & Me. If you haven't already, check them out!


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