Tag Archives: dog therapy

Furbaby Friday with Danielle Morrone!


I am happy to have Danielle here to share her wonderful dog and her upcoming YA fantasy release from The Wild Rose Press, The New Apprentice, Book One of The Krane Chronicles, co-authored with her father.

Danielle: After 11 years of having a dog, I didn’t know how not to, and I didn’t really want to find out.
When I lost my boxer Molly in my sophomore year of college, I was lost. Despite college being a terrible time to take on the responsibility of a boxer puppy, renown for their high energy levels, I made the decision to love my Luna, or, depending on her mood, Lunatic. Born on Valentine’s Day, Luna is the craziest of her litter, and while my mother called dibs on her littermate Leo, I chose the only white boxer of the litter.

To anyone familiar with boxers, this might seem like a crazy idea. Boxers were initially German hunting dogs, which is something I find laughable as today they are lovers and not fighters. They have been selectively bred over the years for their smooshed snouts and playful personalities. White boxers make up about 25 percent of every litter of boxers, and are notorious for having health complications, including blindness and deafness. Because of this, no one really wants them. I have grown up with boxers, both brindles and another white boxer, and from day one I was ready to love this little fur baby and whatever challenges she presented.

Well, my little spitfire is in wonderful health, and the only issue with her hearing is that it’s extremely selective. Luna remains insane at one year old. She loves to run and combine fetch and tug-o-war into one game. She insists on bringing a toy on walks but will drop said toy to chase a leaf blowing in the wind. She’s a complete goof, spoiled rotten, and the biggest love. Her favorite way to sleep is curled up on me, and there’s no better way to start every day than when she crawls onto my chest to give me love. I remember the day I finally got to take her home, I picked her up and she wrapped her arms around me in a hug and refused to let go. She knew from the first moment that she was mine, and I was hers.

Oh, I am hers. Luna is the queen of my house, and she knows it. She has me trained to give her an ice cube every time I go into the freezer, and hogs both the couch and bed. She is best buddies with my sister’s 10-year-old black lab mix Toby. Is it easy to edit or do homework with a dog laying on my laptop? Nope. Does she care? Absolutely not. It’s hard to be mad when she’s so darn cute, and is it really possible to feel anything other than pure joy when you see a boxer baby bouncing down the hall to you?

There’s a reason boxers are said to be one of the best family dogs there are. They’re sweet but sassy, protective but never vicious. Their temperament makes them the perfect best friends for small children and adults alike.

Luna would have a ball playing with all the animals in Barnabus Krane’s bookstore in The New Apprentice, the first book of The Krane Chronicles that I am co-authoring with my father Vincent Morrone.

The New Apprentice:
For fourteen years, Z has wondered where she came from, why strange things occur around her, and what happened to her family. When she runs into an old bookstore to hide from a horde of school bullies, she starts to find the answers with the cantankerous owner, Barnabus Krane.

Barnabus becomes her guardian, her magical instructor, and the family she’s never had. He teaches her how to bring out the magic from within her ‘Ka’ and about the mystical world she never knew existed. But Barnabus also hides secrets. His connection to her past, his hunt for the warlock Blackwell, and the darkness that threatens to consume them all.
The hardest lesson for Z to learn is to trust in her bond with Barnabus and believe that their relationship goes beyond family. For he’s not just another magician. He is the Grand Master Sorcerer, and Z is the New Apprentice.

Excerpt:
Barnabus shot me a grin. “What do you think?”
“I’m gonna learn how to do that?”
“And more.” He turned to face me. “So, Parthenia Zogopoulos.” He ignored my wince at his use of my full name. “I would like to make you my apprentice.” He held up a hand to hold off my reaction. “The bond between a teacher and apprentice is extraordinarily special. It’s very strong and intimate in a way you’ve never experienced before. The two become family. You have to be sure you’re ready to make that commitment.”
I gave him an amused look and ignored my pounding heart. “Is this a marriage or an offer to teach me?”
Barnabus scowled. “I’m serious. Will you let me use my magic to grow yours, teach you my secrets, and guide you on your journey?”
I gulped. This was real, this offer, not like all the empty promises I’d been dished out over the years at each new temporary home. This was so much more. I tried to find the words to match it, but I had nothing.
Finally, I managed one word. “Yes.”
Barnabus nodded and held up his right hand, then placed his index and middle finger on my temple. I felt a warm sensation flood through me, racing through my body and making my veins tingle. I felt tears come to my eyes as it washed over me. It felt like something I had never had before.
It was love. Family. For the first time, I was home.

