kinds of drugs and its side effects

My Dog Supports My Kickstarter — Won’t You?

Dog Kickstarter imageI announced recently that I was embarking on an exciting new project: Writing a memoir of my days as a travel writer, to be financed by a Kickstarter campaign. The campaign is live and naturally Madeleine has a prominent role in the promotional video.

Writer Adoption Videos That Won’t Make You Want to Kill Yourself

Many of you will remember the Pet Adoption Videos That Won’t Make You Want to Kill Yourself series I ran here. It included many, many posts, but here’s one example that also alludes to my inspiration for it, the [do not click unless you want to be depressed] ASPCA ads with the sad music by Sara McLachlan.

It is this video that I am parodying in my Kickstarter promo. Most everyone — i.e., not only dog people — will get the takeoff on the sad donation ads, but it takes insiders to understand things like the “food aggressive” reference, warning signs on the crates, etc. Yes, you are my peeps.

Okay, you’re saying, cute video. But why should I support a book if it’s not going to have dogs in it?

Why Support My New Book?

It’s true, as the book is currently outlined, there are no dogs in it until the end. Frankie doesn’t come on the scene until the last chapter, and even then he just has a cameo. Madeleine doesn’t appear at all.

So let me give you a few reasons:

  • If you liked this blog and my book Am I Boring My Dog, you’ll like this new book. It’s funny. And although it doesn’t have dogs in it, it has the occasional camel. (As it happens, I’m offering a matched set of the two books as one of the Kickstarter rewards.)
  • I still have another dog book in me. Madeleine is such a different character than Frankie that she has provided me with loads of new material. But until I finish my memoir I can’t start my dog book.
  • Madeleine wants steak, and right now I can’t afford it.

Tell Me More…

Well, I’m glad you asked. Here’s the story behind the book. Here’s a short primer on what it means to back this Kickstarter project.

And here’s the official badge that you can click on to get there.


Weekend Special!

On Tuesday, May 26th, I’m going to introduce a new $5 reward: A “thank you for making my book possible” postcard (I haven’t designed it yet, but it’ll be cool, I promise). But new supporters of the campaign on any reward level today (May 23), tomorrow (May 24) or Monday (May 25) get that postcard for free.

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Give the Gift of Dog Savvy: Am I Boring My Dog?

I had lunch yesterday with a group of writer friends. When we went around the table to discuss our accomplishments and ask each other for help with writely issues, I explained that I had several copies of my dog book that I wanted to sell on my blog but didn’t quite know how to go about doing it.

I immediately got advice about installing a PayPal button and, although I definitely have  tech issues — I almost installed a “Like Me on Facebook” widget for on this site  — that wasn’t my hang-up.  My big problem, I explained, was with self promotion.

Poor uncommercial me.

Everyone listened politely for a few minutes. Then one of my friends reminded me that, although I am culturally Jewish and consider myself a holiday-free zone, Christmas was getting very close and people want to buy presents, so I needed to snap out of it. She didn’t slap me, a la Cher and Nicholas Cage in Moonstruck, but that was the general idea.

So this is me, snapping out of it.

I am going to leave it to others to praise the book — that’s what The Book section is for — but I will say I’m proud of having written it and, more than two years of blogging and research later, still stand behind all the dog advice.

If you buy it, I will inscribe it to anyone, human or canine, you would like me to inscribe it to. Frankie will sign it too, in his fashion.

Use the (correctly installed) PayPal/credit card Buy Now button to the right, then email me — at writestf at mac dot com — with the inscription you’d like me to write and the address you’d like me to send it to.

I’ve included first-class U.S. postage in the price. If you’d like me to send it elsewhere, I’ll go to the post office and let you know what that will run you. And if you can get it in time for the holidays.

And even if you don’t want to buy the book, watch the video trailers. Talk about holiday cheer!

Read More »

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Publisher to Book: Drop Dead

When a piece that is assigned to a writer doesn’t make into print for some reason, the expression is that it’s been “killed.”

