December 6, 2013

Perfect Picture Book Friday - The Little Dog In The Middle Of The Road PLUS An Author Interview & Giveaway!!!

Whoopee!  It's Perfect Picture Book Friday!

I had a couple holiday books I was thinking of sharing... but then I couldn't decide which one to pick because this will likely be the only PPBF in December (unless you all clamor for PPBF on Dec. 20... if you want to do PPBF on Dec. 20 clamor loudly in the comments!)

And then I had the good fortune to read this book, and it was so sweet I had to share it because you will likely all want to go out and buy it as a holiday gift for someone in your circle of family and friends!  (That is a hint :))  (This is a LINK :))  So instead of a book about the holidays you're getting a book you can give for the holidays :)

For extra special fun today, below the PPBF post we have a little Q&A with the author, Sharon Stanley, and a giveaway!!! so somebody will WIN a signed copy - lucky dog :) - and a cute handmade toy!)

But first, here's the book!

Title: The Little Dog In The Middle Of The Road
Written By: Sharon P. Stanley
Illustrated By: Deidre Carr
Silver Tongue Press, November 3, 2013, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: animals, emotion (sadness, feeling abandoned, determination, joy), love, pets, problem solving

Opening: "Once there was a little dog that lived in a pleasant house with a pleasant person on a pleasant street.
"I will be taking a trip," said the little dog's person one morning, "and you will stay here while I'm gone.  Mrs. Thistleberry will come and give you your supper.  You must not leave the yard.  When I return, I will bring you a juicy bone."
And so it was."

Brief Synopsis:  Little Dog's person is going away, so Little Dog is left in the care of Mrs. Thistleberry who neither likes nor understands him.  Longing for his person, he disobeys instructions and sets out to find her.

Links To Resources: check out these fun things kids can do to help shelter pets and give some of them a try ASPCA; 10 Ways Kids Can Help Animal Shelters; dog coloring pages; talk with your child or class about how to take good care of pets; draw a picture of a happy dog or a sad dog or an angry dog - tell or write a story about why the dog feels that way; if you have a dog (or want to donate to a shelter) bake dog biscuits recipe here!

Why I Like This Book: Well, you all know I love dogs :) so I was an easy mark, but this story is so sweet even a non-dog-lover will enjoy it.  Little Dog is quirky and cute and brave and determined.  The story is beautifully written to evoke Little Dog's emotions - young readers will feel his sadness over missing his person, his determination to find her, his worry that he'll never see her again, and (spoiler alert!) his joy when they are reunited.  The art is just right for the story and includes the delightful detail of an ant pushing an olive for kids to find on every page (which Sharon will explain below in the interview.)  And it is based on a true story!  For anyone who has ever been left with a babysitter they don't like, or who has ever worried about whether someone they love will return, this is a warm, reassuring story.

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

And now, for a little treat, please meet Sharon Stanley!

Sharon P. Stanley

SLH: Thank you so much for joining us today, Sharon!  Can you tell us a little about yourself?

SPS: I’m Sharon P Stanley and I write picture books.  I live with 5 chickens, 4 dogs, 3 cats, 2 sons, and one husband (and a partridge in a pear tree) and a couple hundred cows at White Oak Farm, a working farm in rural Virginia.  It’s a crop circle of craziness that affords me a never-ending supply of writing material.  Although I had always toyed with writing, I got serious after my youngest graduated high school two years ago.  The Little Dog in the Middle of the Road is my first published picture book in print.

(You can visit Sharon at her website: http://sharonpstanley.weebly.com and "like" her on FB HERE.)

SLH: What was the inspiration for Little Dog?

SPS: My niece found a tiny little black dog sitting calmly in the middle of the road one afternoon.  Worried, she carried him home and placed him in the garage leaving a small crack in the door.  The next morning when she left for work, there was the little dog once again sitting calmly in the middle of the road.  She was able to find his owner, but I couldn’t get that picture out of my mind…it seemed strange for such a little dog to just sit trustingly and calmly in the middle of a busy road, almost as if he knew if he sat there, his person would somehow find him.  I had to fill in a few blanks, but the story wrote itself.
The real Olive

Coincidently, I was looking for a puppy and right after that, bought Olive who looks very much like Little Dog in my story.  When Deidre Carr the illustrator heard this, she added the little ant with the “olive” as a little secret tribute to my own little dog.  Very clever!  I’m finding little ones seem to love looking for the little olive in the book as they read it.

