Tag Archives: animals

The Blind Leading The Blind

As I neared my home yesterday evening, a man called out from the other side of the road, “Do you have a light, please?”
“No, sorry”, I replied and continued on my way home.

As I walked on, I heard the voice of a young woman, “no, don’t, it’s a blind dog!”
Being registerd blind, I wondered what the point would be of me having a “blind dog”. One hears of the blind leading the blind. However, I, having no desire to become intimately connected with a telegraph pole or other such obstacle will stick with my trusty guide dog, Trigger!

The above occurance is far from being an isolated one. Indeed I have lost count of the number of occasions on which people have refered to my guide dogs (I am now working with my fourth) as “blind dogs”. My heart goes out to all those visually challenged dogs manfully leading their owners to who knows where. A medal should be struck in their honour and, of course the blind who entrust themselves to these fine animals should also be honoured for their … bravery!

To be serious for a moment, the evening was dark and the panic in the young woman’s voice made me conjecture (perhaps in error) that her companion might have been up to no good and, seeing that I was accompanied by a guide dog the lady’s conscience kicked in. As I say, I could be barking up entirely the wrong tree here. I was, nonetheless extremely glad to reach home yesterday evening.

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Now In Audio – The Degu Books

I’ve posted here on Kevin’s blog in the past about the writing of my Degu Days Duo. But – for the benefit of those who may not have seen that post – I’ll briefly recap by telling you that it’s a duology that is essentially a semi-fictionalized account of two different days in the lives of my own four degu boys: Jacob, Jasper, Jenks, and Joshua. Those two books are told from Jenks’ point of view, and my most recent degu book “How To Trust Your Human” – which is a semi-fictionalized account of my attempts at regaining one of their trusts after we lost the first three – is told from the point of view of my last remaining degu, Joshua, under the nickname of “Buddy” (to separate it from the duology it’s not officially part of).

I call them “semi-fictionalized” accounts, because they’re based on real experiences, but since they’re told from the point of view of one of the degus, it’s difficult for me to be completely accurate about events, and they can’t really be considered non-fiction under those circumstances, can they? So, I list them as fiction, and advertise them as being semi-fictionalized.

There’s a fourth book too. One that is entirely fictional, though it was one of my boys – Jasper this time – who was the inspiration for the story, after an escape attempt on his part when I didn’t double check the cage door, and accidentally left it open. In this book, a degu named Oscar takes advantage of an unlocked cage door to escape his cage and explore the world outside of it without humans to supervise him and tell him where he can and can’t go.

You can read all four of them as eBooks or paperbacks, and now – thanks to narrator James Watkins – you can also listen to them in audio.

Working with James has been fun, and I’m pleased with his reading of all four of my degu books. If you buy the audiobooks, I hope you’re as pleased with them.

Regardless of the format you’d prefer, if you’d like to grab copies and explore the world from the point of view of a small and furry rodent, here are the main places where you can buy the books:

Degu Days, Book 1 – The Great Degu Round-Up
Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/The-Great-Degu-Round-Up-Audiobook/B075WZP3WK/
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/385933
CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/5493760
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-great-degu-round-up-victoria-zigler/1117667258
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-great-degu-round-up
Chapters-Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-great-degu-round-up/9781311126009-item.html
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-great-degu-round-up/id778182110
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/the-great-degu-round-up-degu-days-duo-volume-1-unabridged/id1290400235
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Great-Degu-Round-Up-Days-Duo/dp/1512165131/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Great-Degu-Round-Up-Days-Duo/dp/1512165131/
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Great-Degu-Round-Up-Days-Duo/dp/1512165131/
Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Great-Degu-Round-Up-Victoria-Zigler/9781512165135

Degu Days, Book 2 – A Very Degu Christmas
Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/A-Very-Degu-Christmas-Audiobook/B0767MYSD9/
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/385942
CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/5493860
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-very-degu-christmas-victoria-zigler/1117667259
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-very-degu-christmas
Chapters-Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/a-very-degu-christmas/9781310351044-item.html
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-very-degu-christmas/id778182118
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/a-very-degu-christmas-degu-days-duo-book-2-unabridged/id1294815308
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Very-Degu-Christmas-Days-Duo-x/dp/1512166014/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Very-Degu-Christmas-Days-Duo-x/dp/1512166014/
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Very-Degu-Christmas-Days-Duo-x/dp/1512166014/
Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Very-Degu-Christmas-Victoria-Zigler/9781512166019

Degu’s Day Out
Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/Degus-Day-Out-Audiobook/B07664D83S/
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/589067
CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/5841040
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/degus-day-out-victoria-zigler/1122874667
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/degu-s-day-out
Chapters-Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/degus-day-out/9781310137778-item.html
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/degus-day-out/id1054305510
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/degus-day-out-unabridged/id1294439347
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Degus-Day-Out-Victoria-Zigler/dp/1519326319/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Degus-Day-Out-Victoria-Zigler/dp/1519326319/
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Degus-Day-Out-Victoria-Zigler/dp/1519326319/
Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Degus-Day-Out-Victoria-Zigler/9781519326317

How To Trust Your Human
Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/How-to-Trust-Your-Human-Audiobook/B0767Q6QPQ/
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/724848
CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/7188605
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/how-to-trust-your-human-victoria-zigler/1126412328
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/how-to-trust-your-human
Chapters-Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/how-to-trust-your-human/9781370897407-item.html
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/how-to-trust-your-human/id1237703591
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/how-to-trust-your-human-unabridged/id1294815409
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Trust-Your-Human-Victoria-Zigler/dp/1546844899/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Trust-Your-Human-Victoria-Zigler/dp/1546844899/
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Trust-Your-Human-Victoria-Zigler/dp/1546844899/
Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/How-Trust-Your-Human-Victori-Zigler/9781546844891

You can also find the books listed on Goodreads.

