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“The public should be taught to demand a sound, healthy dog, bred and raised in sanitary environment…” Captain Wm. Lewis Judy, Founder of National Dog Week and Dog World Publisher

Far too often, people continue to support the puppy mill system with their purchases of dogs at retail outlets. To protect the buyer, and to put a stop to the secretive abhorrent practices of the puppy milling business, laws are created and passed, however, the enforcement of these laws  must occur to bring about positive change. We can end all this if we choose to adopt our pets, or to work with breeders who truly love and care about the dogs they bring into the world, even after the sale is complete. If you truly love all dogs, you understand.

Thank you Janice Patterson Fisher for this update found below and your work on behalf of our dogs.

As some of you know, a new consumer protection law became effective on June 1, 2015 enhancing the Puppy Lemon Law for all customers buying a puppy from a pet store in the state of New Jersey. This law is the Pet Store Disclosure Act that specifically requires pet stores to provide specific breeder information on each cage cards, including two years’ worth of USDA inspection reports for the breeder/broker of any puppy offered for sale in a pet store. Cage cards must now include: breeder name, address, e-mail address, if available, USDA-license number. Most importantly, no New Jersey pet store may buy puppies from a breeder unless he possesses a USDA license and a state license, if a state license is required.

For many years, New Jersey pet stores refused to divulge breeder information to customers until the sale of a puppy was complete. The only logical reason for this is that they shuttered to think what a customer would feel should they know the truth…that these puppies are mass bred in commercial facilities known as puppy mills. According to the New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs (a premium club consisting of over 80 breed-specific clubs), no responsible breeder would sell to a pet store. Therefore, New Jersey pet stores had but one source: puppy mills.

Even with this law in effect, the majority of New Jersey pet stores have not fully complied. Despite visits and warnings from the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and assistance from New Jersey animal advocates, these stores appeared to hedge their bets that the state would not truly enforce the penalties. But they were wrong; in December, these stores received an early Christmas present in the “package” of Notices of Violation – Fines – from the state for failure to adhere to the law.

Some stores have complained that their errors were clerical. Not so. Each and every store was visited by state investigators. A copy of the law was provided. Time was provided to them to come into compliance.

The law is simple to read. Provide specific breeder information on the cage cards and conspicuously post USDA inspection reports on or near the cage. Not hard to follow. These stores obviously chose not to follow the law and continue to hide the fact that the puppies they sell come from despicable brokers and breeders.

Let’s hope that these fines teach the puppy-milling industry a lesson….they are not above the law and all consumers have a right to know how a product is manufactured. In this case, and unfortunately, the product is a living being – a puppy and it is “manufactured” in the most inhumane way.

http://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases16/Pet-Shop-Violations-CHART-01042016.pdf

McFarlandcoverbutch

Dog’s Best Friend has been nominated for a Maxwell Medallion by the Dog Writers Association of America

 

Happy New Year. 2015 ended with some amazing news surrounding Dog’s Best Friend and my work on behalf of the National Dog Week Movement. I thank so many of you for your interest and support and wish you all a very rewarding and successful New Year!

Who Let the Dogs In? New Online Exhibit Captures the Legacy of Captain Will Judy and National Dog Week

 In collaboration with Amy Breyer, Executive Director of the Animal History Museum, I am pleased to announce that my online exhibit was successfully curated and went live on the museum’s site in December.  This innovative exhibit, titled “Who Let the Dogs In?”, chronicles the inspiring history of National Dog Week and its founder, Captain William Lewis Judy.

Americans have enjoyed a long-time love affair with animals – domesticated and wild. However, despite anecdotal evidence highlighting the important role that animals play in our lives, there has been little formal, institutional acknowledgement of their significance. To fill that void, the Animal History Museum seeks to explore, honor and advance our understanding of the complex and evolving nature of man’s interactions with, and relationship to, the other species around us. The museum’s mission: understanding and celebrating the human-animal bond.

Established online in January 2012, the Animal History Museum is being developed by a team of professionals who are passionate about all things animal, serving and educating all ages and segments of the general public. With the establishment of a physical site in Los Angeles County, California, the Animal History Museum will become the leading facility in the nation designed solely for the collection, preservation and exploration of the history, culture, science and law relating to the relationship between human and non-human animals.