SLH:  Tell us about your road to publication!

SPS:  When I decided to work towards having my book published, I joined SCBWI and an online writing group.  I found an editor to review my story and made lots of tweaks and changes over a period of time.  When I felt I had something worth reading, I researched and submitted to several small publishers and one agent.  I was rejected by the pubs, but the agent was very helpful.  We wrote back and forth several times and though she was not interested in the book, she gave me great feedback, and complimented my “voice,” which she thought was a bit unique.  I can’t begin to say just how much this helped me.  I wasn’t at all sure I had a voice as I don’t have a writing background or education.  She gave me confidence to continue submitting.  I heard through a writing group there was a small new publisher interested in children’s books, so I submitted.   Needless to say I was thrilled when they sent a contract!  It’s been a wonderful learning experience.

She's serious about the cows, folks :)

SLH: What’s next for you?

SPS: I am so excited to have contracts with another small publisher, Guardian Angel Publishing, for more picture books.  I seem to gravitate toward animal stories (!) and also have a book of children’s haiku coming out.  I hope to write and write and write till the cows come home.   Right now, Little Dog and I are having a ball promoting his book.


SLH: Do you have any Words of Wisdom for other writers?

SPS: Ha!  I’m not a good one to offer advice to anyone as I seem to do things a bit differently from “real writers.”   When I get an idea, I write.  Otherwise, it seems flat to me.  I have found that the books I have found homes for, took on a life of their own.  It’s as if they knew what they needed to be, and I tried not to get in the way.  For instance, I had a story idea about a donkey, but when the book was finished it was about a rabbit…not a donkey in site.   I don’t even know where it came from, suddenly there was just this little rabbit asking to have her story told.  I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to write.  I think you have to find your voice in whatever way works best for you.   When I started writing I set goals and then assigned methods to each goal so I had a real plan.  I followed it closely and it worked for me.

I knew I wanted to find a small publisher.   I like small.  I think it’s really important to be true to what feels right to you.  For some, that’s finding an agent, submitting to a large publisher, or taking classes. For others, it’s attending conferences, self-publishing or joining a critique group. 

Working with an editor before submitting is extremely helpful to me.  I read several writing blogs and find that more experienced writers are happy to share ideas and advice.  I read everything out loud, over and over, and  I always have notebook with me in case I get an idea.

Lastly, I suggest anyone considering publication read Mem Fox’s hints for writers on her website, and take each and every suggestion to heart.  I have her site bookmarked for that very reason.

An Idea:

One thing Little Dog and I are really excited about is partnering with a local nursery school for their Book Night.  We will be signing books, playing games, and enjoying doggie crafts and snacks in January, and we decided to invite each child to bring a can/bag of dog food for a local dog rescue group in our town.  B.A.R.K. will be there to receive our donations and hopefully our local newspaper will cover the story.  I’ll also donate a portion of book sale proceeds to the nursery school, so it should be a win, win, win situation!    


Thanks so much Susanna for the opportunity to share Little Dog’s publication journey with everyone (including Phyllis!) here on your blog.  There really is “something for everyone in the world of children’s books!”

Thank YOU so much for taking the time to join us, Sharon!

For those of you who might be interested, you can purchase Sharon's book HERE.  And here's the book trailer :)
video

And now, we have a lovely gift!  Sharon has generously donated a signed copy of her book for a giveaway as well as a little handmade toy of Little Dog!


All you have to do to be entered to win is leave a comment below!  We would love it if you have any dog stories to share... but realize not everyone has dogs... :)  so feel free to substitute the pet of your choice, or just tell us who you'd like the book for (and it's fine if you say yourself :))

PPBF bloggers, please leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! :)

Reactions:

131 comments:

  1. I love the interview with Sharon; thank you! It whisks me straight back to my childhood farm cause she feels so familiar. Her cow is as beautiful as her spirit is gentle.

