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It’s been a hot summer here on the East Coast. But nothing beats the heat of Chandler, AZ, the place to which I travelled for the Blog Paws conference in June. BlogPaws is the world’s only organization comprised of pet bloggers and authors. Although it was extremely hot outside, I heard so many cool speakers inside it was well-balanced! A shout out for the top-rate facility and gracious staff of the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort.
For me, it was a whirlwind experience; I attended many workshops and events and also got to participate in a Speaking panel and lead a lunch-table discussion. I was inspired by many and hope I was able to do so for others.
Here it is now, the end of August and I spend my time working with my hardworking agent, Donna Eastman of the Parkeast Literary agency. We’ve got some interesting projects circulating and working as a team, we hope that the right editor will reward us and lend their expertise and experience to bring these books to fruition (that’s fancy-talk for grant us a book contract(s)). Who knows what fall will bring. I thank all of you who continue to be so supportive and encouraging.
There’s also my work on behalf of National Dog Week and my promotion of Dog’s Best Friend: Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week and Dog World Publisher (McFarland& Co., 2014) – the only account of Judy’s life and work ever written. It is filled with and interesting account of one man’s influence on America’s love-affair with its canines achieved through Judy’s prolific publishing, writing and editing efforts over the course of five decades.
This year, we declare that National Dog Week begins on Sunday, September 18th. But, if you wish to begin on Monday, or keep on celebrating the following week…no one will fault you! This year’s theme? “Readers Unleashed: Promoting Literacy with K9s” where dog-lovers utilize the power of the paw to encourage literacy and strengthen the dog-human bond. Does your library welcome Therapy Dogs, or does your shelter allow young people to read to the dogs?
I will also be guest blogging for the dog-loving folks at Tito’s Vodka for Dog People during National Dog Week. This all-American company founded by “Tito” Beveridge fifteen years ago is sharing its growth and success to benefit canine well-fare across the nation.
I am currently preparing for the Seaside Park Art Show held on September 3rd in Ocean County, New Jersey, combining my “dog writing” and art as presented in the work below. I hope you enjoy this scene that captures the magic of a fleeting season. Happy “Dog-ust”.
For complete book and author information please visit: http://www.lisabegin-kruysmanauthor.com/
My friends who are authors know that unless you self-publish, you have to accept the fact that when published by others you will not retain the creative control over what your book may look like in its final incarnation. While this may sound discouraging, it can have its rewards and the wonderful process of what I call Universal Collaboration can blossom. Hear me out. Will Judy, founder of National Dog Week, often commissioned artists to create images to be used for NDW stamps and posters to promote the themes of annual Dog Weeks. You can see some displayed on my NDW Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974?fref=photo Of course I desired to use these images in my book, Dog’s Best Friend (McFarland & Co.) and although I, and others, presented information that Judy never called for this artwork to be copyrighted, my publisher chose the safe route and we were not able to include them in the book, and that was bad news for this author. Among my proposed book covers, I had envisioned a red, white and blue poster stamp of a military man posing with a German shepherd dog, promoting NDW’s theme of “In War and Peace” in 1945. As artists were not generally credited for the work they created for Judy, it was daunting to identify or credit them. My angst set in, how would we find the right cover without being able to obtain publishing rights? I have to admit, I recited the prayer to St. Anthony (Saint of all things lost) often, hoping the answer to my challenge would be found. But let’s back up a bit. At some point, I had contacted an author named Sharon Damkaer. Sharon is a huge fan of Will Judy’s and wrote a book about the renowned artist, Albert Staehle. http://www.americanartarchives.com/staehle.htm. Sharon understood my dilemma, and, when my publisher contacted her about obtaining the rights of one of Staehle’s works to serve as the cover for my book, she offered to help. She had at one time faced her own similar publishing challenges. During this process, independent of all of this, an older gentleman named Anthony had called my home and spoke to my husband. He told Rich that he did not own a computer, but someone had told him of my writing project about Judy and National Dog Week. He wanted to know if I would like to have an original poster from National Dog Week 1950. I returned his call and said indeed I would and within days, it arrived in the mail. You guessed it; it was the very same image that had been selected by McFarland & Co. to appear on the book’s cover. I sent him a thank you note with a copy of my book Something’s Lost and Must be Found. He responded in turn to thank me and said that this volume was now on his library shelf next to his volumes of Will Judy books. That image just put all doubt to rest. All things come full circle. By the way, did you note that his name is Anthony? And so, while the cover of Dog’s Best Friend is different from the one I envisioned, it shows me that sometimes, if we just chill out and let things happen in their own course, the results can be beautiful. These days I find myself repeating the mantra… Remain Focused, have Faith, be Confident that you’ve done your best work, and move on. Which reminds me, please watch for news on my next book due out shortly! Around the World in 1909: Harriet White Fisher and Her Locomobile (American History Press) the true account of an intrepid New Jersey woman who took the ultimate road trip with a dog on her lap at a time it was most unlikely. Happy National Dog Week to you all, may its spirit be with you year-round! Next year, we are embracing the way dogs serve humans with a revisited NDW theme of, “At Your Service – All Ways”. It is so good to find so many dog-enthusiasts Finding the spirit of a great American tradition that seemed to have been Lost for awhile! Thank you. Amazon book link: http://tinyurl.com/qbon8ty Please note that on October 31st, Dog’s Best Friend will be available in e-reader format. http://www.lisabegin-kruysmanauthor.com/
AN UPDATE RE: PUP SHOP DISCLOSURE LEGISLATION
Some Good News from Janice Fisher Patterson!
