Project P

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“I was nice enough to wait five whole minutes after this picture was taken before tearing the stem off of this pumpkin toy.” – Pilot

COMING SOON!

So, I have an announcement to make. Pilot and I have been “working together” on a project that we can’t quite reveal the name of yet,  BUT if anyone is interested, rest assured that it should be coming out soon (I will announce an official date once it’s completely finished). So far, it’s been a fairly exciting process and I can guarantee that both Pilot and I are having a hard time waiting for it to be finished so that we can unleash (see what I did there?) onto the world. mission-top-secret-stamp-clipart-1

For right now, we’re just calling it “Project P”, but as soon as it is completely finished and ready to be released it will, hopefully, have a different name. But for now, you’ll just have to wait!

In other news….

Pilot has moved on from the Puppy Level classes at Petsmart and has now moved onto the Intermediate Level training classes and he seems to be doing fairly okay. He is learning how to heel (where he stays right by my leg as we are walking), to wait at doors without rushing outside (helpful if I’m trying to do fifty other things as well as try to take care of him), and he should be working on his sitting/down/stay. We haven’t been doing much training this week because there have been some personal things going on that I don’t think I should reveal here as that story really is not my story to tell.

Also, as a reminder if you would like to follow me and Pilot elsewhere but don’t know where to go here is a list of links:

The Official The Tail of Scarlett FB Page.

Pilot’s Instagram (Yes, Pilot has his own Instagram because he’s such a diva. Click the link to follow his antics!) Interested in becoming a member of the “Pilot Posse?” Click here to check out the Pilot Wear section of the Nature’s Wonder CafePress store. You can also pick up some other really cool things there as well (such as The Tail of Scarlett merch) if you are interested. Proceeds from all Pilot Wear purchases will be donated to reputable animal rescue organizations and shelters. I’m thinking of featuring different ones on a regular basis.

My Twitter

Goodreads

To purchase a copy of The Tail of Scarlett book click here.

That’s all for now! Remember, always keep your tail waggin’!

Gail (and Pilot too!)

Sweater Weather

We’re in south here, so oftentimes cold weather alludes us. I know I’ve talked to people who live up in the northern part of the U.S. and they are grabbing their coats while I’m still in shorts. However, when I took Pilot out a few days ago for our morning routine and noticed him trembling, I knew it was time for a sweater.

“Ain’t I cute?”

Now, I’m not the kind of person that dresses their dog up on a regular basis because HE’S A DOG, but I didn’t like seeing him cold, so this was bought out of more of a necessity than anything else. At first it wasn’t fun and Pilot HATED IT. He ran, he hid, he did everything he could to avoid this evil monster that his human had brought home and was currently trying to attack him. BUT, I learned that by slowly introducing the sweater and showing him that it was harmless and won’t hurt him, he’s been able to accept it.

I have never been one for dressing up my pets in any kind of costume or anything like that because they’re…well their dogs, they aren’t humans. But I also know that if I’m cold, it’s more than likely my dog is too, and so I wanted to make sure I did everything I could to keep Pilot warm (Scarlett on the other hand was a much bigger, furrier dog and could take the cold a bit better, but even then she was always kept inside if it was lower or higher than a certain temperature outside). Always be sure that your pets have a nice warm place to sleep at night, provide proper heating, make sure you keep up a good grooming routine (no trimming or shaving as your pet will need their full coat weight in order to stay warm and insulated) to keep out the mats as matted fur does not insulate well. Make sure you bathe your dog indoors. Make sure they are completely dried off before letting them outside. Give fewer baths during cold snaps, or consider skipping baths altogether. In cold weather, it’s going to take your animal friends a lot longer to dry off and make sure the water is a proper temperature when you do, because if the water is too cold it could make your dog sick. Pilot and I do not live in an area where there is lots of ice and snow, but if you do it might be a good idea to keep the hair around your animal friend’s paw pads trimmed. This should keep ice and snow, as well as the chemicals used to treat iced over areas out of our dog’s hair. And if you’re friend is willing, see if they will wear booties. Lastly, avoid overfeeding. It is important for pets to eat well during the colder months in order to provide themselves with energy and warmth, however if your pet happens to be an indoor one, increasing their food over the winter might not be a good idea as it could cause obesity. The best thing to do is to have a conversation with your veterinarian about your pets energy and food intake needs. And also, make sure they have access to clean, unfrozen water both indoors and outside.