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  2. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikDecember 6, 2013 at 7:31 AM

    AWW! Olive is so cute! :) I love the idea of this book! It's true that dogs always look for their owners even if someone else is watching them. :) We just watched my uncle's 2 dogs. They are golden retrievers (Daisy and Buttercup). It was fun and they were good girls for us. They really freaked out when my uncle got home, though (in a good way). :)

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  3. A sweet dog book and a lovely interview with an animal loving author. What could be better?

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  4. What an adorable puppy Olive is! I had a treasured chihuahua named Scampy as a child. He went everywhere with me, even on vacation. I was devastated when he ran away in a storm. We never found him. I remember curling up in his bed as I grieved for him. Sorry to be so sad! But he was an energetic and loving dog, and I will always remember him with fondness.
    Thanks for sharing with us, Sharon!

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  5. Oooh, bonuses on top of a PPBF book! You are too good to us, Susanna! ;)

    This book sounds so utterly adorable! I would feel guilty about all the times we had to get dog sitters except for the fact that all the sitters we got for our dog were tons bigger dog lovers than we are. Once, my dog got to stay with a friend who, like Sharon, also had cows. My dog discovered the supreme delicacy that is calf poop. I swore she actually looked disappointed when we went to pick her up. If she could talk, she would have said, "Mom, can we get a calf??"

    Thank you for the interview, Susanna, and thank you for the giveaway, Sharon!

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  6. what a sweet story - little dog in the middle of the road - and what a wonderful interview with Sharon. I don't have a dog, but I love stories about dogs. And cows. And horses and pigs and cats and...
    I posted a couple PPBF links because I celebrated Hanukkah books last week & forgot there was no PPBF! oh well....

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  7. The little dog title had me worried. I'm glad it turned out okay (in real life even more so than the book!) Dog rescue was my life for two years and I love that you are having the book benefit. Good luck!

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  8. Thank you for this wonderful post and interview! I adopted my first dog in April and am looking forward to celebrating his first holiday season with us. I didn't know he would add so much to our home. He's awesome!

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  9. Well, I can't wait to read about Little Dog!! I'm so glad that there is a happy ending!! Thanks for the interview with Ms Stanley. She sounds like a lovely lady.

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  10. I have a feeling Santa will be good to him! Thanks for reading!

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  11. Dog rescuers do special work...they deserve a little treat. Thanks for reading!

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  12. Animals DO inspire us don't they? They all seem to have stories to tell. Thanks for reading!

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  13. This book sounds precious. Please enter me in the drawing

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  14. What a charming story. Definitely on my list. Kids will identify with this story immediately, whether through babysitting or leaving a pet behind. I take suitcases out weeks in advance and start packing, as my dog Archie knows and gets used to the idea. But, we have a babysitter for him he loves, so it eases the separation. He's ready to start exploring once he arrives. But lots of licks when we return.

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  15. How lovely that you've shared Little Dog today! (And the real Little Dog is so totally adorable.)


    I have a confession about my PPBF pick today. I had another book planned, but discovered at the last minute last night that although it was published in 2010, it's already out of print. So I adjusted my Starborn Revue post from Wednesday a bit, and shared The Very Fairy Princess Sparkles in the Snow. Hope that's okay.

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  16. Ugh, I can relate to the cow poop! It is my life...on shoes, paws, floors, cats, ME...oops, I overshared didn't I? (LOL)
    Thanks for stopping in!

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  17. Ah, we do get attached don't we? But they bring such happiness while we are lucky enough to have them. Thanks for checking in!

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  18. Thanks so much! So lucky Susanna was willing to invite us...thanks for reading!

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  19. LOVE the names! And weren't you nice to dog watch...not a Mrs. Thistleberry in sight right?! LOL...she really wasn't too bad. Thanks for joining in the fun!