That didn’t happen to AM I BORING MY DOG, which went to press right on schedule less than two years ago. Maybe it sounds overly dramatic, but I nevertheless took the news — surprising, inadvertent — that my book is no longer in print as a kind of death.

I’ll explain what happened as I take you through the stages of grief that I’ve been experiencing — sometimes in rapid succession — since I learned about this occurrence last week. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, who first identified the grief stages, named only five — and guilt is not among them.

I therefore adapted the concept to my needs.

Stage 1: Shock and Denial

It all started when I discovered a lovely blog called Doggerel: A Year of Learning About Dogs. The blogger, Abby, writes:

 One year from now, once we move out of our apartment, I will finally be able to get a dog….During this year of waiting for a puppy to call my own, I will be a student of the canine world. I’m reading books and blogs about dogs.

I thought that, since AIBMD is all about getting a first dog, it would be a great fit for this project.  I contacted Abby, asked her if she wanted a review copy and, getting an enthusiastic affirmative response, asked the publicist for Alpha/Penguin to send one along.

I got back a note: “Unfortunately the book is out of print and they don’t have any available.”

That’s the shock part.

The denial part is literal. A week before this event occurred, my pal Debbie Jacobs of posted on Facebook:    “Nice seeing your book featured in the Dogwise newsletter!” So I went over to Dogwise, and saw a listing that said:

Am I Boring My Dog…and 99 Other Things Every Dog Wishes You Knew by Edie Jarolim. A mixture of useful and silly facts about dogs. Now out of print, limited to stock on hand.

I irately commented to Debbie that the listing was wrong on both counts. The book is not a mixture of useful and silly facts about dogs, I grumbled. And it’s not out of print.

Well, I got one out of two right.

Read More »

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Road trip! Book signing! Hot sisters!

Lately, my book selling world has been a bit bleak. The online bootleg versions of AM I BORING MY DOG have slowed to a trickle, as opposed to the torrent of thefts that first emerged the week between Christmas and New Year’s. I  dutifully forward all the Google alerts of new ripoffs to my publisher, who forwards them to the legal department, which does… something. I assume.

The notices rarely even catch my attention anymore, although I was a bit startled by the following (Frankie is a very sensitive dog, so I’ve inserted a few asterisks):

i f**k my hot sister Megaupload MediaFire Hotfile & FileSonic …
Am I Boring My Dog And 99 Other Things Every Dog Wishes You Knew. Published By BinhSilicom | 3 January 2011

I’ve got to say, anyone who is attracted by those search terms is going to be gravely disappointed by my book. There’s a little coprophilia that might draw the “I eat my hot sister’s poop” crowd, but Frankie doesn’t engage in sexual relations with anyone in the book, sibling or stranger.

But there are a few things no bootleg version of the book can offer: A personal appearance by me and Frankie. Free wine. Other dogs. The owner of a dog gym. Benefits to a shelter and to a library. So I’m excited to announce…

For those who don’t know Arizona geography, Cave Creek is a semi-sleepy little town — with a very nice library, which will benefit from any book sales –in the desert just north of Scottsdale, where Foothills Animal Rescue, which will also benefit from the book sales, is located. Scottsdale is also home to Arizona Dog Sports, a gym for dogs, and owner Layne Kizler will be on hand to discuss all the anti-boredom activities she has on offer there.

More excitement: I’ll be staying at the Scottsdale Hotel Indigo. Frankie and I loved the totally pet friendly — no size limits, no extra fee — Hotel Indigo San Diego (see this post about last summer’s visit) and we’re really looking forward to our stay at the Scottsdale branch. Naturally, I’ll report back.

My own hot sister will not be in Arizona for these activities, but someone’s hot sister might very well be.

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I woke up yesterday to several Google alerts for Am I Boring My Dog. That usually makes me very happy, because it means that someone has been paying attention to my book, via a review, perhaps, or a reference in a blog post.

Yesterday the news was not good. Turns out that Am I Boring is available as a free e-book. One that has nothing to do with me, and gives me zero benefit. By today it was available on some 15 more sites. None of them are related to any e-readers like the Kindle — cleverly avoiding the Mighty Amazon and their resources for shutting sites like them down.