Degu Days, Book 1: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19286797-the-great-degu-round-up
Degu Days, Book 2: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19287273-a-very-degu-christmas
Degu’s Day Out: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27391344-degu-s-day-out
How To Trust Your Human: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35160154-how-to-trust-your-human

***~~~***

About the author:
Victoria Zigler is a blind poet and children’s author who was born and raised in the Black Mountains of Wales, UK, and is now living on the South-East coast of England, UK. Victoria – or Tori, if you prefer – has been writing since she knew how, has a very vivid imagination, and spends a lot of time in fictional worlds; some created by her, others created by other authors. When she remembers to spend some time in the real world, it’s mostly to spend time with her hubby and pets, though sometimes to indulge in other interests that capture her attention from time to time. To date she has published 8 poetry books and more than 40 children’s books, with more planned for the near future. She’s also contributed a story to the sci-fi and fantasy anthology Wyrd Worlds II.

Author links:
Website: http://www.zigler.co.uk
Blog: http://ziglernews.blogspot.co.uk
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/toriz
Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Zigler/424999294215717
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/victoriazigler
Google+: https://plus.google.com/106139346484856942827

***~~~***

About the narrator:
Canadian born James Watkins spent a number of years wandering extensively, studying and working at a variety of exciting things, including surveying in the Yukon, fighting forest fires in the boreal of northern Ontario, sailing on the merchant schooner Avontuur through the Caribean, working as a singing cowboy, and teaching in Central America, to name a few, until finally settling in San Diego, California in 2011. He loves good music, good stories, good writing, fresh air, animals, and a healthy balance between action and quiet time.

Working from his home studio, James offers a full suite of services – from voice over production and scripting, to sound design with music and effects.

James currently has a podcast in production together with SC Watkins, that will feature original spooky stories, set to launch in late October, 2017. You can check it out at http://thebonefire.com/

If you’d like to contact James, he can be reached at jameswatkinsvo@outlook.com

“How To Trust Your Human”, by Victoria Zigler – Book Spotlight

Title: How To trust Your Human
Author: Victoria Zigler
Genres: Children’s Stories – Animals / Children’s Stories – Social Issues – Death And Dying
Release date: July 3rd 2017

Synopsis:
“Losing a sibling is hard. Losing three of them is even harder. Repairing a broken bond of trust is harder still.

After his three brothers disappeared, one after another, gone to a mysterious place known only as The Rainbow Bridge, Buddy the degu is all alone in his cage.

Confused and frightened, he knows only one thing for certain: he last saw his brothers in the hands of the human caretaker.

That knowledge breaks the bond of trust forged between Buddy and his human in the years since he was a pup, and leaves him convinced that letting her get her hands on him will mean he disappears too.

Somehow, she has to convince him he’s wrong, and earn back his trust.

Based on actual events that took place in the life of one of the author’s own degus, and told from the point of view of a degu, this is the story of how patience and love taught a confused and terrified rodent how to trust again.”

Find the book on…
Goodreads
Smashwords
Barnes & Noble
iBooks

Available in paperback soon!

Author bio:

Victoria Zigler is a blind poet and children’s author who was born and raised in the Black Mountains of Wales, UK, and is now living on the South-East coast of England, UK.

Victoria – or Tori, if you prefer – has been writing since she knew how, has a very vivid imagination, and spends a lot of time in fictional worlds; some created by her, others created by other authors.

When she remembers to spend some time in the real world, it’s mostly to spend time with her hubby and pets, though sometimes to indulge in other interests that capture her attention from time to time, such as doing crafts, listening to music, watching movies, playing the odd figure game or roleplaying game, and doing a little cooking and baking.

To date she has published 8 poetry books and more than 40 children’s books, with more planned for the near future. She’s also contributed a story to the sci-fi and fantasy anthology Wyrd Worlds II.

Author links:
Website
Goodreads
Facebook author page
Twitter

Butter

The cook does mutter
About the missing butter,
While the dog licks his lips
And eyes up the chips …

Yesterday (25 March), I found my guide dog Trigger with his nose in a tub of butter. I had heard a crash in the kitchen earlier. however, on investigating and there appearing to be nothing amiss, I returned to the living room, until the sound of my hungry canine tucking into a tub of butter reached my ears!

Relaxing

Yesterday (Saturday 10 December) I had been concentrating on my writing for a protracted period. I had gone into my living room in order to take a break from the creative process. My mind was, however still busily turning over ideas and I was not, in truth in a state of relaxation. Then, suddenly I heard a snorting noise and my guide dog, Trigger presented me with a rope toy he had received as a present from a colleague. I began tugging. Trigger, his tail waving madly pulled in the opposite direction and emited that playful growl which I know so well. My brain rested and I was conscious only of the pleasure both Trigger and I where deriving from the game. A sense of wellbeing flooded my body and I smiled as a consequence of the sheer joy of the deep connection between my dog and I.
My experience yesterday reminded me of a short poem I penned some months back, entitled “Dog and Ball”:

“My head full
Of dull
Thought.
Then the ball you caught
And waving your tail
Did derail
My introspection.
How can I suffer dejection
When I recollect your playful snort
And the ball you caught?”
(https://newauthoronline.com/2016/06/20/dog-and-ball/).