The museum’s website offers several other inspiring online exhibits as well, including: “The Wildlife Photography of Donald D. Feare”, “Stories of Older Animal Adoption”, “Sit, Stay, Say Cheese! The Early History of Animal Photography, 1850-1915”, “Breaking Stereotypes: America’s Pit Bull Rescues and the Human Animal Bond”, and “I’m Ready for My Close-up Mr. Casteel: The Making of Underwater Dogs.”

As the author of Will Judy: Founder of National Dog Week and Dog World Publisher (McFarland & Co.), I am honored to be part of an establishment dedicated to presenting exhibitions, lectures, and other activities that are consistent with, and supportive of, the museum’s educational goals and purpose.

Captain Will Judy, as he was known, was a pioneer in the dog-care industry, and one of the founders of the DWAA. As a prolific writer, author and publisher of Dog World  Magazine for decades, Judy almost single-handedly shaped the way modern dogs are regarded in America. Most importantly, he was responsible for making sure the nation’s dogs got their week, and still do, during the last full week of September each year with National Dog Week

I hope you enjoy “Who Let the Dogs In?” and will take a virtual tour of the Animal History Museum as well:  http://animalhistorymuseum.org

 

An illustration from Will Judy's book, Don't Call A Man A Dog. 1949

An illustration from Will Judy’s book, Don’t Call A Man A Dog. 1949

In 1949, on writing about patients in veterans’ hospitals and the role of dogs in their treatment and recovery Will Judy wrote,”The presence and companionship of dogs, the observation of their playful antics has helped patients on their way back to normal thinking and living.”

In 2010, upon commencing my research and writing of the biography of Captain William Lewis Judy, I reached out to those in the dog community. One of those individuals was Rose Russo who helped me on my path to “dogdom” by sharing her personal experience and insight on the importance of dogs in our lives. As this year’s theme for National Dog Week is “At Your Service-All-ways” I invited Rose to be our guest blogger responding to the question, “How have dogs impacted your life when coping with life’s challenges?” We arethankful that she agreed to be our special guest blogger for the 87 Observance of National Dog Week.

Rose and her girls who have changed her life.

Rose and her girls who have changed her life.”Okay, which one of you was driving?” We don’t think she gave them a ticket!

“If you are lucky enough to have a service dog then the person you should be thanking is Will Judy. Will Judy was an attorney; soldier and author who realized that dogs serve not only as pets but can assist soldiers in their everyday life and help them cope with the tragedy of war. His instrumental work on National Dog week allows all of us to now have this growing phenomenon, and allows those of us who suffer from physical and mental tragedies to live our lives to the fullest extent possible.

Service Dogs are a very underutilized medical necessity. They have changed the lives of the blind and assist many other in daily life tasks so essential to survival. Even at a time when many are complaining that the use of service dogs has risen unnecessarily, they are an essential need for many.

I could not function without my service dogs. On Sept 11, 2001, I was a New York City Detective. While assisting in the recovery efforts I suffered a disabling nerve disorder (Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome) that will continue to get worse over time. For many years I had difficulty – mentally and physically – with daily life tasks. My anxiety and depression was at an all time high. It was then that I was introduced to the possibility of a service dog. I was skeptical to say the least. But after working with my girls (two King Charles spaniels) my life started to change.

I am now able to conduct many basic daily activities, such as a simple walk in the park, without tremendous fear and anxiety. Without my service dogs I could never have been able to fly again. They have been instrumental in my life and many others. Service dogs have assisted children with court room testimony and even teenagers going off to college being able to cope with life away from their family.

I am currently working with many individuals, especially police officers, who have been able to change their lives due to their service animal. One officer I have worked with was involved in a shooting and became confined to inside his home. He was unable to leave his home and return to work. Through the help of a service dog he has been able to regain the confidence to live his life to the fullest extent possible.

Service dogs are not only needed they are necessary for many to live a full and healthy life. But the program is not without faults. Many have abused the system and taken advantage of a program that was designed to assist those in dire need. Even the Americans with Disability Act allows some of this fraudulent activity by only allowing business owner to ask two basic questions of a patron with a service dog; is this dog used for a disability and what tasks does the dog perform? Without further investigation or proof this allows many to scam the system.

But just because of some fraudulent activity the system should not be broken down. States could easily provide licenses or endorsement on a driver’s license to make the service dog program more trusted and official.

