Category Archives: books

Cats I’ve Known (and a giveaway)

We had the chance to read a fun new book called Cats I’ve Known: On Love, Loss, and Being Graciously Ignored. It is full of stories of all the cats the author has known and loved, each cat having it’s own section. Some cats are pets, others are cats that she meets in Philadelphia’s streets, alleys, houses, apartments, and bookstores. All of them have their own distinct personalities!

It’s a fun read, as each cat is so different, and yet they share qualities. This is something all cats owners are sure to already know, but I have a feeling you will see cats you love in each of the cats in the book too.

We have five copies to giveaway! You will get to read it before it’s even released in October. This giveaway will be open to those in the USA and Canada. Please enter using the form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Unlikely Companions

Unlikely Companions: The Adventures of an Exotic Animal Doctor (or, What Friends Feathered, Furred, and Scaled Have Taught Me about Life and Love) is a fun read about what it is like to be an exotic pet vet.

As an exotic pet owner (Yuki the hedgehog) I was really excited to see the other side of the coin so to speak. So often we think just about dogs and cats, but all pets need care.

We have had a lot of “exotic” pets, and finding a good vet that can treat them isn’t always easy. Dr. Hess (the author) would be an amazing vet to visit, as she not only cares about the pets, but the people as well.

The book starts out with a mystery concerning adorable sugar gliders, but we also hear the tales of many other patients. This “week in the life” book is an enjoyable read. It’s certainly fast paced, just like her practice!

As an animal lover I loved hearing the stories, with a lot of good advice on care mixed in, about different animals. Of course, there were moments that were sad too, as not every patient makes a recovery. These moments show how much Dr. Hess and her staff care about the pets and their people though, and shows a side of vet care that we pet parents often don’t see.

Unlikely Companions is a great read for any animal lover. Written in a style that reminds me a bit of a journal, it’s a look not just at the vet practice, but at Dr. Hess’s life as well. And of course, what would a fun story be without a head of curly hair that is irresistible to her patients?

*I received a copy of the book in exchange for my review.



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Great books for animal loving kids!

As the holiday season gets nearer, you might be looking for a great gift for the pet loving kids in your life. Today I am going to share two adorable books with you! We got to see one for ourselves, and just loved the illustrations and the message.

First up, Piper Was Afraid. This is the book we got to see, and even more exciting was that it came with a stuffed version of Piper and Cornelius the mouse!


The book comes signed by the author as well, and even comes with an adorable adoption certificate for Piper. The story is so cute too. Piper is an enormous Irish Wolfhound who is afraid of just about everything, but then he realizes he is missing out on all the fun. Also the cute little Cornelius (a mouse) appears on each page!

The second book is by the same author, and is called Lily the Fancipoo.


When her family decides to take a Holiday vacation, Lily is sent to spend some time with her cousins in the country and learns that love far outweighs the benefits of material things! Children will enjoy seeing Lily transform as she lets down her guard and begins to enjoy the farm. When Lily is in her home state of Florida there is a tiny lizard hidden on each page that children will have fun searching for and then when Lily arrives in the country, Lottie the mouse is hiding!

Lily the Fancipoo also comes with a plush Lily, and Lottie the mouse!

The illustrations and stories are perfect for sharing with children of all ages, and they will love to cuddle with their new friends too.

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Pound For Pound: A Story of One Woman’s Recovery and the Shelter Dogs Who Loved Her Back to Life


We always love it when we get a chance to read about how dogs help people, and the book Pound For Pound: A Story of One Woman’s Recovery and the Shelter Dogs Who Loved Her Back to Life certainly fits the bill!

I was really excited to share the book with you dear readers, and here is an excerpt so you can get a feeling for the story. It’s a story that is hopeful, inspirational, and perfect for anyone who loves animals.

