Tag Archives: pets

There Was A Young Man Named Round

There was a young man named Round
Who owned a lugubrious hound.
Its name was Bill.
They lived on a hill
And this limerick says nothing profound!

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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

A life of Servitude?

As a guide dog owner for some 30 years, I was interested to come across this article, “Service Animals: A ‘Chosen’ Career Path or a Life of Servitude?”, by Joy Thomas, a teacher and guide dog owner, https://www.crixeo.com/service-animals/.

In her article, Thomas examines the views of those who maintain that the use of service animals (such as guide dogs) is cruel, and contrasts them with others (including scientists and those who train service animals).

The latter group are of the opinion that most service animals enjoy their work and that the bond between a working animal and it’s handler/owner is sometimes stronger than the connection people have with their pet dog.

I have on occasions been asked whether my guide dog, Trigger gets bored. My answer is that he is with me 24 hours a day (not always in the same room but within easy call). Dogs are pack animals and crave companionship.

Being with me is, for Trigger an essential component of his security. Unlike many pet dogs he is not left alone for protracted periods during the day but accompanies me to the office, the supermarket and my favourite watering holes!

He is constantly stimulated, which enhances his wellbeing.

It is (usually) dogs that languish at home, for long periods (not working/service animals) that suffer from bordom/lonleness.

“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

Dogs Dream About Their Owners

A recently published study indicates that it is likely that dogs dream about their owners and that large dogs dream for longer than smaller canines.
The results of this study do not surprise me. I am now working with my fourth guide dog and have, from a young age grown up around dogs. Dogs wag their tails and perform other activities, such as running, growling or yelping while asleep. It is therefore logical (to my mind at least) to assume that our four-legged friends can (and do) dream. Anyone who has grown up around dogs will have observed them growling while asleep which indicates that they (like us) also experience nightmares.
http://www.themonitordaily.com/dogs-dream-owners-study-says/212676/

3 Ways the Kids Can Help Train Your New Dog

Getting a new dog is exciting for everyone in the family (unless you have a cat), and your kids may be eager to help get your new pet acclimated to your home and family. Depending on the age of your children, it might be difficult for you to find a way to make them feel like a big a part of your new pup’s life.

Getting your dog properly trained is step number one for a new dog owner, and to kids, this prospect is very exciting. They want the dog to learn all sorts of crazy tricks with little to no knowledge as to how to properly train this behavior. While including the kids in the training process may be challenging, it is always a possibility. Here are a few ways your kids can help train your new pup.

1. Give Your Kids the Treat Bag

Your kids may not be able to get the new dog to obey them just yet, but your kids can be your helper during training sessions by doling out treats. Have your kids hold the treat bag and offer a treat each time the dog performs the correct action. If you have a new puppy, be sure your kids know to keep their fingers clear of those sharp milk teeth. It may be best to have them drop the treat in front of the pup.

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Image via Pixabay by 825545

2. Let Your Kids Pick the Parlor Tricks

Teaching your dog the basics is crucial. However, which silly tricks you teach him matter a little less. Since it doesn’t matter if your dog learns to shake or high five, let your kids decide which frivolous tricks your new furry friend will learn. If they are old enough, you may let each child take charge of one parlor trick and teach it to the dog themselves. However, if they are young, let them help out by offering treats while you focus on the commands.

3. Have Them Help with Dog-Proofing

Your kids want their new four-legged friend to be safe in your home. To include them in the preparations for a new dog, you might want to have them help you clean and dog-proof the home. Teach them to close the doors to their bedrooms so that their toys don’t become an unintended chew toy, and make sure they know where the pup is and is not allowed to go. This way they can help with minor disciplining and correction if the pup wanders off or is found chewing something he shouldn’t.

Regardless of how you decide to let your kids help with your new family dog, you should always first teach them how to interact with a dog. Never let your kids hit a dog or pull its ears and tail. They should know how to use positive reinforcement and avoid frightening the dog with excessively harsh discipline.

If your dog learns to either ignore or fear your kids, they may never have a successful relationship with him. Once they know the basics of canine interaction, you might find that your kids play an important role in socializing and training their new family member.

Paige Johnson is a self-described fitness “nerd.” She possesses a love for strength training. In addition to weight-lifting, she is a yoga enthusiast, avid cyclist, and loves exploring hiking trails with her dogs. She enjoys writing about health and fitness for LearnFit.org.