Our Puppy Ate A Lot of Tampons

This is Pogie getting ready to be sick.

Yesterday, I was in a bit of a panic because Pogie the puppy wasn’t acting like a puppy. She wasn’t jumping around; there was no begging for treats, no questing for cats, no scampering.

And she wanted to just flop on the bed upstairs away from everyone. Pogie the puppy is not that kind of puppy. She’s the kind of puppy who wants to be right in the action, preferably touching Sparty (the dog) a cat or a human even when she’s asleep.

More typical Pogie behavior, staring at cats like she wants to marry them.

Pogie vomited. It was pretty chill at first, just breakfast. She pooped, but it was normal. She did not drool. She did not foam. Her head did not spin around like she was a canine cast member of The Exorcist.

My head, however? It came pretty close.

I obsessed about bowel obstructions and poisons and we made promises that if she still seemed sick tomorrow we’d call the vet.

I also obsessively googled things. And then Pogie threw up a gallon of liquid and it looked like there was a bit of a feminine hygiene product in it.

“What’s that?” Shaun said.

“That is a piece of tampon!” I shouted. “OUR DOG ATE A TAMPON!”

I got a paper towel, picked it up and actually peered at it really intensely. I never knew that I would grow up to be a person who would stare at a vomit slathered piece of used tampon, but apparently I am.

Shaun and I shared a look. Three days ago, Xane didn’t leave their bathroom door closed and Pogie went in the trash. There was trash all over the floor that I picked up. I never realized that there could be trash in Pogie’s belly, and yes, she is a puppy and I should have realized that PUPPIES EAT ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING!

Now you can imagine me obsessively googling “dogs+tampons.” And it turns out that tampons are really bad for dogs to swallow. They can cause bowels instructions. They can die.

Pogie actually sleeping. Spoiler: This is a bad sign.

According to Emergency Vet USA,

“Unfortunately for our furry friends, eating a tampon can be extremely dangerous. The main purpose of the tampon is what makes it so dangerous when consumed by a dog.

“Tampons are designed to remain intact when in the body for long periods of time, as well as swelling to absorb fluids.

“This results in tampons not being easily digested by the gut, as well as the potential for the tampon to expand in the stomach or intestines.”

Now that we knew what the actual problem was, it was now way past the time of our vet being open. Shaun said, “I bet she’ll feel better now.”

We watched.

We laid down with her.

We listened to her belly.

She didn’t seem quite better. Then Shaun carried her outside with Sparty and she did her business. She did her business for a long, long time and created a long, long business. Imagine two feet long, all attached, one tampon after another after another, strings hitching into each other. Our tiny puppy had eaten at least five tampons. Her poop was longer than her body.

LONGER THAN HER BODY!

And let me tell you, Pogie’s tummy did not digest those tampons.


IMPORTANT STUFF

When a dog eats a tampon (or many tampons like Pogie, the overachieving puppy) they can irritate their GI tract, scrape it, irritate it, and the tampon can expand and irritate it and make the dog hurt. They can have bloody poop. Pogie did not. We checked obviously. You can imagine us gloved up, nostrils flaring, studying that poop.

Tampon consumption can cause choking because of the string and the cotton.

According to National Canine Research Association of America,

“Blockages in the digestive tract can prevent fluid, foods, and gas from being able to move normally through your dog’s body.

“This can be both painful and life-threatening, as it can restrict blood flow to the intestines, stomach, or esophagus.

“If the blockage isn’t treated quickly enough, necrosis can set in, causing tissue death and even more complications.”

Tampon consumption can also obstruct the dog’s bowel. It can get stuck so nothing else can get through.

Sometimes, like Pogie, a dog will be able to get rid of the tampon themselves. Usually, this depends on how many tampons they ate and how big their intestines are. This is supposed to be pretty dangerous. You shouldn’t wait like we did. You should call the vet. And according to Emergency Vet USA it takes about 72 hours for bowel obstruction symptoms. Our bathroom event was on Saturday. Pogie’s big event was on Tuesday.

