My Little Boy in Furry Pants


My Little Boy in Furry Pants by Chery Esau

Illustrations by Laura Ross-Paul (cover) and Summer Ketchum (interior)

This is a book of truth and honesty.  It is about beings who totally love each other and whose hearts are open to one another completely.”  So reads the Foreword in Chery Esau’s My Little Boy in Furry Pants, a slim, beautifully illustrated book, with a palpable heartbeat of the love that clearly fueled its creation.  Love crosses all boundaries,” the Foreword continues, There is no limit to the extent that Love and Spirit can transcend.”

This sweet, simple, lyrical tale takes us through several seasons with the Esau family, during which beloved companions arrive . . . and depart, chronicling funny quirks, endearing ways and moments of surprise, discovery and . . . the many everyday blessings of being a family. 

Author Chery Esau, a wife, registered nurse and devoted dog mom, resides in Portland, OR.  One of those people who, in even brief conversation, touches those she connects with in ways long remembered, Chery is a gentle yet powerfully spiritual being.  Her bio reads in part, Chery feels that if you look closely into an animal’s eyes, you will see the eyes of Creator looking back.  Animals are a true work of God’s finest and purest gift of art and love to humanity.” 


 * * *

Chery Esau with husband Tony

Chery Esau with husband Tony

Find My Little Boy in Furry Pants:

New Renaissance Books
Waldorf School, Milwaukie, Or.
Parkrose Naturopathic Clinic, 503-252-4358

101 Essential Tips: You need to Raise a Happy, Healthy, Safe Dog

101 Essential Tips: You need to Raise a Happy, Healthy, Safe Dog  by Jason Nicholas, BVetMed

Author Jason Nicholas, BVetMed, emergency room and general practice veterinarian known as “The Preventive Vet,” has written a fun, sharp, info-packed little book “dedicated to the dogs who enrich our lives,” dealing with everyday concerns in life with dog, from behavioral and digestive problems to poisonings, illnesses, traumatic accidents, and a variety of preventable issues and emergencies that “all-too-commonly affect puppies” and dogs of all ages.

A gem in the Northwest professional pet community, Nicholas is passionate about teaching and helping families with dogs live happy, healthy, safe lives.  Widely respected and loved, Nicholas is an accomplished veterinarian, entrepreneur, on-camera spokesman, marketer, and now . . . author.  He is donating 5% of the book’s proceeds to deserving pet charities every three months, something he says he’s “really proud of and excited for :-)”

101 Essential Tips has spot-on tidbits that take on common issues, illustrated with clever, fun and funny illustrations by Chuck Gonzales.  A worthy read for any pet parent, 101 Essential Tips belongs in every veterinary lobby, school library, pet store and shelter, and is the perfect gift for new puppy or dog parents.  If you love and live with dogs, read and share this book! 

Jason Nicholas, BVetMed

Jason Nicholas, BVetMed

Find 101 Essential Tips:

New Seasons

Various Vet Clinics  


Sammy in the Sky


Sammy in the Sky by Barbara Walsh

Paintings by Jamie Wyeth

This is the story of a young girl whose dog, Sammy, the "best hound dog in the whole wide world," dies.  

Told through beautiful watercolors and lyrical prose, the girl's parents focus on sharing special time while Sammy is sick but still with them, and remembering happy memories after his passing.  An illustration of the beach where the family takes Sammy to “love him as much as they can,” is stunning, replete with a lightly clouded aqua sky, a gold beach and a frolicking hound chasing seagulls.  This and many of the paintings would be a welcome addition to my home.  

That Sammy's girl is reminiscent of Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird adds even more charm to the story.  This book could well bring comfort to anyone — adult or child — dealing with the loss of a beloved pet.  


Best Hikes with Dogs: Oregon, 2nd Edition


Best Hikes with Dogs: Oregon, 2nd Edition

by Ellen Morris Bishop

Best Hikes with Dogs:  Oregon is a great reference book, detailing 76 dog-friendly trails throughout the state.  The opening lists helpful tips on trail etiquette, wildlife hazards and canine first aid.  Featured hikes range from leisurely day walks to multi-day adventures, with detailed descriptions that include difficulty, length, elevation, water and shade availability along the trail, and even whether it's usually crowded.  Also noted are leash regulations and whether parking permits are required.  My dog and I have hiked three featured trails so far and found the guide very helpful.

