Wednesday, May 23, 2012

5 star Review of FRIENDS FOR LIFE by Readers Favorite

Reviewed by Lorraine Carey for Readers Favorite

"Friends for Life" is so much more than just your ordinary dog story. It is a heart warming tale of friendship, heroism, bravery and good values. Two orphaned puppies bond together to endure a traumatic kidnapping, encounters with a street dog gang, the dog catcher, robbers, and the prospect of searching for that ever wanted dream of adoption. Here Bo and Rico meet up with another street dog, who will steal your heart and who will school them on street life and train them to be able to live a life of freedom. There is action around every bend as the dogs must always be on guard from the dangers that lurk in the big city. Vivid details are told of each adventure they encounter that will engage every child. The story has friendships come and go as we watch the dogs grow from pups to full grown dogs. You will find yourself cheering as each dog finds their own special home.

Billi Tiner has written a tale that is so rich in doggie talk that the characters come alive and seem so very human. The names of each of the dogs will linger in your memory for quite some time as Tiner makes each one so memorable. It is such a feel good tale that you will want to mark this as one that will be a classic. As a veteran reading specialist I am sure that this is definitely one that is the perfect read aloud for classroom teachers or parents. I can just see the children begging for rereads on this one! I just know it is going to be a favorite of many.

Review of Welcome Home by Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Book Review: Welcome Home by Billi Tiner

Title: Welcome Home
Author: Billi Tiner
Year published: 2011
Publisher: CreateSpace
Number of pages: 164
Recommended age: 8+

Child Rating: ★★★★½

Grown-up Rating: ★★★★½
Reviewed by: Renee and Danielle (Mother and Daughter)

Summary (from the back cover): Welcome Home is the story of Jake, a black Labrador Retriever mix. For as long as Jake can remember, he has been having the same dream. In his dream, he is living in a beautiful home with a wonderful owner. He has never seen the face of the man in the dream, but he knows his voice and he loves him. When it is time for Jake to be given away to a new home, he is very excited that he will finally be able to meet the man he has been dreaming of his entire life. However, when he is chosen, it is definitely not by the man from his dream! Jake is taken to a home where he is terribly mistreated. After suffering years of abuse, Jake finally escapes and embarks on an incredible journey to find the man from his dream. Along the way, Jake meets some interesting characters, survives exciting adventures, and forms some life-long friendships. Join Jake on his incredible journey.

What it’s about:This book is about A dog named Jake who goes on an adventure to find a man he has been dreaming about his entire life.
What I liked and disliked about it: I thought the story was really good. I liked that at the end Jake finally found the man in his dreams because I like happy endings in books. I liked that there were kittens in the story because I like kittens. I wish I was the man in Jake’s dream so that he would come looking for me and he would come live with me.
I was worried when bad things happened to Jake but it was still ok to read because I knew things were going to get better.

My bottom line: I love love loved this book and I think kids 7 and older would like this book!!

What it’s about: Welcome Home tells the moving tale of a black Labrador Retriever, Jake, as he follows his dream of finding his one true master – a man he can only recognize by the kindness in his voice. We are introduced to Jake as he gets adopted by a cruel man intent on raising the gentle puppy into a fighter. Jake withstands years of abuse at his owner’s hands until one day he escapes and begins his journey. Follow Jake along his adventure as he meets new friends and encounters a series of obstacles he must overcame in pursuing his dream.
What I liked and disliked about it: This story is narrated through Jake’s eyes and it reminded me of some classic films where the main character is a dog, such as Big Red and Old Yeller. The closest comparison would truly be the Incredible Journey – a book I loved, loved, loved when I was my daughter’s age. We all fell in love with Jake and it is so fitting that he was a black Labrador Retriever mix because we have friends with this kind of dog and he is just a big marshmallow – just like Jake! There is a gentleness and sweetness that comes across in the story that just melted our hearts.
Overall, the plot itself is incredibly moving and engaging. Jake has a series of adventures and meets up with an assortment of characters, both human and animal, who represent one of the two extremes: either they are trying to hurt Jake or they become Jake’s friends. The story has the right amount of tension for children aged 8+. I found myself tearing up and my voice breaking trying to read the last part of the story. I suppose this suggests that I was emotionally invested in the story!
That being said, there was one significant difference between many of the “animal” stories that I’ve read in the past and this story. This story begins with Jake suffering greatly. We are introduced to Jake when he is still with his cruel owner and the abuse he suffers is described quite graphically. I read the story to my two children and I think they were a bit taken aback by Jake’s suffering. I wasn’t sure they would last through the first few chapters. There were other incidents as the story developed, but these were balanced by more pleasant encounters with humans and animals.
My bottom line: Call me sentimental, but I really enjoyed this story if only because it reminded me of some of the classic stories with animals as main characters – Black Beauty, The Incredible Journey, Charlotte’s Web, and the Call of the Wild to name a few. I would highly recommend this book along the same vein as these books. Due to the graphic descriptions of abuse and injury, I would recommend this book to boys and girls aged 8 and up.
** Welcome Home by B. Tiner was provided to us free-of-charge by the author. **

