An Extraordinary Externality

This story about two authors featured in Lost Souls: FOUND! Inspiring Stories About Northern-Breed Dogs just has to be shared! Last week, Nancy Triggiani, parent of the lovely Aurora (see below), wrote me to say:

Aurora the Akita

“I thought you might be interested in knowing a story within the Lost Souls stories has developed! A couple of months ago I noticed a woman’s name on the ARWNY (Akita Rescue of Western New York) Facebook page that was the same as a long lost cousin, whom I hadn’t seen since I was a kid. She must have noticed my name on the ARWNY “friends” list and friended me, and it was indeed my cousin I had lost contact with – our adopted Akitas reunited us. I just found out last night that you are publishing her dog’s story in the same edition as Aurora’s! My cousin is Florence Leone and her dog is Bert! What are the odds of two long lost cousins being published in the SAME book?”

Bert the Akita

How fun is that? Both Aurora and Bert’s stories are featured in the upcoming book. Buy a copy on pre-sale today through June 17th, and make your money count even more!


Pet Owners Looking for Rawhide-Snack Alternative Find Answer with SmartBones

Press Release (Not associated with Happy Tails Books – but we thought you might like to know about this.)

“Smart” chew treat is fortified with vitamins, minerals to keep dogs healthy

NEW YORK, N.Y. (July 11, 2011) – If ‘Fido’ is one of the more than 20 million dogs craving a chew treat not made with rawhide, there’s a palate-pleasing, healthy alternative now available.

SmartBones, by PetMatrix, are chew treats made with chicken, vegetables and other healthy ingredients. These rawhide-free treats are perfect for the four-to-five out of 10 consumers who prefer not to feed their dogs rawhide.

“Chew treats are an important part of every healthy dog’s diet,” said PetMatrix Chief Science Officer Martin Glinsky, Ph.D. “Eating kibble alone doesn’t thoroughly exercise a dog’s mouth and can cause teeth to become disused and plaque-ridden. This ultimately may lead to additional health problems.”

And, since keeping pets healthy is paramount, SmartBones contain a special vegetable layer that is fortified with vitamins and minerals to help supplement daily nutritional requirements. In fact, these treats are the first of their kind to be fortified and offer more nutritional benefits than standard chew treats. This is because rawhide treats are made with animal byproducts that offer “zero” nutritional value, Dr. Glinsky said.

“Even though rawhide is a form of protein, all proteins aren’t equal,” Dr. Glinsky said. “Rawhide is an extremely low-quality form of protein, not the type that animals need for nutrition.”

In addition to health benefits, SmartBones are easier on a dog’s digestive system compared to rawhide treats. SmartBones are 99.2 percent digestible, whereas even the highest-quality dog foods are only 85 percent digestible.

“The actual digestibility of rawhide treats is questionable,” Dr. Glinsky said. “There are many reports of certain breeds of dogs swallowing rawhide treats whole, or in large pieces, which cause intestinal blockages and other severe health problems.”

Further aiding a dog’s digestion, SmartBones are available in four different sizes based on a pet’s weight: Mini SmartBones (5-10 lbs.), Small SmartBones (11-25 lbs.), Medium SmartBones (26-50 lbs.) and Large SmartBones (over 50 lbs.). All four sizes are available in Chicken and Peanut Butter flavors. There is also a special Dental variety offering additional ingredients to assist with oral health.

SmartBones are available in stores nationwide, and additional information may be found at or by calling 877.336.DOGS (3647).

About PetMatrix

PetMatrix, the creator of SmartBones, was founded in 2008 and has offices in New York, Arizona and Hawaii. The company’s founders have extensive pet industry experience, which they use to create healthy products that improve the lives of pets around the world.

Break Through Radio Video about Pet Shops

Great video! Though it’s about NY, it’s definitely reflective of our nation as a whole. Don’t be fooled by what pet shop owners say, no reputable breeder would sell their dogs through pet shops; they usually have a waiting list and want people to come to their home/kennel so they can evaluate them. Additionally, “USDA certified” is nothing to brag about. Only large-scale breeding facilities that sell their dogs like livestock need to be certified: a sure sign of a puppy mill.

Oh, and at the end where the ASPCA is talking about “euthanization.” Don’t fool yourself. These animals are being needlessly killed. I highly recommend the book Redemption by Nathan Winograd if you’d like to learn more about the pet overpopulation myth. Simply put, yes, puppy mills need to be stopped, but shelters also need to do more. As Winograd outlines in his book, a few things they could do to to stop killing pets are:

1) Be open at night and on weekends when working people can actually visit.
2) Take adoption to the people via mobile adoption units
3) Offer low-cost spay/neuter clinics

There’s much more in the book, so I’ll hope you read it. But first, watch the video below!