Author’s Bios:
Danielle Morrone insists that the minute and a half time difference between her and her twin sister doesn’t count. She is currently a full time college student studying psychology and creative writing. Danielle has been writing for most of her childhood, and began working on The Krane Chronicles with her father at age fifteen. When not lost in the musings of her own creations, you can find her acting as her boxer puppy’s personal chew toy or training in capoeira. Life might be hectic, but not so much that there’s no time to keep in touch with loyal readers. Drop a question or comment for Danielle at morronedanielle4@gmail.com any time. She’s in college. She’s awake to answer.

Born and raised in Brooklyn NY, Vincent Morrone now resides in Upstate NY with his wife. (Although he can still speak fluent Brooklynese.) His twin daughters remain not only his biggest fans, but usually are the first to read all of his work. Their home is run and operated for the comfort and convenience of their dogs.
Vincent has been writing fiction, poetry and song lyrics for as long as he can remember, most of which involve magical misfits, paranormal prodigies and even on occasion superheroes and their sidekicks.
As they say in Brooklyn: Yo, you got something to say to Vincent? Check out http://vincentmorrone.com/ where you can learn about Vincent and leave him a comment.

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Danielle a comment.

Furbaby Friday with T. Strange!


A warm welcome to T. Strange who joins us to share her touching dog adoption and her light New Adult romance,  My Zombie Boyfriend.

T. Strange: Let me start by saying—I’m not a dog person. I am a happily catted cat person. That being said, here’s the story of how a dog got me.

My wife and I both struggle with depression, and three years ago she had a major mental health crisis and she’s still fighting to find her way back to having more good days than bad. For a while she was extremely agoraphobic on top of the depression and anxiety, but she really wanted to move past that and be able to go out on her own. She suggested that we try fostering dogs, because the dog would need to go out for walks every day and give her something to do. I’ll admit, I was reluctant (see above re: cat person) but I could definitely see this helping her so of course I wanted to be supportive.

We received our first dog. And then three dogs at once (we almost kept one of those, but he wasn’t quite right. But we still dog-sit for him sometimes!). And more and more dogs until they all blended together. And they did help! Just as my wife had suspected, the dogs helped her get outside, without me, and able to start being more independent again.

I was already in bed when our eventual foster fail arrived. It was after midnight, and my wife brought him home and put him in bed next to me. He immediately curled up against my side, and I’ll admit, I was touched. Most of them weren’t that cuddly right away. Sometimes ever.  Ok, we thought. Friendly dog.

The next day we took Friendly Dog for a walk, and it quickly became apparent that no, he was actually Scaredy Dog. He was terrified of everything and everyone, and we were so confused—where was the cuddly, trusting dog we’d met at home? As soon as we got home, there was Friendly Dog again. Houston, we have a problem. This dog has bonded with us.

Even then, I think all three of us knew it was inevitable, but the two humans tried to be in denial. We weren’t looking for a permanent dog. We were only keeping him until he got adopted. Which became, if he’s not adopted in a month…it’s fate and we’re keeping him.

It didn’t help that he was the perfect dog for our home. Low-energy, cat-avoiding, affectionate. Pleasantly dumb. Food motivated and eager to please. He fit right in.

We were still waffling when I got a text at work from my wife.

I’m at a street festival. An old man saw the dog and said he looked just like his old dog. I told him the dog is adoptable, but he just looked me in the eye and said, No. You’re going to keep this dog.

I had goosebumps. I wasn’t foolish enough to ignore a message that clear. I guess we have a dog, I texted back.

(PS: After a long, long hunt for the right name, my wife came up with Ouija. His collar tag is a planchette)

About My Zombie Boyfriend (The Undead Canadian Series): Reverting to my true nature—and because I began the series before there were any dogs in my life—My Zombie Boyfriend is dog-free, but has two cats, Boo and Winston. Boo is, as the blurb mentioned, Edward’s cat and the first zombie he ever reanimated. He’s…pretty gross, but Edward loves him with all his heart. (Kit secretly feels the same). Edward buys Winston for Kit for Christmas. Everyone loves Winston—but not as much as Kit. Winston is a blue British Shorthair and just the sweetest little dumpling of a kitten.

Blurb for My Zombie Boyfriend

Edward Grey is a medical student by day, necromancer by night. He lives alone with the first zombie he ever raised, his childhood cat, Boo. Edward’s life is simple: studying medicine, training his necromantic powers with his mentor, Mariel, and having weekly dinners with his parents. When he finds a very attractive corpse in a park and brings it home to reanimate, he creates a sassy, free-willed zombie who believes Edward is the one who murdered him.

With no memory of his former life, Edward names the zombie Kit and tries to win his trust. Kit slowly adjusts to his new un-life with Edward’s help, though he’s still suspicious of Edward’s role in his death and is convinced that Edward is hiding his former identity. Edward is very attracted to Kit, but understands why Kit doesn’t trust him. As they become closer to one another, Kit turns to Edward for comfort and love. The fragile trust they’ve built together will be tested when Kit unexpectedly regains his memory and seeks revenge on his murderers.

