You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2012.

Thanks for stopping by. To learn about my biography of Will Judy, The Founder of National Dog Week and other writing projects please see ABOUT.  I will be speaking at Booktowne on Friday, Feb. 3 at 5:30 in Manasquan, NJ.  Topics will include SOMETHING’S LOST AND MUST BE FOUND and my work on the biography of Will Judy, the man who founded National Dog Week.

A couple of weeks ago, on the occasion of my birthday, I wondered what I could do to make the day really count.  As it was a Saturday morning, it occurred to me that it was a perfect opportunity to ask people in my Facebook Network to support a cause I felt strongly about.

I quickly set up a weekend-long event on Facebook and asked my friends to contribute just one dollar to an existing Chip In account set up by Project Pets – Spay, Neuter, Love.!/pages/Project-Pets-Spay-Neuter-Love/160594203971240

I figured if I could just raise $50.00 it would be enough to pay for one female cat or dog to be spayed or neutered.  On Monday morning, Jo Burchfield, President of Project Pets presented me with a list of donors and their contributions; it was enough to pay for several procedures; female cats and dogs cost $50.00 and male cats $35.00. While some gave the requested dollar, others went above and beyond and each gift was appreciated. We have contacted each donor personally to thank them for their generosity.

Before you think that this is not significant, Jo will tell you that, “Given that two (unaltered) cats can add up to over 420,000 cats in a seven year period, it’s easy to see how many lives are saved by spaying/neutering as many as possible.”  As those active in the cause like to say, spaying and neutering is the most effective form of rescue there is.

A recent article in the Asbury Press written by Associate Press reporter, Sue Manning, confirms this fact. According to this piece, “higher rates of spaying and neutering in recent decades have cut the number abandoned puppies and kittens, which in turn have cut euthanasia rates.”  The article goes on to note that prior to 1970, approximately 20 million companion animals were destroyed per year in the United States, but in 2011, fewer than 4 million homeless animals met that sad end. That is still an unacceptable figure, but demonstrates the positive effects of spay and neuter initiatives.

Today, I read that retail giant PetSmart is helping to promote S/N awareness.  Congratulations to them!

The following presents my recent interview with Jo Burchfield (be sure to scroll down for photos below): 

Please share how this organization got started.  The idea to start Project Pets came after I tried cat rescue.  For the 6 animals we could pull, 10 more would show up at the shelter the next day, and another 7, etc.  It didn’t take me long to realize that there was a need for more opportunities for spay/neuter, and specifically free spay/neuter options for the pet owners who couldn’t afford to pay for the procedures. In some areas, even the low cost clinics were still too expensive.

What are your plans and goals for the upcoming year?  Obviously, we would like to grow and get more donations so more animals are spayed/neutered.  We also want to start focusing on education as many don’t understand how important spay/neuter is and how in fact it does save lives. Yes, by preventing the birth of homeless babies, we also prevent the death of the ones that are not rescued.

I hear you may be getting your own website soon, can you elaborate?  In order to be found online, I have contacted a firm and they are designing a web page for us.  I met the owner on Facebook and he’s an animal lover himself, specializing in web pages for pet companies, groups, etc.

When you talk about educating the public, how would you do this? At what age level do you think it is appropriate can you reach out?  The best way to educate is to reach the children.  During a spay/neuter seminar, I found out that the 3rd graders were pretty much the best one to reach.  And since children are the next generation of pet owners, it’s important that they understand and respect the lives of animals.  Kids are also the one who can go to their parents and tell them they want their pets to be spayed/neutered because it’s better for them.

And that last point is a major one.  Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week got it right when he wrote, “We think dog ownership prepares the children early in life to develop into whole-souled members of the community, of what we term society and the state.”

Knowing how important responsible pet “ownership” was to Will Judy, I am almost certain he would fully support the humane teaching of this most effective method of “forward thinking” rescue to the young.

Clinic Day!

Getting to work...

So many lives will be saved...



"An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language." Martin Buber

What happened when I asked some Facebook friends to donate just a dollar to a great group called Project Pets – Spay, Neuter, Love?  Stay tuned for a posting sometime next week with the gratifying results and enjoy an interview with the President of this organization.  Its Vice-president, animal advocate, “Willie Wonka” has launched an informative blog, too.  You can read the current post at

The other day, someone on Facebook posted about a young woman who was promising the owners of aging horses that she would (for a fee) take their beloved horses to an animal sanctuary.  Turns out, she took their money and then sent their horses to a slaughterhouse.  This deceitful and arrogant “human” then said there was nothing illegal about what she had done…but ahh…she has now been charged with Theft by Deception. At least it is something.  In my next post I will introduce some material on the things all those who wish to be involved with only honest and reputable rescues and Chip Ins, should know.  It hurts animals, and good causes, when these groups are allowed to continue with deceptive practices.