I do not consider myself an expert on dogs, cats, or any other animals, so always make sure that you have a conversation with your veterinarian about anything you are concerned about.

 

Keep your tail waggin’!

Gail

Pilot Wear

Hey ya’ll!

Pilot and I have been busy these last few weeks, which is why you haven’t been seeing any posts lately if you’ve been looking for updates. Let me give you a little rundown (or basically my list of excuses for not posting, lol):

1.) Pilot has been taking puppy training classes at Petsmart and is now an official graduate! img_1307

 

2.) Pilot actually went on his first big trip! Blue Ridge, Ga is a very dog friendly town and many of the stores will actually allow you to bring your dogs in (depending on their size), and your dog can even join you as you’re dining out on many of the town’s restaurant patios. Also, should you decide to spend the night, Blue Ridge has plenty of choices to bring your pet companions along. If you’re interested, check out the website, http://www.bringfido.com and just search Blue Ridge, GA for a full list of places.

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3.) Instagram! I Pilot has been trying (*wink wink*) to ramp  up his antics on Instagram in the last few days. If you want to follow him and see everything that we’ve both been up to, give Pilot a follow! His handle is: @pilottheflyingace. No seriously, go follow him!

 

4.) August 23rd book signing event at the Book Exchange went really well I think. Got to meet a great many people who also love books and I also managed to get my hands on a copy of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. So that was a win win! I also made purchases from some of the other authors that were there. #Shoplocal #Supportindependentbookstores

 

5.) Pilot Wear! Little known fact, I also have a little store on CafePress called Nature’s Wonder and it was decided a few weeks ago that I should pay homage to my tiny friend. Therefore Pilot Wear was created! Pilot Wear is a unique line of clothing (and a few other things) that pays tribute to pets and the human’s they befriend. So head on over there and check it out if you like! More designs should be coming soon.

6.) Oh…and this happened: Pilot made his YouTube debut! This is what Pilot does when he’s no longer interested in his food, lol. He tries to save it for later! Let’s see how many views the little guy can get! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwP2frGP5o4

 

So far, those are the only things. I will do my best to post more regularly in the future. In the meantime please follow Pilot on Instagram if you would like more regular updates on his antics (let’s see how many follows he can get! Please share).

 

Keep your tail waggin’!

Gail

Never a Replacement

The other day my now six year old niece came up and asked this question: “is Scarlett sad that we replaced her?”

At first I was not quite sure how in the world I was supposed to answer her. The question was so out if the blue it actually hit me rather hard, but knowing my niece she would expect an answer so I knew that I would have to do my best to give her one.

“No honey,” I said. “I do not think that Scarlett would be sad, because we did not replace her. We will never be able to replace her. Just know that when we adopted Scarlett, she was just a little puppy who needed a home (this was in 2001) and someone to love her and that’s what we did. And when we got Pilot he was also a little puppy who needed a home and someone to love him, and so that is what we will do. Scarlett will always have a place in our hearts and we are not replacing her, we are just giving another puppy the same chance that she had.”
If there is one thing I want my readers to remember,  it is what I said above. When a beloved pet passes away, you are not replacing them by going out and adopting another, you are simply expanding the room in your heart. 
Keep your tail waggin’.
Gail

Insta-dog!

Grumpy Cat, Harlow, Indiana, and Reece, Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund, Toast, Doug the Pug, and….Pilot?

If there is one thing for sure, the Internet loves its animal pictures. So much so that some animals have their own social media accounts, taking in millions of followers and huge chunks of money from product endorsements. I decided to see what the fuss was all about and created an account for my little guy and so far the numbers are pretty steady. It’s also somehow a great deal of fun. With so much negativity going on in the world right now, people need a little something to brighten their lives and animals are great at doing just that. I know Scarlett certainly did a great deal to brighten mine, and Pilot is doing the same. 
Because who could resist this face?

