Welcome to It’s Just A Dog

its just a dog book coverpeteruss copy

Welcome to the website for my dog book/dog blog, It’s Just A Dog, available on Kindle ebook and paperback at Amazon.com and Amazon UK. You can read the first chapter for free!

Like the banner says, it’s part book, part blog — and ALL DOG. (Okay, there may be a few cat videos, too, to show some love for the other team!)

Now I know what you’re thinking: does the world really need another dog book? Hasn’t English literature pretty much covered this territory in the past century — e.g., Old Yeller, My Dog Skip, and Marley & Me? Well, yes and no. The thing that makes It’s Just A Dog stand out from the pack from all those other dog books is that in this story the dog dies in the beginning, and then comes back from the dead!

So what’s the book about? Here we go…

IT’S JUST A DOG : THE NOVEL

What if your dog died and then came back as a ghost…that could talk? Would you welcome him back with open arms or run away scared to death?

This is the premise of IT’S JUST A DOG, a new novel about love, pet loss, and one man’s dog who rises up yapping from the grave.

Charlie Keefe is not just your typical dog lover –– he’s a world famous dog painter, a.k.a. “The Picasso of Pooch Portraits”. Unfortunately, Charlie’s beloved muse, Pete, his lovable Jack Russell terrier, has just died. And he’s totally devastated by the loss of his furry best friend.

So, after months of grieving over his dearly departed soulmate, Charlie reluctantly agrees to foster a new puppy –– a cute Cavalier King Charles spaniel named Brownie from the local animal shelter. Soon after, Charlie is surprised to find himself falling head over heels with this new puppy girl, his ‘Rebound Dog’, as he calls her –– as well as being romantically attracted to Janelle Jordan, the head hound at the dog rescue.

But then complications arise when the ghost of his old dog, Pete, mysteriously reappears one night and comes back to haunt him and the new puppy –– setting off a bizarre chain of events that throw Charlie’s life, career, and entire belief system into chaos!

If you’ve enjoyed such classic dog books as The Art of Racing in the Rain and A Dog’s Purpose, then you are bound to find a place in your heart for IT’S JUST A DOG.

IT’S JUST A DOG is not just for dogs. It’s for anyone who has ever lost a pet –– and learned to love again. If you’re a feel-good fan of dog books, make IT’S JUST A DOG your special treat! (Available at Amazon.com and Amazon UK – download the Kindle app here for ebooks).

As an added bonus, a portion of sales during the book’s launch was donated to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue (in San Francisco, CA), which believes that every dog deserves a happy ending.

Check out the It’s Just A Dog book trailer below…

Does Your Dog Have More Followers Than You Do?

Sometimes a dog isn’t just a dog — as we’ve seen these past few years with the explosion of commercials using celebrity dog spokesmodels discovered on Instagram and Twitter. These well-paid (and surely well-fed) “pet influencers” get book deals, endorsement deals, and TV shows — but I’m still not convinced how well they take direction — as this recent article in (The New York Times) explains.

The Book of #Dogs in Art

I was at the SFMoMA last week, and this simple, elegant little pooch tomé caught my eye — The Book of Dog.

Yeah, okay, it might appear a bit artsy-fartsy on the outside — but you can’t judge a dog book by its cover, right? This elegant catalog was chock full of tasteful portraits and chewy tidbits for any high-or-low-falutin’ dog lover!

The Original #Dogs Whisperer #DogBooks

Before Cesar Millan and the explosion of TV dog trainers, there was Dr. Patricia McConnell, a world-renowned animal behaviorist and author, who has published a new dog book, The Education of Will: A Mutual Memoir of A Woman and Her Dog.

McConnell takes her years of animal expertise to come to terms with her own troubled past while treating a fearful, aggressive Border Collie named Will. Also, be sure to check out her past best-sellers, For Love of A Dog and The Other End of the Leash.

#Dogs Purpose or Protest?

a_dogs_purpose-movie-filmFirst off, let me just say that I loved the book, A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron, and was really looking forward to seeing the movie…

And then the horrific TMZ video came out, documenting potential abuse by the dog trainers on the set of the film. The writers, producers, and actors involved in the production — along with millions of moviegoers — were all justifiably horrified by what they saw on the disturbing clip.

However, later, after Cameron and the studio execs viewed ALL of the footage that took place during that day of filming, it was revealed that the video clip had been edited out of context to maximize the impact of the traumatic footage.

Unfortunately, by that point, the cat pooch was out of the bag, so to speak.

Gavin Polone, the big dog lover/producer on the film, wrote a compelling Hollywood Reporter column breaking down the whole incident, which explains the nasty dog fight brewing between PETA and Hollywood. (I’m assuming that part of PETA’s position has to do with the sad fact that past dog movies like 101 Dalmatians and Beverly Hills Chihuahua have inspired numerous “bad fad” pet adoptions — which later resulted in countless Dalmatians and Chihuahuas being returned back to rescue shelters once the new owners got “bored” with their new puppies and couldn’t handle all the responsibilities that it takes in caring for an animal.)

Tragically, no matter where you stand on this issue, there are no winners, as all dog movie fans and dog rescue advocates alike have been harmed during the making of this film.

12 Best #Dogs Books for Christmas #kindle

With all the “Best of” lists coming out as we wrap up 2016 — I figured why not add a pile of this year’s dog books to the mix? If you’re looking for stocking stuffers or other pet presents, there’s plenty of reading material to entertain the dog person in your life!

12-dog-books-of-christmas

FICTION

Lily and the Octopus (Steven Rowley)

Twelve Dogs of Christmas (David Rosenfelt)

Just Life (Neil Abramson)

Sit! Stay! Speak! (Annie England Noblin)

Earnest (Kristin Von Kreisler)

NON-FICTION

Being A Dog: Following the Dog into A World of Smell (Alexandra Horowitz)

Dogs and Their People (BarkPost)

The Secret Language of Dogs (Victoria Stilwell)

The Education of Will: A Mutual Memoir of a Woman and Her Dog (Patricia McConnell) – Available Feb 2017

Let Me Tell You About Jasper: How My Best Friend Became America’s Dog (Dana Perino)

Free Days with George: Learning Life’s Little Lessons from One Very Big Dog (Colin Campbell)

Dog Gone: A Lost Pet’s Extraordinary Journey and the Family Who Brought Him Home (Pauls Toutonghi)