Excerpt from Pound For Pound: A Story of One Woman’s Recovery and the Shelter Dogs Who Loved Her Back to Life
By Shannon Kopp

One morning at six o’clock, a few months after adopting a terrier-poodle puppy, I pulled myself out of bed in an attempt to meditate. I decided that sitting up on my yoga mat was too much effort, so I got into child’s pose, kneeling and lowering my head to the mat. I stretched my arms out in front of me while my meditation music om’d in the background.

After two minutes, which felt more like two hours, a fluffy presence leapt over my arm. My boyfriend usually kept Bella in the bedroom while I meditated, but I’d left the door open a crack, and she had nuzzled her way out, her paws so light on the floor that I didn’t hear her coming.

When I opened my eyes and lifted my head from the mat, Bella stood a few inches from my nose, in between my outstretched arms. In her mouth, she held a green frog toy by one leg.

“Bella, I’m meditating!” I said, but with a smile, because dear God was she cute! Five months old, four pounds, and not even a foot tall. Her coat of brownish black puppy fur was just starting to fade to creamy apricot.

Bella whipped her beloved frog so close to me that it hit my nose. Then, just in case I hadn’t gotten the obvious memo that she wanted to play, she put her butt up, paws forward, and shook the frog between her teeth.

The meditation music changed to soft ocean sounds, and Bella blinked up at me with her chestnut eyes, pleading in all her adorableness for a game of tug-of-war.

Pound for Pound, a story of healing and hope, and dogs.

I couldn’t resist her. I grabbed a frog leg between my pointer finger and my thumb and gave it a little pull. Bella pulled back, letting out the most pathetic groan, which I think was meant to be a growl. Her tiny tail whipped back and forth, and I thought to myself, I couldn’t love you more if I tried.

Our connection was wordless and relatively new, but I was already crazy about her. I loved every little thing she did. The time she leapt into a pond after a duck and kept going after him as though there was no difference between land and water. The way she assumed everything I had was hers, my glass of water, my food, my pillow, my socks, and never questioning whether she deserved it.

I loved how when I blew on her face, she gave the most pissed-off look and batted her dainty paw at my mouth. I loved how to everyone’s shock, she thought “the cone of shame” was a fabulous accessory and wagged her tail when we slipped it over her head (this may be because I dressed her up on a regular basis). I loved how everything fascinated her, even dust.

I loved how after I gave Bella too much turkey and then my boyfriend gave her too much salami, which caused an awful bout of pancreatitis, she didn’t cuss out her mortified parents for feeding her too many treats. Instead, upon our return from a vet visit we couldn’t really afford, she went straight to a warm patch of sunlight on the carpet. She didn’t resent or complain. Right away, she got back to the business of basking in the warmth of the present moment.

I also loved how seriously she took the game of tug-of-war, as though she were some ferocious lion, and which Bella and I played that morning for almost ten minutes. I probably smiled the entire time, and when the timer on my phone went off to mark the end of the meditation, Bella’s head tilted to the side. The sound startled me, too. We were still playing, and I’d completely forgotten that I was supposed to be meditating. Then again, if the point of meditation is to bring us to the present moment, maybe I was still doing what I was supposed to do.

© 2016 Excerpt from Pound for Pound: A Story of One Woman’s Recovery and the Shelter Dogs Who Loved Her Back to Life by Shannon Kopp Courtesy of William Morrow, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Author Bio
Shannon Kopp, author of Pound for Pound, is a writer, eating disorder survivor, and animal welfare advocate. She has worked and volunteered at various animal shelters throughout San Diego and Los Angeles, where shelter dogs helped her to discover a healthier, more joyful way of living. Her mission is to help every shelter dog find a loving home, and to raise awareness about eating disorders and animal welfare issues.

For more information visit her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

We give it four paws up! Shannon does a wonderful job explaining what it is like to go through a tough an eating disorder and trying to heal from it. Of course, dogs play a central role to her healing. This is a great read for anyone who wants to understand what it might be like for those who suffer from eating disorders, or other mental health issues. Even though the subject is heavier, Shannon does a great job of sharing both the dark and the light, and it is a hopeful and uplifting story because of it.

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