Tuesday, July 31, 2012

PREVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Unsaid

Unsaid

by Neil Abramson
Paperback: 384 Pages
Publisher: Center Street, Reprint edition (June 5, 2012)

unsaid-pb

I received copies of Unsaid for review and giveaway from the publisher and due to the timing, I'm opting to "preview" the book for you as opposed to review it (read: I know I won't be able to get through the book any time soon and I certainly don't want to put off your chance to win a copy!).  I will say that I absolutely adore the cover... and we all know how you can judge a book by it's cover, right?

About the Book: Does love transcend all boundaries — including those of death, time, and memory? Is the connection between humans and animals stronger and more real than we’ve ever imagined? In Unsaid, Neil Abramson skillfully weaves these questions through a moving story that will touch the heart while stimulating reflection and debate. Upon its publication in hardcover, Unsaid garnered outstanding reviews from readers, booksellers, and critics alike, and film rights have been optioned to Nick Wechsler (The Road, Time Traveler’s Wife) by The Gotham Group on behalf of Jeff Kleinman at Folio Literary Management. 

Unsaid is told from the perspective of Helena Colden, a veterinarian who has just died of breast cancer. Helena is forced to witness the rapid emotional deterioration of the beloved husband she has left behind. With Helena's passing, David, a successful Manhattan attorney, loses the only connection that made his life full. He tries to carry on the life that Helena had created for them, but he is too grief-stricken, too angry, and too quickly reabsorbed into the demands of his career. Helena's animals likewise struggle with the loss of their understanding and compassionate human companion. Because of Helena, David becomes involved in a court case to save the life of a chimpanzee that may hold the key to unlocking the mysteries of animal consciousness. Through this case, all the threads of Helena's life entwine and explode - unexpectedly, painfully, beautifully.

An evocative first novel about the healing power of animals, Unsaid will resonate with anyone who has experienced loss, has loved a pet, or has pondered the meaning of those things that remain “unsaid” in life — but mean so much.


About the Author: A partner in a Manhattan law firm, Neil Abramson lives in Westchester County, NY and is married to a veterinarian. He is also a past board member of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, an award recipient from the ASPCA for his legal work on behalf of animals, and a founding member of the New York City Bar Association Committee on Legal Issues Relating to Animals. Unsaid is his first novel.  Visit his website to learn more.

GIVEAWAY! Thanks to the publisher, we have a couple of copies* of Unsaid to give away to some lucky readers! To enter:

  1. Follow Lapdog Creations publicly (see "Followers" on the side bar)
  2. Leave a comment here answering this question: Do you judge a book by it's cover?  Why or why not?  Has it paid off?
You must complete both steps 1 & 2 and be a US resident to win.
You can get extra entries by sending your friends here to enter (be sure to have them mention your name).... blog, Tweet, Facebook and text away!
Winner(s)* will be selected by random number generator.
Deadline for entries is Tuesday, August 7th at 11:59pm EST

*If this post receives less than 20 comments, one copy of Unsaid will be given away.  If 21 - 35 comments, two copies will be given away.  If 36 or more comments are received, three copies will be given away!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Lazy Monday

Happy Monday!  Did everyone have a nice weekend?  Racing was rained out on Saturday and we had a very lazy, rainy Sunday at home with the Lapdogs and Booth.  The little man has a meet & greet with his potential forever family tomorrow!  I'm very excited because they sound quite perfect, but I'll hold off on details until after the meeting.  I guess that means I better get going on downloading the 101 photos off of the camera... in the meantime, yay for Instagram!

#puppy #adoptdontshop #foster #rescue #dogsofinstagram #dogstagram #instadog #petstagram Booth loves old flip flops! #foster #adoptdontshop #dogs #puppy #flipflops

The second shot shows one of Boo's most favorite things... snoozing at my feet while I am on the computer.  He sure does loves my stinky old Life is Good flip flops!   I still can't believe he's been with us for a full month... and boy is the little man attached to all of us, but especially to me. 
Untitled Booth helped himself to this bottle... #happydog #lipton #tea #puppy #instadog #dogsofinstagram #dogstagram #rescue #foster #adoptdontshop

In case you aren't a regular reader and found us through Monday Mischief this week, check out our latest Planet Dog review from last week of their awesome brain teaser toy, Mazee!  Tut is especially excited about this one... and does cause quite a lot of mischief with it!

TutSophie_mazee_62612b

We haven't had too much mischief happening today.  The Lapdogs and Boo have spent the humid afternoon snoozing.  I told you Boo fit in almost too well at our house...

Sleepy #puppy  #adoptdontshop #rescue #foster #dogstagram #dogsofinstagram #instadog #petstagram

My boys...

Did somebody say dinner? #dogsofinstagram #dogstagram #dogs #petstagram #rescue #adoptdontshop #instadog King Tut #dogs #rescue #happydog #petstagram #instadog #adoptdontshop #dogsofinstagram #dogstagram #relax

My girls...

