Category Archives: Pets

K9 Commando, Police and Army Dogs From New York to Berlin by Violetta Kovacs

K9 Commando

Reviewed by Cy Hilterman

When I started looking at this book I was really taken back by the stories and pictures contained. I love dogs, especially German Shepherds and the author knows full well her subject and how to relate to a reader that is interested in some great true stories about dogs.

Once in a Lifetime Dog: My Borisangel by Chantelle Hildreth (Review #2)

Once in a Lifetime Dog Reviewed by Cy Hilterman

This story is an excellently told one written by a woman who adores her large “sight hounds” as they are known by. They are Russian wolfhound’s or, as Chantelle’s preference for calling them “Borzoi” that quickly became her favorite pet once she saw one. The ultra beauty and grace of these huge dogs overtook her life and all she would have on her mind until she decided to obtain one was the “sooner rather than later” that would bring this dog into her home and life. When most of us have a pet or more, we generally love the animal and show our affection by petting, hugging, playing with it in various ways, walking it, feeding it, trying to have it get enough exercise, and maybe an occasional kiss. We usually, if it is a dog or cat, allow it to sleep in the same rooms as us and maybe even in our own bed. We do all we can to keep it healthy by watching its diet, taking it to a veterinarian when it doesn’t seem to be acting in the right way and Chantelle did all of these. Chantelle had several other dogs in her life as she grew up and became an animal lover, mostly loving dogs.

After searching animal shelters and breeders, “Boris” fell into Chantelle’s life. He was born in 1995 and was 13 months old when she brought him home. Boris was a very active 146-pound dog and seemed to be as affectionate of Chantelle as she was of him. Some logistics had to be reconfigured for the big boy to sleep and run around, as he loved to do. During the time that Chantelle had Boris she also had a boyfriend who she married shortly, a very active mother and father who shared her love for large dogs, especially Boris, and she taught college courses part-time. It became hard to leave Boris to go anywhere and do anything without him being there since, in her heart and mind, he was with her all the time anyhow! As I read the book I wondered if Chantelle loved her husband, Foster, or Boris more since she showed so much attention and care towards Boris. Sorry Chantelle!

The Evolution of Charlie Darwin: Partner With Your Dog Using Positive Training by Beth Duman

The Evolution of Charlie DarwinReviewed by Julie Moderson

What a great book on training your dog. Beth Duman wrote a story about a rescued dog that she named Charlie Darwin. She often took pictures of his progress and used them in her book. Her gentle approach to training the dog as well as the owner using common sense ideas makes it easy to think you can do it. She uses rewards to correct good behavior and the dogs love the training. Beth teaches people how to be a responsible owner of their new friend. A well-trained dog becomes a member of your family and a joy to have around.

Your Dog: The Owner’s Manual: Hundreds of Secrets, Surprises, and Solutions for Raising a Happy, Healthy Dog by Marty Becker (Review #2)

Your Dog:  The Owner's ManualReviewed by Nancy Eaton

This book is broken down into four sections: Fresh Starts and New Beginnings (finding the right pet), How to Care for and Keep Your Pet Healthy and Safe (eating, grooming and everyday care), The Social Behavior (training) and In Sickness and in Health (preventive care, emergencies, medical care and special care for the aging dog).

In the first section, we are given information on how to deal with a breeder as you are looking for your dog. You will also find information about the different kinds of breeds available. Dr. Becker lists many of the basic items you will need for your dog such as a brush, crates, dishes and dental care necessities.

In the second section, you will find information on what your dog should eat, on weight control, canned vs. pouched food, treats and homemade food. There is also a great source of information on exercise for your dog and activities like fetching and swimming. There is a wealth of information on grooming and brushing teeth. You will learn to use the right tools for grooming and several tips for bathing your dog. You are also told how to prevent catastrophes.

Your Dog: The Owner’s Manual: Hundreds of Secrets, Surprises, and Solutions for Raising a Happy, Healthy Dog by Marty Becker

Your Dog:  The Owner's ManualReviewed by Caryn St. Clair

Dr. Mary Becker, a regular on the Dr. Oz Television Show and Good Morning America, has written an overall source book from dog owners. Divided into four parts, the book covers everything from choosing a dog to caring for your senior dog and pretty much everything in between.

Part One takes readers through the process of evaluating whether dog ownership is a good choice for their household and then offers tips and guidelines on matching the type of dog-both age and breed-to their families. After the selection is made, there are lists of things to consider before bringing your new family member home, supplies that are necessary and lists of things that while not necessary are nice to have.

Part Two takes readers through the basics of daily life with a dog. Guidelines for choosing the best food, what grooming needs to be done and when and how to make the caring of a dog fit into your household’s schedule are covered.

Part Three is probably the most important for developing a long term relationship with your pet. This part is all about dog training and socializing your dog so that the dog is a joy to live with, is welcoming of your visitors and is welcome other places. While the topics covered in Part Three seem like no brainers, they are the things most overlooked by dog owners.

Once in A Lifetime Dog: My Borisangel by Chantelle Hildreth

Once in a Lifetime Dog:  My Borisangel by Chantelle HildrethReviewed by Nancy Eaton

I did not make it through the first couple of pages without shedding some tears. As the back cover of the book states, “For anyone who has ever loved, and lost, a dog”. This one sentence says it all! Unless you have loved an animal, one does not know the heartache the owner feels when the pet is no longer with us.

Once in a Lifetime Dog is the true story of Chantelle Hildreth and the love she had for her Russian Wolfhound, Boris. It is also her story of how Boris changed her life.