Keep your tail waggin’, and be sure to follow more of Pilot and his antics @pilottheflyingace on Instagram!

A View From the Cockpit

It’s been a busy last couple of days here at the house. Having Pilot around has certainly changed a great many things.

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"I'm a TMNT fan."

He wakes me up promptly at 6:30 almost every morning (7 AM if I’m lucky), and is in bed by 9:30 at night (with a few naps squeezed in here and there throughout the day). I take him with me to my sister’s house every morning and he has fun time with everyone there. He’s a very interesting pup to be around that’s for sure. At my house he is rather calm, although he does play, but at my sister’s house he is constantly on the go, pin balling off of everything in her living room.

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I AM the baby of the family after all.

I’m also fairly certain he thinks he’s a human. His favorite thing to do is to be cradled in my sister’s lap and have a chew toy in his mouth….holding it in his paws.

Fairly soon I’m going to have to start looking into training classes for the little guy and I will post more updates on what’s going on at that front soon. Last night I had my first real scare though when he got stung on the face by wasp. Poor little thing jumped as high as he could and then ran to me shaking. He was rushed to the nearby emergency vet where he was given some medication through injection to prevent anything worse. He’s been doing well though and there hasn’t been any reaction. He did sleep most of the day though.

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Meanwhile on the book front, everything is going pretty well. I just did a book sale at the very shelter that Scarlett was adopted from and was able to meet some very nice people. Pilot even came by for a minute to help me out.

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Don't I look author-rey?

I may have some other events that I will have lined up which I will add to the calendar as soon as I book them. That’s all for now though. Until next time….

Always keep your tail waggin’!

Gail

New Arrival!

I have been terribly busy the last week or so and that is because there has been a new arrival at my house. 

Meet Pilot, a nine week old Chihuahua mix from the Douglas County Animal Shelter in GA. He is so named due to his airplane wing ears. Isn’t he cute?!

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He is fitting very well with me so far and I will continue to try and update everyone on his antics as we begin our journey together.

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(First trip to the vet and we got a clean   clean bill of health! As you can see, he was very impressed. )

By the end of the month I am hoping that I can have him in obedience school. It’s been over a year since my Scarlett passed away and I finally decided that it was time. No one can tell you how long to grieve for your loved ones (pets or humans), and only you can decide when it’s time to move on, but please remember to always seek help if you feel like you need it.

In the meantime, I’m going to play a rousing game of chase.

Always keep your tail wagging!

Gail

June is National Pet Adoption Month!

Now that June is here, some people may be feeling that the start of summer has officially arrived. For the pet lovers out there, June is also National Pet Adoption Month! I’ve always been big advocate for adoption. My girl, Scarlett, was adopted from  Cobb County Animal Control in Marietta, Georgia 14 years ago. In fact, I revisited the animal shelter just a few weeks ago and I very nearly cried. I’m pretty sure it was a combination of knowing that this was the place that I found my best friend as well as the fact that there were so many dogs and cats there! I learned later that 50 dogs and cats were adopted out that day, which made me rather happy, but I was also rather saddened to remember that for every dog and cat that gets adopted from an animal shelter or rescue, one more is already there to take its place. Let’s look at it this way though: when you adopt from a rescue, you are not only adopting a new best friend, but you are also potentially saving the life of another as well. When you adopt from a rescue, that frees up space in that rescue to bring in another dog or cat out of an animal shelter and placing them in loving foster homes where they will get the tlc that they need before going to their forever homes. When the rescues are able to obtain more animals out of the animal shelters, that also helps free up space in those animal shelters so that can make more room for other animals in need. So basically, when you adopt from a rescue, or even directly from an animal shelter, you are not just saving one life, but you could be saving as many as 3 (albeit, indirectly of course)!

