Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Billi Tiner interview by LL Book Review

Friday, February 24, 2012

Article about Billi Tiner in Nodaway Newsleader

"Welcome Home,” a new book by Maryville resident Dr. Billi Tiner, follows the incredible journey of a dog finding his perfect home.
The story for children ages 10-12 comes from an incident Tiner had as a veterinarian and also from experiences she’s heard from other dog owners.
Although their stories vary, she said one theme connects them all – how they were united with their pets, that the dog chose them to be their owner and that they were meant to be together.
“It’s this perfect match,” she said.
The book has been a journey for Tiner herself, the journey of an author to get her story published.
She wrote the story 10 years ago, and after years of struggling to find a publisher, she decided to self-publish through CreateSpace this past December.
“I’ve always loved to write. And I’ve also always loved animals,” she said. “It’s really nice to know the book is available now.”
“Welcome Home” can be found on Amazon in both paperback and e-book formats as well as at the Nodaway News Leader. She also donated copies of the book to the Maryville Public Library and Maryville Middle School library.
Tiner and her husband, John, and their two children moved to Maryville last summer. She is currently employed as a food safety inspector with the USDA.
Originally from Oklahoma, she attended veterinary school at Oklahoma State University.
She is currently working on her second book, inspired by her mom, about a World War II hero dog that was shot in the back saving soldiers. She hopes to have it out sometime this spring." -Jacki Wood Nodaway Newsleader

Link to article http://nodawaynews.com/pages/?p=2871#more-2871

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Welcome Home's 5 star Review from Readers Favorite

Reviewed by Alice D. for Readers Favorite

Jake the puppy and his two siblings are half golden retriever and half black Labrador from the neighborhood, they think. Jake, the biggest of the puppies is the last of them to find a home, and sadly, he is adopted by Joe who is cruel and shows Jake no love. After many beatings, Jake is bruised and hurt, so he runs away. And so begin Jake's adventures. First, he teams up with Mary, an elderly homeless lady, to do tricks and perform for people. Mary becomes ill and Jake is captured by the local animal control officer. After escaping the local animal shelter, Jake becomes friends with two stray dogs, Rico and Bo, and they rescue a kitten named Sam, fight off and then become friends with a pack of Mongrel dogs. Jake is hit by a car, but survives when a kind veterinarian helps him recover and gets him into loving foster care. Finally, Jake finds the man with the kind voice that he has been dreaming of since puppy hood and he, Rico, and Bo have a loving, welcoming home at last. A happy ending for a dog story that will win young readers' hearts.

"Welcome Home" is a well-written animal story that young readers will enjoy, for although it contains moments of anxiety, no animal characters die and the main characters find happiness at the end. The plot flows smoothly as Jake the Labrador goes from one adventure to another. The dialogue is believable and realistic even though it is dogs and sometimes cats conversing with each other. The entire story is plausible and "Welcome Home" will be loved and remembered and reported upon by many young pre-teen readers

Welcome Home available on Amazon http://amzn.to/wM57Uh

Visit Readers Favorite http://bit.ly/wS2bs3

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My dog Ellie

In February, 2001, I was serving in the US Army Veterinary Corps and was living in San Antonio, TX.  I decided to give myself the gift of a dog for my birthday.  I went to an animal shelter that was near my apartment complex.  I wasn't sure what kind of dog that I wanted, but due to the fact that I was living in an apartment, I was looking for one that was under 50lbs.  This particular animal shelter was a complex of several buildings with outdoor runs for the dogs.  You were allowed to walk around the runs and look for a dog that you wanted to get to know better.  They had a really nice fenced in park area for you to take the dog and spend time with it before making your decision. 

I walked by several pens.  For the most part, the behavior that a dog shows while in the pen will be similar to its behavior when you take it home.  There were several dogs that were barking and jumping up on the fence.  I knew that these dogs would be too hyper for life in an apartment.  Then there were several dogs who were cowering at the back of their pens.  I wanted a dog that would be friendly and outgoing.  I wanted one that would enjoy spending time at the park or hiking.  Finally, I came to a pen that had a tri-colored Australian Cattle Dog mix that was just sitting in the middle of her pen watching what was going on around her.  As I squatted outside her fence, she came up and sat with her body pressed to the fence and looked at me as if to say, "Will you get me out of here?"  I was immediately drawn to her sweet face.  She wasn't too boisterous and she wasn't too timid.  I asked one of the worker if I could take her out to the park area.  The worker told me that her name was Ellie. 

As Ellie and I walked out to the park, she was very relaxed and calm.  As soon as we got inside the fenced park area, I removed her leash.  Ellie took off like a rocket running joyfully around the pen.  Then she came back and looked at me with a look that said, "Thank you for the run."  I knew that this was the dog for me.  She was calm when she needed to be, but was also energetic and playful when the moment was right.

I took her home with me that day.  Things weren't perfect.  I think she chewed up about 5 remote controls, the tongue off one of my combat boots, and several pairs of pants.  However, she was perfect for me.  She loved traveling in the car, going to the park, going to agility training, and just hanging out watching television.

Ellie also has one of the sweetest natures I have ever been around.  I have often found her out in the yard standing guard over a hurt or sometimes already dead small animal.  She thinks that it is her responsibility to protect them.  She also LOVES babies and small children.  She worries over them like a mother hen.