We were super lucky. I hope that you’ll be lucky, too.


I AM RISKING IT ALL WRITING YOU THIS.

“You can’t write about this,” one of the kiddos said. They are fourteen. Fourteen is a hard age to have a bonus parent like me.

“I have to!” I said. “Dogs could die. People must know!”

“But it’s ridiculous.”

“That is exactly why.”

“People will judge you.”

“People judge me anyway,” I said because damn if that’s not true. “I’d rather they know.”

They then stomped off because (I think) it was their tampons.

Dogs Cry Happy Tears When You Come Home Maybe We Should Too

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Cry Happy Tears When You Come Home Maybe We Should Too
/

In our random thoughts, we talk about dogs crying, empathy, tribalism and social media. Those aren’t fully transcribed here.

Pharrell Williams says in a Masterclass that his imagination helped him survive, but as he grew up he realized that he was only seeing the world in one way, which was from his experience. The day that you stop being curious, you stop learning, he thinks.

“The universe doesn’t stop,” he says, “so why should my curiosity?”

Empathy helps people be more creative. Empathy towards other helps you realize that you know that they exist. When you’re in partnerships, he said, empathy is the role call, it’s where you show that everyone exists and it allows you to be open and create bigger projects and relationships.

So, let’s think about that in the bigger picture about our society and kids, okay?

In a New York Times article by Matt Richtel, he focuses on U.S. teens and their depression, anxiety, suicide and self-harm. He chronicles one ten-year-old’s journey on an iPod Touch that their grandparents gave them.

The kid posted selfies.

Some people (men) sent photos of their penises and asked for the kid to send naked photos back and also solicited them for sex.

The kid, C, tried to ignore it.

“That plan did not work out. The internet seeped into C’s psyche; severely depressed, they found kinship online with other struggling adolescents and learned ways to self-harm,” Richtel writes.

For teens in the U.S. the risks are no longer drugs, drinking, and getting pregnant. Now they are anxiety, self-harm, suicide, depression.

“What science increasingly shows is that virtual interactions can have a powerful impact, positive or negative, depending on a person’s underlying emotional state,” Richtel writes.

He adds that “The ability of youth to cope has been further eroded by declines in sleep, exercise and in-person connection, which all have fallen as screen time has gone up. Young people, despite vast virtual connections, or maybe because of them, report being lonelier than any other generation. And many studies have found that adolescents who spend more time online are less happy.”

The data? It’s grim. And it effects happiness and empathy.

Richtel writes, “From 2007 to 2016, emergency room visits for people aged 5 to 17 rose 117 percent for anxiety disorders, 44 percent for mood disorders and 40 percent for attention disorders, while overall pediatric visits were stable. The same study, published in Pediatrics in 2020, found that visits for deliberate self-harm rose 329 percent. But visits for alcohol-related problems dropped 39 percent, reflecting the change in the kind of public health risks posed to teenagers.”

He quoted how a doctor who talks about how a lot of kids try to find community online, adopting even the tic disorders of Tik-Tokers. They want, desperately, to belong.

We see tribalism all the time, that need for cliques, for belonging, especially in political parties, but it’s not just there. It’s everywhere—that need to fit in, to belong, to be part of a pack even if you never actually meet the other pack members. Dogs show it beautifully when they are full of joy greeting you at the door. Why aren’t we all like that? Maybe we’re meant to be—about our family and our friends—joyous to see them again, excited to hear about their days and adventures.

Robert Reffkin, who launched a real estate technology company, Compass, realized people wanted community and culture and people who give you energy rather than take it away in relationships and in workplaces. He said that most employees feel that their businesses and organizations need more empathy.

“Leaders need to really honor and respect the diversity of challenges in people’s lives,” Reffkin says. 