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  20. Weren't you lucky to live on a farm as a child?! It was my dream, but it took 27 years to get here...I've made up for lost time ever since. Thanks for reading?

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  21. What a wonderful story! I love the book trailer, too! I'm going out today to buy it!

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  22. Sounds like a fun book. We have new dog stories every day. Enzo maks them up. Yesterday, his dog was sleeping on his flying garbage truck ...

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  23. That flying garbage truck sounds like something I need! Thanks for joining the fun.

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  24. Thanks! I found a fellow on Fiverr.com who did the trailer..I was tickled!

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  25. Thank you for sharing, Sharon. I can't wait to read all about Little Dog.

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  26. Thanks Beth...and I must confess, Olive is a peach!

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  27. What a great idea with the suitcases! Dogs are smart...not much gets by them. Thanks for reading!

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  28. Thanks so much. Consider yourself entered!

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  29. I hope you like his story...I think he's pretty special! Thanks for stopping by.

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  30. How sweet and cute! And I'd love to read the choldren's haiku book too. Thanks ladies!

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  31. What a super interview with the lovely Sharon Stanley. Loved hearing about her process for THE LITTLE DOG. I am so behind; I must get my review written too.

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  32. We don't have a dog now for the first time ever. It has been two Christmas's ago that our last dog died. In all I have had about five dogs in my life not counting childhood. Dogs are special friends. I can't wait to read this book and love the promotional idea of giving to a local dog shelter.


    Thanks for this special interview with Sharon. :)

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  33. Okay, now I know what to buy my young nephew for Christmas. Little Dog looks like a charming story, and I love that it was true. Who am I kidding, I'll be buying two!


    I self-pubbed a true story about Lucci- The No Smoochie Poochie, our adopted doxi who, like the title says, didn't give smoochies. Great interview, thank you!

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  34. I love the book trailer!! So great. :)

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  35. Very sweet story...and kids will definitely relate to missing the one you love the best...be it a cuddly stuffed animal, blanket or mom. The interview with author Sharon Stanley was a great added bonus...thank you, Sharon , for sharing your story about your writing and publishing process and also for the giveaway. I know my grandson would love the book...I'll have to buy a copy (unless I am the lucky winner :).

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  36. Thanks for stopping by Vivian, and for your kind thoughts.

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  37. Thanks so much...I confess I love the book trailer too, and the price was right!

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  38. Aw, what a cute name! And isn't it fun to write about a true event?! Thanks for stopping by.

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  39. They ARE special friends. Thanks for stopping in and for your support!

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  40. Oh Joanna what sweet comments! I can't imagine you being behind...hmm, holidays, school, writing, life..LOL! I appreciate your support so much.

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  41. How sweet Catherine! Thanks for reading.

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  42. Thanks so much! Little Dog looks forward to meeting you too!

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  43. I want to know what happens to Little Dog. Did he find his way home? Did he find a new family? I have a dog rescue, actually a doggie dropout. Not all dogs graduate from dog assistance training programs and make great pets!

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  44. This sounds so sweet, I can't wait to get my hands on it! Thanks, Susanna, and thanks, Sharon!

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  45. Ooooo, you'll have to read to find out! LOL, but I'm betting you can guess! Thanks for stopping in!

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  46. Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Sharon. What a great interview and a sweet story. As far as a dog story, my husband does HVAC and one day he was called in for a service call to the Humane Society. They were having trouble with odors in the cattery. Imagine that. :-) While he was there, a volunteer walked a beautiful white shepherd around on a leash. He was missing the tip of one ear. My husband couldn't forget him so a couple of days later we went back. He was still there. We took him home and he was the best dog we've ever had. Sweet Jake.

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  47. Congratulations, Sharon! Your book looks really charming (and not just because I'm a dog nut, which I admittedly am). I have farm fantasies, so I'm envious of all those animals (not so much the cow patties). Thanks for sharing, Susanna!