Service dogs are an essential necessity for many and are helping those who suffer to function in life and even live life beyond what they had ever thought possible. As those coping with mental and physical disabilities become more understood, people will hopefully continue to see how necessary these dogs are to those unable to cope with the daily physical and mental activities of life and allow them to live the life they want and deserve.”

Thank you Rose  for being an important part of the mission of Will Judy’s National Dog Week during its 87th Observance and beyond. We hope you all will LIKE our Facebook page and become part of its mission, too. Happy National Dog Week everyone. https://www.facebook.com/National-Dog-Week-218596591491974/timeline/ and visit www.lisabegin-kruysmanauthor.com

Meet Honk Honk Fisher, the first (and pawsibly only) dog to be driven around the world

Meet Honk Honk Fisher, the first (and pawsibly only) dog to be driven around the world

This summer, my thoughts are focused on dogs and travel. Having just returned from California, I had the privilege of signing copies of Around the World in 1909: Harriet White Fisher and Her Locomobile (American History Press) at the fabulous Bookshop Santa Cruz venue. This story begins in New Jersey and meanders through the NoCal region so it was especially fitting, and of course it features the incredible Boston bull terrier, Honkie, the first dog to be literally driven around the world. In keeping with this traveling theme, I introduce a pair of sisters who have published a book that has Captured: The Look of the Dog in their own unique manner. Welcome Fern and Gloria!

Cover of Captured!

Cover of Captured!

According to Fern and Gloria, dogs nationwide are begging their humans to read this book. Dog lovers and their best friends now have an evocative whimsical read. This collection of fictional short stories, poems, prose and faceted photographs expose the reader to a fanciful awareness of canines. It answers questions like, “Poo Diddy Poo?” – do dogs have bad hair days – including revealing details of puppy pee-mail.

One reviewer writes…
This book is essential for all dog lovers and pet parents! It captures the essence of dogs – the images itself are beautiful, and the copy is clever and very well-written. You can tell that the authors put their heart and soul (and paws) into this book – and it turned out wonderfully.
Another stated…

It is a good read and not too long and not too short. It is just the right amount of each dog and their little story. It makes you laugh, smile and in some case sad or makes you think. This book makes you want to read more and get to the next dog and the next story. It captures your mind and in some stories your heart!
Captured! is available via Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com.

Websites: http://www.GloriaYarina.com and http://www.FernGoodman.com

In keeping with our summer travel theme, Gloria and Fern offer these “Oddball Pointers” (their own words) for First Time Dog Travelers:

Before you go-go…
If you are staying at a pet friendly establishment for the first time, make sure to ask them if there are adequate outdoor accommodations. You would think since they are pet friendly, they would have thought of the excrement ramifications, but don’t assume. There is nothing worse than being surrounded by cement or stairs or on the fifth floor when your Labradoodle has to diddle in a hurry.

Speaking of the fifth floor. Be aware that all pet rooms/cabins are not created on the ground floor. Does your Border Collie know how to climb stairs? Is your Boxer afraid of being boxed in on an elevator? When that elevator door opens, my 90 pound hound mix charges inside, not caring if there is someone trying to get out of the elevator or if they are afraid of him. Find out what floor you’re on.

A word about packing, well two words…extra towels. This is in case of rain or beach excursions. Wet-dog smell is never an air freshener scent. And another three words…extra dog food. You can’t always find your brand if you run out.

And awaaay you go…
When our moms told us, “wear clean underwear in case you’re in an accident” I think she meant in case you have an accident. For years I stuffed a pair of clean underwear in my purse just in case.
Here’s a scenario. Dog travels in a car long distance for the first time, maybe excited, maybe nervous, maybe both. You have the dog in your lap or your dog leans over the front seat or you open the crate to let them pee and PLAHH. Your precious pup pukes on you and your clothes. Have a change of outfit handy is all I’m sayin’.

You arrive…
Examine the room/house where you will be staying. Dog-proof it to eliminate potential disaster. For instance, dead lizards and bugs in corners should be removed to avoid consumption. Floor vases, tail height glass objects, magazines on coffee tables could be transferred to higher elevations.

Out and about…
Be prepared for attention. Strangers may gawk at you like your clothes are on inside out. They’ll want to pet your pooch or feed ‘em while you’re dining. Hopefully they’ll ask permission first. Know what breed of dog you have. You’ll need to know this for curious minds. If you have answers ready you’ll me more relaxed. And isn’t that the goal of travel, to relax? Go for it.

Thank you Gloria and Fern for sharing with the fans of National Dog Week. Safe travels to all!