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pet Health Tip #11- Canine Ear Infections

Ear infections are one of the most common medical issues that occurs in dogs.  This is especially true for dogs with floppy ears during the warm weather months.  Ear infections are most commonly caused by moisture that gets trapped in the ears.  The moist environment is a breeding ground for infectious organisms.  The most common one being yeast.  Air is unable to circulate through the ear canal of floppy eared dogs, thus creating that moist environment.

Ear infections are easiest to take care of in the early stages.  Symptoms include redness, odor, excessive scratching at the ear, or tilting the head to one side.  Ear infections can occur in one or both ears.  As the infections progresses you will also begin to see a discharge.  This discharge can be a oozing pus or dark brown/black waxy build-up.

Ear infections are easily prevented by ensuring that you clean the ears with a drying solution on a regular basis; again, especially in floppy eared dogs.  During the winter, make sure you clean the ears each time the dog has a bath.  This makes sure that the ear canal is dry after the moisture from the bath enters the ear canal.  During the summer, you should clean the ears approximately every 2 weeks.  Again, this is to make sure that they remain dry.   If your dog is a swimmer, then the ears should be cleaned out after each swim.

There are several causes for ear infections.  As I stated, the most common cause is moisture in the ear canal.  However, ear infections can also be caused by a foreign object (such as a tick or grass seed) in the ear.  They can also be caused by allergies.  The skin in the ear is the most tender skin on the dogs body, so this is often where we see the inflammation of an allergic reaction manifest itself.  The most common allergies to cause ear infections are flea allergies and food allergies.

So, the most important treatment is prevention; especially, if you have a floppy eared dog.  This is accomplished with regular ear cleanings with a drying agent.  There are several good ear cleaning solutions available.  You can also use a mixture of 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 warm water dispensed with a bulb syringe (like the ones used on babies).  This is not as effective as the commercial cleaning solutions, but can be used if you are on a budget.

If your dog is showing the symptoms mentioned above, then it is important to take it to the vet, so that a diagnosis of the underlying issue can be made.  If it is their first ear infection, then it is most likely due to moisture trapped in the ear and a 10-14 day regimen of ear medication will clear it up.  However, if your dog has been having reoccurring ear infections, then you are most likely looking at a bigger problem.  So, it is important to have a diagnosis.  Chronic ear infections are much harder to treat and the sooner you get a diagnosis, the better chances of successful treatment.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

5 star reviews for both Heart of a Hero and Welcome Home by b00k r3vi3ws

Welcome Home & Heart of a Hero by Billi Tiner

I have decided to review these two books together because they have a common theme and are similar in some ways.

Welcome Home is the story of Jake. Ever since he was a little puppy, he had dreamed of this nice man and has always been sure that they were meant to be together. As Jake’s ‘brothers’ are all adopted by loving families, Jake longs for the man in his dreams. Finally, he is adopted, but not by the man of his dreams. His new ‘owner’ turns out to be a cruel man who not only violent with him but also expects violence from him. Then one day, when Jake gets a way out, he snatches it to set out on a journey to find the man from his dreams. Soon he is on an adventure of his own, finding his way to his ‘home’.