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  48. Sharon - It sounds like a beautiful book, and I love the trailer. I was looking over my own manuscripts yesterday and realized that 3 were about dogs and there's another doggie book waiting in my head. My daughter has a section of her book shelves devoted just to dog books. I guess you could say we are fans. One way or another, I know your book will make its way into our collection! Thanks for sharing your writing journey.

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  49. Thanks for your kind words Melanie. Dogs are a favorite subject aren't they!?

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  50. Thank you Linda. I had farm envy a long time....the reality is lots of DIRT! But it's wonderful too, I have to admit. Thanks for joining the fun!

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  51. Thanks for stopping by Jane!

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  52. This sounds like a really sweet book. I'm looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the interview with so much good advice.

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  53. Thank YOU for reading!

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  54. I love this post and this interview, and I can't wait to read and love this book! I take street naps all the time, and Mom doesn't even like me to be in the street when I'm on my leash and she's standing right there. But I can't help it. There's no nap like a street nap! When a car comes, I let her drag me into the gutter for safety. Sometimes, Mom says the word, "This is getting embarrassing." If I win this book, it will be my first signed book ever! And I will try not to bite the face off the toy dog.

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

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  55. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Barbara! I love the idea of living on a farm... even though I have yet to manage it... unless you count living on a funny farm :) I think that cow is so beautiful :)

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  56. I bet they were so glad to see him :) My dogs go into ecstasies whenever I return... even if I've only been gone 5 minutes :) It certainly makes me feel loved :)

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  57. A sweet dog book, a lovely interview with an animal-loving author, and CHOCOLATE! :)



























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  58. Oh Cupcake, you are so sweet to visit Susanna's blog and comment on my post! Please don't tell Little Dog about your street naps...that sounds DANGEROUS!! Thanks for visiting, and Little Dog sends a lick!

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  59. Aw, what a sweet story! And you are right, catteries can be a bit dicey!! Thanks for sharing.

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  60. Seriously, I'm not commenting just to win the book - although that would definitely be a Win if I did! After reading this I just had to say I LOVED reading about Sharon's experience and background! Her book sounds wonderful and I Loved the opening, as well as the fact that she used "little dog's person" and not owner :-) Thanks for this interview Susanna and much continued success to Sharon!

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  61. Yes, I almost forgot about the chocolate! Can you believe it?

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  62. For some reason can't open #19. It appears momentarily and disappears.

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  63. This was so very cute! Loved the book review and the very interesting interview. So nice to meet Sharon. Off to check out facebook.

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  64. What a great interview. It was great to hear about your book and its back story, Sharon. Olive is the cutest!!! Thanks for the Mem Fox link. I'd previously read the 20 Dos and Don'ts, but it had been a while. I want to read through ALL of her tips though.


    We are pet-less right now but we had a cat named Otis for years. When he died, he only had one ear due to surgery to remove cancer. But he was still the cutest thing ever. We miss him. We have his ashes sitting in his favorite napping spot by a window.


    Thanks for the review and the interview, Susanna!

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  65. I missed the part about sharing our pet stories; I'm actually waiting for my rescue kitten to be delivered as we speak. I am soooooo excited to get a pet; it's been 35 years since I've lived on the farm and was surrounded by furry friends!

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  66. Oh, that's so sad, Jarm :( My first dog used to run away if she was outside anytime thunder approached - we had to be extra careful to make sure she was inside whenever thunderstorms threatened. Once she was gone for 5 days, but we were lucky - we got her back. I'm sorry you little Scampy didn't make it home, but I'm glad you had him to love.

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  67. What is is about farm treats that dogs love so much? My dogs have a fondness for hoof trimmings when the farrier comes to trim the horses' hooves... it always ends badly! :)

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  68. It's always nice to know another animal lover, Sue :) And no worries about the PPBs - the more the merrier! :)



























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  69. I know, Wendy - so scary to think of a little dog (or a big dog) anywhere near a road! You are an angel for devoting yourself to dog rescue for 2 years! :)



























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  70. Aw! That's so lovely, Beverly! What a lucky puppy to end up with you :) My two dogs are adopted too and I always say rescued dogs are the best dogs :)

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  71. I know you would like this book, Rhythm - it's right up your alley :) I hope you enjoy it! :)




























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  72. Thanks Penny. When the time is right a new pet will come along. Thanks for joining in the fun!

