Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Guest Post: Jill Shalvis on Read Humane 2013

This May, My Friend Amy is pleased to support Penguin Group (USA)’s Read Humane® 2013 campaign to fight animal cruelty. I would like to welcome spokesperson and bestselling author Jill Shalvis to my blog today, where she is sharing with us her family’s animal rescue story discusses her Animal Magnetism series with a piece entitled “Why Dogs Make Great Sidekicks!”

Read Humane® is an initiative created by Penguin Group (USA) in 2012 to support our furry friends in honor of National Pet Month (May). As part of the Read Humane® 2013 campaign, six special edition, animal-themed mass market paperbacks have been reissued featuring the official Read Humane® seal. Penguin supports the fight against animal cruelty with a $25,000 donation, regardless of sales, to The Humane Society of the United States' Animal Rescue Team.

For more information, and complete lists of the six participating authors and book retailers, please visit Penguin Group (USA) or view the official Read Humane® Prezi here.

And remember to join the conversation on Twitter with @BerkleyRomance and @HSUS throughout May by using the hashtag #readHumane. Followers are encouraged to Tweet about Penguin’s animal friendly books, share their own rescue stories, and join in other pet themed conversations.

Jill Shalvis is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over four dozen romance novels, including her fun contemporary Animal Magnetism series, which promotes animal rescue dogs. Jill is a 3-time National Readers Choice winner, and lover of animals! More information about Jill and her collection of fabulous romance titles can be found at www.JillShalvis.com.


My Rescue Story, by Jill Shalvis…

At any point, on any day in the Shalvis abode, there are animals. All of them rescued, always. It’s become somewhat of a family tradition, rescuing animals in need, and we’ve found that not only is it a nice thing to do, we get a really great pet out of the deal.

A couple of years ago, our house was fairly full. Okay, so it was straining at the wall joints. We had Ashes -- our rescue Border Collie/Australian Blue Heeler. Sadie – our cat who thinks she’s a dog. Micky – a field mouse rescued from the high school science lab. And four teenage girls.

Actually, it wasn’t a house. It was a zoo.

But a year before we’d lost Izzie, our beloved brown lab. And we missed having two dogs. Yes, we’re crazy. Anyway, on that fated day I’m about to tell you about, Alpha Man (my husband) had heard about a yellow lab puppy who needed rescue.

No. No way. I was adamant. I had enough on my plate. But Alpha Man just wanted to go make sure the lab was okay.

So we left the mountain…

And drove…

And drove…

We were following the sketch directions from a guy who knew a guy who had told us about a woman who lived out in the middle of nowhere, and I mean NOWHERE, and she rescues animals.

The landscape was like something out of a Criminal Minds episode, so we were wary at first. We had no idea what we were going to find. A box of puppies, or a meth lab … nothing would have surprised me. I was a little worried because the kids were with us, but it turned out the place was fifty acres of love.

Any animal in need is welcome.

Even the funny looking ones…

The woman had goats, horses, turtles, geese, snakes, angry chickens ... you name it and she had it. She was rehabbing it, doctoring it, loving it … whatever the animal needed.

We’d gone because of the rumor of the puppies, the yellow labs. And she did have two puppies. She’d rescued them out of a horrible situation.

But the yellow lab wasn’t the one who stole our hearts. Nope, it was her little baby brother.
The runt.

He was filthy and living in a hovel. And the minute he saw us, he came alive. Wriggling, happy, loving. All you had to do was touch him and he writhed in joy and dropped to the floor for a belly rub.

And once he was picked up by the teenagers and loved up by them, he didn’t want to get down. I tried. I tried hard. But the thing had wriggled his way right into my heart. I remember looking at Alpha Man, laughing and crying at the same time.

“You didn’t want another dog,” he reminded me.

I told him to zip it. We were taking this dog and that was that. Besides, there was the little matter of him being in my arms and refusing to be put down.

So we never put him down again. Meet Frat Boy…


Why Dogs Make Great Sidekicks, by Jill Shalvis…

Now that you know a little bit about my rescue story, I want to share with you some of the inspiration for my Animal Magnetism series. One of the fun things about writing this series is developing complex and lovable characters… that just happen to be adorable dogs! Here’s why dogs make great sidekicks…

1. Because when you’re on the mountain trail and you come across an angry mama bear and her baby cubs, your dog will run like hell. This will warn you to run like hell as well. Just be careful because if your dog is like my dog, he will throw you under the bus (or in this case bear) to get home before you do.

2. Because when all the cookies are gone you can totally blame your cookie loving dog. No one has to know that you ate all the cookies yourself. And your dog can give you dirty looks for blaming him but he can’t actually talk and dispute your story. Solid alibi.

3. Because if you’ve eaten in a way that disagrees with your stomach, there are never any worries. Your dog will always, ALWAYS, out stink you. And if he doesn’t, you can still point the finger at him. Again, he can’t talk and dispute your story.

4. Dogs are not just great sidekicks but they also make great a really great wingman. If you’re single, you can totally put your dog to work at charming the person you’re interested in. Just make sure that person likes dog drool and dog hair all over everything first.

5. There is never a need for a pillow or extra blanket because your dog will always be willing to get into bed with you and share body heat. Always. Just be forewarned. Being a great sidekick is not the same thing as a good bed partner. They have a habit of being a total bed hog.


Thank you so much, Jill for sharing your stories with us! If you have enjoyed Jill’s stories please feel free to show your support in the comments section below and by visiting the other participating websites/blogs…

Read Humane® Blog Tour 2013!
For more information on Read Humane® please visit Penguin Group (USA). To view more special features from spokesperson Jill Shalvis, please visit the following websites/blogs; each website/blog will feature a unique perspective on Read Humane, so be sure to stop by each for a new and exciting experience!


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