Rescue SPOTlight: Alliston & District Humane Society

This week’s rescue SPOTlight is on Alliston & District Humane Society of Ontario, CANADA, an organization that is helping Up For Pups, our sister non-profit organization, to create a Rescue Best Practices Manual:

• Mission: The ADHS attempts to provide shelter for stray and unwanted animals with priority given to abused and neglected animals.
• Date founded: 1988
• Types of animals you take in: Dogs, Cats, Small animals, Farm animals (in foster homes).
• Size of Rescue (Small=less than 50 animals, Mid=51-200 animals, Large=201+ animals): Large

• Your name: Emily Day
• Your position in the rescue: Secretary, Board of Directors
• How long you’ve been with the rescue: 5+ years
• What you like best about animal rescue: Working directly with the animals.
• What you think is hardest about animal rescue: Saying goodbye.
• Share one quick story about a rescue experience: There are so many … We currently have a 7 month old male Beagle puppy, Charlie. He is a bundle of energy but hasn’t had a very nice beginning. He was found in a cardboard box on the side of the road – covered in mange. After being treated for mange, the people who found him decided that he had too much energy for them, and they did not want him anymore. They gave him away for free to a friend. This friend had the pup for a week and decided that he was chasing the cat too much and had to go. Charlie ended up in our care. He is a friendly enough guy, but he has some wicked separation and abandonment issues. He is rambunctious and has a LOT of energy. He mouths. He jumps. He tugs on the leash. He cries. He screams. He is a DRAMA QUEEN. Our volunteers are working with him to overcome these and many other issues he came in with. Charlie will stay with us until a new home is found or a suitable foster home is located.

Rescue Spotlight: Nebraska Border Collie Rescue

Our rescue spotlight today is on Nebraska Border Collie Rescue, Inc. . This outstanding Border Collie rescue has been saving dogs since 1999, and they have generously offered their time to help in the creation of Up For Pups’ best practices manual.

Mission: Nebraska Border Collie Rescue is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, all volunteer organization dedicated to serving the immediate needs of Border Collies and Border Collie mixes in danger of harm or euthanasia, as well as educating the public to reduce the need for rescue in the future.

  • Date founded: Spring 1999
  • Types of animals you take in: Border Collies and Border Collie x
  • Size of Rescue (Small=less than 50 animals, Mid=51-200 animals, Large=201+ animals): Mid
  • Your Name: Karen Battreall
  • Your position in the rescue: President
  • How long you’ve been with the rescue: 11 years
  • What you like best about animal rescue: Seeing a great dog go to a great family
  • What you think is hardest about animal rescue: Making the decision to euthanize
  • Share one quick story about a rescue experience: We had a very intelligent, energetic Border Collie that we felt would be hard to place.  She found a home but was returned because of her extreme intelligence and energy.  A second home was found with a retired rancher.  He reported to us that his wife suffered from a debilitating disease and hadn’t smiled in over a year.   Maggie had made his wife not only smile but laugh.  They went for walks around the ranch together and had become constant companions.


Rescue Spotlight: MidAmerica Boston Terrier Rescue

Happy Tails Books and Up For Pups are working together alongside 20+ reputable rescue organizations to create a best practices manual. We’ll be featuring a rescue each week so you can get to know the rescuers behind this mammoth effort. Read about the best practices manual at

MidAmerica Boston Terrier Rescue


  • Rescue Name: MidAmerica Boston Terrier Rescue
  • Website:
  • Mission: To rescue and re-home abandoned Boston Terriers and to persuade those interested in purchasing a dog to “adopt, and not shop”, meaning to not purchase a dog or puppy from a puppy mill or puppy mill-supplied pet store, but instead, to adopt a homeless dog to save a life.”
  • Date founded: November 2005
  • Types of animals you take in: Dog; Boston Terrier
  • Size of Rescue (Small=less than 50 animals, Mid=51-200 animals, Large=201+ animals): Large
  • Your name: Jennifer Misfeldt
  • Your position in the rescue: President/Founder
  • How long you’ve been with the rescue: November 2005
  • What you like best about animal rescue: the support from the public
  • What you think is hardest about animal rescue: inconsistency among multiple foster parents across multiple states
  • Share one quick story about a rescue experience:Here’s a poem from the MABTR website, which speaks for itself

