Archive for the ‘Basset Hounds’ Category

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Wondering where I’ve been?


Well, you could pretend.

I’ve gassed up the virtual Cadillac and have been touring the country visiting friends blogs. here’s a road map in case you missed any.

Gar Haywood’s crazy interview on Murderati

Elizabeth White’s great book review site where I blog on what’s wrong with most fight scenes

Joe Konrath’s Newbie’s Guide to Publishing where I wrote about risk and the mystery writer

Amy Alessio’s Reading and cooking blog where you get to read about my vegeatarian Buffalo chicken wing recipe

Ebook and Kindle Reader Blog where I wrote about reviving the tired boxing metaphor

Crimespree Blog on how to write a novel in an hour a day

The ABC Basset Rescue Blog where I wrote about the importance of basset celebrations

Dana Cameron was nice enough to host me on the Femmes Fatale blog. i wrote about what people don’t know about boxing

LJ Sellers hosted me on the Crime Fiction Collective on punching up your fight scenes

Deb Baker had me at Cozy Chicks where I wrote about dogs in mysteries

Sueann Jaffarian was nice enough to host my favorite TV personality thoughts on Steve McGarrett at Criminal Minds

If you have a blog and would like me to come visit just let me know!

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There are certain styles of therapy that rely on story telling and metaphor as an indirect way to impart knowledge from the therapist to the client.

Sometimes life does that all by itself.

Right now I am in the midst of looking for the deeper meaning in an event.

Let me explain.

We have a small city backyard. We’ve divided it in half so that the dogs have their side and the humans have a dog-free side. I have three large hounds who shit two or three times a day. Many times they do this on walks but when the weather is bad they can do it quite frequently in the backyard where we have pea gravel down to aid the process.

The ideal procedure is they go out to crap, I follow them with a rubber glove, pick up the product and dispose of it in a garbage-bagged-lined receptacle placed strategically in the back corner of the yard. Every Monday I take the bag out, seal it tightly, sometimes double bag it and put it out with the city garbage. It is not a bad system.

Alas, life gets in the way.

Now it gets dark much earlier. This time of year it can get quite cold or wet with rain and snow. Skipping a week or even two doesn’t cause a lot of trouble because the receptacle is lined and sealed.

Yesterday I realized I had been procrastinating.

I realized it was time to get the bag out.

Turns out it had been more than a couple of weeks. It was more than three weeks.

The garbage receptacle is not a simple round barrel. It is an ornamental thing designed to look like its wood. It has a lip on the top and a lid with a hinge.

I reached into to get the bag out and realized immediately it was heavy.  The unseasonably warm weather had kept its contents from freezing. Much of it had become liquid or sludgy.

The bag ripped in half and sunk to the bottom of the receptacle. I tipped it over but the contents got stuck all around the lip.

I decided I had to go to work and that I would tackle this problem later.

This morning, just now, was later.

I tipped the thing over and about eighty pounds of a congealed peanut-butteresque substance half plopped out and half stuck at the top of the receptacle. I was still in my slippers and barely awake.

I felt a wave of revulsion surge through me followed by panic. I went and got a supply of rubber gloves, a farming shovel, several garbage bags and I did my best to disassociate from my consciousness.

I shoveled and filled 5 garbage bags. I raked the stones to spread the stuff out. I kept at it despite being totally grossed out. I tried to controll my self-talk about what I was doing. In a half an hour I was done. When the weather is warmer I will get the power washer and clean the receptacle thing of the remnants.

Where’s the therapy metaphor?

1. I learned procrastination has it’s consequences.

2. Getting through something takes work even if you don’t want to do it.

3. Denying a problem only makes it worse.

4. Even though you hate addressing something if you keep at it it will get done.

5. Ignoring what your thoughts tell you can be very helpful in accomplishing something.

6. Sometimes even if you want something done and over you have to finish the job by working on it later.

7. Thinking about this problem now may not be pleasant but knowing it is done lessens its effects.

Now if I can only get this stink of my hands.

Which is often metaphorical for the aftermath of dealing with an issue.

For more articles on basset hounds click here.

For more Free Psychotherapy articles click here.

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Today a guest poem  from basset haiku master Ginny Tata-Phillips. You can find her regularly at:

Why do you scoop

my poop so carefully yet freak

if I consume it?



