Friday, July 1, 2016

Dear Abby - Keeping Pets Safe and Happy on the 4th of July

Dear Friends,

It is almost the 4th of July!   I like to be a positive pup, but I will admit it:  this is my least favorite holiday.  Before I found my way to rescue, I was a stray in a busy parking lot, living outdoors.  A wonderful rescue group found me, and then Momma found the great rescue group ... so I have a happy and loving home.  Unfortunately, I carry one thing with me from my days as a stray, and that is a real fear of loud noises.  The 4th of July is all about loud noises.

I live in a busy, urban area and we are near a big fireworks display.  I actually hear the 4th of July fireworks over my home.  On top of that, neighborhood fireworks are legal here, so there are sure to be fireworks out this year not just on the 4th, but on the weekend nights as well.

Do you have a pup who is scared of fireworks?  I have a few tips that may help.

I wear a Thundershirt.  I love my Thundershirt!  I go to the closet where it waits when noise starts to happen.  I wear it when it thunders and when there are fireworks.  It hugs my little body tightly and makes me feel comforted.  Here are a couple of Thundershirt posts I've written for this blog:  2015 and 2014

Momma knows that summer holiday evenings are hard for me because of the noise, so she plans her day in order to be home with me at night and comfort me.  That helps me so much!

Of course, I walk before dark on firework nights, so I can be safely home inside.

I like to have lights on and happy music playing during fireworks.  Momma will often put nice music, like oldies or jazz or classical, on the radio station in the bedroom, and in the study, and in the living room as well.  The music fills the house that way.

Please remember that many dogs are spooked by fireworks and sudden loud noises.  If your dog needs to go out after dark on the summer holiday evenings to potty, it is safest to take him or her on a leash (of course, wearing ID tags!) and keep walks short.

Also a reminder about cookouts - grills and open flames can be both tempting and dangerous for pets (and both cats and dogs may be tempted by goodies on a grill!).

Do you have any other 4th of July safety tips for pets?   I'd love to hear from you in the comments, below.

Have a great weekend!


Abby xoxoxo

Upcoming July Book Reviews

Hi all!

I'm looking forward to a good month of book reviews here.  I plan to take August off, but I have some great reads to enjoy first.  They include:

Finding Fontainbleau:  An American Boy in France by Thad Carhart (a memoir of an American boy growing up in France in the 1950's)

Killer Finds:  An Antique Hunters Mystery by Vicki Vass (a cozy mystery set at an antique shop)

A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams (a historical novel set in the Roaring Twenties)

Read to Death by Terrie Farley Moran (cozy mystery set in a Fort Myers Beach, Florida bookstore)

The Valley by Helen Bryan (a historical novel set on a tobacco plantation in colonial Virginia)

I am looking forward to these reads!  Most will include giveaways - and I have a few additional spotlights and author interviews for you in July as well.

Book Review and Giveaway - In Twenty Years by Allison Winn Scotch

Book Synopsis

Twenty years ago, six Penn students shared a house, naively certain that their friendships would endure—until the death of their ringleader and dear friend Bea splintered the group for good. Now, mostly estranged from one another, the remaining five reluctantly gather at that same house on the eve of what would have been Bea’s fortieth birthday.

But along with the return of the friends come old grudges, unrequited feelings, and buried secrets. Catherine, the CEO of a domestic empire, and Owen, a stay-at-home dad, were picture-perfect college sweethearts—but now teeter on the brink of disaster. Lindy, a well-known musician, is pushing middle age in an industry that’s all about youth and slowly self-destructing as she grapples with her own identity. Behind his smile, handsome plastic surgeon Colin harbors the heartbreaking truth about his own history with Bea. And Annie carefully curates her life on Instagram and Facebook, keeping up appearances so she doesn’t have to face the truth about her own empty reality.

Reunited in the place where so many dreams began, and bolstered by the hope of healing, each of them is forced to confront the past.
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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble 


My Review

In Twenty Years is one of those books I just could not put down.  It is the story of six friends who lived in an old house together during their college years.  Years pass and the friends scatter.  When the spark of the group, Bea, passes away, the others come together in the house where they used to live. 


I loved these lines:  "The strangest thing about returning to an enclave that encapsulated their youth is that you feel like nothing should have changed.  Like you still have the right to be twenty and carefree and irresponsible.  Like you still are twenty and carefree and irresponsible" (p. 85).  


I loved the way that each chapter focused on a different member of this group.  Allison Winn Scotch did an amazing job at differentiating tone and characterization in these chapters. 


In Twenty Years offers some fresh insights about friendships and what brings friends together, breaks them apart, and sometimes brings them back together again.   I kept reading to see how all the stories would come together, and to find how the friends fell apart for a time after college.  This novel reminded me of my college days, of friends that I am still in touch with and others I am not.  It was a really lovely read. 


In Twenty Years is a perfect summer read or beach reach.  Settle in with your favorite iced beverage and enjoy!

Author Bio

Allison Winn Scotch is the bestselling author of five novels, including THE THEORY OF OPPOSITES, TIME OF MY LIFE, and THE DEPARTMENT OF LOST AND FOUND. Her sixth novel, IN TWENTY YEARS, will be released in June of 2016. In addition to fiction, she pens celebrity profiles for a variety of magazines, which justifies her pop culture obsession and occasionally lends to awesome Facebook status updates. She lives in Los Angeles with her family. 

Connect With Allison

Website | Facebook | Twitter 



Win a copy of In Twenty Years by Allison Winn Scotch.  Contest open to U.S. and Canada.  The giveaway closes 7/8/16.  The lucky winner will be notified by email, and will need to respond within 48 hours.  The book will be mailed directly from the author or her publicist.

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I received a copy of this book from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.