Excerpt:

I started wearing more Kit-like clothes, and recombining the clothes I usually wore in new, Kit-like ways. Our clothing wasn’t all that different, though Kit’s tended to be tighter, more colourful, and patterned. And with designer labels, of course.

I wanted him to notice me.

I wanted him to know that I cared about him, about what he thought, even if I couldn’t actually say it out loud.

“Kit? I need to shower. Like, now.” One of the ‘patients’ I had done a practice diagnosis on had been doing some very realistic coughing and I felt…germy. I had called out for Kit as I got in, but only Winston and Boo greeted me. Boo had taken up residence at the very top of the absurdly tall cat tree. His eyes would catch the light at the creepiest possible moments, and he startled everyone in the house, including me. Kit had taken to telling Winston scary bedtime stories about the fiend-cat who dwelled in the mountain cave. These stories invariably left innocent Winston purring and me frowning. I’m very protective of Boo’s feelings.

Boo was in his cave now, and he stuck his head out of the little shelter, giving one of his idiosyncratic yowls.

Winston was perched, as usual, on the lowest platform, curled into a snug little dumpling.

I felt a little guilty for only scratching the kitten and not Boo, but I told Boo I couldn’t reach him. And I didn’t trust him not to bite or scratch me. He seemed to be in one of those moods.

Winston purred at me briefly, then yawned and stretched. It’s ridiculous how cute he is.

There was still no sign of Kit, and I thought that he must be out or working or something. I could never keep track of his schedule, even on the rare occasions he remembered to give it to me.

I was heartily enjoying my decontaminating shower when I heard the bathroom door open.

“Boo, one of these days I’m going to figure out how you do that and I’m going to stop you.” I didn’t bother turning around. I hadn’t heard the massive, wall-rattling thud that signalled Boo crashing down from his lair—he eschewed using the intervening platforms, apparently deciding they were for mere mortal cats. Instead, he performed a death-defying leap straight to the floor, a nearly nine-foot drop—but then, I hadn’t been paying particular attention and might easily have missed the sound with the shower running.

It wasn’t until the shower stall door opened that I revised my theory. I’ve needed to give Boo enough rinses over the years for him to know exactly what goes on in the shower, and how little he wants to do with it. Now that he didn’t need to drink, he had achieved that perfect state of catdom: he could completely avoid water in all its forms, at all times, unless I intervened. I could think of no reason for him to want in the shower, even if he could open the door, especially with the water running.

I was still turning to see what was going on, almost afraid to look after countless horror movie shower scenes, when I felt chilly hands on my waist.

I shrieked and grabbed the nearest available weapon, which happened to be a bottle of shampoo, and, half-blinded by the steam and water, I brandished it at the intruder. Unfortunately, I had upset my shower caddy when I removed the shampoo, and a bottle of liquid soap landed on my toe, making me slightly less threatening than your ordinary wet, naked man clutching a bottle of anti-dandruff shampoo.

It was Kit, of course.

“I’m cold,” he said, and I felt a shiver run down my spine. I had already been thinking of scary movies, and that line had certainly been in enough of them.

“You are cold!” He was naked, and I forgot to ask why he’d joined my shower instead of having his own. “Do you feel it?”

He shook his head, looking a little forlorn. “No, I was out walking and I forgot my coat. The cold didn’t bother me—it’s snowing, by the way—but people started giving me strange looks. The snow wasn’t melting on me.”

Oh. That would be unsettling. Kit could feel sensation, he assured me, but he said that everything felt strangely distant, as though he’d been sitting still too long and his whole body had fallen asleep. He also tended to be around ambient temperature, though he seemed to hold heat and cold a little longer than an inanimate object of his relative size, shape and density. He had, by the way, flatly refused to experiment, but those were my observations.

About the Author: Strange didn’t want to learn how to read, but literacy prevailed and she hasn’t stopped reading—or writing—since. She’s been published since 2013, and she writes M/M romance in multiple genres, including paranormal and BDSM. T.’s other interests include cross stitching, gardening, watching terrible horror movies, playing video games, and finding injured pigeons to rescue. Originally from White Rock, BC, she lives on the Canadian prairies, where she shares her home with her wife, cats, guinea pigs and other creatures of all shapes and sizes. She’s very easy to bribe with free food and drinks—especially wine.

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Thanks for stopping by. Please leave T. Strange a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Author Patty Koontz!


You are in for a treat! My good friend, Patty Koontz, is here to share her wonderful menagerie, especially her beloved Samoyeds, and her charming new children’s book Wee Darby Visits The North Pole.

(Samoyed Puppies)

Patty: I wish to thank my dear friend, Beth, for inviting me here today!  I’m thrilled for this opportunity to share a wee bit about a few of my loveable “fur-babies”, which I consider my “children”.

