Thursday, November 29, 2012

Book Review: The Dalai Lama's Cat by David Michie

The Dalai Lama's Cat by David Michie is a charming novel that captures the reader's attention from the very first page as the cat recounts how life has brought her to the Dalai Lama's home with the stunning view of the Himalayas and how life is a series of experiences from which to learn.

Not one of those sickeningly sweet books where the cat talks, the cat serves as narrator and observer whose literary voice is more that of an adult human than an animal's and yet, her references as a feline are accurate. The feline attitude is never far away, nor are the feline characteristics with which the cat is imbued.

A tiny kitten who, along with her littermates is stolen by children determined to sell them, the kittens are much too young to leave their mother. The tiny kitten is the last one left and is nearly killed by the cruel children. As fate would have it, the Dalai Lama is just returning from a lecture tour and his car is stopped in traffic right across the street from where the children are about to kill the last kitten, the one they have injured. The Dalai Lama sends one of his people to buy the kitten; its uncertain survival now in the hands of The Dalai Lama who, along with his staff, nurses the kitten back to health.

Her new life brings her in contact with Buddhist masters, famous philanthropists, Hollywood stars, Ivy League professors and other people both famous and common. And from each situation the little cat grows emotionally as well as physically and learns much about life that we humans would do well to apply to ourselves.  Change, we learn, begins from within us.

Michie has captured the culture, the pace and the beauty of the setting while his little cat captures the reader's heart.  

This is a book that will stay with you long after the last page has been turned.

Published by Hay House you can The Dalai Lama's Cat at your local bookstore or online.  Here's a link that will take you to it:

Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday Fun with Hartz

The holidays are upon us and once again, Hartz has a new line of four unique Angry Birds dog toys. We know how much fun pets had with them last year but this year there's some added fun for the owner - a contest on Facebook!

Here's the way it works. First, go to: 

You'll find the Facebook game there. 

Each of the new dog toys will be shown in four different holiday locations. The locations will be slowly revealed during the course of four weeks.

Each week - Monday through Sunday - a photo of one of the toys in a distinct setting will be featured on the Facebook page but only a small amount of the photo will be visible.

As the week goes on, more of the photo will be visible each day and will be fully revealed on Sunday.

You'll be able to submit your guesses about the location where the toy is hiding out as many times as you like throughout each week for a chance to win your own limited edition set of all four characters.

The contest starts today, November 26th, 2012 so hurry on over and join in the fun.

Also, if you want to win a toy for your dog, here's a second chance offering: write to me via my website:

Tell me why you think your dog needs a set of Angry Birds limited edition toys for the holidays!

Good luck and have fun!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Book Review: Paw Tracks

Sometimes a book comes along that captivates you in a very special way.  Such a book is Paw Tracks, A Childhood Memoir by Denis O'Connor. O'Connor, now retired, was a psychologist and teacher who was published in academic journals. How he got past his childhood and has had such a successful life is the miracle of this story.

Denis was raised in Northumberland where woods and riverbanks became his salvation, his escape from a brutal, unloving father. Verbal abuse or physical abuse would each be bad enough but the young Denis suffered them both with no real defense by his mother. He found loving people in his grandmother and a couple who owned a nearby farm.

What really saved him were the animals in his life. He found a way to communicate and work with his neighbor's aggressive dog, he gentled an untamed horse who had a similar background of abuse, a white cat that he had to say was his mother's in order to keep it. And worst of all, his beloved dog was put down by his father. Why?  Because Denis loved the dog and the dog loved him.

O'Connor describes his childhood and surroundings in clear and vivid detail, including the enchantment of nature and how it came to mean so much to him. While many would not survive such a childhood, O'Connor was determined to better his life and get away from his father, the father who could never be proud of him.  He knew that freedom would come through education and so he worked exceptionally hard to assure that he would go to university.

Paw Tracks is not a very lengthy book, only 214 pages that seem to fly as one moves along through Denis O'Connor's childhood and it leaves the reader wanting more.

Published by Constable & Robinson in London, the book is available on Amazon: