Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Book Review: The Lost Dogs, by Jim Gorant, the story behind what happened to the Michael Vick dogs

When I first saw the article in Parade magazine about the new book coming out called The Lost Dogs I knew I had to read it. I have followed most of the coverage about the Michael Vick dogs. I watched the news, read online and then I also watched the series that told the tale of 22 rescued Pit Bulls that now call the Best Friends Sanctuary home.

Jim Gorant showcases his impeccable writing skills in his new book 
The Lost Dogs. Michael Vick's Dogs And Their Tale Of Rescue And Redemption.

Sports  Illustrated's Jim Gorant takes you on a journey. A journey that begins with the investigation of the 51 dogs confiscated from the Bad Newz Kennels, which was owned by Vick and some of his buddies. After much research, many phone calls and much traveling Jim put together this amazing book that gives the reader an inside look at the dog fighting world. He captures a realistic look at the pain and abuse dogs forced into dog fighting have to endure. From the beginning you feel like you've become part of the Michael Vick's dogs world. A world where heart wrenching unimaginable horrifying acts take place by disconnected people. Jim does an amazing job at showing what a barbaric choice of entertainment dog fighting is. 

Through detailed descriptions from a dogs point of view you experience many emotions.  You get a detailed account of the process of which the dogs went from being a number, to being given a name to becoming an individual. They truly were given a second chance. 

The Lost Dogs touches on the history of ignorance and fear that has often led to different breed bans throughout history, such as the bloodhound or Timber Shepherd. The element of magic this breed encapsulates is indeed fully represented. Jim captures the resilient spirit of such an illy represented breed with real life accounts and experiences. The inspiring stories of not only the dogs but about all of the dog lovers and investigators is masterfully written. This book is a must read for any animal lover. You'll appreciate the hard work, dedication and unconditional love that was expressed by such admirable individuals. This was not an easy case or an easy job. In the end, forty-seven of the fifty-one dogs were saved and some of them went on to become loving pets, therapy dogs and respected members of their communities. 

You have to wonder if there was an other worldly hand at play shaping the events that unfolded in the daily lives of all the individuals involved with this case. To see a rule of automatic execution for dogs involved in dog fighting  be changed to a newly shifted perception that now looks at the involved dogs individually is a remarkable advancement. The HSUS, ASPCA, Bad Rap and other rescue organizations are now attempting to individually evaluate each dog to save as many of the stable and well adjusted ones as possible.

I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the people who gave the Michael Vick dogs a second chance, a few of those being Bill Brinkman, Jim Knorr and Catalina Stirling. For you truly had to trust the process of life not knowing what the outcome would be.

To a judge who had the vision to dismiss the old beliefs that any dog used in dog fighting should be euthanized and who court ordered nearly a million dollars be set aside for the dogs care.

And to Jim Gorant for capturing such a compelling story that unfolded before the public's eyes. Thank You for providing an inside view of the investigation, the intricate look at the people involved and most importantly the viewpoint of the dogs. That will forever be instilled within me. 

Find out more about Jim and his fabulous book.

"Nurture plays as much of a role as nature and every dog is different!" ~ Jim Gorant

As a Thank You for reading my blog I want to offer you a chance to win an autographed copy of "The Lost Dogs" Leave a comment. Yep, it's that simple. I will number the comments and pick a winner using We will be selecting two lucky winners! Good luck.
If you enjoyed this review please share with your friends through email, Facebook, twitter, etc. Visit Jim's Facebook page and share this review with him.

Reviewed by: Carol Lawrence

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fun Ways To Connect Your Children To Nature.

There are so many fun ways we can teach our children a love for nature, all about the amazing animals that call our planet home and how to have respect for our planet and it's inhabitants.

Fun ways to teach children how to connect with nature
  • Take walks in the woods or parks
  • Learn about wild animals and domesticated animals 
  • Read books
  • Tell stories
  • Visit museums
  • Visit a farm
  • Go on a bug hunt
  • Explore your yard with a magnifying glass for unseen creatures
  • Go to the beach
  • Go camping, be sure to bring along your Scat & Tracks book, flower identification
  • Do you letterbox? Here's a fellow bloggers great idea for a letterbox adventure.
  • Collect pine cones and make pine cone bird feeders. Spread pine cones with peanut butter, roll in bird seed, attach string and hang for the birds to enjoy.
  • Set up a scavenger hunt outside
  • Play games you played when you where a kid, duck duck goose, ring a round the rosy, red rover red rover outside.
  • Visit a Botanical Garden
  • Grow something. Growing a simple plant in the house or a garden, include your children in picking out the plant or seeds, watering them and harvesting. Grow an herb in the house and learn how to cook with it.
  • Pick up a copy of "i love dirt" 52 activities to help you and your kids discover the wonders of nature.
What are some of the things your family does to stay connected with nature?
Here are just a handful of fun games I found to play with children to learn about animals and nature.
EBoo Life On Earth Memory Game. Ages 3 and Up!
(Small parts, not for children under three)

Award-winning matching game features beautifully illustrated pieces showing a variety of plants and animals. These games sharpen recognition and memory skills, while being fun to play. The pieces are made from 90% recycled grey board and printed with non-toxic inks.

