Life is Precious

The reason why I chose this title for this week’s blog post is because there are things that have been happening this week that have prompted me to think about how much truth there is in that statement.This last week a person who has always been very nice to me passed away in a horrible accident which happened very suddenly. A gorilla named Mia Moja at the Louisville Zoo in Kentucky passed away suddenly after having to have an emergency c-section. At the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle Washington, an adult male orangutan named Towan who served as the main inspiration for actress Karin Konoval’s  stunning motion capture performance as Maurice the orangutan in the new Planet of the Apes films, died during a medical procedure to try and figure out how to treat respiratory issues that he had been having the last few days.

life_quotes

It hasn’t exactly been the easiest of weeks around here because of certain recent events that have happened and my sincerest condolences go out to those readers out there who might be going through something similar. I know I am no expert, but this blog is also meant to be a place of support for those that may feel that they need it as it is sometimes can make people feel better, knowing that there are others out there who share their pain.

And remember, life is short so always keep your tail waggin’.

Gail

 

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More Book Things!

Okay, so there’s been quite a few things going on in the last few days. I have been trying to come up with more ways to market my book and I thought it would be a good idea to post a list of links to the places where I have been trying to gather traffic for it.

1.) Amazon has the book available for purchase on their website. I also have an author’s page on Amazon.com where people can follow me and it can be found right here.

2.) Goodreads. People can come and follow me on Goodreads, rate/review my book, find out where it’s available, and even ask me questions that you think you might want answered.

3.) Barnes and Noble has the book available for purchase on their website.

4.) I’m also listed on BookDaily.com and you can also follow me there!

Please share and spread the word. Portions of the money made from The Tail of Scarlett will be donated to the National Canine Cancer Foundation’s campaign, Chase Away K9 Cancer. You can find out more about both here and here.  I have also recently begun writing articles for Hubpages. You can check out my stuff from there right here.

 

Alright, I think that’s about it for right now. See ya next Sunday! And remember to always keep your tail waggin’!

 

Gail

Moving Foward

“Just keep swimming…”

Isn’t that what Dory from Finding Nemo says? And on that note, is anyone out there as excited for Finding Dory as I am? Maybe..maybe not. But c’mon, it’s DORY! How can you not be excited about Dory.

Disney fish aside…my little Cupcake Betta fish swam his way across Rainbow Bridge a day ago and it made me think of a conversation that I was in the other day. There have been a great many people who have been buying my book lately (thank you people!) and I just happened to make a comment about how I hoped that the book will help, even if the beloved pet who was gone was not a dog or a cat.

“I hope it helps, even if it was their pet goldfish,” I said.

“Well, I don’t think I’ve ever bonded with a goldfish,” came the reply from the person that I was talking to. At the mention of the fact that I had Bettas, another person in the room spoke up and said, “oh you bond with Bettas.”

“You do,” I said. “They are very charismatic little fish.” And the truth is that they are. I loved my little Cupcake, so named by my niece because she thought he, “looked like a cupcake with sprinkles.” And I guess he kind of did. He was white with blue splotches all over and a blue tail. Unfortunately, I never got around to taking any pictures of him. I remember when we first bought him, my niece helped me pick him out and as we were heading back to the rest of the group I explained to her that, like Scarlett, Cupcake (and any other fish we had) would eventually make their own way across Rainbow Bridge and do you want to know what her response was? This was her response:

“Yes but, we’ll love him and take care of him as long as we have him.”

My niece is only five right now and so I guess you can imagine my reaction. I feel as if this statement is proof that young children know and realize more than we adults think that they do, so it is very important that whenever conversations come up like this, it is important to be a straight with them as you possibly can be. Of course, they are young so I don’t suggest everything be doom and gloom, but don’t lie to them either and don’t try to hide anything from them, because it only makes it worse when they find out. Of course, I am not expert in child psychology, and I certainly don’t have any children of my own so who am I to really say? This is just what I feel.

Back to Dory…personally, Dory’s got it right. Everyone goes through a rough patch, especially if they’ve lost a loved one (both animal and/or human), and although it might seem you’re swimming through a rough current, the best thing to do is to just keep swimming, and to always try to remember that if you are ever in need of a life preserver, don’t be afraid to call out for one and try and get the support that you need.

Keep your tail waggin’!

Gail

Biscuits and Gravy Memories

When I first wrote The Tail of Scarlett, I was still in the clutches of the grieving process (and I guess in some ways I still am), even though it had already been a year since the actual Scarlett had passed.

