Archive for the ‘Dogs, Cats, Pets, Animals’ Category

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Enter to win the Kindle Fire!

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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1.  I wanna go for a walk

2. I wanna walk some place different

3. What’s that  smell?

4. I hope there’s a pizza crust under that bush on the corner of Lawnridge and New Scotland

5. Why was there a crust there once but never since?

6. I’m looking for it today

7. Today the crust will return.

8. My privates need to be licked

9. What’s that smell?

10. I can’t wait to eat the pizza crust.

Click here for other episodes of “Crap Roxie Thinks.”

And if you enjoy Roxie you might enjoy the Duffy Dog of the Week.

Roxie with her friend Sue


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Yesterday I found my new all-time favorite blog. is home to the musings of Sir Wimsey the Manhattan bloodhound.

I got permission from his personal assistant Elizabeth to run this excerpt on Sir Wimsey’s view on commands.


Wimsey on New Year's Eve

Houndspeak Obedience Command Translations

Sit: Sit means that a human is holding a tasty snack in their hand and that the fastest and most efficient way to obtain this tasty snack is to lunge for it and grab it. Should you wish to practice your sit an excellent time is in the show ring when your human is trying to stack you or when the judge is examining you.


Down: (see sit). Alternatively this command can mean that you are somehow in the way or are too large or too intimidating in a standing or seated position. As all of these attributes are all extremely desirable why would you mitigate the advantage of them by lying down? Consequently the command “down” really means “loom larger.” But “down” can safely be practiced in tandem with “thwack” when a belly rub is desired or in the show ring during your down and back when you want to scratch that itch on your back.


Heel: “Heel” is a command of weakness that means your human is tired, injured, embarrassed or fed up, all of which means, “pull harder, you’re winning.” “Heel” and “Hound” are antithetical concepts like matter and anti-matter and should never be brought together. A Hound, by dint of thousands of years of creative genetics, must be out front dragging a human along the fascinating line of the scent du jour. There are almost no circumstances in which a Hound should practice heel, with the exception perhaps of trying to chew a hole in a human’s jacket pocket to access a desirable treat.


Come: Contrary to what humans think, this is never a good command as it usually means that whatever it is that your are enjoying yourself doing your human is not enjoying themselves watching and prefers that you desist. Plus humans seldom issue this command when they want to do something nice like giving you a new toy or some gelato because when you see or sense the good thing the command is superfluous. “Come” can lead to baths, vet visits, crates, silly hats etc. But you can practice “come” whenever a situation arises (like a dinner party) in which you can make a colossal nuisance of yourself.


No: The command “no” essentially means that you are on to a good thing-go for it. There is no stronger word with which to encourage a Hound than “no” and the louder and more vigorous the command the better the thing is that you are on to. Hounds can practice their version of “no” only when in the presence of grooming implements such as the nail clipper or walking control devices such as the gentle leader.


Stay: “Stay,” like “no” is a command of encouragement: that is, if you don’t stay where you are you are on the verge of finding something or doing something that possesses exceptional entertainment value—such as presenting your posterior to the camera instead of your face. Conversely, if you do stay, something unpleasant is likely to ensue (see come). “Stay” can be successfully practiced when it is time to leave the park or when sleeping the wide way across a bed or when hogging the kitchen floor.


Drop It: “Drop It” is another command of encouragement as it is self evident that if your human wants you to drop it dropping it is manifestly not in your best interest. “Drop it” really means, “swallow fast” or “run away now.” Hounds may want to practice “drop it” however when that piece of horse poop that they were about to ingest turns out disappointingly to be a rock or when a pill is inserted into their mouth.

If you like Wimsey’s blog you may like Crap Roxie Thinks on this blog. Click here for entries


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1. Meditation is good for the soul

2. Something smells

3. Food is good

4. A nap might be nice

5. What’s that smell?

6. When the big guy gets home he’ll scratch  my neck.

7. Focus on my breathing

8. Maybe later I’ll lick my ass

9. Is that smell meat?

10. I plan on doing this tomorrow too

Click here for other episodes of “Crap Roxie Thinks.”