I hope my NJ friends will help here! Please share if you do.
WE NEED YOUR HELP ASAP!
NJ SENATE BILL (S1870) has been introduced by Sen. James Holzapfel (District 10 – Ocean). It will require pet stores to provide very specific breeder information on each cage card for every animal offered for sale. It will provide a USDA website where buyers can research breeder inspection reports PRIOR TO BUYING A PUPPY.
PLEASE e-mail YOUR SENATOR and ask him/her to co-sponsor S1870.
Tell them that you want pet stores held to a higher standard. Tell them that you want more consumer protection. Tell them that you have a RIGHT TO KNOW where a puppy comes from PRIOR TO PURCHASE.
Please follow these instructions (they are not complicated):
To find your state Senator, click on the link below and find your town from the drop-down box. Once you choose your town, then click on the tab “Select Your Representative(s)” and it will list your one Senator and two Assembly representatives. Check only your “Senator” (as this is a senate bill) and then click on the tab “Select Your Representative(s)” again. An email- page will appear which you can complete and submit.
(cut and paste into browser if needed)
IMPORTANT: If you have time, follow up with a phone call to your senator’s office. Please let me know if you are able to get your senator to either support or co-sponsor the bill by e-mailing me.
Thank you so much,
Coordinator Puppy Mill Awareness Campaign
Happy Spring to all. I realize it has been three months since my last post, but it was time to take a little break. Besides, there are like a million plus blogs out there to enlighten and entertain you, and many are written just for dog-lovers like you! Although I was not writing posts…I was writing.
For the past five years, I have been hard at work on two non-fiction projects and happy to say, both will be published this year. As you may have noticed, the name of the working title of the Dog Week book has changed over the years, but it is officially now titled, Dog’s Best Friend: Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week and Dog World Publisher (McFarland & Co.). This book will be out during the Dog Days of Summer, just a few weeks before National Dog Week enjoys its 86th Observance. I can’t tell you how rewarding this experience has been. When I started this blog in 2010, a book was merely a concept.
The First Draft of my other book, Around the World in 1909: Harriet White Fisher and Her Locomobile (American History Press) will be complete by month’s end and will be available in the Fall of this year! Loved writing this, too. It is the real-life story of Trenton Industrialist, Harriet White Fisher, who took an automobile to places where no car, had ever ventured. It is the ultimate road trip taken by a dynamic woman and her entourage, and I feel so privileged to be the one to tell their story.
My Middle Grade book, When We Fostered Furley (the proposed first book of the Collar and a Dream Series) is just about ready to roll-over, hopefully sometime next month. It will be good to get back to some fiction writing. The follow-up to Something’s Lost and Must be Found is in the works, too,and will eventually make its crate escape.
Last week, a friend, Martin O’Sullivan of the Marty O’ Show! (YFN Radio), announced that he was going to be adding a pet segment to his show. What’s more, he said that I was one of the people who inspired this. That is the ultimate compliment, because as a blogger and an author in a crowded, busy on-line world, it is validating to know that one’s words are impacting others. We will tape a segment tomorrow morning and provide a link as soon as it becomes available. In the future, Marty hopes to be able to talk about issues surrounding our Companion Animals in the Garden State and across the nation. Tomorrow’s taping will discuss some pending legislation that will impact the way dogs are sold in retail shops, and will feature an update from Janice Patterson Fisher, who has been a such an informative and influential guest on this blog.
