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Tag: publishing

How much is that dog book in the window?

Four of my favorite things — dogs, books, bargains and good causes — will come together this weekend at The Book Escape in Federal Hill.

The Baltimore bookstore will feature not only me, signing my new book, but a storewide used book sale. Ace will be there, and your dog is welcome, too. (The Book Escape, located at 805 Light St., is dog-friendly.)

And to top it all off, we’ll be donating 20 percent of the store’s Saturday sales of “DOG, INC.” to the Franky Fund, which helps provide care for sick and injured animals at Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter.

The signing will be Saturday (Feb. 5) from 1 to 3 p.m.

The Book Escape has made “DOG, INC.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man’s Best Friend,” its featured selection for the month — giving it prominent display not just on its website, but in its storefront window.

Ace and I, temporarily living in a friend’s empty house as we continue, for now, our roaming ways, are located right around the corner. So we pass the window often, sometimes pausing as I point out to him my book … look … right there … in front of Tom Wolfe’s. It fails to impress him.

In addition to the signing, The Book Escape will be holding a big sale this weekend, according to owner Andrew Stonebarger.

All used books will be 50 percent off for “book pass” members, and 25 percent off for everyone else. Book passes cost $50, but those who buy them get $50 in store credit at regular prices, on top of reduced prices everytime they present the card.

Stonebarger says that means a person who bought two copies of “DOG, INC.” –  one for themself and one for a present, he suggested (and who am I to argue with that idea?) – would “get a free book pass and get big discounts for the whole year.”

In light of this week’s disturbing revelation of another pet set on fire in Baltimore — a cat named Mittens who, thanks to the Franky Fund, is recovering — we (meaning The Book Escape and me) will be donating 20 percent of each sale of “DOG, INC.” on Saturday to the special BARCS fund.

It’s not the first time I’ve worked with BARCS (where Ace came from), or raised money for the fund, which I’m a fan of because it gives a chance to abused and neglected dogs and cats that, because of serious injuries, might otherwise not have one. In addition to passing along all profits last spring from my photo exhibit, ”Hey,That’s My Dog,” I’ve done a couple of stints as Santa Claus, for ”pet photos with Santa” fundraisers.

Saturday’s book signing seemed a good opportunity to raise a little more for the Franky Fund — without having to dress up in a funny suit, freeze, or swallow wisps of polyester beard hair.

Ace and I hope to see you there.

Just in time for Christmas … well, almost

I’ve written my name in books before — but always as a reminder to other people to keep their grubby paws off of them, or at least return them when they’re done.

But yesterday was a first: I signed my own book — own, as in the one I wrote.

I don’t get mail delivery here in Petite Acres, the trailer park in Cave Creek, Arizona, where Ace and I are spending December before heading back east in the last leg of our seven months of travels.

So when my publisher called to find out where to send the author’s copies of “DOG, INC.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man’s Best Friend,” I used my brother’s address, and he delivered them over the weekend.

I won’t compare the excitement of tearing open that cardboard box to seeing your baby arrive — that would be wrong — but there are some similarities, the main ones being, “Wow, that came out of me?” and the realization that all the labor pains were worth it after all.

The book is about the cloning of dogs — how, and why, it came to be achieved, and the colorful characters involved: from the Arizona billionaire who funded the initial research; to the scientists who produced Snuppy, the first canine clone, in South Korea; to those who marketed the service (even before the first dog was cloned); to those who bought it, the bereaved pet owners seeking replicas of dogs dead or near death.

It was two years in the making (the book, not dog cloning) — a project I undertook right after I left the Baltimore Sun, and one that wouldn’t have been accomplished were it not for the help of a lot of people.

My first autographed copy is being sent to one of them, Rona Kim, a law student in Seoul who served as my guide and interpreter during my visit to Korea, and without whom I would have probably spent three-fourths of my time there hopelessly lost.

The official release date of “DOG, INC.” is Dec. 30, but it can be pre-ordered now from all the major retailers.

By then, Ace and I will be headed back east — first to Washington for a scheduled appearance on the Diane Rehm show Jan. 5 (me, not Ace), then to Baltimore, where we hope to host a couple of book signing parties (details to come) and find a place to call home.

Father of baby snatched by dog pens a book

ajThe Kentucky father whose 3-day-old son was snatched from a crib by the family’s wolf-hybrid dog last summer has written a book about the ordeal.

A spokesman for AuthorHouse, a Bloomington, Ind., company that specializes in self-publishing, confirmed to the Lexington Herald that the book will be published in late May.

Its mouthful of a title? “Could It Happen to You?:  Baby A.J.’s Story of Being Taken From His Crib by the Family Dog Dakota.”

“I think it’s going to answer a lot of questions about who we are,” said Michael Smith, who along with his wife, Chrissie, became the subject of nationwide TV coverage and news articles after their family dog snatched Alexander James “A.J.” Smith from his crib July 20.

Dakota, the female wolf hybrid that had a habit of taking objects from the house, carried the baby outside in her mouth, eventually setting him down in the woods behind the Smiths’ house north of Nicholasville.

A.J. was treated for a cracked skull, cracked ribs, a collapsed lung and a partially collapsed lung and returned home after several days.

Except for a small scar, he has recovered fully, the family says. “He’s a healthy little boy. He’s doing great.” Chrissie Smith said.

Michael Smith said the book will be a behind-the-scenes narrative of the ordeal that included his interviews with Diane Sawyer on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and Deborah Norville on “Inside Edition.”

The book, he said, will clear up any notion that he’s an unfit parent.

The Smiths were investigated for child neglect, but a Jessamine County grand jury found no criminal intent.

The family attempted to get Dakota back, but eventually consented to letting the dog live with another family.

The Smiths still have two dogs, one of them a wolf-hybrid.