It can be as simple as not expecting everyone to be an extrovert and talk over each other at a meeting, understanding communication styles are different, or that sometimes someone needs a day off because they have a life beyond the office. That kindness, that understanding, gives your employees more support and makes them feel a part of something. That goes for your kids, too.

Robin Arzón, an ultramarathon runner, says when you feel a part of something, then you feel like you have agency. During her career, Arzón was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and had to readjust to the changes and challenges to her body. Other runners supported her as she supported them. They empowered each other and empathized with each other during training and races.

“I believe empowerment is contagious. I believe joy is contagious,” she says.

A study in Japan looked at 823 college students and learned that the students with high or moderate physical activity self-reported more cognitive empathy than the students with low physical activity (The Journal of Physical Fitness and Sports Therapy, 2021). That doesn’t happen when we’re all on social media, stuck inside, joining a TikTok group. Or if we’re scrolling through Twitter looking for a hashtag to focus us on hating other people.

“Empathy is everything,” Arzón says. “It extinguishes assumptions and limitations.”

Empathy helps you to empower other people because when you see where they are at, you are able to help pull them along to their goal.

“Empathy’s greatest potential is equality for all mankind,” Williams said. Empathy is the best tool for equality, he says. But it’s also the best tool for belonging. When we realize others’ pains; when we work toward connections? We move out of our tribes, our bubbles, and become something much healthier and bigger.


DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Cry when your people come home, because holy god, they made it back!


SOME COOL LINKS TO LEARN MORE

https://www.masterclass.com/classes/the-power-of-empathy-with-pharrell-williams-and-noted-co-instructors/chapters/do-something

https://www.theledger.com/story/news/state/2022/04/26/florida-school-book-bans-these-library-titles-being-reviewed-school-boards/9542938002/

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/dogs-cry-happy-tears-owners-27803328

SHOUT OUT!

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. 

Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.

WE HAVE EXTRA CONTENT ALL ABOUT LIVING HAPPY OVER HERE! It’s pretty awesome.

AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW!

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.

Carrie is reading one of her poems every week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

Huck the Roof Dog and Defining Happiness Doggy Style

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Huck the Roof Dog and Defining Happiness Doggy Style
/

Every once in awhile, a dog climbs on the roof of a house and chills out, but if you’re Huck the dog, you do this all the time. How often? So often that your owner has to put a sign on the door.

Join us as we talk about Huck and also about defining happiness, doggy style.


Have you ever come home and been like, “Dang, why is my dog so happy?”

In general dogs are really pretty cool happy animals. And they are amazing because unlike some of us (cough) they don’t hide how they feel. It’s all just out there.

According to Global Dog Breeds, the reasons dogs are so happy are these:

  • They forgive
  • They live in the present
  • They are happy with what they have right there, right now.
  • They embrace life.
  • They know how to get cozy and comfy.
  • They trust their owners. 

Carrie’s taking a pretty cool course for free on EdX (sadly, this is not an ad) all about happiness and it’s taught by Arthur Brooks, a professor at Harvard. And all these things about why dogs are happy made her think about that class and some of the teachings from it.

Brooks says,

“It turns out that the way we think about happiness is informed by where we live. For example, in some cultures, happiness is defined by social harmony. In others, it’s defined by personal achievement. So the way we answer the question are you happy depends, to an extent, on where we’re from.”

Brooks interviewed the Dalai Lama and his Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso shared the following (the quote is taken directly),

“I think very purpose of our daily life. For happy life, firstly, we need some sense of oneness of 7 billion human being on this planet. We have to live together. An individual’s future depends on them, one individual, one of the 7 billion human beings in the group know that.”

Brooks summarizes his points as follows,

“The first is he taught us tonight that happiness comes from being useful and having a life’s purpose, and that purpose, the purpose that we have, our highest purpose is caring for each other, lifting each other up, remembering that each of us is one of 7 billion human beings.

The second way that he made this point is when he talked about unhappiness, which is our own creation.