One brisk morning, when I was a wee lass, and to my Mum’s horror, she caught me outside sharing a tasty snack with my new best friend, “kitty”, the SKUNK!  My parents immediately bought me a stuffed pink bunny, “bun-bun”, to help distract me from searching for my pet kitty.  My dream in life was to become a zoologist and work with wolves. My parents, of course, didn’t encourage that pursuit. I truly think that’s why they kept me away from the zoo.  So, since then, I’ve raised rabbits, quail, fish, goats, sheep, and alpacas; helped my Daddy raise and train hunting dogs, and rescued several cats and dogs. Most importantly, I made sure I married a man who loves animals as much as I do!

After several miscarriages and finding out we were unable to have any children of our own, our pets became my priority and our babies. I’ll always remember the day we spotted our very first “Samoyed” – and it was love at first sight!  I’m honored and feel very blessed to have been owned and loved by this magical breed, and my own beloved “pack”, for over 25 years. I also had the opportunity to educate people about how magnificent the Samoyed breed really is, besides discovering just how close their instinctive habits are related to the wolf.

(Show dog, Wolf, enjoying posing for the camera)

Their good-natured personalities, love, and companionship made a huge impact in my life. Not only did they help me through the tragic loss of my father – but one in particular (her name was Magick), actually saved my husband’s life and alerted me when he went into a coma.  They continued to stand by me and work their loving magic by getting me through the heartbreaking loss of my best friend in the world – my beloved Irish Mum. These wonderful babies were my saving grace and nurtured me through the most difficult trials. Sadly, and most heart wrenching, my last Samoyed, Panda, closed her eyes and went to join the rest of the pack five years ago.

Even though my beloved babies are not with me anymore, fond memories of my Sammies will always fill my heart and soul – and one day, I pray, we’ll meet again when they cross back over Rainbow Bridge . . . and they come running to meet my open arms.

(Wolf–not happy about sharing the limelight)

It breaks my heart that I’m unable to have another Samoyed right now, (but I’m not giving up). To try and help fill that painful void, we soon adopted a rescue puppy named Patches, that was getting ready to be put down at a shelter. He was “supposed” to be a smaller dog, but has ended up being an 80 lb. lap (hunting dog) that doesn’t leave my husband’s side. I’m thankful for the companionship he gives him while I’m gone at work. I also have a lovable, furry Ragdoll cat named Samson, who believes he’s a dog.

A few interesting facts about Samoyeds:


(Thunder, Rusty Autumn, Snowbear)

These double coated dogs love the cold – they love to herd reindeer, (chase squirrels), pull sleds, (dig holes), do weight pulls, (howl like wolves at the sound of ambulances and fire engines). Their thick coats repel dirt and they have no “doggy smell”.  In fact, I collected bags of rich, “blown undercoat” and spun it into yarn. I knitted gloves, scarves, hats and sweaters –people thought it was angora!  Another point most people don’t realize is that the true color of Samoyed’s eyes are brown – not blue.  I could go on, and on, and on . . . but I know there’s only so much blog space room. 🙂

To honor and keep the memories of my beloved “pet children” alive, I’m thrilled to carry on their legacy and “antics” by including them in a Christmas story written for “all ages”, set in the North Pole.

Get ready to enjoy an Arctic Adventure with Wee Darby and his dragon companion Kalista.  Where they meet up with the flying sheep named Merlin, loveable Samoyeds, elves, reindeer, fairy penguins, a troll, and of course Santa! (There’s plenty more, but you’ll have to read it to find out . . . . )

Thanks again, Beth, for having me!  I love reading your weekly posts!

Beth: Thanks Patty. I love hearing about your wonderful Samoyeds. I didn’t know anything about these outstanding dogs before you.

(Cover by Elise Trissel)

Blurb for Wee Darby Visits the North Pole:

When Wee Darby learns his pet sheep, Merlin, has been spotted flying with a herd of Santa’s Reindeer, he sets off to the North Pole for an adventure filled with arctic antics and magick. Get ready to discover the enchantment of Kringle Village, magical creatures, and fairy tale ice sculptures while you celebrate the holidays with an endearing troupe of fairies, elves, and trolls. Written for children of all ages, who wish to keep the magic of Christmas alive all year.

***Wee Darby Visits the North Pole is available in print and kindle at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Wee-Darby-Visits-North-Pole/dp/1978202164/r

Follow Wee Darby on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Wee-Darby-and-his-magical-friends-141592326340574/

Follow Patty Koontz at: https://www.facebook.com/patty.koontz.98

Follow Darby’s blog: “Wee Darby” https://pattykoontz.wordpress.com/wee-darby/

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Patty comment.

(Panda)