For more dog blogs click here.

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Today a guest poem  from basset haiku master Ginny Tata-Phillips. You can find her regularly at:

Since the neutering

he licks himself in tribute

to what used to be.

1. I don’t like the rain. It has meant two days without a walk.

2. What makes the big guy think I have any interest in sleeping from the hours of 10pm to 5am?

3. What’s that smell?

4. The big guy looks pissed and not at all like he wants to play at 1:13am. What’s up with that?

5. The backyard is fun in the middle of the night.

6. I’ll make him rub my belly. He stops too soon.

7. Something smells

8. At 3:06am it is tough to decide where to settle down. Maybe I’ll lick the big guy again.

9.  He says bad words a lot.

10. It’s fun to watch him roll back and forth, exhale and curse.


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For other episodes of Crap Roxie Thinks click here.


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Writing is tough to do. I love it but its hard, especially when the cold business of publishing wears you down.

I was thrilled when I got a four book contract from my first publisher. The first one hit  the independent Mystery Book Sellers top 10 list and the same organization gave my second book the designation “Killer Book”.

Then later that month I got a letter that my publisher was dropping me.

Luckily another publisher picked up my third Duffy that was in the can and ready to go.

Someone in publishing read my books and told me to write something out of my series because it was very hard to resell a series. I did just that and took a year to write a totally new book. I had friends read it and they liked it.

The publishing pro didn’t.

A year later someone else in the publishing world picked it up and I was psyched. Nine months later the person let me know they were leaving the business and they’d done nothing with the book.

I was worn out. It was hard to be enthusiastic for writing books and as much as I loved Duffy I really didn’t want to write any more. I wanted to throw my energy into magazine work where you write an article and then you get a check. No promises, no hopes and just work. Not as much fun but not as many broken hearts.

There was this problem though. A big, pain in the ass problem.

Career Savers

For years I’ve been letting basset rescue groups auction off a chance to put their dogs in my books. You see, basset people don’t follow Publishers Weekly, Kirkus or other top 10 lists. They like stories where hounds are respected, kidded about and get to be the heroes that they are. They are, without a doubt, the most loyal fans an author could possibly have.

Because I took a year off from Duffy (I did release a short story collection with Ginny Tata Phillips) the auction winners piled up.

Career Savers

That meant I had to finish the damn book. I couldn’t look auction winners in the eye and my wife and I would have to avoid waddles. Well, Sue wasn’t going to allow that. I figured I’d bang out the book and self publish it and be done with it. I had 200 pages to go.

I did it. Then I was going to self publish and Kindle it along with the new book. The problem is to self-pub right it cost about $1200 a book. Right around this time a magazine that was my steadiest form of income folded. My disposable income for self pubbing dried up.

Like I said this business wears you down. I didn’t know what to do. I half heartedly sent it to a couple of minor publishers just hoping that someone would put it out and I could save the money of doing it myself.

I called my buddy JA Konrath and asked his advice. He said to self publish–he’d even lend me the cash or he’d write a letter to the guys at Amazon that had started a new mystery line and were publishing his last Jack Daniels book , Stirred. Joe did that. I didn’t give it much hope.

A month later a guy called me from Amazon. He absolutely loves Duffy. He owns a hound. He didn’t understand why my books weren’t top sellers and he was going to do all he could to change that. That, and he wanted my other stand alone book. Contracts were on the way.

I just looked at the phone. It felt surreal. I shook a little. then a big smile came over my face.

And I thought of all of those hounds. the homeless ones at the waddles, the crazy people who do ANYTHING for them , the people who collect them like potato chips and I thought about those “pain-in-the-ass” auctions. I thought about my wife who organizes these waddle trips for us and makes sure I go. I thought about Joe and Maria Konrath who a month before called me because they wanted help getting their own rescue basset. It was the first time Joe and I connected in a long time. Then he did me a favor.

And my eyes welled.

Then I thought about the great scene that I wrote for all those hounds  (and one Yorkie) who won auctions. They’re all at a luxurious dog spa at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas with Al getting pampered–which is exactly how a rescue hound should be treated.

