Monday, October 6, 2014

Why Dogs Are! - a book review

"All I Need To Know About Life I Learned From My Dog"

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
Run, romp, and play daily.
Be loyal.
Never pretend to be something you're not.
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
Thrive on affection and let people touch you - enjoy back rubs and pats on your neck.
When you leave your yard, make it an adventure.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
No matter how often you're scolded, don't pout - run right back and make friends.
Bond with your pack.
On cold nights, curl up in front of a crackling fire.
When you're excited, speak up.
When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
If you stare at someone long enough, eventually you'll get what you want.
Don't go out without ID.
Leave room in your schedule for a good nap.
Always give people a friendly greeting.
If it's not wet and sloppy, it's not a real kiss.
 Author: Unknown

Today's featured book:

Title:  Why Dogs Are!Author:  Tana ThompsonIllustrator:  Marita Gentry

Let's look inside shall we?

About the book:
This book is the first in the series called "Love Unleashed."  It was named a finalist in the non-profit Indie Book Awards (category Spirituality, 2014) and 100% of the net profits from book sales goes to charities that train and support therapy dogs.  
This book was inspired by Brian, a little boy born both blind and deaf, and his struggle to cope with his disabilities and find peace and contentment in his world.  
God saw Brian and wanted him to know how much he was loved, not only by his immediate family, but by God himself.  God couldn't send him a gift of a beautiful, colourful rainbow, because Brian couldn't see.  He couldn't send him a choir of melodious birds singing, because Brain couldn't hear.  God called upon a very special animal to be His hands and heart, and He named the animal, dog, which is God's name spelled backwards.  God sent dog out to  represent Himself to his beloved little child, Brian.  Dog's assignment was very important while he was allowed to live on earth.  He was to go to Brian and teach him two things:  to love without expecting anything in return and to forgive those who hurt him - then to forget the hurt and love them even more.  He wanted dog to show compassion and unconditional love to that disadvantaged little boy who God loved so dearly.  
God promised dog that if he did a good job he would send more canines to earth to come along side humans to be their confidants, companions and yes, their best friends.  Did dog fulfill his mission?  Was God pleased with his work?  I think you can guess the answer but it is much better to read all about it in this marvellous little book which will bring a smile, perhaps a tear and especially hope to  hurting people who need a loving touch from God in their lives through a faithful, loyal canine called dog. 
The illustrations of watercolour and pencil are bright, colourful and expressive and bring much richness to the text.  I thoroughly enjoyed the book and highly recommend it.

About the author:

Tana Thompson spent 30 years teaching in colleges and universities around the south, watching computers go from huge mainframe technological monsters to carry-in-youpocket smart phone equivalents. Now in retirement, she is following her dream of writing, having interests in children’s literature and non-fiction genres such as memoirwriting and regaling unique travel experiences shared with her late husband, Ken, in the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. She is so committed to using her right brain for a change that she also makes jewelry, stained and fused glass, and delights in photography. She lives on her own heaven-on-earth slice of Lake Logan Martin in beautiful Alabama, with 2 “chosen” dogs, 2 rescued dogs and 4 rescued cats.
Tana Thompson wrote her first story in the sixth grade, was encouraged by her teacher to continue writing, and didn’t. But the desire remained in her heart only to be reawakened later in life. In the interim, she earned a Ph.D. from Georgia State University and taught computer and management information systems in several colleges and universities around the south. Her last career position was the most meaningful, assisting teachers and staff at the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind to integrate computers into their daily job duties. Her late husband Ken was Vice President at the Institute; together they experienced the exceptional love and devotion of parents, family and teachers working with these exceptional children. The Thompsons also participated in a pet therapy program that saw their two Golden Retrievers, Rambeau and Muttley, form a team that visited nursing homes, classrooms and especially the students of AIDB, where the dogs sensed a “special touch” was required. Muttley earned his “Canine Good Citizen” designation, and proudly wore his official bandana and patch when visiting his special friends.

About the illustrator:

I paint, illustrate, design, and teach art.

Why? Because it is a passion in my head I cant get a way from. I love to interpret a the humor in the character and bring it out. I like to design words.  I love color and the feel of a paint brush full of paint on the canvas.
Why? Because I am starting to like using my wacom pad and pencil...because I love to print out a new design and see if the colors are right. 
Why? I teach because I enjoy passing on my love of creating. I enjoy encouraging people to be creative.  I love to welcome people to a new world.
Who? I am a little girl raised by an artist mom who taught me to believe I could do anything I thought I could.  I was lucky. 
I grew up to marry a great guy who sings really wonderfully.  I grew up some more and had a daughter. She grew up to be beautiful and smart.
What did I do while we all grew up? first just watercolors, then I painted oils, then I decided to try acrylics, then mixed media. I painted for years.  All this time I worked in several art galleries. I decided it was my turn. I stopped working to become a full time artist. Good thing that great guy had a good job.
I painted art! Things looked up.  I started teaching art. Things were looking much better.  I was very very lucky and illustrated a book.  I got more books.  Then I decided I wanted to design.  That is where I am now. I still paint, illustrate, teach, and now design.  I like having a large world. Welcome to my world.

Book Review Rating:  8 (Fantastic!)

Read on and read always!  Go be thankful for your dog...God....spelled backwards! 

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