I thought about trying to download the book on one of those sites, just to see what it looks like, but then realized that, since the thieves, being thieves, were clearly up to no good, this was not a smart idea. I didn’t want to add injury to injury by getting my personal information stolen, or my computer crashed.

I’ve been wondering — why my book? Not very high profile, so they figured no one would notice? I’m sure the choice of this time of year, when most publishing offices are emptied and many people (including authors) on vacation, was deliberate.

So… just to reiterate for anyone who knows me: THE E-BOOK HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ME, OR MY PUBLISHER (whom I’ve alerted).

I also alerted the Authors Guild, a wonderful resource for writers.

Do warn other authors — and any author organizations you or they might belong to — about this.  Maybe it will reach someone who can figure out how to stop this type of theft.

Update: The Authors Guild legal department confirmed what others have said: Since my book is in print, it’s the publisher’s responsibility to take care of this. But timing is everything and — no surprise — the publishers’ offices are all closed this week.

The other suggestion I got was to check the the websites for their take-down information and email them, requesting that they remove my book: “Most of the peer to peer sites/file sharing sites have a DMCA take-down section whereby authors like yourself can demand they remove your copyright protected materials.”

So that’s what I’ll be working on. As of today, I’m up to about 3o sites, but the initial outpouring is slowing to a trickle.

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Is My Dog Boring Me Contest: Two more winners!

When I feel bullied by my blog, our relationship often benefits from a bit of distance, not necessarily from the blog itself but from a particular issue. That was the case with the Is My Dog Boring Me contest. It was a cat — a cat! — who reminded me to trust my instincts. Mr. Breeze, a.k.a. Kittehboi, wrote: “Dude, just pick one on da merits of da photo,” which is what I had planned to do before all I got all angsty. Except it wasn’t one photo, but two, that won me over. And what can I do if they happen to be my “furr-ends,” as Mr. Breeze put it, too?

Without further ado, then, here are the two additional winners of Am I Boring My Dog,  two super bloggers (and people) who took the time to match stories with photos:

Roxanne Hawn of Champion of My Heart came up with a wonderfully surreal image to accompany her story of how the Chinese Crested lost its hair.

Chinese Crested — Initially bred as companion/guard dogs for chickens inside the chicken coop itself, the Chinese Crested (a toy-sized breed) once sported a full, bright red “comb” (its crest) and a full body of hair. BUT the loose chicken feathers stuck to the dogs, which became difficult. Through careful breeding and no small amount of elbow rubbing inside smaller coops, the Chinese Crested became the nearly naked breed we know today.

(Note the Chinese Crested in the lower right corner)

Don’t let the dog’s size fool you. The Chinese Crested is a well-worn protector of both fowl and unusually large heads of broccoli upon which they snack.

Kim Clune of This One Wild Life started out with the image (I think) and cleverly came up with a story to accompany it.

Note the mud-moving nose

Landseer Newfoundland – Once bred to be adept at dragging overthrown fisherman from freezing waters to the safety of dry shores, this water dog is actually notorious for discovering land masses of any kind – at any time.

As the Christopher Columbus of the dog world, the mission of the Landseer Newfoundland is not only to discover fresh, new dirt, but to thieve it too. Muddy bits of newly discovered and consumed earth are often bubbling from their giant lips while muddy globs are carefully wedged between their toes, often smuggled (and smudged) back to their homeland with misguided pride. Famous (or infamous) for colonizing couches wearing continents of residue, the Landseer Newfoundland is often chastised (in this house) for foraging the spoils of foreign, indigenous lands and tracking these ill-gotten “treasures” across their cushiony quarters. For that, they will historically have mud on their face.

Congratulations to you both!

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Is My Dog Boring Me Contest: A New Breed of Winner!

Gio, the winning Biewer, ready to travel to his native Czech Republic to make beer

Choosing a winner for the Is My Dog Boring Me? contest was very tough. I had many, many terrific entries. And my indecision was compounded by the fact that a) my winner was the very first person to enter the contest, thus indelibly etching her entry in my mind; and b) I later received a wonderful illustration for it. Did this affect my judgment, I wondered. But on careful reflection I decided no, and I’ll explain why.