I know for many, holiday weekend plans are underway already, but I want to relay this message from my friend and fellow dog-welfare advocate, Janice Fisher Patterson, who is trying to garner support for a very important issue. I hope my dog-loving friends will help by calling, sending e-mails, and sharing. Did you catch Janice on a recent segment of Dr. Brian Voynick’s “The Pet Stop” on News 12 NJ, talking about the new Pet Shop Disclosure Law that was recently instituted in the Garden State? Thank you for your support.

New laws can help to prevent the abusive tethering of dogs

New laws can help to prevent the abusive tethering of dogs

A two-minute phone call and e-mail to your state senator and two assemblymen will make a world of difference to dogs that are tethered 24/7 outdoors in the extreme heat and freezing cold.

District 10 lawmakers, Sen. Jim Holzapfel, Asm. David Wolfe and Asm. Gregory McGuckin, have introduced a bill that will prohibit this cruel treatment of dogs.  Besides being subjected to all types of weather extremes causing physical pain, animal attacks, disease and the threat of being stolen for dog fighting, these animals are usually deprived of human interaction, a cruel fate for highly social animals.

Recently local towns have been adopting their own ordinances prohibiting 24/7 tethering, following a sad situation in Plainfield, NJ where a German Shepherd was left outdoors all winter long on a six-foot chain with only a wire crate for shelter.  This is only one example of the neglect that these animals are exposed to at the end of a chain.  These animals are NOT lawn ornaments and they must not be treated that way.

PLEASE help these animals by contacting your legislators (Senator and two Assemblymen) to ask  that they CO-SPONSOR  (S3061/A4628) (anti-tethering and proper shelter bill).  You can find your legislators by accessing the NJ legislature website:  www.njleg.state.nj.us and look to the left of the home page for “Find Your Legislator.”

PLEASE call first and follow up with an e-mail. We thank our caring government officials for promoting the welfare of our Companion Animals. If you have questions for Janice, or you are an animal advocate advocate outside the state of New Jersey, please contact me at pst39crd@aol.com. Thank you.

Author’s Note: I so loved speaking at my town’s library last week. Great reception and I met this ten-year old girl who was fascinated with the story of Harriet White Fisher, her journey, and of course Harriet’s incredible traveling pets!

A young Harriet and Honk Honk fan at a recent local author visit

A young Harriet and Honk Honk fan at a recent local author visit

One of the nice aspects of writing Non-fiction and Biographies is getting to know the living ancestors of your subject matter; such was the case with Will Judy and Harriet White Fisher.

Al Judy and Maya

Al Judy and Maya

In writing a Father’s Day Tribute to Captain Will Judy, I thought it would be fun to include his Great Nephew, Al Judy who introduced himself to me via my Facebook Page established for Dog’s Best Friend: Will Judy, Founder of National Week and Dog World Publisher.

Al Judy was pleased to learn that his accomplished relative, Great Uncle “Bill” (as he was called by family I’ve recently learned) had been given his “day” and his legacy had been shared with the world!

Will Judy married later in life and had no children. However, he was a father-figure to many dogs in his lifetime, his, and the thousands of dogs or more (and their humans) who benefited from his wisdom, experience and guidance offered through the pages of his Dog World Magazine and numerous dog books.

Long before it was fashionable, Will Judy extolled the value of dogs in building good character in our children. He believed that youngsters who cared for dogs developed traits of kindness and responsibility, and developed parenting skills. Over the years, celebrations of National Dog Week included writing contests for kids and events planned by scout troops. National Dog Week was meant to educate everyone, including the young, on dog breeds, dogs who needed good homes, and the physical as well as emotional needs of all dogs.

Keep in mind he wrote about this in the 1930s and 40s, and it may be argued that in our contemporary throw-away society, with its penchant for instant gratification, Judy’s ideas may be viewed as outmoded. I would like to think his views are still valid, however!

Recently, I saw that Al Judy had posted some photos of his adorable dog named Maya on his Facebook page. Maya (nicknamed Doodle Bug) is a seven-year old Standard Jack Russell terrier who came to the Judy household three years ago when a family friend had become too old and infirm to care for her and sought Al’s help . Judy and his family happily obliged and now Al calls Maya a gift. Al Judy’s entire family seems to have gone to the dogs, too, just as Judy had hoped all Americans would.