Unhappiness comes in our own mind because of self-centeredness.

We become unhappy because we’re unnatural, and we are unnatural whom we are thinking only of ourselves. We can only be truly happy when we get out of this creation that is unhappiness by focusing on other people.

The third point that he made was about our intellectual lives, about research and investigation, about our brains, and the importance of sanctifying our intellectual work by putting it in service of our hearts, putting it in service of our love for other people, that in fact, our hearts can be most effective when our brains are fully engaged in the purpose, sanctifying that purpose and loving each other.

And finally, the fourth way that His Holiness made this point that happiness comes from love for others is that we need education, that we need an education system that teaches each of us unity and oneness and sisterhood and brotherhood. And that is our leadership challenge.”

In an opinion piece for the Washington Post, Brooks and the Dalai Lama wrote,

“The objective is not to vanquish a person I considered my enemy; it is to destroy the illusion that he or she was my enemy in the first place. And the way to do this is by overcoming my own negative emotions.

Perhaps taking that approach seems unrealistic to you, like a kind of discipline only a monk could achieve through years of concentrated meditation. But that isn’t true. You can do it, too, regardless of your belief system. The secret is to express warmheartedness, kindness and generosity, even in disagreement — and especially when others show you contempt or hatred.”

How do you do that when it feels like other people are taking away yours or others essential human rights? Or putting lives at stake? Or creating or revoking or refusing to revoke polices (be it about guns, abortions, clean water, property rights) that you feel are essential?

That’s really the question.

LINKS AND RESOURCES

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/03/11/dalai-lama-arthur-brooks-each-us-can-break-cycle-hatred/

XIV, Dalai Lama, and Cutler, Howard C. The Art of Happiness, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Handbook for Living. Penguin Publishing Group, 2009, 294.

Course: “Managing Happiness,” HarvardX, accessed June 27, 2022.

“Why Are Dogs So Happy.” No author stated. Global Dog Breeds.

SHOUT OUT!

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. 

Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.

WE HAVE EXTRA CONTENT ALL ABOUT LIVING HAPPY OVER HERE! It’s pretty awesome.

AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW!

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.

Carrie is reading one of her poems every week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

Bored and aching, I just wanted someone to love me.

Carrie Does Poems
Carrie Does Poems
Bored and aching, I just wanted someone to love me.
/

Hi! This year (2022), I’ve decided to share a poem on my blog and podcast and read it aloud. It’s all a part of my quest to be brave and apparently the things that I’m scared about still include:

  1. My spoken voice
  2. My raw poems.

Thanks for being here with me and cheering me on, and I hope that you can become braver this year, too!


"Bored and aching, I just wanted someone to love me."


We were visiting Mom’s best friend,
	An aunt who wasn’t an aunt,

She taught school, the job my mother dreamed of
	Before unplanned babies and rushed marriage

Turned her life into breaths clutching
	At meaning. The ladies stayed inside with coffee

Laced with Kahlua and words steaming
	At the edges of truths while I walked to the lake,

My body lurching forward. Last child by so many years
	Made me a lonely only and I started singing

To the waves and the trees. The water-stained boards 
       Of their dock made me think of mermaids and tears. 

Bored and aching, I just wanted someone to love me.
	This is why I am a poet. 

The dog emerged from the woods to the right, 
	A Doberman. One of Mom’s men friends

Had a dog like this. I reached my arms open, hugging the air
	And the dog bounded into them. From the deck of the house,

My mother screamed, Carrie! No! 

Bored and aching, I just wanted someone to love me.
	This is why I exist. 

What are you? I whispered to the dog as her tail wagged
	And tongue lapped my face. 

When the grown-ups came running out, the dog shifted,
	Guarding me from their strange worries about credit and affairs,

Husbands who might find things out, children they left
	Behind them, coughing and clinging to life.