To My First Rescue Dog

You came to me full grown
But very much like a puppy.
A human’s love you had not yet known.
Each pat on your head
Caused you to jump in a frenzy.
In your first hours you even shredded your bed.
Each experience was new and you were so amazed.
Inside the house you seemed overwhelmed.
Just the simplest things would capture your gaze.
Constant excitement was your state.
Your jumping and barking
Made you a challenging roommate.
But slowly you came to understand
And when I reach out
You no longer chewed on my hand.
Within a few months so calmly you sat.
Imploring with those sweet brown eyes
To give your head just one more pat.
The adoption day in mid-December
When you met your new family
Is one I will always remember.
I sent you on your way
With a final hug and kiss
Knowing your new life began that day.
You trotted away without a backward glance
And through my tears I smiled
Because you deserved this second chance.


A Real Foster Failure: I Liked Ruth Better

It was almost like the last time I saw her. She waddled into my life, gave me a few licks, then out the door she went. She’s always been cute, but I didn’t remember her being so funny. Back then her name was Ruth.


Ruth, now Lilly, was returned this week by the family I adopted her out to over a year ago. I feel like such a failure.It’s not that they got divorced and moved into “no dogs” housing, but I adopted out a dog out to a person who would stand in front of her four-year-old and lie to me. I give her credit for sticking with the contract and returning her to rescue, but really? You lied in front of your four-year-old.

She seemed so nice. Her son’s tears were so sincere. She had to let her beloved dog go because she had gotten into “a bad situation” and had to move into “no-dog housing.” Understandable. This happens in life. But when I ask you about the last time your dog was bathed, you could have told me the truth. Her answer was that the dog was bathed, had her nails trimmed, and her ears were cleaned three weeks ago. Uh…

Later when I examined this dogs toenails, I discovered that she couldn’t even put her feet flat on the floor because her nails were so overgrown. Now, unless there is some nail growth disease affecting this dog that I don’t know about, I’ve never heard of a dog’s toenails growing over 1/4 inch in three weeks!

And if she did have some nail-growth issue, for shame anyway. You told me she gained weight over the winter because she didn’t like to go out in the cold. That could possible account for longer nails than usual if Lilly wasn’t pounding the pavement. But, uh, I took your dog out to the dog park yesterday, on one of the coldest days so far this year, and she had so much fun that she would have stayed an extra hour if I let her. So I ask, “Who in your family has a problem with the cold?”

I don’t think it was your dog.

Boston TerrierWell, I’m thankful you returned her to me. This is all my fault. I was uneasy when you first adopted her, as if for some reason I didn’t believe in your commitment to her care. I should have followed my instinct. You had other issues and problems to deal with that would throw your pup, who had already suffered in a puppy mill cage for four years, into the back seat.

The whole thing is sad. I know you did your best, and I wish I wasn’t bitter, but since you neglected to even return my email when I asked about her vaccinations, I can’t help but be mad. I took YOUR DOG to the vet today. The rescue paid for her vaccines, which she should have gotten a year ago. I found YOUR DOG a new family today, who I absolutely believe will help her lose the weight you promised to remove and feed her the healthy food you obviously neglected (I can tell by her smell and her flaky coat).

There is NO SHAME in using the return policy, but you should be ashamed that you neglected to care for YOUR DOG for so long. I hope the next time you consider a pet, you remember that YOUR DOG is now with people who are actually caring for her and not with you. They are giving her appropriate veterinary care, nutrition, and love (the neglect there was obvious, too). If you can’t walk your dog, hold your dog, and feed your dog decent food, PLEASE DON”T GET ONE.

I hope you do a better job caring for your son. Children are not so resilient.

You can call her whatever you want, but to me, she’s my Ruthie, and I’m glad she’s in a better place. I’m just very sorry it took her a year and a half to get there. I hope I do better next time.

Win $200 for Your Favorite Rescue!

Erika Pinkoczi, an author from Lost Souls: FOUND! Inspiring Stories About Dogs, has generously offered to donate $100 to the rescue of a randomly-selected winner’s choice if we can hit 1,111 members on the Happy Tails Books Facebook page by 1-11-11. Up For Pups has offered to match it, so the total is $200. All you have to do for a chance to win is encourage people to sign up for the Facebook Page. A check will be mailed to the winner’s rescue choice within a week of 1-11-11.

Do you tweet? Here’s something to share: Chance to win $200 for the rescue of your choice by joining . Need 1,111 members by 1-11-11. Winner randomly selected.

