The Dog Mutterer   3 comments

New video directed by the great ANN LEARY!!  Here>>-> Dog Mutterer

Posted October 29, 2010 by julieklam in Dogs

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A Senior Story: Maddie   5 comments

Maddie is an old friend of mine.  When Susan (her mother) sent me a picture of her recently she said “I’m coming back as Maddie in my next life: snoozing in a heated orthopedic dog bed (on top of other orthopedic dog bed) with microwaved heat wrap over old, arthritic hips and bad legs.”

I loved the picture and I loved what she said, so I asked her if I could post it on the blog and then I begged her to write a little more. Here’s what she sent:

An Old Dog is the Best Dog

I never really understood the expression, “an old dog is the best dog.” Probably because I didn’t have a dog who was young or old.  But now that I’ve had one for quite a few years, and now that she’s gotten really old, and now that it’s getting hard for her to walk due to a really crummy neurological disease, and now that it seems that perhaps we really may lose her before too long, I’ve been thinking about it.  So I made a short list of just a few reasons.  Though perhaps you don’t need anyone to tell you.  You already know.

-An old dog is the best dog…because they snore quite a lot, and sometimes rather loudly, which can be surprisingly comforting in the middle of the night (but just when it’s your dog; not your spouse).

-An old dog is the best dog…because people are a whole lot less mad when you walk down the street and your dog isn’t leashed (I think because it’s pretty obvious your dog isn’t going to get up to much when it takes them five minutes to walk one block).

-An old dog is the best dog…because you no longer feel annoyed, and in fact might even think it’s a bit amusing, when they do something they shouldn’t, like bust open a bag of dog treats and eat twenty biscuits in two minutes flat, or throw up on the back seat of your car (which isn’t very amusing actually).

-An old dog is the best dog…because you no longer have to walk your dog five miles a day, every day.  In the rain (if you happen to live in Seattle).  Which is a relief really, unless you enjoy that sort of thing.

-An old dog is the best dog…because really have you ever met an old dog whose eyes weren’t soulful?

-An old dog is the best dog…because you’ve got their every move down, or they’ve got yours down, or both.

-An old dog is the best dog…[and here is a sad but important bit]…because watching them stumble and fall down, and then get back up on their feet and stand wagging their tail at you, is a lesson in humility.

-An old dog is the best dog…[and this is the biggest truth of all]…because they’ve stolen your heart a thousand times over, and you are grateful, and only wish there was enough time left that they could do it all over again.

Susan Roxborough

Posted October 23, 2010 by julieklam in Senior Stories

Rescue Story #4 – Olive   4 comments

Here is the sweet and astonishingly photogenic Olive, loyal companion to Bridget Pilloud.

Olive was found on January 4th 2009 by the Los Angeles County Animal Control. She had a broken pelvis and a big gash on her face that went down to the bone. They thought that she had been hit by a car. In Los Angeles, no dog that can be made well is euthanized. They make dogs well and then, because of a lack of space, they euthanize them.  It’s weird.

Anyway, Olive spent 2 months in the Los Angeles County Harbor Hospital. And then she was released to the shelter where they put her on a list to be euthanized in 6 days.

Nicky LeGore is the volunteer coordinator there and she decided that Olive needed a home. So she did everything she could think of to get Olive out. She emailed everybody she knew. Through twitter, and 5 degrees of separation, I found out about Olive.  I work as a pet psychic, and I’m on twitter a lot, so I thought I’d just call down and see if I could talk with Olive and find her a home. I was NOT LOOKING FOR A DOG.

Nicky said, “Would you consider being her foster home?”

And I said, “Listen, I live up in Portland. Surely someone in LA will want to foster this dog.  But if you need a last-ditch place, let me know.”

That Thursday, she called me and said, “We’re driving her up to you.”  Nicky and her husband put Olive in their car and drove her to my house in Portland. That’s 967 miles away. They used their own money to get her to me. They wouldn’t take a dime from me.