Now, back to good thoughts and words….Yesterday, my husband said he  didn’t know what to read next.  I told him about Beautiful Joe, a book I had down loaded when I had received my Kindle as a gift last fall.  I loved the book so much, I always recommend it to others.  Rich  started reading it that day and commented on how it made him think about the feelings that animals are capable of. I noted that it is striking how issues regarding the welfare of animals,and the resultant literary works, appear to endure; always touching the heart and inspiring us to be better humans.

In my last post I mentioned that I had three writing projects in various stages of play…my short story collection became a soft cover book last month (See ABOUT for LINK) and my Young Adult Novel, Full Snow Moon, found a home and will be e-published next month (loving the cover the publisher has designed) and I’ve recently signed with McFarland Publishing  for the publication of my Biography of Will Judy and his National Dog Week Movement (2013). This blog was lovingly launched two years ago to build interest and support of this national celebration that occurs each September.  Busy times are in store, but I do have several new blog posts in development…please enjoy this “repeat.”

NOTE: Since launching the National Dog Week Community Page late last summer, we’ve added many new members.  Go on over and LIKE us.  I’ll be giving away a free copy of my book SOMETHING’S LOST AND MUST BE FOUND at the end of the month to a randomly selected LIKER.!/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974.

Now, here is a post (slightly updated) borrowed from last year.

The other day, a Facebook friend sent me a message asking me if I’d ever read the book Beautiful Joe.  She said that the book reminded her of me.  I have to admit, I’d never even heard of it.  Discovering that it was available as a free Kindle book, I made it the first download on my new device. Beautiful Joe was written in 1893 by Marshall Saunders as an entry for a Humane Education Society writing contest. It is a fictionalized autobiography of a “cur” name Beautiful Joe, told from the dog’s point of view. The real story took place in Ontario, but the author “relocated” it to a town in Maine.

At its heart, a little terrier-mix is rescued from the hands of a brutal dairy farmer and becomes part of the menagerie of an animal-loving family.  Turns out author, “Marshall,” was actually a woman named Margaret who thought she had a better chance of winning the writing contest using a man’s name.  Not only did she win, but her novel was the first Canadian book to sell over a million copies, going on to sell millions around the world.

I am only half-way through, but the story is so moving and well-done.  But two things strike me most.  How the lessons from our animals can make us, especially young people, more sensitive and caring and that things haven’t really changed that much since 1893. One of the heroes of the story, a young woman named, Laura, is a saint to all animals.  She sees to it that the brutal dairy farmer is punished by law, while caring for the unfortunate animals that have suffered at the hand of bad humans, something I see a lot of people doing today.

Back in the 1940s, National Dog Week Founder, Will Judy, knew how important animals were for the development of care-taking behavior in the young. He wrote, “Caring for animals, which depend knowingly upon humans, pulls a child or an adult out of his selfishness and away from his own narrow cell.”  This summarizes the true message behind Beautiful Joe.

Because I teach, and write, I think my Facebook friend saw similarities between Margaret Saunders and me, something that is very flattering. However, I will say “write” here, I see myself more as a reporter of events, someone trying to give the “quiet heroes” a place where they can reach out to others.  They don’t have a glossy magazine, or a popular TV or splashy Radio Show.  But these people are the real deal, on the front line of meaningful reform and new ideas.  And most of the time, by the way, not only are they not making any money, but using their own funds to make things work. If you scroll back in the “Archives” you’ll see what I mean.

I’ve enjoyed learning about Will Judy, the man behind the National Dog Week Movement, a man responsible for making the world better for both dog and human.  At one time, National Dog Week was so popular that over 200 cities, including New York, went over the top to truly honor American dogs.  The week had slogans and posters with themes like “A GOOD HOME FOR EVERY DOG…” and celebrity spokespersons.  We are slowly but surely restoring its place of honor on the American calendar and hope you’ll  be joining us in September (and year-round), embracing its message.

Yesterday, I received an e-mail from an author about the recent sale of his book to a publisher.  We happen to be represented by the same Literary Agent.  I asked him about his writing “path.”  It turns out that he is 84 years old and has had three agents.  He started writing using an old Underwood typewriter and wrote every single day of the year, even if it was just one page a day. He actually has three other books written and ready to go.  I congratulate him on his success and as he said to me, “Never give up.”  I thank him for this uplifting story…It is never too late to achieve what you’ve set out to do. Never forget this!

In closing, I would like to thank all of you who do so much, in the “real” world and on-line, for animals and people.  I thank you for taking the time to visit this blog, and for commenting here, in e-mails and on my Facebook page.  It really does mean the “dog-word” to me and it might even do some good.  I sure hope so.

“There are too many dog books.  There never are enuf good dog books.”  Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week. Thanks to Taylor Ashley of Elite Professionals Magazine for this nice feature!

Donald E. Brown's NDW Poster - 2011

This is a very special blogging milestone for me…with this post (my 140th) I celebrate two years of continuous blogging.  My first post appeared on January 4, 2010.  Some said it wouldn’t last, I would never find the time to post weekly.  But, according to my year-end WordPress Summary, “The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people.  This blog was viewed 11,000 times in 2011.  If it were a concert at the Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.”  With hundreds of millions of blogs in the world, I cherish my puppy’s share of “clicks.”