Descendants of Will Judy and their dogs

Descendants of Will Judy and their dogs


It warms my heart to see this generational progression of a dog-loving family. I know that somewhere in that “Dogdom in the Sky” Will Judy must be smiling down! Al’s mom, who lives in Will Judy’s hometown, has agreed to talk with me, and of course I will share with my good friends here on the NDW Blog. Always learning…the story continues.

Happy Father’s Day to my dad “Jackie Boy” aka Coach Begin, my husband Rich, a father and father-figure to many, and all those father-like “stand-ins” who guide their dogs and humans throughout the course of life.

A Puppy Miller and his

A Puppy Miller and his “merchandise”

“…for the dog is a living breathing thing rather than a piece of fixed merchandise…the breeder has an attachment for his dogs which prevents him from considering them as merchandise on the shelf…”

Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week

As a kid, in the early 1970s, I was an avid-animal lover and a huge fan of a local family-run pet shop on the other side of my hometown (still standing today). My friends and I loved to look at the fish and turtles (you could buy them then), mice and other assorted creatures. This place fueled my passion for animals and I dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, or the owner of a pet shop just like this one. On the occasions when we overstayed our welcome in that shop, we were kindly asked to hang elsewhere. We obeyed, but from outside the shop we looked in the window where we were sometimes thrilled by the vision of puppies for sale.

On occasion, a litter of pups, or kittens, were offered for sale, “donated” to the shop by a local family who needed help finding homes for them. While I did not acquire one of these pups, when I was ten, I asked (pleaded) for a chocolate toy poodle, as I had fallen in love with one that belonged to a family friend. My parents succumbed to pressure, and in the winter of 1969, I became the happy caretaker of a tiny brown pup we named Princess Sheri Cocoa Puff, or “Cokie” for short. I remember going to the breeders home and carrying out this little fluffy bundle of sweetness and love. It was a great learning experience.

However, as an adult, I recall just ten years ago, travelling with my husband in northern Florida and stopping at a large Flea Market where you could buy almost anything…including puppies. Now, at the time, I was ignorant as to the source of these cuddly canines. Like most people, I thought these dogs came from good homes or kennels where humans lovingly raised and cared for them as if they were family members (like Cocoa’s breeder). I did not know the harsh truth behind how these pups came to be both captive and captivating, sitting in their crates in these retail outlets sold to anyone who was charmed and could pay the right price, unceremoniously discounted or discarded if they grew “too old”.

But now I do know, and as someone one who was once so “blissfully” unaware, perhaps I am a good messenger because I do understand how most people really don’t  know the ugly truth behind the origins and lives of these “Rovers of Retail”. Most (some say over 99 percent) of the puppies in these retail outlets are the products of places known as Puppy Mills or Commercial Breeding facilities.

Earlier this year, a “Puppy Lemon Law” was passed in New Jersey requiring pet retailers to present full disclosure regarding the source of their puppies. Today, on June 6th, this law will take on wider scope. To learn more about the history of this legislation, please see these links. http://www.humanesociety.org/news/news_briefs/2014/12/nj-legislature-pm-bill-121914.html  https://www.facebook.com/pwnj.org/posts/820314178038218?fref=nf&pnref=story

I’ve been informed that this new legislation amends the Puppy Lemon Law by giving consumers more rights.   Pet stores must now be more transparent by adhering to the following:   posting breeder information on each cage card for every puppy offered for sale; posting two years of USDA inspection reports on the breeders; they must buy ONLY from USDA-licensed breeders and those breeders cannot have certain violations that affect the health and well-being of the animals.  This law was necessary because pet stores, generally, withheld breeder information from customers until after the sale was complete making it impossible for customers to make an informed purchase rather than an impulse purchase.

Bottom line, even some USDA-licensed breeders don’t provide living conditions for these animals that any pet-lover would approve of.  The USDA only sets forth a “minimum standard of care” so, effectively; a dog can sit in a cage FOR LIFE as long as the cage is six inches taller, six inches longer and six inches wider than the dog.  These pathetic animals not only lack proper housing but they lack socialization and mental stimulation which is why, when you see photos of them, their eyes are lifeless.  They have simply given up.  Once they can no longer breed, they are sold at auction for a couple of dollars and another puppy farmer will squeeze one more litter out of them – and then destroy them.  Would any of you do that to your own pet?  Doubtful….which is why it is so important to STILL not support this industry by purchasing a pet store puppy.