I would recommend getting a more detailed map and directions for each hike, but the book is fantastic because it contains so many places to take your dogs.  It is also useful because much of the information contained is difficult to find online.  For example, where it is likely to find poison oak along the trail, and the best season for each hike.

If your New Year’s resolution was to be more active, Best Hikes might be just the thing — all the better for including the dog!

Kitty Cornered


Kitty Cornered by Bob Tarte

This is a laugh-out-loud tale of a couple, Bob and Linda Tarte, who just can’t turn their backs on a cat in need.  They end up with six, each with its own idiosyncrasies, from a portly tabby who wails non-stop to a female “snapping crocodile” dilute tabby who’s unreliable with the litterbox.  The enjoyment of this book comes from Tarte’s self-deprecating introspection and awareness that his care and anxiety for his cats goes above and beyond that of a typical cat owner.  While Tarte works to get into the mind of each cat, the cats intermittently wage war on one another.  

Whether you’ve got your own passel of kitties or have ever taken in an animal in need, you’ll enjoy Kitty Cornered

Help for the hardest decision of all

Dr. Karen Twyning has been helping families say goodbye for more than a decade.  © Jack Mueller

Dr. Karen Twyning has been helping families say goodbye for more than a decade.  © Jack Mueller

There is nothing more heartbreaking for pet parents than when the time nears to say goodbye.  That humans typically outlive their beloved furry loved ones means having to deal with painful end of life decisions.  Some people experience denial, avoiding learning, thinking or talking about final plans.  Others more actively pursue support for this difficult time.  Either way, the time does come, and deciding whether to let a loved one go naturally or to aid him or her through the process of euthanasia can make a huge difference for both pet and person.

Karen Twyning, DVM, has worked with thousands of families struggling with issue in the past decade.  As founder of the national organization Pet Loss At Home, Twyning has created a “growing national network of expertly trained mobile vets dedicated to private pet euthanasia in the comfort of their home.”  The organization also provides support, 12 hours a day, seven days a week, in the form of free discussions about quality of life, signs of suffering, and advice for when to euthanize.  Twyning considers the decision to euthanize “the last loving gift” we can offer our beloved friends.  She calls her work her life’s mission, saying it’s been her honor and privilege to gift families’ pets with “final peace at home.”

Drawing on her many experiences in this work, Twyning authored a guidebook in hopes that families might have a conversation about end-of-life decisions before the emotional turmoil and reality of losing their loved one arrives.  The Euthanasia Guidebook for Pet Owners offers tools and discussion points aimed at helping families prepare for the loss of a pet.

Short and to the point, the guide covers topics such as “End-of-Life Situations,” “Quality of Life Factors” and “How to Cope with Pet Loss,” including the subject of grieving.  Handled gently, grieving is discussed with sensitivity to the emotional impact on families, individuals, and surviving pets.

Perhaps the most comprehensive section of the book deals with preparing for euthanization at home, including services Twyning’s organization can provide, pricing information, and discussion of whether or not children should be present.  Also covered are how euthanasia actually works, and available options for the deceased pet’s body. 

Dr. Twyning does not approach these subjects lightly or in a manner that feels clinically detached.  Her love and devotion for her work is apparent throughout, as is her dedication to ensuring families of pets near death are emotionally prepared and that the animals in her care are tenderly cared for in their final hours.

The Euthanasia Guidebook offers valuable information and insight into this difficult process.  The 16-page booklet is available for $9.99 and can be downloaded at; a free flip-book version is also available. 

Boswell Speaks


Boswell Speaks

by Richard Grossman

Boswell Speaks is a hilarious novel in three volumes by Richard Grossman, written in and based upon the popular twitter feed of the same name.  Grossman is tasked with relaying Boswell's thoughts on all things human and animal, which overlap in funny, unexpected ways.