I launched this blog site to educate readers about Captain Will Judy and the mission of his National Dog Week Movement begun in 1928 and  to help promote a book I’ve been writing about Judy and his enduring influence on the American dog.  Today, I am happy to announce that this book will be published by McFarland & Company, a leading independent publisher of academic and non-fiction books, in 2013.  I am thrilled by this development and want to thank my agents Donna Eastman and Gloria Koehler for their advice and encouragement from the submission process to editorial assistance.

But I couldn’t have done it without the help of some animal-loving friends who shared their stories and work with me.  I wrote about issues I thought were important to those who act as protectors and guardians of our Companion Animals. It is rewarding to see that a post about Thomas Cole and his Shelter Revolution was among the most widely read and one by animal advocate “Willie Wonka” about Spay and Neuter initiatives was the one that received the most comments.  And WordPress informed me that while most referrals came from Facebook, many came from the Teddy Hilton Blog written by Dr. Patrick Mahaney who generously served as the official NDW Pet Health Consultant.

I am also excited to confirm that the book’s Foreword will be written by NYC Dog Obedience Trainer, Babette Haggerty.  Babette’s father, the late Captain Arthur Haggerty, is regarded by many as the “Grandfather of American Dog Obedience.”  He was very influential is promoting the values of Captain Judy and a great supporter of National Dog Week.

My first book, Something’s Lost and Must be Found (now available in paper back) was inspired by this blog.  This collection of dog-centric short stories has been well-reviewed and I am glad people continue to enjoy it.  And I plan to be able to help some special causes with some of my proceeds.

Nine decades ago, Will Judy knew that people loved to read about dogs…and that remains true today.  I have featured some talented writers throughout these past two years and now, as I present my literary milestone, I celebrate the way they also use their unique writing talents to make life better for both dog and human. For more information, I have listed each author’s Links below this post.

Early on, I presented an interview with author Jon Katz (Bedlam Farms). Last year, I received a review copy of his novel, Rose in a Storm, that I thoroughly enjoyed. I extend my condolences to Jon on the loss of his beloved Border Collie, Rose, who passed late last year.  I’ve read Jon is publishing a special e-book about his life with Rose for Random House.

Another very popular post was one about Seattle-based author, Steve Duno.  Steve’s book, Last Dog on the Hill is a moving account of his relationship with a rescued feral pup named Lou.  Steve tells me that a book he has co-written about the abandoned dogs of Puerto Rico will be out later this year.

And humans aren’t the only ones who can write a good dog book.  Last year, Bocker the Labradoodle presented his Chasing Bocker’s Tale, the “pawmoir” of a camera-friendly dog who uses his charm and good looks to help humans and animals in need of a helping paw.  We just gave away a copy of Bocker’s book on the NDW Community Page.!/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974

Tracy Aiello’s book, the Miracle Dogs of Portugal, taught history through the legacy of the Portuguese water dog breed and author Lisa Pliscou featured a gnarly surfing Dog named Bud in Dude: Fun with Dude and Betty.  I got to meet Lisa at a local book signing in June.

On my to-read list are dog groomer/author Jamie Wilsoncroft’s short story, Jingle Bells and Puppy Dog Tales about a woman who finds self worth and love while recovering from a double mastectomy when she adopts a dog from a shelter.  Congratulations to Jamie on the recent release of her new book, Remembering Zane. Alanna Chasin’s The Dog Buddha Explains is on that list as is tireless dog-advocate Robert Cabral’s Selling Used Dogs, a hands on tool to help shelter workers, vounteers and rescue organizations filled with creative concepts.

And finally, I want to acknowledge the help of my sister, Manette and my friend, David Lender on their help in launching this blog and for their  publishing help and encouragement.  David is a successful writer of thrillers. His latest, Vaccine Nation has done very nicely on Amazon.  He hasn’t written a dog book (yet) but he loves to write about their adopted pit bull, Styles, in his author’s blog.

As I wrote in my very first post, I hope that if Will Judy could read my books, he would think they were better than good “enuf.” (He had quirky way of writing that entertained his audience).  Wish me luck as I toil over the “ruff” drafts and challenges to come in the writing of his biography.  Where there is a “Will” there is a way…  (Jamie Wilsoncroft)  (password: ebookformyfriends)


"Is it dog week yet?"

"Is it dog week yet?"

Michelle Mongelli and Wheezey

Pike, at Geiger Key

Hooper in the Keys

Hooper in the Keys

“Two Culprits” by Steven Hall

Logan & Koda


DJ Goes to Westminster

Zac and Cooper

"Look daddy, I can fly!"

“Hooper” – Best in Snow

Pita in Matt’s Garden

Hooper with cousin Roxy, Summer 2009

Me and my “Hoop”