Tell Me A Story-Mystery In The Forest
***** Five Star Review
An imaginative pre-reading activity for the young children and adults. 
For ages 3 and up. Not for children under three, small parts.


I've never met a kid who didn't like stickers! Stickers are great to send to your grand kids in the mail, stuff a holiday stocking, use them when you need to entertain children at home, in the car or waiting at the doctors office.

***** Five Star Reviews 

Players adopt puppies as they make their way around the board. Woof. Woof. Little kid game play includes barking the number of treats owed when landing on a space, high pawing other players, balancing treats on noses
  • is a younger version of a property trading game where FUN is the rule and silliness is a must
  • Flip the deeds over and learn a fun fact about each breed and a puppy training tip
  • 5 - 8 years 
Horse-opoly-Have a child that loves horses? 

This a game that actually encourages horse playing! It has all the action of a traditional property trading game with some galloping good fun. Buy your favorite horses, then collect bales of straw and trade them in for barns. As you play, turn over the deeds to learn interesting facts about each horse. Standard play or One Hour Version.

  • HORSE-OPOLY is a property trading game based on our equine animal friends. I
  • Includes horse-themed pieces (Riding Boot, Bag of Oats, Trailer, Saddle, Horse Fly, Horse Shoe), paper money and a game board.
  • Game play is for 2-6 players - 8 years to Adult. 

    Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Counting Animal Friends Book

    • Introduces numbers, counting, animals & their sounds
    • Book has pages to turn, pictures to see, a story to hear, and even a fun song to sing
    • Press the light-up face on the front cover or open up the book to hear a story
    • With each page turn the friendly face becomes a new character
    • Baby will love counting all the animals and hearing their sounds 
    iplay Amazing Animal Trivia Game

    • 200 trivia questions about amazing animals
    • Cool, colorful graphics
    • Be the first to race around the board and collect the most sets of cards
    • 2-6 players
    • Award winner

    Written by: Carol Lawrence

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    A Night In The Woods By Dave McGraw - Review By Carol Lawrence

    A Night In The Woods By: Dave M. McGraw

    A Night in the Woods

    A Night In The Woods is a tale about a dog named Josie. 
    This delightful story written for children and adults is written from Josie's point of view.
    Josie goes on an accidental adventure full of excitement, love, fear, danger and courage.
    She will touch your heart as her adventure teaches the reader about courage, loyalty and strength.

    A Night In The Woods is a beautiful hardback children's book featuring detailed captivating illustrations.

    The author Dave McGraw shows his love for fly fishing, the outdoors and spending time with family and friends at Fuzzy Moose Flats through his descriptive words and inspiring characterizations . 
    You would almost think Dave was a dog by the way he captures Josie's point of view! He describes Josie's bold and daring tale in such vivid detail you feel like you are there along for the journey.

    A Night In The Woods would make a great gift for adults and children alike.
    Purchase your copy today.
    A Night in the Woods

    To learn more about "A Night In The Woods" or see what Dave's up to these days check out his Facebook Page.

    Would you like to win a copy of "A Night In The Woods?"

     Winners will be selected through by mid Oct.

    Written By: Carol Lawrence
    No monetary compensation has been made for the review of this book.

    I came across Dave's site and knew I wanted to read his book and share it with you.

    Dave Thank You so much for donating two beautiful hardback copies to share with my readers!

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    A Four Legged Surprise Stopped By Today? Any Guesses?

    If you guessed a puppy your right.

    Our friends Lee and Kirsten stopped by today and guess what they had?
    A new puppy! His name is Arrow.
    The mark on his nose is shaped like a heart.

    He's a ten week old Bull Terrier puppy.
    I was in heaven!
    I had to call my best friend Stacy to come right over and see him.

    We can never get enough of puppy breath and puppy kisses!
    I said to Stacy, "Why don't we open up a puppy daycare?" How fun would that be!

    Me and Arrow.

    Arrow all comfy in his daddies arms.....

    Thanks Lee and Kirsten for sharing your sweet little puppy with us!

    Bull Terrier American Kennel Club DVD