Chantelle loved animals and throughout her younger years always had the pleasure of their company. She states that animals provided much comfort to her. Not only did their family have dogs but even though they chose not to be cat owners, the cats chose them! Chantelle gives the reader details about the many animals in her life.

One day she spotted a beautiful white Borzoi running down the street. She stopped her truck and called the dog. To her amazement, the dog came running to her. With the help of another woman, they were able to return the dog to the owner. It was now Chantelle’s dream to one day own a beautiful Borzoi. In fact, she admits that she was obsessed with owning a Borzoi.

Chantelle and her boyfriend bought a house and she knew it was now the time to make her dream come true. She tried to get a dog from a Borzoi rescue but they did not have any dogs that met her criteria so she decided to look for one through a breeder. The breeder informed Chantelle that he had a couple of Borzoi’s she might like.

The breeder introduced Chantelle to one Borzoi. Chantelle did not seem to think the first one was for her so the breeder appeared with a second dog named Bo. Bo came running toward Chantelle and she knew it was love at first sight. This was the dog for her and she called him Boris.

Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love by Larry Levin

Oogy:  The Dog Only a Family Could LoveReviewed by Nancy Eaton

I could never understand how anyone would harm an animal. Dog fighting operations inflict such cruelty and terrible treatment to dogs in order to “toughen them up”. This torture is beyond belief. It is difficult to comprehend how anyone could stand by and watch this brutal blood sport.

Oogy is a dog that suffered from the brutal sport of dog fighting. Fighting dogs that will not fight are usually destroyed in very inhumane ways such as being electrocuted, hung, stabbed, and drowned, etc. Oogy was probably given to another dog to be torn apart. This is another way to destroy a dog that will not fight. Oogy was used as bait. He was tied up and left there for a Pit Bull to tear apart. That is exactly what happened. The left side of Oogy’s face was torn off including his left ear. Then he was left in a cage to bleed to death. This is only some of the injuries that occurred to this dog. More damage to Oogy would be discovered later.

Oogy was discovered when police raided the dog-fighting center. He was taken to an emergency hospital. Diane Klein, who was the Director of Operations, pleaded with Dr. Bianco to look at the dog to see if anything could be done to save him. After Dr. Bianco’s exam, he told Diane that the dog could not be saved because of infection and the trauma that would result because of surgery. Diane, refusing to give up, told Dr. Bianco he had to save the dog.

Dr. Bianco performed surgery on Oogy and it lasted for several hours. Shortly thereafter, Oogy had another complication. He did not want to eat. Dr. Bianco had a feeling as to what might be wrong and dug into the back of Oogy’s jaw with forceps and felt loose jawbone. He extracted a piece of the jawbone. The bone was crushed during the violent attack. When Oogy tried to eat, the loose bone was digging into the roof of his mouth causing extreme pain even though he did not show anyone how much pain he was in. Thanks to everyone on the staff, Oogy now began his journey to recovery.

Katie Up and Down the Hall: The True Story of How One Dog Turned Five Neighbors into a Family by Glenn Plaskin

Reviewed by Nancy Eaton

Katie Up and Down the Hall by Glenn PlaskinGlenn Plaskin is a bestselling author. He knew for most of his life that he wanted to get a dog. The most difficult part was finding the right time to go out and bring this bundle of joy into his home. Glenn moved to a new apartment building with a great view of the Hudson River. However, he felt very lonely at times.

Glenn finally decided it was time to adopt a dog. He searched for a good breeder of Cocker Spaniels. There was one puppy left but this one would never make it as a “show dog”. Glenn arranged to meet the breeder and it did not take long for him to realize this dog, named Twiggy, was the one for him. He changed Twiggy’s name to Katie in honor of one of his favorite movie stars, Katharine Hepburn.

Glenn is introduced to apartment neighbors Pearl and her husband, Arthur, who recently lost their Cocker Spaniel. A bond developed between all of them. Glenn joined them for meals and Pearl would watch Katie while Glenn went to work.

Hell’s Corner by David Baldacci

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Hell's Corner by David BaldacciBaldacci has done it again! Or perhaps I should say Oliver Stone and the Camel Club have done it again.

Oliver Stone a former do-everything type of problem solver who worked for the government until he had a falling out due to a botched operation. Botched by Oliver in some eyes at least. The Camel Club is a small group of patriots who united with Stone have battled for justice against some in our government and some who were against our government.

Hell’s Corner is the area right around Lafayette Park across from the White House. Part of the area is policed by D.C. police, part by the Secret Service, and part by the Park Police. It is an area where tourists, protesters, and others tend to congregate in Washington D.C.

One evening Stone is sitting in the park and contemplating a new assignment just given him by the President of the United States. Sort of a pardon for his past but with strings attached.

Suddenly all Hades breaks loose! There is a tremendous amount of rapid gunfire and then a horrendous explosion in that part of the park close to Stone.

The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer: Lessons on Living and Dying from My Canine Brothers by Doug Koktavy

Reviewed by Nancy Eaton

boomerWhen I saw the title and description of this book, I knew it was one I had to read. I have two senior dogs; one is in third stage kidney failure and the other has heart valve problems.

Warning: You will need to have some tissues nearby. Yes, this book will make you cry. I cried several times. However, there are many happy stories in this book that will make you laugh. If you have ever had a pet and enjoyed the many times spent with them through the years, you will know what I mean. As with people, the time will come when our pets get old and begin to have health problems. This is where The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer starts to play a role in helping pet owners cope with these situations.

Attorney Doug Koktavy writes a memoir of his beloved Labrador dogs, Beezer and Boomer. Beezer was diagnosed with kidney disease. Later on, Boomer was diagnosed with a type of bone cancer.