I didn’t want another dog. My sweetheart really didn’t want another dog. We had two already. We were fine.

Olive made the case that she was indeed our dog.  She was perfectly house-trained except when we took her to potential new homes and then she’d find the expensive rug to take a dump upon.  “See,” she’d say, “I can’t be trusted.”  She did this in seven potential homes!

To us, she was an expert at marketing herself. She is very good at catching tennis balls and snuggling and being cute. When she shakes hands, she looks like Winston Churchill. She likes cats and teenage boys.  So, it only took about 2 months for her to wear us down.

We love our Olive.  She’s awesome.

Posted October 16, 2010 by julieklam in Rescue Stories

Rescue Story #3 – Sydney   2 comments

This little sweetface comes our way via Erica Callahan. I, personally, see many good kissing spots.

Our girl Sydney is a happy, healthy 4 year old hound. But, when we got her, she was 9 months old and severely malnourished. She was found walking the streets of Newark and brought to a local shelter. She was nameless, with a broken tail and all skin and bones–she looked exactly like Santa’s Little Helper. As soon as we saw her big velvety ears and dopey brown eyes we knew we had to take her home. She is the sweetest, happiest, most lovable pup and she completely changed our lives.

Posted October 9, 2010 by julieklam in Rescue Stories

O Magazine 16 Books for Dog Lovers   1 comment

This is kind of like being picked for Oprah’s Book Club. Just, you know, a little different. Anyway, YOU HAD ME AT WOOF is on this list.

Posted October 6, 2010 by julieklam in Magazines

Rescue Story # 2 – Maisie   3 comments

Thanks to Vick Mickunas for this wonderful story!

About 5 years ago we were pulling out of our driveway to go to Sunday
brunch. We live on a country road in rural Ohio. We were astonished to see
a black lab appear just to the right of our driveway alongside the road.
She was soaking wet. There's a creek nearby.

We took her into our home. We advertised in the local newspapers to see if
we could return her to her family. There was no response. It became
apparent that someone had just dumped this sweet girl along our lane.

We took her to the vet. She had a lot of health issues and she was old. We
named her Maisie. We have taken care of her ever since. She is the
sweetest dog. She has the most soulful eyes. She has some trouble climbing
the stairs but we help her out when she needs it.

Maisie still likes going for a swim (see photo) and her appetite remains
consistent with her breed; she lives for her meals and her treats.

We assume that whoever discarded her had used her as a hunting dog. She
gets really excited about gunfire in the distance.  She
derives tremendous pleasure from her sense of smell. And she has a soft
mouth. I have recovered unharmed field mice from inside her mouth. They
scampered away without any clue as to how lucky they were to have been
unearthed by our wonderful, gentle Maisie.

We rescued her that day that she crossed our path.

We love this old girl so much.

Posted October 2, 2010 by julieklam in Rescue Stories

You Had Me At Woof book trailer   1 comment

For the past 25 years, it’s been a dream of mine to star in a major motion picture. Cut to now when we find that never happened and it isn’t going to. BUT my second dream was to be in a minor book trailer and that dream hath come true. Thanks to the amazing Ann Leary for masterminding it. She is truly a genius and I’m lucky to call her my friend. Here’s the trailer. ENJOY!

Posted September 29, 2010 by julieklam in You Had Me At Woof

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Rescue Story #1 – Puma   6 comments


This is the first rescue story I’m posting. It’s from Erica Mueller and I cried ten times. Thank you, Erica.

This is my late greyhound, Puma.  When you have greyhounds, strangers always ask if you rescued them. I explain that virtually all pet greyhounds come from dog tracks because although there are AKC-registered greyhounds, they are few and far between, while many thousands of greyhounds are excessed by the racing industry every year.  In fact, I didn’t rescue any of the 7 former racers I have adopted in the last 15 years.  They were already safe in adoption kennels.  I did save 7 greyhounds, but I’ll never know their names.  When I adopted my dogs, it created kennel space so those unknown 7 could reach safe havens, no longer at risk for the needle, bullet, or crowbar because they were injured, or just not fast enough.