Our Foster-turned-Furever dog Teddy continues to be our pride and joy. It is amazing that even after a year, his true colors and confidence are still evolving as he enjoys the good life! I thank everyone who has followed our story, and that of the positive power of fostering.
And one more thing, can I just celebrate March Gladness one more time. As a UCONN Grad and Forever Husky, I congratulate Coaches Ollie and Auriemma on their “Double Dog” Victories! Somehow, I think Teddy’s wearing of his lucky hat had something to do with it.
After a winter that felt like a very bad dream, we look forward long walks, and long talks, on-air, on pages of magazine, and anywhere anyone will listen to our stories. Writing is the practice of putting one word in front of the other and hoping some day, all those words come together to inspire and entertain many. I look forward to getting back to posting, launching a new website…and hearing from you all.
http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-7120-1 (will also be available as an e-book).
Please check us out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974
I would like to take a moment to thank the over 400 fire-fighters, and first-responders who rushed to battle an eight-alam fire in Seaside Park, New Jersey, last week in an effort to save the Boardwalks. In the end, despite their best efforts, the equivalent of four city blocks, over thirty businesses, and countless memories were consumed by flames. Portions of the Seaside Heights Boardwalk, so severely decimated by Superstorm Sandy were also destroyed by last week’s fire.
It was a massive event that made national news, and it seems we at the Jersey Shore have asked the world for a lot of help in the past year. On that note, I would also like to acknowldedge those who came to the aid of Brick Township’s American Legion Post, which continues to recover from Hurricane Sandy. On August 24th, a terrific fundraiser was held at the Brick Township VFW Post to raise funds to rebuild and restore Post #348. With combined efforts of the Post membership, Ladies Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion, Legion Riders and our Junior Auxiliary, a significant success was achieved and our inside canteen should be up and running, better than ever, in the very near future. As part of the fundraiser, Susan Barros, President of the Ladies Auxiliary, and her dedicated committee, gathered nearly one-hundred amazing baskets that were raffled at the event. High-end items included golf outings, fishing trips and great Destination packages!
On a personal note, I would like to thank the following who generously donated to a pet-themed basket that was raffled: Dr. Adam Christman and the staff of Brick Township Veterinary Hospital, Elsa Mikus and Barbara Ryan of Tempest and a Teapot (for a sweet piece of doggy artwork), Harbour Pet Supplies in Pt. Pleasant, and A Dog House dog grooming salon, in Brick. Your contribution went to a good cause. If you would like to make a donation to our American Legion Post to further help in their recovery please go to: http://www.brickpost348.org/
Recently, the Township of Brick held their Fourth Annual Dog Fest, sponsored by our local Rotary Club. Teddy and I enjoyed the day, and as a blogger, I am happy to say this was my fourth visit to this event. At its first observance, I asked Mayor Stephen Acropolis to proclaim Brick Township a National Dog Week Community. He did so gladly, and I am happy to see that tradition continues at each Opening Ceremony of Dog Fests in the manner that the late Captain Arthur Haggerty, (aka the Grandfather of American Dog Obedience), and Will Judy intended!
Perhaps we can view this Proclamation as, “just words.” However when those words are incorporated into a event that honors dogs, the spirit of National Dog Week continues, even 85 years after its founding. Those words celebrate and embrace America’s rich canine history, and our love for dogs, while reminding us all that there is still much work to be done to protect their welfare. On that note, I am happy to report that last year, Brick Township banned any new retail sellers of dogs of ever opening in the township, the first city in the Northeast Region of the nation to do so. So a big thanks to Brick Township for making our community one that respects or canines, and provides inspiration for others. I am very proud.
Book News: My book, Dog’s Best Friend:Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week and Dog World Publisher is in production and will be available I am told by the summer of next year (McFarland & Co.). I would like to thank all of my supporters and those who voted me as “Happening Ocean County AUthor,” in a contest sponsored by Ocean Happening On-line magazine. It is an honor to be singled out among a crowd of very talented people! Please stay on the alert for some special NDW posts in the coming days!
