These certainly are the dog days of summer, and the heat goes on.  I’ve just returned from New England where I had the pleasure of seeing some of my 42 first cousins, some I haven’t seen for years, and their families.  We had a lot of catching up to do, and many joined in a celebration of family milestones, and fun announcements, and thanks to my sister (aka known as my press agent) the news that I had accepted representation from a literary agent was toasted. 

A few years back, a book reviewer on NPR website declared, “A book about a dog has been at or near the top of Non-Fiction best-seller lists for a year now…”  This is encouraging because although I am writing a book about something I truly love, and I believe has value to the dogs of the nation, it is nice to know that we Americans love to read about our dogs, and then some!  I’ll bet many of those readers still do not know that for the past nine decades, dogs have even been honored with their very own seven days during the last full week of September. And it certainly has been interesting to document the ways we as a country have honored our dogs during this week for over 80 years.

When a writer isn’t writing, they are usually going about the business of querying agents and/or publishing houses.  This is no easy task and along the way, we learn from the comments and feedback of those in the industry.  During the course of the year, I have “met” many who were supportive, and even liked the idea of my book about National Dog Week, but a successful match wasn’t made…until now!

Last week, it became official, my book Every Dog has its Week is being represented by Donna Eastman and Gloria Koehler of Parkeast Literary Agency.  When I first contacted Donna about my book she responded positively, and most  interestingly, at one time she had worked in the publishing industry with the late great Captain Arthur Haggerty (one of the key players in the dog week story).  She has high regard for the work he did for the dogs of America and understands the significance of his contributions.  These exchanges about the book took place about  a month ago, and now with rewrites, and a revised proposal, we are ready to go to the dogs!  How appropriate is it then, that these are the dog days, my favorite time of the year?

A good literary agent is a partner, one whose enthusiasm matches your own for the project at hand (or in this case paw).  In the weeks ahead, with the help of Donna and Gloria, I look forward to forging a bond with a book publisher who also feels the same way and knows how to present this book in the best manner. 

Speaking about partnership, and bringing it back to the dogs, August 8 is National Assistance Dog Day, marking the beginning of Assistance Dog Week.  To learn more about this topic, visit www.workinglikedogs.com to see what dogs do for humans 24/7, every week of the year.  Everyday, so many heartbreaking pleas for rescues, and cries for shelter reform pass through my Facebook wall.  Some encouraging legislation is taking place (more about that soon), but there is so much more to do.  When we see what dogs can do for us, it is a true crime some of them are treated so horribly.

Tomorrow, August 7, is also Purple Heart Day.  The Purple Heart is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces who has been wounded or has died as a result of a wound inflicted during battle or otherwise designated by the President of the United States.  Although our military dogs do not receive Purple Hearts, we are starting to understand and reward our trained military canines for the sacrifices they’ve made for us over the years. 

Against the backdrop of National Dog Week, many of these important issues are discussed.  Dog Week is just a bone’s throw away.  Got plans?? Please feel free to share.  You just might be part of history!  e-mail: pst39crd@aol.com.

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