And if you enjoy Roxie you might enjoy the Duffy Dog of the Week.

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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In Aiken County, GA a couple of dirt bags stole an 18 wheeler.

The troopers called out the bloodhound tracking team and they got to work. The terrain was rough and the handler and the hound got separated.

That didn’t stop the bloodhound.

Not even close.

The hound found the perp–and the-less-than-piece-of-shit stabbed the hound in the back of the neck and ran away.

Now the troopers had three problems. A missing bloodhound, a bleeding bloodhound and a perp on the loose.

The solution–get another bloodhound.

Stab my friend? Really? Here I Come!

The second bloodhound found his buddy and the cops got the wounded guy stitched up at the vets–he’ll be fine.

The work wasn’t done, though. Bloodhound number two had a score to settle.

He did. Found the scumbag hiding like a coward. A hard working trooper wrestled him, fell through a collapsing floor and busted the perp’s sorry ass.

The law sees stabbing a working police bloodhound as equal to stabbing a police officer. A K-9 officer is a member of the police department.

Any dog fans out there want to remind the Aiken County DA of that?

I thought so.

Read the newspaper story here.

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In an Alabama animal shelter they put seventeen strays in the gas chamber to be put down. Unfortunately, it happens every day. They hit the button that releases the gas. They opened the chamber door to do what they had to do next.

"Not yet," Daniel said.

That’s when they saw Daniel the beagle, wagging his tail. He survived with no residual effects from the gas.

The shelter folks decided it was a sign and he is now at The Eleventh Hour Rescue in New Jersey. He’s in a foster home awaiting adoption.

Nice goin’ kid.

Good luck and thumbs up from the other 16.

My dog Wilbur has been a pet therapy dog for eight years.

He has an interesting job. He comes to Wildwood School and roams the hallways getting petted, giving kisses, stealing food and making a racket. Wildwood is a school for students with disabilities like autism and other developmental disabilities.

Kids who are having a tough day get to visit Willie or take him for a walk. Sometimes kids get to visit Wilbur if they’ve hit all their goals and sometimes Wilbur helps kids by being someone they can practice their speech therapy on.

Later in the day a group of adults from Wildwood’s day program come and take Wilbur to a nursing home. That’s really cool because the adults get to be the care givers—spreading the Wilbur magic to old folks who could use some laughs, slobber and a chance to give a hound a treat .

Wilbur’s visits pick up the spirits of the kids, the adults and the seniors he comes in contact with. As for Wilbur, his tail whips back and forth as soon as a student comes to visit and he goes into total overdrive when his friends from day services come through the door.

Pet therapy is a two way street and Wilbur gets as much as he gives.

Last Friday was a special day. Take a look at this video:

Everyone’s happy, having a good time and feeling really good. It may seem like a simple walk down a school hallway but it’s really much more than that.

See that happy group of people? See that happy, prancing hound? Lots of smiles– both human and canine.

Wilbur went blind two weeks ago. He doesn’t seem to mind much.

That’s because he’s got some really good friends and way too much to do to worry about it. There are people he counts on and people who count on him.

Friday he was back on the job and next week he’s heading back to the Teresian House to visit his senior friends.

And that’s what pet therapy is about.

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

I know you think she’s precious.

I dig the little bow under her chin. I like how you named her Chloe, Buttons or Siobhan. Nice touch.

Here’s the thing Mr. Androgny–walk the little fur ball at a decent pace will ya!

Roxie says: "Hey--a snack!"

Here we come!

Because I’m behind you, it’s 5 am and I got 285lbs of scent hound strapped to my waist and the streets are icy. That’s not a cruise ship’s foghorn you hear, it’s my bloodhound and she’s thinking your Foo Foo would make a delicious prelim to breakfast.

Scoop up Lady Love and tuck her into your arm like OJ and head home like you’re Al Cawlings, only unlike AC, hit the gas.

It’s too late for you to have any self-respect (I’ve seen your dog.) but please get out of my way.