Tired girl #dogs #dogsofinstagram #dogstagram #petstagram #instadog #sleep #rescue #adoptdontshop Rainy Day Lazy Sophie #dogs #dogsofinstagram #dogstagram #instadog #rescue #petstagram #rain #relax #adoptdontshop

Enjoy the rest of your Monday... hopefully it's a rather lazy one for you too!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Weekend Shopping

Are you looking to add to your knitting bookshelf?  Perhaps you've got an Amazon gift card burning a hole in your pocket?  Check out some of my most favorite knitting books...




Friday, July 27, 2012

GIVEAWAY WINNER: Cast On, Bind Off

CastOnBindOffThank you to everyone who entered to win a copy of Cast On, Bind Off!  There were many new readers who visited my blog as part of the Cast On, Bind Off Blog Tour and I hope that you will come back!  And, thank you again to Storey Publishing for asking me to participate and allowing me to give away a copy of this must have book to one of you!

The winner has been selected by random number generator...

Here are your random numbers: 19

Cowl progress #knitting #knit #yarn
Congratulations to Melody!  As soon as you get your snail mail address to me, I'll forward it to Storey who will send your book right out.  I can't wait to hear what you think of the book, as I'm sure you're going to love it as much as I do! 

For those wondering what progress I've made on the cowl I cast on for this review, here's where it's at after one complete pattern repeat (note I've been working on other projects this week).

Stay tuned for more reviews and giveaways coming soon!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

REVIEW: Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Mazee

Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Mazee

Where to Find: Planet Dog


Mazee2 SophieTutLola_mazee_62612
Clearly engaging, clearly rewarding, clearly fun!

The Lapdogs love all things Planet Dog and their boxes are always a welcome sight smell at our house.  Of course, their boxes don't usually contain brain teasers or something they actually have to work at to get treats.  That didn't seem to keep them from wagging their tails however...

Let us introduce you to the new Orbee-Tuff Mazee, Planet Dog's fresh take on the canine stimulating puzzle craze... 

Tut_mazee_62612 Zeus_mazee_62612

Mazee is an interactive brain teaser toy designed for long-lasting play, featuring the well known Orbee-Tuff outer shell and a unique inner maze.  It's a great way to engage your dogs and reward them at the same time.  Simply stuff one with treats such as Planet Dog eats, toss it to the dogs (literally) and watch the fun unfold!  The transparent shell allows the dogs to actually see the treats navigate through the maze and keeps their attention focused.  Now, I was a little worried about how Mazee would hold up when this happened...

Lola_mazee_62612

TutSophie_mazee_62612You see, Miss Lola has a habit of picking up and running off with "treat dispensers" (aka interactive toys).  She hasn't quite grasped the concept of letting everyone play with it at once and instead, opts to take the ball and go home... or to a spot where her siblings can't find her!  I am pleased to say Mazee held up with no problems!  The pliable outer Orbee-Tuff shell is much like the orbee toys we're used to and not only did it survive Lola's antics, it's rather easy to wash as well!  (please note Lola did not chew the toy, she simply picks it up and carries it away.  Per Planet Dog, "This toy is intended for puzzle-play, not chewing, so it is not rated on our Chew-o-meter scale.")

I thought it would be fun to include a video of the Lapdogs hard at work on this review.  Teutul is the leader of the pack when it comes to interactive toys, as you'll clearly see.  He's played with several "treat dispensers" over the years and clearly loves Mazee!




Mazee is Made in the USA, is non-toxic and recyclable.  Retailing at $16.95, it is currently available in two color choices, green and raspberry.  As with all Planet Dog items, Mazee is 100% guaranteed and 2% of every purchase is donated to the Planet Dog Foundation (PDF) to support canine service programs nationwide. Since January 2006, PDF has given away more than $850,000 in cash grants and in-kind product donations to help more dogs help more people in need.

The Lapdogs say it's time to make playtime fun, while stimulating every dog's mind!  Pick up a Mazee for your pack today and watch the curious minds go to work! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Bloggers Unite for Dog Rescue

I was about to post my Monday Mischief posting when I realized that today has been reserved for a cause extremely close to my heart (and one I post about on a regular basis, of course): Bloggers Unite for Dog Rescue

Dog Rescue Success

As you know, I am a huge advocate of dog rescue and you'll often hear me utter the words "Adopt, Don't Shop."  I'm not anti-breeder by any means and realize that for some folks, they want a purebred XYZ pup.   However, I am against pet stores, puppy mills and "backyard breeders."  There are far too many lives out there ending far too soon (and sadly, not all humanely) simply because people don't spay or neuter their pets.  I see photos and stories of far too many puppies and adult dogs who's "day is up" - yes, puppies are put down simply because a shelter somewhere felt they were there too long without being adopted.  

Three of my four children are shelter rescues.  Zeus, was somewhat of a "rescue," however it was friends of ours who had a liter of puppies.  He was originally given to another family who realized they weren't ready for a dog... we stepped in and took him at that point (just 7 weeks old).  About 8 months later, we decided Zeus' needed a canine companion and we adopted Lola from our local humane society.

babyZeus Lola_baby

Then, we failed at fostering... twice. Teutul, our Tennessee boy, was our first ever attempt at fostering and we failed pretty much immediately. Sophie (from Missouri) was our second failed foster... we like to think she chose us. 