Author has special offer for 1,000th buyer

withadogHow’s this for a novel idea?

Leigh Mcmillan, author of ”It All Started with a Dog,” is offering sex to the person who buys the 1,000th copy of her novel.

Specifically, and to be perfectly clear, she’s offering the unpublished sex scene she “took out of the book because it would have offended my mother.”

The novel tells the tale of a Washington, D.C. lawyer who has spent a lifetime protecting her heart from the dangerous possibilities of love. When she finds a ragged stray dog on the streets of Georgetown and brings him home with her, it leads to a sequence of startling events that send her down a path she’s never explored.

Since Mcmillan admits to it in an email sent to fans and others, we’ll go ahead and reveal it here: No dog dies in the book. So, as a holiday gift, it’s not a downer.

Mcmillan will be doing a book signing at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, at the Gallery of the Arts at 411 W. Fourth St. in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Dog books, dog books and more dog books

We’re happy to announce a new feature on ohmidog! — an entire section devoted to dog books.

Good Dog Reads” — you can find a tab for it on our rightside rail — is a collection of dog book news and reviews from our archives, one that will be updated as new releases come our way.

We’ve also made it easy, should you be inclined to buy one of those we’ve featured, to click on the title or cover, which will take you to our Amazon Affiliate store for easy ordering. To go straight to the store, basically a compilation of some our favorite dogs books, old and new, you can click on “Books on Dogs” link – the photo of the bespectacled dog — on our rightside rail.

If you, like me, plan to curl up with a good dog and a good dog book (or five, or ten) this winter, we’ve got some suggestions for you. Please feel free to send us your’s. And remember the words of Groucho Marx — from whose famous quote the title of the book we’re featuring today was drawn:

 ”Outside of a book, a dog is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark too read.”

Hailing Cesar: Times looks at Millan’s empire

cesarmillan

 
With “The Dog Whisperer” starting its sixth season, his new magazine hitting the stands last month and his fourth book going on sale, the New York Times Saturday took a long and mostly complimentary look at Cesar Millan and the empire he has built since crossing the border illegally 20 years ago.

Proclaiming him a “cultural icon”  the article recounts how the once-penniless native of Culiacán, Mexico (he became a U.S. citizen this year), became a dog trainer to the stars, then the world.

One of his first clients was Jada Pinkett (before she added the Smith) who in the early 1990′s was 20 and starring in a television sitcom. Millan helped Pinkett take control of her four Rottweilers, and they went on to become friends. When Millan told her he wanted to be on TV, the article says, she told him he wasn’t ready, and needed to study English.

Pinkett and Will Smith started recommending Mr. Millan to friends in the entertainment industry, starting with director Michael Bay, who needed help controlling his 230-pound mastiff, Mason. He’d later go to the aid of  Oprah Winfrey, former Disney chief Michael D. Eisner and director Ridley Scott, among others.

In addition to books, a magazine and a television show, Millan and his wife, Ilusion, runs Cesar Millan Inc., a constellation of businesses that coordinates Millan’s speaking engagements and executive leadership seminars;, and puts out a line of products including DVD’s, collars, organic dog food, fortified water, shampoos and toys. His website, cesarmillaninc.com, grosses annual sales in the mid-seven figures, according to a company spokesman.

The Times article devotes only one paragraph — tssst! – to the debate over Millan’s macho leader of the pack techniques:

Not everyone agrees with Mr. Millan’s methods. “Positivist” trainers like Ian Dunbar reject the idea that a submissive dog is a happy dog. Mr. Dunbar advocates treating dogs as companions, not followers. While Mr. Millan uses his hand like a mother dog uses her mouth — to nudge dogs to behave — Mr. Dunbar shuns physical corrections and relies instead on treats and rewards.

Despite any controversy, Millan’s fame and empire are only expected to grow.  This summer, the National Geographic Channel struck a deal with Fox to syndicate “Dog Whisperer” next fall.

(Photo: Courtesy of National Geographic Channel)

Look what Cesar’s stepping into now

cesarmagTV’s “Dog Whisperer” has sniffed out some new turf: He’s launching a magazine that will hit newstands next week.

The magazine — dubbed Cesar’s Way – will be a joint venture between Cesar Millan and the New York sports management and entertainment firm IMG, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The Journal reports that the premier issue is heavy on celebrities, with Mariah Carey, Paris Hilton, Jennifer Aniston and their pets filling many of its pages. Articles seem to have a celebrity bent as well, including “Can Your Dog Fix Your Marriage? Just Ask Jada Pinkett Smith” and “7-Day Doggie Detox.”

IMG says it plans to publish two issues this year and six in 2010.

Millan, following in the footsteps of Opray Winfrey and Rachel Ray, will see if his fame parlays into newsstand sales. He’s listed as editorial director of the magazine.

The new magazine joins about 60 other dog-related titles in the U.S., including Dog Fancy, Doggie Aficionado and Urban Dog, according to the National Directory of Magazines.

The Journal says Cesar’s Way faces the worst ad climate in decades — one that has forced the closure of such magazines as CosmoGirl, House & Garden and Domino. In the first half of 2009, magazine ad revenue plunged 21% from a year earlier, according to the Publishers Information Bureau.

Nevertheless, IMG and Millan think they can profit from the 75 million dog owners in the U.S. and the “recession-resistance” of the pet industry. “People have continued to spend on their pets,” Millan said. “You always want to make sure your family is taken care of, and Americans believe the dog is part of the family.”

IMG isn’t the only company to see dollar signs in the pet market. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia added a pet destination to its Web site this year. People Magazine introduced PeoplePets, and Honda is touting its pet-friendly Element with features such as a cushioned pet bed in the cargo area and a pet-restraint system.

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