They implored me to come with them. My hand ran
	Along the dog’s fur and for the first time,

I felt powerful. I found a dog, I yelled, but she really found me. 
	The water clung to her fur the way I wanted to cling on

To that moment. Could she have really heard me wanting,
	Singing need and loneliness into the waves and trunks

Of crooked spruce trees, my sadness hooking lines into the granite
	That gave our state its name? Someone’s husband

Convinced them the dog meant me no harm. She didn’t. 
	Dogs never did. They still never do. 

Bored and aching, I just wanted someone to love me.
	This is why.


Hey, thanks for listening to Carrie Does Poems.

The music you hear is made available through the creative commons and it’s a bit of a shortened track from the fantastic Eric Van der Westen and the track is called “A Feather” and off the album The Crown Lobster Trilogy.

https://freemusicarchive.org/music/eric-van-der-westen/the-crown-lobster-trilogy-selection

The Time Our Dog Peed On the Christmas Tree

Because I’m a little stressed out because of the holidays and the state of the world, I’m recycling this blog from 2007. HELLO! Ancient times.

Back then, we had an awesome dog named Tala (a Great Pyr), who wrote the whole blog because my dogs are like that. So helpful. Here you go.



Hello. I am Tala. I am Carrie’s dog. This Sunday I took my humans on a little adventure.

Aw, yes… the love.

So, Sunday I convinced the fam to go get a Christmas tree because there was a monster storm coming Monday. I could feel it in my doggy bones. They get some creaky when the barometric pressure changes, you know.

So, I explained to the Emster (the little human) that I was not going to be doing much work. I was merely a supervisor. She’d have to do the heavy lifting.

Of course, she said. I’ll do anything for you, Tala. You are the most awesome-ist doggy ever.


I concurred.

I found the perfect tree and barked it down with my awesome doggy breath.

 My work here is done.

I then convinced the humans to haul it out of the Christmas tree patch while I sniffed around for bones, dead rodents, old poo, and other yumdilicious things.

They said:  We’ll do anything for you, Tala!

Yes, humans, you will. One little puppy-dog pout and it’s all over. No use pretending.

And then I peed on a tree. An eight-foot-tree, and Carrie (the bigger human with long hair) screamed and quickly pretended like it didn’t happen.


Is this good, Tala?
Yes, little human. It is.

And look how happy she is, just thinking about picking up the tree. That’s not my car by the way. I don’t like silver. It blends in with my white fur too much and I look pasty.

It was a bit of a haul getting the tree out of there, but I made those humans march fast through motivation.

March, humans! March! Hurry! Snow is coming!!! And I might pee on another Christmas tree!

 They hauled the tree a long, long way. They really did it. They hauled that tree. And everyone says humans aren’t good at anything other than brushing out hairballs, picking up little mistakes and putting them in paper towels, and giving out doggy treats while saying “Sit. Sit. SIT!” over and over again. I’ve proved those nay-sayers wrong.

And they hauled the tree out just in time, too… because the next day looked like this…

Hhmm. We’ve got lots of potential tree hauling and peeing opportunities around here.

Note: Do I not look like a Snow Dog? Yes. Yes. I do.

Unfortunately, though, the youngest human, worn out from the events of the day before, passed out while sledding.

 No more, Tala. No more. I’ve given you all the dog treats I can find. And you keep hogging the sled.

Don’t you worry. I buried her some good.

 I’m just that kind of dog. The helpful kind.


It’s hard not to miss that dog. It’s a good thing a lot of her spirit lives on in Gabby.

Gabby Dog carrying on the tradition of peeing in inappropriate places
And making goofy photos by Christmas trees.

My little, creepy book baby is out in the world because who doesn’t want sad, quirky, horror with some romantic bits for the holiday season?

It’s a young adult novel (upper) called WHEN YOU BRING THEM BACK, please buy it!

It’s super fun.

Writing With Dogs Who Slobber: The Three Secrets to Awesome Characters

So, you’re probably looking at the blog post title up there and thinking, “What?”