Ellie is now 12 years old.  She is arthritic and has slowed down considerably.  I know that my time with her is drawing to an end.  I read a story about someone giving their dog "the perfect day" before they died.  I have been thinking about what I can do for Ellie.  It is very humbling to know that her perfect day will be just to get to spend it by my side.  I love you Ellie.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Helpful sites for independent authors

There are many websites out there that are dedicated to helping independent authors promote their books.  Several of the sites charge for their services and some of them offer free promotion ideas.  Many of them will let you post a description of your book along with information about yourself.  Here is a list of some of the sites that I have found.  Feel free to add to the list.







Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My experience with Military Working Dogs

I served 3 years in the US Army Veterinary Corps.  During this time, I was privileged to work with our Military Working Dogs (MWDs).  I was stationed in San Antonio, TX (home of the MWD Training Center) on Sept 11, 2001.  Several of the dogs that I cared for were sent with our special forces troops into Afghanistan.  One night, a few weeks after one of them left, I received a phone call from the dogs handler.  He was in an undisclosed location and his dog was having a seizure.  The handler was in a complete panic.  Unfortunately, there wasn't much he or I (over the phone) could do for the dog.  Due to the fact that seizures are so unpredictable and the dogs have to be alert at all times, the dog had to be retired.  The soldier was devastated.  The handlers become very close to their dogs.  When they lose one, it is like losing a partner.

I also was asked to go to Salt Lake City during the winter Olympics.  It wasn't long after Sept 11 and there was a lot of uncertainty about the safety of the Olympics.  Several military working dogs were sent to Salt Lake City about a month prior to the start of the Olympics to patrol the venues for any signs of terrorist activities.  During my time in Salt Lake City, I lived in a VA hospital across from the stadium where they held the opening ceremonies.

One of the interesting things that happened after we went into Afghanistan was that the US military discovered a need for dogs trained to detect land mines.  The dogs in the military at that time were trained for patrol, drug detection, and bomb detection.  They were not trained to detect land mines.   The military was renting these dogs from other countries.  At the time, I was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood.  This is the base where the Corps of Engineers is headquartered.  Combat engineers are the ones responsible for disarming land mines.  The military decided begin a program to train black Labrador Retrievers to detect land mines.  This unit was to be called the Military Working Dog Land Mine Detection Unit.  Since I was the veterinarian stationed on the base where they were wanting to begin the program, I was asked to help design the dog kennel.  In addition, I was asked to train the combat engineers that were going to be the dogs' handlers in basic animal husbandry and first aid.  Prior to this all MWDs were handled by the military police and they were either German Shepherds or Belgian Malinois.  It was a real honor to be a part of getting that program started.

Monday, February 13, 2012

WW II War Dogs

My upcoming novel Heart of a Hero was inspired by my mom's dog, Lady, who was a WWII War Dog.  I thought that I would share a little about the War Dog program during WWII. 

The US Marine Corps began the War Dog Training program in the summer of 1942.  Dogs had been used by the military prior to this time, but this was the first time that they were going to be trained specifically for combat roles.  They trained dogs to be either scout or messenger dogs.  The training lasted approximately 14 weeks.  The first phase of the training was spent on basic obedience and the second phase of the training was advanced combat training.  Each scout dog had one handler and each messenger dog had two handlers.  The messenger dogs were trained to travel between the two handlers.

The US Marine Corps accepted dogs donated by civilians from about 1942-1945.  The requirements were that the dog needed to be between 1-5yrs old, either sex, max 50lbs, and not gun-shy.  The most successful breeds were the Doberman Pinscher and the German Shepherd.  However, they took any breed that fit the requirements.  Lady, the hero in my novel, was an Irish Setter.

The 1st Marine War Dog platoon  went in to Bouganville and was very successful.  Many dogs were cited for their bravery and heroism.  They also participated in the battles at Okinawa and Iwo Jima.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Inspiration for Heart of a Hero

Heart of a Hero was inspired by my mom's childhood dog, Lady, an Irish Setter.  When my mom was about 5 years old, a young soldier brought Lady into a cafe where my grandfather was eating.  He told the people in the cafe that Lady had been a hero in WW II.  She had been a messenger dog that was shot in the back while carrying a message that saved the lives of several service men.  The US Marines had allowed the soldier to bring Lady home with him.  When the US entered into the Korean War, the soldier was once again called into action and needed a new home for Lady.  My grandfather brought her home, thinking that she would make a good hunting dog.  However, after being shot, she was now gun-shy.  So, my grandfather gave her to my mother.  Lady was my mom's loyal and faithful companion for many years after that.  I have grown up hearing many stories of Lady's bravery and friendship.  Heart of a Hero is dedicated to Lady a true American hero.

Monday, February 6, 2012

More about the author

Thought I would share a few interesting facts about myself:

I love sports. College basketball is my favorite sport with college football coming in a close second.   I am a huge Oklahoma State University Cowboys fan and try to watch all of their televised games.  I even spent one year as a play-by-play radio announcer for a high school football program.  My husband was my color commentator.  We had a blast doing those games.

As a veterinarian, I have worn many hats. I have worked in a few small animal practices as an associate veterinarian.  I served a few years in the US Army Veterinary Corps.  I also spent a couple of years running a veterinary clinic in a large animal shelter. 

In addition to being a veterinarian, I have also taught science classes for a small community college in Missouri.

I am also a mother, animal lover, and outdoor enthusiast.