Some people tell me how they “rescued” or “saved” an animal’s life by purchasing a puppy from a pet store. While I applaud their good intentions, I have to relay that in doing so, they helped to perpetuate the cycle of puppy milling by putting money in the hands of these corrupt individuals. Some may say I am anti-commerce…that it isn’t anyone’s business how they make a living as long as it is legal. For the record, in my township, puppy retailers are no longer welcome and we wait the day when the one that remains in operation closes its doors forever.

The world seems to have changed considerably since my innocent days of youthful pet shop visits, but has it really? Back in the 1930s, Will Judy warned about the growth of “puppy factories” and the ensuing adverse effects on canine welfare. The internet and our nation’s throw away mentality and shortening attention spans have not made it a better place, unfortunately. However, we do have the opportunity to educate a new generation of animal lovers and those who choose to be guardians of our Companion Animals.

For the record, in my lifetime, I have acquired pets as gifts, through breeders (mice, dogs, and birds), a duffle bag discarded at my feet (five adorable kittens), a classified ad (best cat ever), a “loan” (beautiful horse), as street strays and through fostering. Aside from fish and those now forbidden turtles, I have never purchased a dog or cat from a pet shop. The laws mentioned above are designed to help the welfare of the nation’s dogs, and to strengthen the human-canine bond. So now that you know…please share this good news from the Garden State and perhaps inspire some of our other states to get progressive, too. And let me know the results!

Please give us a LIKE on facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dogs-Best-Friend-Will-Judy-Founder-of-National-Dog-Week/1534832043432602?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974?fref=ts

Service

Happy springtime! It was quite a long winter, just too cold to blog. Hopefully April will “thaw the paw” and I will be motivated by warmth and the promise of better days ahead.

The first quarter of 2015 has kept me busy with the promotion of Dog’s Best Friend: Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week and Dog World Publisher, and Around the World in 1909: Harriet White Fisher and Her Locomobile. Both titles tell the tales of some incredible people and their contributions to history. I am honored to tell their stories! I have also been working on a proposal for a children’s series of books based on the adorable world-traveling pets found in Around the World in 1909, something I am very excited about.

I am also happy to share that during the first two weeks of May, I will be the featured author on the DogRead site, the original cyber-book club established just for those who love to read about dogs. We will be discussing the short stories of Something’s Lost and Must be Found. If you’ve read this book, or wish to do so and join in the discussion, you can join the group by going to: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/DogRead/info

September seems a long way off, but it is never too early to think about National Dog Week. Its 87th Observance will take place the week of September 28th. This year, we celebrate the occasion with the theme, “At Your Service, All-Ways” a return to the theme of 1951 in which dogs were, and continue to be, honored by all the ways they serve humans. Will Judy, the founder of National Dog Week, never forgot the invaluable service of our Military Dogs even before they were an official part of our militia. Furthermore, he championed their therapeutic value to veterans of war suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder long before it was “fashionable”.

Dogs serve us in so many ways. Whether they are listening to a young person read out loud in “Read to the Dogs” programs, working as a Therapy Dog, or as a Service Dog (there are differences between the two), assisting our military on the war front or even detecting diseases like cancer, I think we are only beginning to realize their full potential.

If you wish to share a story that might suit the theme of “At Your Service-Allways” or plan to honor our dogs during National Dog Week, please send me an e-mail at pst39crd@aol.com.

For more information on my books and bio, please visit www.lisabegin-kruysmanauthor.com

The residence of Alice Huyler Ramsey, Hackensack, NJ

The residence of Alice Huyler Ramsey, Hackensack, NJ

Last week, a story about Around the World in 1909: Harriet White Fisher and Her Locomobile appeared on the cover of the Times of Trenton. To read the entire article:
http://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2015/01/book_details_ewing_residents_1909_journey_around_t.html#incart_river
Amazon Link: http://tinyurl.com/obfhemv

I started blogging in January 2010 and I don’t know where those five years have gone. But when I look back, each post reminds me of my long journey to launch a career as a writer. I realize now I really had no idea of what I was getting into. But that’s a good thing because I might have reconsidered my choices. But I prevailed, and with the help of so many, saw several projects launched and completed; five books in all.

2014 was very busy with three of my books finding their way to the market. One, the first of the Collar and a Dream series was self-published. Dog’s Best Friend: Will Judy Founder of National Dog Week and Dog World Publisher was released by McFarland & Co in September, followed by my most recent, Around the World in 1909: Harriet White Fisher and Her Locomobile published by American History Press.