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  73. So glad you stopped by...I appreciate it!

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  74. It is a sweet book, Linda :) Do you have a dog?




























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  75. "Person" just popped into the story and seemed right. Thanks for your kind comments!

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  76. I know! They always know when people are packing! When the kids are getting ready to go back to college, our dogs won't leave my side they're so afraid of being left behind... which is weird because we really never leave them!... but they pick up on the vibe. I'm glad Archie has a good babysitter. What kind of dog is he?



























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  77. Of COURSE it's okay, Beth! And we are always glad to have a new VERY FAIRY PRINCESS title on the list :)



























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  78. Oh, that's lovely, Pat! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! :)

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  79. I love that! Isn't wonderful the way kids' minds work? I don't think my dogs would sleep on a flying garbage truck. They'd have their heads out the window :)

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  80. I think you will enjoy him, Debbie - he's such a cutie :)

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  81. You're welcome, Catherine! I hope you get a chance to read Little Dog - it's very cute! :) How long until Weirdo Zoo comes out... or is it out already???



























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  82. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Joanna. And boy do I hear you about being behind! I'm right there with you!

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  83. I thought that was such a great idea too, Clar. I'm sorry you're dog-less. I always wanted a dog, but couldn't have one until after I graduated from college. So I got a late start. But I hope I never have to be without one again. They are so special.

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  84. How have I not read your book yet, Donna? I've heard the title... I didn't know Lucci was a doxi :) I hope you enjoy Little Dog! :)

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  85. I liked it too, Coleen! And how amazing that she got it done for that price!!!

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  86. It's a very sweet book, Vivian - I bet Jeremy would enjoy it! You're name is officially in the hat :)

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  87. What was your dog training for, Keila? They're all just like people - each has his/her own special talents and is cut out for their own special place in life :)

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  88. Thank you, Jane! I hope you enjoy the book - it's very cute!

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  89. Aw! What a sweet story, Cheryl! It was meant to be :)

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  90. I know, Linda! I have farm fantasies too... I've always liked the idea of goats... but I'm not sure how I'd do with the reality :) My real love is horses, though. I'd love to have a little barn out back and a couple of horses :)

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  91. Dogs are so wonderful, aren't they Melanie? It's no wonder we all want to write and/or read about them :) I hope you'll enjoy Sharon's book as much as I did! :)

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  92. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Rosi, and I hope you'll like the book as much as I do :)



























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  93. Oh my goodness! How exciting! You must tell us all about him/her when he/she arrives!!! :)

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  94. Luckily I am always here to remind you of chocolate :)




























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  95. Cupcake! You and your street naps! That would make me very worried indeed - I'm with your mom! Maybe you could at least take sidewalk naps! I hope you win the book since it would be your first signed book and is so appropriate :)



























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  96. I thought you would like this book, Kim, being a fellow dog-lover and all :) And so true - the person-owner distinction! I'm glad you enjoyed "meeting" Sharon! :)




























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  97. Thanks for letting me know, Pat. I will check it.




























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  98. Yes, something very odd is definitely going on with that post. I have an email into Jane to see if we can figure it out.




























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  99. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Diane! :)



























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  100. That's the only bad thing about pets. It's so sad when they leave us :( I hope one day you'll have a new pet to love! And I'm glad you enjoyed meeting Sharon :)

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  101. Indeed we all do Susanna. The place where we found him trained dogs to assist kids and adults with physical challenges. But he is skittish around loud noises so he could not continue. But he sure knows how to open doors with French handles with his paws and snout! He was also part of a prisoner training program so lived with and was trained by someone learning dog training skills. We could tell he was loved. He has the sweetest personality, just a little fearful of storms and fire engine sirens.