So I’m sitting here on Thanksgiving with a two book contract with the hottest mystery publisher on the planet and I’m grateful. Wilbur my blind hound woke me up at 2:30 am to go out, Riley hasn’t stopped barking all morning and Roxie hit me in the face while I was drinking  hot coffee. Like a basset owner, I barely noticed and I didn’t mind.

I smiled and realized it was time to say thanks to all the rescue hounds and the crazy people who rescue them for reviving an author’s career.

And Sue is busy making a list of basset hound events she wants to go to this year.

To order DUFFY TO THE RESCUE here!
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To order a Duffy book, click on one of the covers to the left.

Those were the most popular posts on this blog last year.

I’m thinking of only posting on those topics or trying to weave them all together in every post.

Something like this:

So there Jen and I were in Lancaster again, walking hand in hand through the country side. She’s big on the whole sunset thing and was sighing as she rested her head on my shoulder.

Then, out of nowhere this dude in a top hat and an Abe Lincoln beard blows past me in a horse and buggy. He just about clipped my shoulder.

“Hey, you ultra late-adapting prick, you almost hit me!” I yelled. Jenn started to whimper.

The guy slammed on the horse brakes and jumped off his buggy cockpit.

“Thou wanst a piece of thee’s ass, does though?” He said glaring at me.

I glance up at his cargo–a dozen or more basset hound puppies.

That was all it took.

Lincoln dropped into a traditional southern Chinese martial arts stance. I guessed Kenpo.

I got my hands up, right hand first, reminscent of Hector “Macho” Camacho. He lunged at me with a tiger’s mouth technique. I stepped to my right caught his chin with the jab and delivered the number two straight down the pipe, crushing his nose and sending him to the dirt road. He was bleeding all into his funked up beard.

“Mine ass is kicked!” he utterred right before I released the hounds. They all relieved themselves on or around the Amish puppy mill operator. Jenn just looked up at me, her eyes all glassy.

“You are such a man. I am so attracted to you!”

“I know.” i said.

You looking at me? Feeling lucky, punk?

And we walked into town, held a basset hound rescue event and found good homes for all the dogs.

To order DUFFY TO THE RESCUE here!
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To order a Duffy book, click on one of the covers to the left.



Here’s an excerpt of a short story that Ginny Tata-Phillips and I did together. it appears in DUFFY TO THE RESCUE.


Kelley’s girl was nice enough and definitely easy on the eyes but the never quit perky doggy-talk was getting on my nerves. The retriever ate it up and the weird looking yippy dog with the hair was all for it.

Al, on the other hand seemed to take offense at the condescending tone and demonstrated his civil disobedience by choosing not to cooperate.

“Time to get your partner in line.”

“Ginger” said with the all warmth of a concentration camp sergeant. Al pre-growled, a sort of bass injected hum in the direction of the commandant.

“We need to get going,” Ginger said, this time without even the facade of charm. There was no mistaking who she was addressing.

Al dispensed with self-control and growled in her direction. Then he did a quick, and I must say, agile, turn. His sharp twist buckled my wrist like a black belt’s knife defense and he was running off the leash again, this time headed for the white yippy dog. You didn’t have to look real close to see what Al had on his mind.

His lipstick was out.

Before anyone could say “Fuck agility class” Al was acting it out on the cute frou-frou bitch with the pink flowery collar. He wasn’t big on foreplay and dove right in to the chagrin and horror of the woman who brought the little furry four-legger.

“Oh my God! Paris, Paris! Make him stop, make him stop!” The woman squealed.

Al’s eyes rolled back in his head while Paris seemed to grunt once or twice before it was over. It might just be me but I think the little pain in the ass dog had more of smile on her face after Al was done.

This wasn’t working out well. I thought about doing a lame Bogart and saying something about Al always having Paris but I decided against actually verbalizing it.

“We probably should be going.” I said. Al however had dropped to his side and was snoring. This player had absolutely no stamina and when I pulled on his leash he just slid across the wet grass. I slid him all the way out the gate and picked him up and gently laid him in the passenger seat of the El Dorado.




My first paying gig doing agility class and my wealthy Shiba Inu owner gets to witness her little girl get sexually assaulted. Not only that but now there’s the future promise of a litter of Shibasset Inuhounds. Or would they be Basseba Houndus?

My mind never really got a chance to focus on that concept because the Shiba’s owner just started to cry.