I used to refer to Puma as my “dumb blonde”.  He was dainty and gorgeous, but not the quickest, intellect-wise.  He was faster than his “greymate” Dutch, who did have a racing career, but Puma never raced because although he liked to run, he wouldn’t follow the lure. He’d been in a pet home before, but hid in a closet because the husband was abusive to his family. When the wife managed to leave, she was unable to take Puma with her and returned him, at age 3,  to the adoption kennel.
Fast forward to 6 yrs ago, Puma was 12 yrs old, which is about 80-ish in greyhound years. Dutch, his security blanket, had terminal cancer.  Knowing how Puma relied on Dutch for reassurance that he was safe, I adopted a third greyhound, 5yr old Rorschach, as soon as I knew Dutch was on borrowed time, so that Puma would not be “alone” once his best friend died.  The hound trio got along well, and Puma did not appear to grieve for Dutch, but he wasn’t deeply bonded to Rorschach. Meanwhile, I was diagnosed with cancer, and had major surgery.  Before the operation, a dog door was installed because I knew it might be hard to cater to the dog’s toilet needs. There were complications, leading to a prolonged recuperation.  In January 2005, about 6 weeks after the operation, we had a sunny, 60-degree day that melted much of the heavy accumulation of snow.  I’d been able to keep the stairs leading down to the fenced backyard shoveled, though I wasn’t supposed to exert myself like that.  In the middle of the night, Puma scratched at the bedroom door. Before the dog door, he’d only wake me at night if he was going to have diarrhea. Once the dog door was in, he didn’t need to.  I told him to go back to sleep but he persisted.  I thought he’d either forgotten he could get out on his own, or that the snowshovel on the porch had fallen over and blocked the door. Following Puma, I hobbled weakly to the porch door and turned on the light – at which point he bolted back onto the living room sofa, his favorite bed.  It was then that I saw Rorschach at the bottom of the stairs.  After the warm weather, the stairs were like glass, the sheet of ice-melt having re-frozen.  Rorschach had gone down to the yard, but was unable to get back up.  He was standing nearly chest-deep in snow, hypothermic and, as always, too polite to bark.  I spread paw-safe ice melt onto the 8 stairs, carefully descending them, and had to lift Rorschach onto the stairs, one leg at a time, half-dragging him by the collar.  He was too cold to help much.  Had Puma not come to his aid, he would very likely have died by morning.
Prior to this stunning display of canine altruism, I never doubted the many stories of hero dogs, but I certainly never thought that one of my own pets was capable of  such valor.  Certainly not timid, scatterbrained, elderly Puma!  Maybe his disinterest in chasing a lure was not so dumb, after all…

Posted September 25, 2010 by julieklam in Rescue Stories

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Rescue Stories Wanted   3 comments

One of the loveliest parts of writing YOU HAD ME AT WOOF has been hearing from all the wonderful rescue people

Starting immediately I am inviting YOU to submit stories and photos of your rescued dogs. Each week a team of four legged judges will be selecting a story which will be displayed on the blog (clap, clap, clap).

We’re starting with dogs, but we will add other animals later.

Your submissions can be sent to with RESCUE STORY in the subject line.

I’m really looking forward to reading your stories! xox

Posted September 19, 2010 by julieklam in Rescue Stories

Connecticut Reading   2 comments

I have the first confirmed reading date for the YOU HAD ME AT WOOF tour de la extravaganza! It is at the Hickory Stick Bookshop in Connecticut on November 6th, 2010 at 2 p.m.  How lovely and autmumnal to think of Connecticut in early November. MMMMmmmm, cider donuts….

Posted August 27, 2010 by julieklam in Reading