At some point in our lives, all of us feel insecure—whether because we are rejected by someone we love, or because we make a hash of a good career opportunity, or because we choose poorly and discover ourselves in a situation in which we do not want to be, or simply because we allow ourselves…

Read More

As usual, I have a “dog story” to tell you. And as usual, it is far more than that, having become, for me, a “life story.” I am on a plane travelling to the Dalmatian Club of American National Specialty Show in Ohio, writing by hand on a yellow pad of paper, with a solitary…

Read More

Everything in life that is worth anything at all requires the belief that, if you persevere, you will eventually get wherever you are headed. The Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu once said: “The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.” While I am neither a Taoist, nor a “religious” woman (“spiritual” would be…

Read More

Early spring is here in Northern California. In my last newsletter two weeks ago, the daffodils were nodding their cheery yellow faces at the wind, but now they have gone past and are only little wrinkled heads on the top of long green stalks. However, my neighbor’s magnolia trees hold out boughs on which perch…

Read More

February has arrived, with its daffodils pushing up from the earth here in Northern California, and its heavy drifts of snow where some of my friends live in New England. Regardless of location, all of us remind ourselves that the new season is just around the corner, whether we do so with the despair of…

Read More

A number of weeks ago I wrote about the four “A”s that fulfill the needs of our hearts: Attention, Affection, Appreciation and Acceptance. My Thanksgiving newsletter, “Turning the Wild Animals Loose,” described the ways in which I have often had trouble accepting the problems that come my way. Since then, I have been working on…

Read More

In September of 2014, Bespotted appeared in the bookstores. My close friends, and both new and old readers, congratulated me on a job well done. To my surprise, Amazon recommended the book as a “Hot New Release,” my publisher took it back for a second printing, dog lovers bought it, and I received a lot…

Read More

We are having ten people for Thanksgiving dinner, a mix of family and new friends, and unfortunately my dogs are not quiet and relaxed when people arrive. Like many Dalmatians, they bark and bark and work up a storm around the visitors, acting like a bunch of wild animals. Everyone invited will be overwhelmed as…

Read More

I continued my publicity tour for Bespotted last week and encountered a question I did not find surprising, but which was unanticipated nevertheless. ”After the re-release of 101 Dalmatians,” asked a member of the audience at a bookstore reading, “wasn’t there a run on the breed that resulted in nasty temperaments and a lot of…

Read More

Who misses you when you are away? Sometimes your husband does–sometimes, even though it means an end to suppers built around potato chips and soda in front of the football game. How about your children, whose curfews are once again enforced and who will now be required to eat a substantial breakfast rather than a…

Read More