“My poor baby will have to live with that her whole life! She’ll never be the same. She’ll never trust.”  It was over the top, even for a wealthy drama queen.

“Hey lady,” There was an edge to his tone. “If you ask me, your little bitch seemed to enjoy herself. If you ask me, she started it,” he said. I don’t think he was using the term “bitch” like show dog people did.


“How dare you! You—he didn’t let her finish.”

“You’re telling me she wasn’t giving him looks? You’re telling me she didn’t lift that little rump of hers up in the air inviting him?”


To be totally honest, at this point it was getting really difficult to not break a smile. I mustered all I had to remain in control.

“Bring him back when he is less anxious and restless…maybe after an obedience class or two,” I said. The goal was to help Mrs. Shiba save face and get the guy and his hound out of the dog park as fast as possible. That’s when it dawned on me.

Big guy, weird sense of humor, stupid dog—that must have been Mike’s friend. Now, I was going to have to deal with Kelley too. Just then the Basset Dude mumbled:

“Obedience class, ha! I got your obedience class…damn, she sounds just like her anal retentive boyfriend.”

That’s the last thing I heard before the El Dorado zoomed away. As if the situation didn’t have enough weirdness the guy blared the car stereo with Elvis singing: “You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog…”


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To order a Duffy book, click on one of the covers to the left.

Hey! The new release DUFFY TO THE RESCUE has been released and I’ll be signing some tonight at the Troy festival at the Uncle Sam Atrium to benefit the Mohawk-Hudson Humane Society–you can get yours from ABC Basset Rescue Slobber Shoppe. Click on the link above.

Here’s the table of contents for the book.

Foreword: Tom Schreck

Ginny’s Intro: Ginny Tata-Phillips

Is a Basset Hound the Dog For You? by Ginny

The Duffy Series by Tom

Haiku by Ginny

The Hound Who Went Moo by Tom

Haiku by Ginny

Al Goes to Agility Class by Tom & Ginny

Haiku by Ginny

Rescue Organization:
All Bassets Cherished by Tom

Haiku by Ginny

Duffy Dog of the Week: Bob by Tom

Haiku by Ginny

Rescue Organization:
Guardian Angel Basset Rescue by Tom

Haiku by Ginny

Riley’s Issues by Tom

Haiku by Ginny

Planter’s Punch by Tom & JA Konrath

Haiku by Ginny

Rescue Organization: BROOD,
Basset Rescue of Old Dominion by Ginny

Haiku by Ginny

Hounding Duffy by Tom

Haiku by Ginny

Al and the Clicker by Tom

Haiku by Ginny

Rescue Organization: House of Puddles by Ginny

Haiku by Ginny

Duffy Dog of the Week: Otis by Tom

Haiku by Ginny

Rotten Riley by Tom

Haiku by Ginny

Duffy, Elvis and a Very Special
Hound Dog by Tom

Haiku by Ginny

Rescue Organization:
New England Basset Hound Rescue by Tom

Haiku by Ginny

A Sad, Yet Happy Tail:
A Tribute to Dreyfuss by Shawn Leslie

Haiku by Ginny

The DuffyVinci Code by Tom

Haiku by Ginny

Al and the Mexican Guy by Tom

Haiku by Ginny

The Right Choice by Tom

Haiku by Ginny

Duffy Dog of the Week: Jamie by Tom

Haiku by Ginny

Al at the Airport by Tom

Duffy By Decision by Tom

Rescue Resources

About the Authors

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To order a Duffy book, click on one of the covers to the left.

Another proud moment...

This weekend my wife and I will be with our peeps.

No apologizing for dog hair on the jeans. No explanation about the house smelling like Fritos. Everyone knows the stains on our clothes are dog slobber.

Interrupting a human conversation to bend over and pet a hound is not only expected–not doing it will lead to consternation.

We’re going to the world’s biggest Waddle. A Waddle is an event celebrating the Basset Hound and raising money for hounds that need help.

We sell our books and give all of the money to the rescue group.

The center of the universe this weekend is Dwight, Il. We’ll march in the parade with a thousand hounds. Yes, a thousand.

We’ll watch the hound races. the costume contest and the face licking and if possible I’m gonna get some handicapping going so we can bet. A little side action you know.

I can’t wait. The coolest people in the world with the coolest animals.

Our peeps.