Friday, October 14, 2016

Dear Abby - Pet Meet and Greet - Oz, Zeus, Radar, and Magenta

Dear Friends,

I'm excited to introduce you to some of my great friends today!  Mom and I met Barbara and her furkids through the Doxieposse on Twitter (and later Facebook).   They are a wonderful family, and I know you will enjoy meeting them as well! 

Abby:  Who are your pets (names, breeds, ages)?


Oz: 10 year old, red standard dachshund, male

Zeus: 7 year old, grey long haired cat, male

Radar: 6 1/2 year old, short haired guinea pig, female

Magenta: 5 1/2 year old, long haired guinea pig, female

Oz and Zeus both came to us with their names when we adopted them. Oz was a former breeding dog in his previous life. He was born in Kansas and originally slated to go to Australia. We were told that is why he was named "Oz". 

Zeus is a very big boy and Zeus is a very fitting name. We don't know about why he was called this, but he answers to his name and we didn't think changing it was necessary.

We named Radar after the character on the much loved show M*A*S*H.

We named Magenta after the character in the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Abby:  Do you have any special stories to share about your pet family?

Barbara:  Oz and I walk through a nearby park. One evening we stopped to look around and I felt something on my foot. Much to my horror, it was a mouse. I screamed and Oz, being a good dachshund hunter, decided to go for it. I swear that mouse flew through the air as my 27 pound ball of muscle went after it. I nearly ended up flat on my face. Every time we go back to that area of the park, Oz still looks for the mouse that got away.

Zeus likes to claim our belongings as his. There have many times that we go hunting for things, only to find him sound asleep on the article we are looking for. We often decide to change our clothes selection in order not to disturb him! He has a particular love for sleeping on a blue denim messenger bag of my son's. There have been a number of times that Patrick has taken his second choice back pack instead of trying to wrestle the messenger bag from the kitty.

The guinea pigs share an office with my journalist husband. He often interviews people by phone, or does on air appearances via telephone.  If we don't feed the guinea pigs ahead of time, they have been known to start squealing (wee weee weeee) while the interviews are in progress. A person being interviewed once asked my husband what the loud noise was. Another asked if he had birds. When I listened to my husband speaking about football in a taped interview, I could hear Magenta squealing at the top of her voice in the background! 

Abby: Is there anything else you would like to share about your pets? 

Barbara:  Oz is a very agreeable dachshund. He happily goes out to potty rain, shine or Canadian snow storm. The humans complain much more than Oz does.  When he goes to the vet, he is the epitome of co-operative. He wags his tail while being examined from head to toe. However, try to take his weight. He won't stand still on the scale, and it often takes 2-3 of us, with multiple attempts and offers of treats, to get an accurate weight.

Zeus came to live with us when he was about 3 1/2. He had been returned three times and labelled as vicious by some (which he certainly is NOT). He had been shaved  to the skin, which accentuated his rather large body. People laughed at the bald, chubby kitty. We swore this would never happen to him again. He has regular grooming to keep is very long fur under control. He is so good natured and just loves to be with us. He doesn't sit in laps, but is always nearby, his loud purring heard by all.  The only thing that makes Zeus hiss is when we try to take his photo!

Radar and Magenta could not be more different in personality. Radar is docile, calm and easily handled. Magenta is wild and crazy, just like her ever-growing hair. She talks constantly and has been known to bite the hand that feeds her. They must live in separate cages (end to end) as they will fight!

We love all of these wonderful pets. To us they are just perfect. They bring so much joy to our family.

Abby:  Thank you, Barbara!  I loved learning more about Oz, Zeus, Radar, and Magenta here today.  I hope readers will leave any questions or comments for you in the comment section, below.

Also - I am still looking for pets and pet families to spotlight for future Dear Abby posts.  If you'd like to be included, please leave your email below.  Thanks!


Abby xoxoxo  

Book Review - Just Fine With Caroline by Annie England Noblin

Book Synopsis
From the author of Sit! Stay! Speak! comes a tender, terrific novel complete with long-buried secrets, a three-legged pot belly pig, and an irresistible dog—an unforgettable story about love, friendship, and community. Perfect for fans of Mary Kay Andrews and Mary Alice Monroe.

Caroline O’Connor never dreamed she’d be back home in Cold River, Missouri, the Ozark Mountain town where everyone is ‘up your business.’…they mean well as they drive you crazy. She thought she’d left town for good, but now she’s back, helping to care for her New York born mother—struck with Alzheimer’s, and prone to saying and doing anything—and her father, the beloved local doctor frustrated he can’t cure his own wife.

As for Caroline, she’s doing ‘just fine’ coping with her parents, her brazen cousin Ava Dawn’s marital disasters, her mostly-deaf dog…and with Noah Cranwell, far-flung relative of a local family mostly infamous for running moonshine, an ex-veteran who’s come to Cold River with troubles of his own.

Caroline believes she knows everything about Cold River and the people who live in its hills and hollers … but sometimes life’s greatest surprises happen closest to home.

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Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble 


My Review

Just Fine With Caroline is a wonderful start to the new Cold River series, and for me, also a great introduction to Annie England Noblin's work.

The story begins with Caroline returning home to the Ozarks to help care for her mother, who has Alzheimer's.  In this novel you will come to know (and care about) Caroline and her familyOf course, I loved her mostly deaf rescued dog, Yari.  (I will confess that I knew I would enjoy this novel just from looking at the cover!  I was right.)

This is a gentle book that blends poignant situations with uplifting, warmhearted storytelling.  I loved the small town setting.

The characters are well developed, the dialogue is strong, and I enjoyed the leisurely pace of the book.  I liked the mystery element as well.  I also enjoyed Caroline's budding relationship with Noah.

I would recommend Just Fine With Caroline for anyone who enjoys women's fiction, small town settings, and well crafted fiction.  I look forward to reading the upcoming books in this series!

Author Bio
Annie England Noblin lives with her son, husband, and three dogs in the Missouri Ozarks. She graduated with an M.A. in creative writing from Missouri State University and currently teaches English and communications for Arkansas State University in Mountain Home, Arkansas. She spends her free time playing make-believe, feeding stray cats, and working with animal shelters across the country to save homeless dogs.

Connect with Annie on Facebook and Twitter.

I received this book from TLC Book Tours and HarperCollins.