Teutul SleepySophie

I often get asked how we are able to foster dogs and let them go to their forever families.  While I'll never claim it's an easy thing to do - it is not - and it's certainly not something for everyone, it's what I can do to help save lives.  I've shed many tears and my heart breaks each time we have to send another foster baby off to their forever home, but I know it's the right thing to do.  By doing so, we are able to play a part in saving another life.  It certainly helps when the forever families stay in touch with us - they send photos, videos and sometimes we even get to have play dates with our fosters.  There's nothing quite like the feeling of seeing one of our foster babies so happy with their new family!  A couple of them actually remember us when we see them - and there's definitely nothing quite like having them very excited to see us, and showing how much they love their forever family at the same time.  That is the perfect situation

It certainly helps that our pack is well adjusted and has graciously welcomed their many foster brothers and sisters into our home...

Lola_Dustee_307 LilahLola_92807
ZeusKissTrixie ZeusDottie_61107e
Tut & Bella71507 Tut_Rosie_7111b
SophieSkipper_91811e SophieKelly_cake_12611b

For everyone who tells me they want to help, but don't think they could foster - and give up - a baby, I tell them there is so much more you can do to help a rescue.  Donate: financially or otherwise.  Shelters are often seeking things like old comforters, sheets & towels, paper towels, postage stamps, plastic bowls, toys, etc.  Volunteer: shelters need folks to help clean kennels, walk dogs, answer the phone, fundraise, man tables at adoption events, etc.  Spread the word: in a social media driven world, this is easier than ever - help spread the word about animals in need of foster homes and adoption by Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, your blog, etc. 

If you're looking for a new furry companion, please consider a shelter dog.  Check out this website.  If you know me personally, of course you know to come to me to help in your search as well (I truly am that crazy dog lady... whenever anyone I know is looking for a dog, has a friend/relative who's looking or some dog related question, I get the email, Facebook message, etc. - and that's okay... I love helping match people to a perfect furbaby!).  Mr. Booth (better known as Boo or Boo Boo in our house) is still with us and looking for her forever home.  In fact, the rescue just reduced his adoption fee to help.  Of course, he is fitting in quite well here... almost too well as you can see by his "Lazy Sunday" picture with Lola.

Booth went shopping at Stateline Pet! Untitled

Boo went on a little adventure to the feed store yesterday and picked out a couple of new toys... Sophie sure did kept a watchful eye on that tiny little squeaky bunny he brought home.

Booth chomping on his new bunny #adoptdontshop #foster #puppy #dogs #dogtoy Untitled

I hope you will consider joining me in Bloggers Unite for Dog Rescue and do what you can to help shelter dogs.  Personally, I'd adopt them all if I could. :)  Thank you...

Friday, July 20, 2012

Projects and Pooches

TGIF!  I'm happy to report that the heat and humidity has taken pity on us a break for today.  It's a beautiful 70-ish day out today, which means I plan to get in some good knitting time - after all, it is Fiber Arts Friday!  I even have some knitting content for you today...
Untitled
While I certainly don't need to start any new projects (sure, my WIP bags just might be taking over the world at the moment), I cast on the Knit It Tonight Cowl earlier this week as part of my Cast On, Bind Off review (if you haven't read my review yet, click over - Storey is allowing me to give away a copy of this awesome book to one of you)!  It's a super simple, mindless, quick knit and if I like the results, I just might make a few of these for Christmas gifts this year. 

UntitledSpeaking of gifts, these are the baby boy hats I made for a friend's two brand new grandsons.  I love the way they came out and am very pleased with the Rolled Edge Cap pattern from 60 Quick Baby Knits.  This will definitely be one of my go-to baby hat patterns from now on.  I actually already have another one on my needles... the super mindless knitting is perfect for traveling and at the race track this summer.  Said friend who got these is actually part of our racing family, and yes, I did work on these at the track.  "Gaga," as her grandchildren call her, even said how much she liked the yarn when she saw me working on the first one, without knowing who it was for.  Don't you love it when that happens?

Speaking of racing... the sunset over the track last night was absolutely stunning!

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The Lapdogs are all waiting to enjoy some of today's pleasant weather, so it's time to get off the computer and outside!  Before that, they did want me to point out their delicious new finds in case you missed them: Lickety Stik and Greenies JointCare.  Sophie had to go visit the v-e-t again this week for an ear check up and was not at all happy... her reward was lots of Lickety licks!  (I just love her "are you kidding me?" look on the left below)

Untitled Untitled

For those wondering, Baby Booth is still crashing at our house... and fitting in almost too well!

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Sophie and foster baby Booth #adoptdontshop #rescue #dogs #sleep #fosterdog #puppy Untitled
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 Enjoy the rest of your Friday... and have a wonderful weekend!