Boswell sees politics in the neighborhood pets, worships TV personalities for their kibble-creating potential, and — with the help of his magical chew toy — endeavors to decipher the mysteries of the universe in his bowl.  Whether you have already enjoyed Boswell's brand of humor in 140-character Twitter installments or are new to his world view, you'll appreciate the satirical canine point of view in Boswell Speaks.


Boswell Speaks, Volumes 1, 2, and 3, each with author’s introduction and illustrations by Eric Hanson, are available for $.99 each at the Kindle Store at, the NOOK Book Store at, and the iTunes Store at

Two Seeing Eye Dogs Take Manhattan . . . a love story


Two Seeing Eye Dogs Take Manhattan . . . a love story

by Lloyd Burlingame

Imagine the challenges of being blind.  Now imagine being blind and getting around the bustling streets and buildings of New York City.  Two Seeing Eye Dogs Take Manhattan grants you an inside view of life as a guide dog in a big city.

Lloyd Burlingame writes an engaging tale from the perspective of his two guide dogs, Hickory and Kemp.  Burlingame enjoyed an exciting career as a prominent stage designer and chair of the design program at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts until the loss of his vision left him concerned about becoming isolated and reclusive.  Happily, he was paired with two wonderful dogs from The Seeing Eye training school who have allowed him to continue a full life, including an overseas journey and frequent trips to the opera.

Coming off as smart and happy dogs, Hickory and Kemp's unique personalities are engaging.  Though Hickory often grouses he isn't getting nearly enough food (what Lab wouldn't say that?!) and both dogs question the importance of attending so much opera. 

It’s endearing to read how the author, who was previously not a great lover of dogs, comes to have deep love and gratitude for his guides.  Additionally, reading about the experiences of a person without vision reminds us to be grateful for our health, and to be kind and patient with those who live with challenges every day.  Photos of Lloyd and his guides on adventures top off this enjoyable read.  

For the Love of Dogs


For the Love of Dogs: An A to Z Primer for Dog Lovers of All Ages

by Allison Weiss Entrekin * Illustrated by Mark Anderson

This oversized book, released last year, is a beautiful collection of illustrations, rhymes, and factual tidbits on dogs and dog culture.  This is the latest book in the For the Love of series from Triumph Press, and certainly one of the cutest. 

For the Love of Dogs can truly be enjoyed by all ages.  The rhymes correspond to a letter in the alphabet, for example:  “A is for adoption.  Though dogs love to roam, every last one knows there's no place like home, so it can be read as a children’s book, but the additional text will appeal to all.  Dogs is also thoroughly modern:  “F” is for the First dog, namely President Obama’s Bo, and the foreword was written by celebrity dog trainer Victoria Stilwell.

Among the most charming features of the book are the illustrations by Mark Anderson, which capture the look and essence of numerous breeds.  For the Love of Dogs is a fantastic gift for the dog-loving family, and will be browsed time and again with pleasure.


Cat Confidential, The Book Your Cat Would Want You to Read


Cat Confidential, The Book Your Cat Would Want You to Read  by Vicky Halls

Any book with a chapter entitled "Weird Cat" is sure to catch my interest.  Vicky Halls is a cat behavior counselor, and wrote Cat Confidential to explain what she does and why people need her services.  A cat lover (or ailurophile) herself, Halls has interesting theories on why domestic cats have developed many issues post 1960, including stress . . . in part caused by their humans’ feelings of isolation.  There is also much to enjoy in this book, such as cat "interviews" and reports on the daily activities of Hall's own cats.  There is practical advice, including how to have a less stressful vet visit, and chapters on new kittens, "scaredy" cats, aggressive felines and multi-cat homes.  Cat lovers with questions or concerns will find helpful info, while those with "easy care" cats can read the tales and smile with relief.

Halls also touches on issues such as FIV and kitty "Prozac,” stories and information on elderly cats and end of life matters, helping readers prepare for what can be a scary and difficult time. 

Part memoir, part animal behavior study and part cat guardian manual, Cat Confidential is an informative and fun read.

Vicky Halls has written several other cat books, including The Secret Life of Your Cat and The Complete Cat.