These Dog Days of Summer have certainly created some hazy daze! Despite the heat, The Will Judy book project is complete and its fate rests in the hands of its publisher. Another project is now underway; a book that chronicles the journey of Harriet White Fisher, who, in 1909 launched a 13-month long journey with her entourage that brought them to the most unlikely places. Traveling with her was Honkie, an alleged “Boston bull dog” making him the first, and possibly only, dog to make a worldwide trek in an automobile. You can learn more about this exciting project to be published by American History Press at https://www.facebook.com/HarrietWhiteFisherandherLocomobile
Also, our dog Teddy is entered in the “Cutest Spokespet” Contest which will end on July 31st. You can vote once a day. You must LIKE the page and then scroll down to Teddy’s photo to vote. Thanks for all who have been able to do so and for those who have shared! Teddy is currently the leader of the “cute pack.” https://www.facebook.com/traciehotchner/app_303363723112198
A few weeks ago Nikki Moustaki, an animal advocate and author, founder of the Pet Postcard Project, wrote to me about The Better Way Project and how it was helping animal lovers and advocates to carry out important work and projects with much-needed funding. She asked if she could share it with my readers. Please welcome my guest blogger, Nikki!
Please tell us about the Better Way Project. The Better Way Project program was recently launched by Canyon Creek Ranch, but it will be exciting to see what typed of projects come in and how creative people will be in helping animals in their communities and beyond. The Better Way Project completed three trial projects last fall as “sample” projects to give consumers ideas and to show how involved Canyon Creek Ranch will be with the projects. See the videos from these projects here: http://canyoncreekranch.com/betterwayproject/see-the-results
The first project was at the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, MA, New England’s largest no-kill animal shelter that provides a wonderful safe haven for felines awaiting their forever homes. However, the shelter lacked stimulating play rooms that would allow the cats and kittens to show off their personalities to potential adopters. The Canyon Creek Ranch® Better Way Project learned of this need and helped by renovating three of the cat play rooms at the shelter. The Canyon Creek Ranch team provided on-the-ground help, including painting the custom built walkways and perches in the rooms, and retailer Pet Supplies Plus donated products for the new play space. The project was funded by a $50,000 in-kind donation from the Better Way Project.
The Canyon Creek Ranch Better Way Project donated $25,000 to Therapy Dogs of Johnson County (TDJC), a non-profit organization in Iowa City that helps people live healthier and happier lives through therapy visits with dogs. The donation will be used to help support and expand this meaningful local program which visits schools and nursing homes in the area. In addition to providing funding, the Canyon Creek Ranch team visited Iowa City to help TDJC hold its first public event to recruit more dog/handler teams.
The Greenwood Urban Wetland Park in Orlando, FL, is a popular destination for local residents. However, the city park lacked dog-friendly features for four-legged visitors and their owners. The Canyon Creek Ranch Better Way Project made a $50,000 in-kind donation to the City of Orlando that was used to add three new dog-friendly activity areas in the park: a play station with agility equipment; a rest station with comfortable seating; and a wash station with fountains for drinking and hosing dogs off after playing in the park. Canyon Creek Ranch managed the renovation with a local contractor and sent a team to Orlando to help bring the project to life.
What impact have these projects generated? The three seed projects had amazing affects in their communities. Orlando now has a great dog park, the Northeast Animal shelter has seen an uptick in cat adoptions, and the Therapy Dogs of Johnson County is using the funds to expand their program. These three projects showed the Better Way Project that the idea of being hands-on involved with projects, rather than just offering a straight donation, made a big difference.
Thank you, Nikki! I just love to see thought turned into action. So…when your kids are whining the Summer Blues, maybe you can sit down with them and think of a great project of your own and see it through! This would make a nice school and Scout project, too. I hope you will let us know if you present a project to the Canyon Creek folks. I have one of my own clanging about in my mind and will share that in time.
I truly want to thank so many who have helped me on my journey in the writing of the first biography of William Lewis Judy. In establishing this blog, and maintaining it over the past three and a half years, I often wondered if it had any impact. Believe me, when I get a response from someone who has read and now thinks differently about an important issue, I feel gratified that I have done some good in the world. I am grateful to all the positive people who make a difference for humans and their animals, like my guest, Nikki Moustaki! Check out her Pet Postcard Project at https://www.facebook.com/petpostcardproject