Alluding to my statement that I had never heard of the Biewer before one became the recipient of my Mommy Bus giveaway contest, Pamela wrote:

I also never heard of the Biewer. But I wasn’t surprised to find he is also known as the beer dog. Biewer’s yeast is the secret ingredient in great Czech Pilsners, with villagers guarding the dogs from competitors. The floppy ears are crucial for proper yeast development.

It was the last statement, about the floppy ears being crucial for yeast development, that was the clincher. Floppy dog ears do tend to produce yeast — much to the dismay of dog owners, who have to clear up the yucky infection. This word play on the Biewer’s characteristics and on its name was truly inspired.

But perhaps I shouldn’t expect less from a woman who writes a wonderful blog called Something Wagging This Way Comes.

Wait, though: There were two other entries that were so close that I decided that they deserved to win books too. I’ll post those winners tomorrow.

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Contest: Is Your Dog Boring You?

You love your dog and your dog loves you. That’s a given. But let’s face it. Dogs sleep a lot. And that repetitive ball tossing that endlessly fascinates most pups (Frankie, as always, excepted) ? Big yawn for humans.

We all need a bit of mental stimulation. Thus this latest contest.

The Background

The idea for this challenge had its seed in the fact that the winner of the my recent Mommy Bus contest was a breed I’d never heard of: A Biewer.

The Biewer who launched another contest

This in turn led my pal Mel of MelsPetPals to comment that she hadn’t heard of Biewers either, adding that Animal Planet’s “Dogs 101” had also introduced her to two other previously unfamiliar breeds: the Leonberger and Kooikerhonje.

But it was  a blog by Dr. V on Pawcurious, On Breed and Health and What We Love Best, that spurred me to action. I completely agree with Dr. V that there’s no inherent conflict between the rescue and good breeder communities, and thought I might find a way to bring the groups together: The creation of virtual breeds, with the goal of amusement and prize winning. Read More »

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Dog Talking with Tracie Hotchner

This past Saturday, I was on “Dog Talk,” a NPR affiliate show hosted by Tracie Hotchner. The author of The Dog Bible, an invaluable resource when I was writing Am I Boring My Dog. Tracie was so enthusiastic about my book that I couldn’t wait to post the interview. I figured it would be simple to edit out the 45 minutes during which I wasn’t on air.

Sometimes I forget just how technically inept I am.

Long story short: I asked Anthony Holloway, CEO of and a previous guest on Tracie’s show, how he edited the clip he posted. Anthony, one of the nicest people in the universe, offered to do it for me, and I gratefully accepted. He then edited it further, to eliminate an intrusive cat, and posted it on his site so I could have a url to link to.

If there is a heaven for those who take pity on the technoramuses, Anthony will get instant entry, if I have anything to say about it. In the meantime, on earth, you have my endless gratitude Anthony.

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Yo, San Diegans! Win a copy of Am I Boring My Dog?

I’m hoping a lot of people will come to the book signing for Am I Boring My Dog at San Diego’s Hotel Indigo on Tuesday, June 15, from 5 to 9p.m. It’s going to be a great event, kicking off the hotel’s dog-friendly Canine Cocktail Hour series, and it’ll be at the 9th floor Phi Bar, which overlooks PetCo Stadium, where the Padres are playing a home game. The San Diego Union-Tribune has the details.

So there should be a lot of dog lovers and cocktail lovers and Padres fans and dog loving Padres fans who like cocktails. But I get a little nervous, worrying that no one will come over to see me.

In order to guarantee the presence of at least one person in my corner, I’m giving away a copy of my book. The winner will have to come to the signing to pick it up. If you have a friend in San Diego who will get it and send it to you, fine. A warm body to retrieve the book is all that’s required.

To enter, just tell me why you want a signed copy of the book in the comments section, below. The contest starts now and is open until midnight Friday, June 11. I’ll announce the winner over the weekend.

You can read more about Am I Boring My Dog on the Book section of this blog, and on Amazon.

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