In honor of this month, I have decided to create a board on Pinterest: Scarlett’s Rescue Friends, in which I will try to update regularly with pictures of other animals that are in desperate need of loving, furrever homes. I will probably end up sticking to animals mostly of the dog and cat variety, but I do know that there are other types of animals that are in need of homes as well, so I will also be doing my best to post pictures of them too. There are also a few items of The Tail of Scarlett merchandise now available for sale in my shop on CafePress: Nature’s Wonder. More items will be added very soon so please feel free to head on over there and check them out (and also feel free to check out the other items that are for sale throughout the store as well!). Also, a few days ago someone suggested to me that it might be a good idea for me to place individual prints of the illustrations from The Tail of Scarlett up for sale for those that might like to own an individual print from the book, so I decided to set up shop on Etsy. Please note that all prints are only available for digital download (at least for the moment they are).

Until next time: always keep your tail waggin’!

-Gail

 

 

 

A Nice Little Write Up

Recently, the Marietta Daily Journal in Marietta, GA was kind enough to do a nice little write up about yours truly as well as The Tail of Scarlett which I am going to re-post here below:

Gail Ledford, an Austell resident, has authored a new children’s book titled “The Tail of Scarlett.” Her family members include mother, Lisa Ledford, father, James Ledford, sister, Beth Poirier, brother-in-law, Damon Poirier and niece, Sarah Poirier.

Ledford recently shared a few details with the Marietta Daily Journal regarding her new book.

Tell our readers a little about your book.

“The Tail of Scarlett” is a children’s book based on a true story of my dog Scarlett and all of the different things that she and I went through together throughout her life (and mine).

What inspired this book?

I had always thought about what it would be like to write a children’s book, but for some reason I was never able to come up with anything that felt right. And then Scarlett passed away in January of 2015. She was 13 years of age and she had been with me since she was 6 weeks old. That’s a long time! So, of course I was extremely devastated when she passed and I was trying figure out a way to process my feelings (she was my best friend in the entire world after all), but I also enjoy helping others as well and so I thought that I could use the book as a way to help others who may be grieving the loss of their own pet, especially children, because more often than not it’s the death of the family pet where they have their first experience with this kind of thing. I basically wanted to use this book to create a reminder for people to always remember the good times you had, and when the time comes to say goodbye, to always remember that you gave them the best life that you possibly could and to know that you will see them again someday.

How long did it take you to write it, and what was that process like?

It took me about two months to do the entire thing. I actually thought it would take me longer to do so because I also did all of the illustrations, but it was just one of those things where I knew that if I stopped I did not think I would be able to start again so I just kept going until all of a sudden I had this entire book full of pictures and it wasn’t really until the end that I actually had any ideas to what I was going to do with all of them! Over all though, the entire process felt extremely cathartic because it gave me a chance to release some of those pent up feelings that I had been holding in for pretty much an entire year, so by the time I was done I felt so much better about everything. I remember crying as I wrote the words and feeling like a big weight had been lifted off of my shoulders.

What is your career background?

I am a nanny to my five-year-old niece (who is also in the book by the way!) and I do volunteer work at Zoo Atlanta on the weekends where I work closely with their education department (as do all of the volunteers) where I educate guests about all of the zoo animals that live there.

How can people purchase your book?

“The Tail of Scarlett” can be purchased on Amazon as well as Barnes and Noble’s website and I am donating proceeds from all of the profits made from the book to the National Canine Cancer Foundation, at www.wearethecure.org. I also have a website where you can keep track of all of the latest book news (as well as my own craziness) which can be found at “The Tail of Scarlett” at scarlettstails.wordpress.com.

(Link to the original article.)

 

Remember: Always keep your tail waggin’!

Gail

Events!

Hi everyone!

So, I just pinned a post to the top which I posted all of the events that I have scheduled (so far). Hopefully, I will be able to add more to that schedule more in the future.

Always keep your tail waggin’.

Gail
April 29-30th: Tractor Supply in Douglasville, GA Supporting GA Animal Welfare Advocates. 
June 3rd: The Harley Davidson on Thornton RD. Supporting GA. Animal Welfare Advocates.