Scarlett passed away in January of 2015 after she began showing signs of neurological damage. It was one of those things that just came up extremely sudden without any previous warning signs whatsoever. On Christmas morning she threw up violently in the living room and in the days afterwards she began a sudden decline to the point where it was scary. At 13 years of age I  knew that Scarlett was no spring chicken, but up until this point in time she had exhibited no physical signs of illness (either mentally or physically). Suddenly she was refusing food, even getting up and walking away from her most favorite of treats. Over the next few days family members would catch her staring off into space, head tilted to the side, and when she stood up we noticed her leaning. A few days before she passed I gave her a bath (a very enjoyable past time for both me and her. Often, all I would have to do was look at her and say, “bath time!” or “time for bath!” and she would head into the bathroom. Then I would look at her and say, “get in the tub!” opening the shower door as I did and watching her walk right in without complaint.) Everything went as it always did until the very end. When it was time to for her to exit the shower, Scarlett proceeded to shake off all of the excess water as she always did (usually drenching the entire bathroom in the process while I stood somewhat shielded behind the shower door), but as she did so she fell and was unable to get up without help. She did it again when she exited the bathroom and once again I had to come to her aid and help her back to her feet.

It’s always hard, seeing your loved ones struggle like that (pet or human), especially when you know that they are not capable of talking. I decided to go to Scarlett’s veterinarian and he was extremely honest with me, something that I was actually kind of grateful for. He told me that a pet could be sick and the homeowners could spend boatloads of money to have them tested for all kinds of things only to find out that it’s something that cannot be cured to be begin with. “Sometimes I just want to reach across this exam table and strangle them saying, ‘what the hell is wrong with you?'” Because clearly the animal was suffering and its quality of life was at stake, but yet the homeowners were unwilling to let go. As much as I loved Scarlett I didn’t want that for her. “She’s already at the top of the slide,” I said. “I don’t want her to hit bottom.” And I didn’t, not when it meant that I would have to watch her suffer.

Sometime after she passed and I was still struggling to find ways to cope with the loss, one of my good friends lost her cat whom she had for about the same amount of time I had my Scarlett and I think it was then that I realized more than ever the importance of having some sort of support system which is what in turn gave me a big dose of the inspiration that I needed in order write Scarlett’s book. I thought that I could use The Tail of Scarlett as a way to help others who might very well be going through the same thing that I was. I actually, in fact, had three huge doses of inspiration: 1.) Scarlett of course. 2.) Wanting to find a way to help others. 3.) Someone who I consider a friend of mine wrote and published her own book not to long ago: Jeffrey Takes a Walk in December written by Karin Konoval is a wonderful book that I think every person should read (the link to check it out can be found here:  http://www.friesenpress.com/bookstore/title/119734000025985197/Karin-Konoval-Jeffrey-Takes-a-Walk-in-December). When deciding how I was going to format the book

I decided that it would be a great idea to go with a children’s book, because it was then that I remembered my niece who was only 5. Scarlett was her friend too, and I remembered that when loved ones die it’s not only the adults in the family that are effected when it comes to loss.

I think my point for this post is that I do hope that those that are reading this realize something: you are not alone in your loss, that it’s perfectly okay to grieve, that, no, you are not crazy, and that it is important for people to have a support system during the difficult times. Which is also why I created this blog. I not only wanted to have a place to, hopefully, be able to promote my book, but I also wanted to establish a place that people could come to and seek solace. Because, The Tail of Scarlett is not just well…the tale of Scarlett, but I also think that it is the tale of every pet owner and their animal companions.

 

Please feel free to leave me a comment as I absolutely love hearing from readers. And please feel free to share! Share your own stories about memories of an animal that may have touched your life in some way, it doesn’t matter. I want to hear’em all. And one last thing before I go: The Tail of Scarlett has now been listed on Goodreads! If you’ve never been on Goodreads you need to! It’s a great website for book lovers where you can go and rate/review books, join groups and have discussions. It’s also great if you’re an author who is looking to gather bigger followings for your book. So please, head on over there and follow me and, if you have purchased The Tail of Scarlett and read it (and hopefully enjoyed it), please feel free to leave me an honest review. You can also ask me questions directly and I will do my best to answer them.

And remember, always keep your tail waggin’!

Gail

(This blog post is dedicated to all of those times that I heard the sound of a to-go box being chased across the kitchen floor as Scarlett enjoyed leftover biscuits and gravy for breakfast.)