Good luck!

Recognizing Rescuers: Linda Forrest and SOS Beagles

Every Tuesday we post someone’s kind words about a rescuer who has touched his or her life. Today Billie Moore wrote in to recognize Linda Forrest of SOS Beagle Rescue:
I have adopted four rescue beagles in my life, two have gone to the rainbow bridge at the age of fifteen. These two beagles were rescued from a local laboratory and were scheduled to be euthanized. I was able to adopt and they truly showed me that laboratory dogs can make good pets. A lot of love and patience will do the trick. My other two beagles both came from rescue groups. Brew and SOS Beagles. The first one was thirteen weeks  and the second was nine weeks when I adopted them.

We travel quite a bit these days and a trip would not be planned without them. They are both excellent travelers.  The fact that all my beagles were rescues gives me a great feeling of truly helping out a fur baby that needed a home. I have no regrets that they are rescue and not bought from some fancy breeder.
There are too many unwanted animals in the world with no where to lay their head. I feel rescue is the only way to go if you truly want to lend a hand to help a furry soul.  My dogs are a great compliment to our family and they are loved dearly.

Hats off the Linda Forrest for running SOS Beagles and for all the work she has done now and in the past to organize a great rescue and to match so many beagles with the right family. People like her are hard to find that are willing to work so hard for such a goal. May God bless her and all her beagles that she rescues and finds loving homes for. I can’t think of enough words to  encourage someone to adopt from a rescue or shelter except the rewards are GREAT.

Putting The Right Paw Forward

Since it’s the first day of the New Year, I thought I might share some goals for Happy Tails Books. Here are last year’s goals and how they relate to our plans for 2011:

1) Donate $10,000 back to animal welfare organizations: We wanted to donate at least $10,000 back to animal rescue causes. Early in the year, our customers helped us make a donation to the organizations helping animals through the crisis in Haiti. Then, this past month we donated another $9,800 back to our rescue partners and humane education causes, so over the year we did hit our goal. It was kind of fudged, though, to be honest. As we wanted so badly to reach this goal that we donated more than our expected percentage of net profits back to rescue. It was closer to 50% of net profits that the 25% we were looking for. Therefore, I’d like to try again for this year: At 25% of net profits, can we donate $10,000 back?

2) Publish at least five books about different dog breeds and a book about cats: We blew this goal out of the water! Last year we published Lost Souls: FOUND! books on Boxers, Chihuahuas, German Shepherd Dogs, Pugs, Beagles, Great Danes, Cocker Spaniels, Mixed-Breed Dogs, and Cats! We also published a very special book about mill dogs called Dog Blessed. This year we intend to reel in the number of books we are publishing to explore the idea of having them more widely distributed (our books are currently available through our website, for paperback and Kindle, and for the Nook). We are currently editing our Partners With Paws book about service dogs and the lives they change and our Lost Souls: FOUND! book on Basset Hounds. On our home page you can find a list of breeds we’re considering for this year and next year. The order of breeds we work on is dictated by rescuer and adopter enthusiasm, so if you’d like to see your breed up next, please send in your stories!

Note: We also have a few exciting books launching very soon from people who have asked us to help them publish their own pet-related books. Keep an eye out for Pit Bulls: Victims or Villains, a forensic study of violence in society and how it relates to the anti-pit bull craze, and Service Dogs: More Than Man’s Best Friend, a book for young people about service dogs.

3) Develop a 501(c)3 humane education organization to further fight puppy mills: I guess you could say that this was more of a personal initiative than a company initiative, but it bears mentioning anyway. Last year I decided I wanted to do even more to raise awareness about puppy mills and adoption, so I established Up For Pups, a humane education organization. The organization was granted our non-profit status a month-and-a-half ago, and we have since been working tirelessly to establish several effective programs to fight puppy mills. One of our first initiatives, a stage show called Don’t Kill Bill, will officially debut in Boulder, CO in February. You can get more info about it at the Up For Pups website.

Therefore, we expect 2011 to be full of some great books to promote service dogs and animal rescue. Up For Pups will be expanding on the work Happy Tails Books is doing with books to assist rescues to be even more successful and bring messages about rescue and adoption to the public through theater and other creative means.

Thank you so much to everyone for your support of our humane education efforts. We’ll need your support more than even this next year, as with the passage of Proposition B in MO and many cities banning the sale of companion animals in pet shops, important humane initiatives are beginning to gain momentum. Now is the time to continue that momentum and create a world full of love, happiness, and safety, which our furry friends truly deserve!