You might say I am driven to write (pun intended). But with so many fascinating events and people to write about, I see words and chapters as a literal path to adventure and self-discovery. I often find myself wondering if I could choose just one day to spend with Harriet’s traveling party, which would it be?

On the occasion of a visit to my hometown of Hackensack, NJ, during the holidays, I took a ride downtown to visit the street where Hackensack Middle School is located. As fate and coincidence would have it, the home of Alice Huyler Ramsey stands just a few houses down the road from my old school. Alice, if you don’t already know, is celebrated for being the first woman to drive an automobile from New York City to San Francisco in 1909, accompanied by three female companions. My “discovery” of her story would later inspire me to write the book about her equally famous contemporary and fellow-New Jerseyean, Harriet White Fisher.

When I pulled up to “Alice’s” house last month, I got out to take a few photos with my IPhone and noticed the house was being restored. I became aware I was being watched by neighbors and I shouted to one woman that I was just doing some research. Before long, I was aware of a person coming to the front door. A man emerged, “Can I help you he asked?” with a look of mild suspicion on his face. He explained the neighbors had alerted him of my presence.

I answered with a question, “Do you know the significance of this house?” to which he replied that he indeed did. “This is the house that belonged to the first woman to drive across America,” he stated. I was overjoyed. I quickly explained why I was there taking photos, and showed him a copy of Around the World in 1909 in case he thought I was a lunatic. I expressed that I was so glad to know the house would remain standing and he assured me in turn that it was being lovingly restored and served as offices for his law practice.

I always enjoy my visits back home and I’ve come to learn that roots go deep. Little did I know as a gangly tween attending Hackensack Middle School that I was less than a block away from my future. So I say, forget about The Snookie and her shore buddies, dismiss the Housewives of New Jersey, and embrace some True-Jersey treasures and the way they opened doors (cars and otherwise) for those to come. I hope that when I return to Hackensack to speak at the Johnson Public Library, or a hometown bookstore, I might stop by again and this time, be invited in to that historic home of Alice’s.

Well, that’s my “True Jersey” story, and this is where I exit.

CompassionThe Dogs of New Jersey, and beyond, need your help NOW! Please Call 609-292-6000 ASAP and ask Governor Christie to sign s. 1870! It’s not just a Jersey Problem.

Hello to all of our National Dog Week friends. No doubt, everyone is concerned with the health and welfare of the nation’s dogs and those who love and care for them. Many express genuine concern for the issues that adversely affect their quality of life, and while most sincerely talk about change, a few go further and actually write legislation to bring about real change.

This is the case in New Jersey right now. Governor Chris Christie has been asked to sign a bill (S.1870/A.3306), that if passed into law, will make those retailers who offer pets for sale in their stores accountable for the dogs they sell. While it isn’t perfect, it is a step in the right direction, as they will have to provide full disclosure on the origins of those puppies for sale in the window. This is important because many of these dogs are products of objectionable puppy mills and are sold to misinformed customers who soon find out their new pup has some serious health issues and experience emotional and financial distress, to say the least.

Many decades ago, Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week warned that dogs should not be sold like grocery items in stores and was concerned about the rise of what he called “puppy factories”. In a perfect world, dogs will no longer be sold like toys, and other inanimate objects. Until then, bills like S-1870 can lead the way to the more humane treatment of the Nation’s dogs.

Below is an e-mail I received today. I have also spoken to the author’s of the bill and they are imploring everyone to call the Governor’s office to ask him to sign this bill and support the cause for the paws.

Dear Lisa Kruysman:
Thank you for your recent email to our office regarding S-1870/A-3306,
legislation which establishes additional requirements under the “Pet
Purchase Protection Act” to provide breeder information to the consumer
about each cat or dog being offered for sale in a pet shop. We certainly
appreciate your input.

As you are aware, we are the prime sponsors of this bill and this issue
is extremely important to us. As you may be aware, this legislation has
passed both houses of the legislature.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our
Chief-of-Staff, Glen Feldman at 732-840-9028.

Sincerely,

Senator, Jim Holzapfel
Assemblyman, Greg McGuckin
Assemblyman, Dave Wolfe

10th Legislative District Office
852 Highway 70
Brick, N.J. 08724
Phone: 732-840-9028
Fax: 732-840-9757

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