Monday, July 30, 2018

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: God Needed a Puppy

Sometimes, the dog dies.
That's the sad truth, in real life and in books.
It's never easy to deal with, no matter what. But this lovely and beautifully-illustrated  new book, God Needed a Puppy, is one way to help bring comfort to kids (and adults) who have lost a pet.
Ernest and Petey check out the book under the lilac bush, where some of their friends lay to rest.
  Today we welcome Emmy Award-winning journalist and author John Gray to talk about his book. (PLUS we're giving away a copy of God Needed a Puppy at the end!)

 The Writer's Dog: Welcome John, and thank you for joining us today. God Needed a Puppy is a children's book dealing with pet loss. What inspired you to write this book?

John Gray: After the death of my 6-month-old puppy I couldn't shake the grief and anger. He was so young, it just didn't seem fair. I thought to myself, this must be how kids feel when they lose a pet. So that's why I wrote it. To help myself and children.

Author John Gray with Samuel.
 TWD: How does this book help children who have lost a pet? What do they need to hear?

JG: The book tells a child who lost a pet three things. First, your pet was special. So special he or she may be needed for a special mission in heaven. Second, you will see your pet again someday so this is not goodbye forever. And third, I tell them to keep their eyes open because God has a way of sending another pet down to us when the time is right. Parents have told me that a child who previously could not stop crying read my book and it really helped.

TWD: My favorite line from your book is, "Saying goodbye to a beloved pet does not mean saying goodbye forever." I believe we will see our pets again in heaven. But what do you say to kids who are unsure if pets go to heaven? 

JG: I tell them listen, there is either a heaven or there is not. I choose, like most people, to believe there is something beyond this life on earth. And if there is a heaven it would not be heaven if our pets weren't there. So it's only logical we will see them again.

TWD: You're a television journalist--how was the experience of writing a book different for you?

JG: Journalism is easy compared to writing a book of fiction. With journalism you just gather facts and put them in order that makes sense. With a book you have to come up with characters and a story and then figure out a proper ending. The ending is always the hardest part.

TWD: You're also a dog lover. Tell us about the dogs in your life!

JG: I currently have three dogs. Sebastian the oldest German Shepherd. Like the child in the book, he came to me unexpectedly after the loss of my puppy. I wasn't ready for him but there he was in my life. I also have Winston, another German Shepherd who is full of love. He's from the same parents as Samuel, the puppy I lost, and has his sweet disposition. And then there is Keller. He is a blind and deaf Australian Shepherd who was abandoned as a puppy. We found each other when I was doing volunteer work at the animal shelter and I had to take him home. He is a wonderful dog and has a big heart in his fur. He is the inspiration for my next book, Keller's Heart.

Thank you John Gray for sharing your thoughts with us today. Part of the proceeds from the sales of this book will be donated to animal shelters across the country.
For more information visit

Enter here for your chance to win a copy of God Needed a Puppy.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Full Disclosure: We were given one copy of this book to review and one to giveaway. This in no way influenced my opinions. Opinions expressed here are 100% my own.





Friday, July 20, 2018

A toy that promotes animal adoption

What if a stuffed toy was more than a stuffed toy? What if it contained a little lesson on compassion and animal rescue, too?

Little Live Pet's Scruff-a-Luvs™ has recently been introduced at toy shows, and has been quite popular. According to news reports and bloggers, it is proving to be one of this year's hottest toys.

The toy starts out as a bedraggled matted fur ball......

  that "just needs a little love" to transform into an adorable puppy, kitten or bunny.
Inspired by viral videos of animal rescues and transformations, Scruff-a-Luvs™ are the heart-warming toys that need children to rescue them. The slogan reads, "Find us scruffy, make us fluffy." 

 What do you think? Would you buy this toy for a child you love?

Note: This is not a paid advertisement. I was not given a Scruff-a-Luvs™ toy, nor did I purchase one. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A dog toy? No, a bird toy. #ChewyInfluencer

We review a lot of dog toys here, and occasionally a cat toy or two. But this BIRD TOY from was so adorable, we couldn't resist giving it a look. We don't have a bird to try this out at the moment, but based on our research about what birds like, the Super Bird Creations Foraging Bird toy is bright, interesting and definitely looks fun for birds!

Look at all those colors. Unlike dogs, birds see colors well. And the different shapes and textures and challenging and stimulating for birds. The wicker basket is filled with a beak-tastic variety of popsicle sticks, ice cream spoons, mini loofahs and more. Birds like to pluck, rip, tear, and chew these things apart. You can also hide treat inside to encourage foraging behavior and eliminate boredom.

The Super Bird Creations toy:
 This looks like a wonderful toy to help keep your pet bird mentally stimulated and having fun. What do you think? Does this look like a fun bird toy? If you have a bird, do you think he/she would enjoy this toy? What part of this toy do you think would be his or her favorite? What kind of treats could you hide inside for foraging?

*Full Disclosure:
We were provided with one Super Bird Creations Foraging Toy in exchange for our honest review. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own.


Friday, July 13, 2018

A Place to Carry Your Small Pet but not your Golden Retriever #ChewyInfluencer

A Dialogue in Which Ernest and Petey receive a Delivery

Scene: The doorbell rings. A package arrives from  Since we're Chewy Influencers, Ernest and Petey know there is something exciting and usually delicious inside that box.

They proceed to jump and dig their toenails into my bare feet as I open the box.

 Ernest: What is this green thing Chewy mailed us? It doesn't smell like food.

Petey: Nope. I licked it. Yuck.

Ernest: Mom's unzipping it. It looks like a carrier of some sort. But I'll never fit in there. Why don't you try it, Petey? You're younger and smaller.

Petey: I'm not going to try it, it's not even big enough for that cat next door. You're always trying to get me in trouble. I'm telling Mom.

Ernest: Never mind. So it appears that this is the Kaytee Come Along Pet Carrier. It comes in three sizes: one is small enough for rats. The medium is for a guinea pig. And what's in this large one here? Look at the way the door flap zips right open. Hey, those are bunnies in there!

Pete: Yup, I like bunnies. Look how nice they fit in there. They seem awfully cozy inside their carrier.

Pete: Maybe they'd like to come out and play.

 Ernest: Hey Petey! You put the brown one back!

Ernest: That's better. Now let's see what we have here. Nice fabric. Sturdy nylon handle.

Petey: If I could read I'd know a little more about this thing, but it doesn't look like much fun for me.

Ernest: It's not supposed to be. Not everything is for us.

Petey: oh.

Ernest: That's a big mesh window on the side. Nice ventilation.

Petey: You and your big words. I just know that those bunnies have a good view.

Ernest: I think anyone who has a rabbit, guinea pig or even a bird could use this carrier. We give this carrier 4 Paws up! That means it's good. Check it out at and it'll be on your doorstep in just two days or so. Tell them Ernest and Petey sent you.

Petey: And speaking of sending things, next time I hope we get bully sticks.

Ernest: Or biscuits! Oh well, enough of this, let's go play.

Petey: Tag! You're it!

Full Disclosure: We were provided one small pet carrier in exchange for our honest review. This in no way influenced our opinions. Opinions expressed here are 100% our own.