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  102. You are lucky to have found each other since he wasn't cut out for service :) One of my dogs is also very skittish about loud or strange sounds. The other one couldn't care less :)

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  103. He wears a thunder blanket vest which seems to help in really loud storms with lightening and on days when there are lots of fireworks. :)

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  104. Is that the Thundershirt? I heard of that recently and wondered if it would really work. If it does, I'll have to try it on my Baby J!

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  105. I'll send you a copy!

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  106. Sharon, what a wonderful sounding story. The real Olive is so adorable, and the January time with the kids will be great, I'm sure. All the best with this book and those to come. :-)

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  107. One of my friends told me when she adopted her dog, she went to a shelter, asked the workers who was a really good dog, and they all pointed to Howard, who had been renamed from Killer. She loves Howard so much she named her daughter Elizabeth Howard. No I'm not kidding. I think it's very sweet.

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  108. I love being Santa for everyone, now including a dog!

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  109. Wow, that's a great story. Lucky dog. Sometimes I wonder if they know how much they are loved by us!

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  110. Thanks so much Tracy. I appreciate your sweet comments!

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  111. That puppy is too cute for words. She looks like a stuffed animal :D And congrats on publication, Deidre :D

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  112. It is always so interesting to hear how others go through the process of starting with an idea and ending up with a great story. I can't wait to read about this little dog!

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  113. Yes Susanna. I learned about it from a cousin who could rarely take her Chihuahua on an uneventful walk because he was so aggressive, actually tried to break leash and attack other much larger dogs! He was abused when she rescued him. Someone suggested the Thunder blanket or shirt, and it worked. He seemed to calm down noticeably. So I tried it too. I've worked with children with autism and used a technique called cocooning in a soft blanket. Something to do with sensory processing. I've seen hugs work too, large adult with a small child. My large ''pup'' can tell me when a storm is coming and will climb in my lap, he barely fits, but works it out. I had a student like that, she had a very serious sensory deficit, could not feel pain, but she could tell me when a storm was coming. We always left the playground before the rain started. LOL

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  114. I like the idea of goats, too. But alpaca are even more appealing, although I don't really know anything about them. I hope you get your horses!

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  115. Thank-you for the review and interview. Fabulous as always!

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  116. Not sure about inspiring, but I'm so glad you could join in the fun!

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  117. It IS interesting to see how other people write! I love that. Thanks for stopping by!

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  118. Deidre Carr is a mind reader as well as a wonderful illustrator! How lucky was I??!!

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  119. I love that this weeks PPBF was a gift for the holidays instead of a book about the holidays. Congratulations Sharon on what sounds to be a wonderful first publication. Not a surprise that you find inspiration for writing in animals. They are a delight. We have three adoptees in our house: two cats and a dog. Our dog Ribbit is a female American Bulldog mix. As her name might suggest, we believe she is part frog as she does not walk or run-- she leaps. At 8 she has a leaky bladder and so wears a diaper most of the time. Today she got to wear her purple diaper for the Ravens football game!

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  120. We saw so many truly abandoned dogs when I worked with Animal Amigos in New Mexico, I can just feel Little Dog's sadness! And I love the event where kids bring a can of dog food for the shelter. Thanks, Sharon, for being such a good friend to dogs!

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  121. It's sad that there are so many, isn't it Deborah? And lovely when people are willing and able to help!

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  122. Ribbit sounds delightful! And I love that she has a special diaper for football games! :)

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  123. Thanks, Joanne! So glad you enjoyed it! :)

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  124. My daughter works in a teaching zoo and they have two alpacas - Peycho and Marshmallow - and she finds them very entertaining... although they do spit like camels when they're annoyed :)

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  125. That is so interesting. I've heard about that with kids who have Aspergers and Autism... And I think you're right about how it works because when Jemma is scared in the thunder she always comes and presses herself against me and likes it if I hug her...

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  126. I agree - so cute! I hope you'll get a chance to read the story :)




























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  127. You can't go wrong with a unanimous vote!

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  128. I figured you would like this, Tracy, what with your dog-lover's soul :)



























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  129. Ooh - you're so sweet! :) I'll look forward to reading it... although I may not get to it right away with all the holiday contest stories to read this week!

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