Heart of a Hero is the story of Lady, who has always wanted to be a hunting dog like her mother. In the story we follow Lady’s life right from a farm life to a messenger dog to a hunting dog to girls pet. It’s a story of love, loss and hurt as Lady loses her owners to war and to death. She feels connected to Carl and Steve yet, she has to adjust over and over again in her life as she is handed over from owner to another.
The common theme in both the stories is the connection between a human and a dog. They both are very heartwarming yet sad at places. They teach us something about love and loyalty between two very different species.

The thing about books is that each reader has the option to receive it the way they want to. In this case, I choose to take away a valuable lesson that both these novels portray - that dogs are more humane than humans at times and their loyalty can never be questioned. Also, in times of war and violence, there’s still some hope for humanity.

It is really up to you too to decide how you want to take these novels. You too can learn an important lesson out of it if you want. On the other hand you can also choose to treat this as a light heartwarming story of a dog. Either way, I guarantee you, that you are going to enjoy it! So go grab yourself a copy

Monday, May 14, 2012

5 Star Review of Welcome Home by Beachbound Books

Welcome Home
by Billi Tiner
Once again Billi Tiner has written a moving story about a special dog who longs for and deserves a loving home. Her story Welcome Home will make you laugh and cry as you follow Jake on his journey to find a place to call home.

As a puppy Jake dreams of the man who will one day take him home, but when he is adopted by a horrible man who wants to use him for a fighting dog Jake is devastated. The man continuously abuses Jake in an effort to make him fight, but Jake's loving spirit cannot be broken. I had a hard time reading about Jake's abuse and was relieved when the storm came and Jake made his escape.

Jake encounters many obstacles and setbacks and makes some very special friends along the way, but he never gives up searching for the man from his dreams.

Will Jake ever be home? I recommend reading Welcome Home. It is a heartwarming story that children will enjoy.

Welcome Home is available at
Review by Stacie Theis of Beachbound Books

Friday, May 11, 2012

Pet Health Tip #10- "What is Feline Aids?"

What is "Feline Aids"?

"Feline Aids" as a lot of people refer to it is caused by a virus; specifically, the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV).  FIV causes symptoms in cats very similar to the symptoms that HIV causes in people.  It basically, destroys the cat's immune system causing them to be much more susceptable to infections.  Most of the time, the first indication that a cat has FIV is that it has an infection that seems to be causing the cat to be more ill than it should.  An example would be an abscess (infection under the skin) that suddenly appears on the cat. Another example would be an upper respiratory infection. 

How does a cat get FIV? 

FIV is transmitted from cat to cat through an exchange between the saliva of an infected cat and the bloodstream of an non-infected cat.  Most typically through a bite wound.  The virus then hides in the cat for up to 6 years before emerging and attacking the immune system.  So, there are a lot of cats that have FIV, but are not showing any symptoms.  Because it is usually transmitted through bite wounds, FIV is found most commonly in stray cats and the occasional indoor/outdoor cat. 

How do I protect my cat from getting FIV?

The most full proof way is to keep the cat indoors.  That way they are never exposed to cat's that have FIV.  Also, since it is transmitted through a bite, if your cat is only going into it's own yard, then you don't really need to worry.  However, there are vaccines available for the cats that do go outside and tend to wander. 

Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) causes symptoms similar to FeLV and is transmitted much more easily.  It can be transmitted from an infected cat's saliva to a non-infected cat through the mucus membranes (lining in the mouth, nose, and eyes).  Therefore, it can be transmitted by one cat simply hissing and spitting on another or through sharing a water dish, etc.  Therefore, if your cat is going to go outside, then I highly recommend that you have them vaccinated for FeLV.

There is a test for FIV/FeLV that is a simple blood test.  I highly recommend that if you are going to bring a new cat into your home, you have then tested first.  That way you will know what you are dealing with.  Like I said, the cat can have the virus for years and not show any symptoms, so if they test positive, then you have to measure their expected life span and the risk to your other cats. 

Can it be treated?

Unfortunately, no.  There is no treatment for the virus.  However, many FIV positive cats live long happy lives.