Stay with me a second; I’ll explain, I swear. I’m going to boil down the basic elements of crafting a good story by using my rescue dog, Gabby.

16426121_10155070666704073_3105547545269219495_n

Gabby is the sort of dog who people love or hate.

Gabby is the sort of dog that lets children climb all over her and hug her and kiss her nose.

Gabby is also the sort of dog who judges people by smell.  

If you have alcohol on your breath, she will sneeze and then bark at you. If you are male and have ever had a serious time taking cocaine and you are in my house? She’ll bark incessantly at you and never stop even if your cocaine use was over a decade ago.

So, why am I mentioning this?

Gabby is a conflicted character. You want a character like Gabby in your story.

IMG-1613

A conflicted character is a dog or person with a goal. There is a motivation for that goal and a conflict.

22089979_10155867045509073_3828046520746204844_n

Gabby’s goal is to keep me safe. She is super focused on making sure nothing happens to me or her dog brother Sparty or her cat sisters, Marsie, Cloud and Koko.

Her motivation? Probably because I feed her or because she’s a Great Pyrenees, and that breed’s instinct and training is to keep her charges happy and safe. We are basically her sheep.

IMG_9899Marsie insists she is nobody’s sheep, but I have seen Gabby carry her around the house. She is totally a sheep. 

And it might be because Gabby was abused as a puppy and spent her first year chained to a tree, always chained to a tree, never off a tree. She came to us small, terrified, malformed and malnourished. This is her backstory. All characters have backstories, the what happened before we meet them, the what happened that made them who they are when the story begins.

When Em and I picked up Gabby in Cambridge, Gabby was beyond terrified.

Every car was about to run her down. Every person was about to hit her. I sunk to her level and she pushed herself against me. Her ears were infected and full of pain. Everything about her was pain. But there was something else there. It was fear and want and need. She wanted to be loved so badly. She wanted to love back.1930658_10154095751489073_788625899982421964_n

The entire time we were in Cambridge she didn’t bark once.

The entire car ride back and the whole first week? She never barked.

“I have a miracle dog. It is a silent Great Pyrenees,” I told everyone.

The vet laughed.

The rescue organization people laughed.

I was so wrong.

Gabby started being able to sleep with both eyes closed. Gabby’s ears got better. We got her surgery on her knee. She took walks without being afraid that trees were going to fall on her, without thinking that every car held a monster inside of it that would hurt her.

She ate, but she would never fill out.

And she barked.

She barked at everyone who reminded her of where she used to be. She barked at dogs she didn’t know. She barked and jumped and tried to be as threatening looking as possible when she is easily the dog least likely to ever bite a human and most likely to snuggle. You know when experts say dogs hate hugs? Gabby would let you hug her all day.

Actually, Gabby’s dream day would just to be constantly hugged. 

10330383_10152503624899073_8162270629052191571_n

So, she’s got a lot of back story there?

What’s the conflict for Gabby or for your characters?

The conflict is the struggle. The conflict is how the reader engages with the character. It’s why the reader keeps reading. It’s how empathy is built. It’s how story is built.

So every character has this trifecta of things: 

Goal

Motivation

Conflict

As a writer, if you muck this up? You’re story will be flat.

As a dog friend/owner, if you don’t realize that your dog’s goal might conflict with a happy silence that comes with a life without barking? You’re going to have an unhappy dog.

So, Gabby’s trifecta of character is:

Wants to stop threats by barking (goal) because she wants to keep her happy home and the creatures within it safe (motivation we all understand), but everyone gets a headache when she thinks squirrels are threats and barks too much at them (conflict).

Meg’s in A Wrinkle in Time is:

Wants to get her dad back (goal) because who doesn’t want to get someone awesome back (motivation that is pretty understandable if your dad rocks), but dude, she has to travel through time and deal with this great darkness, basically like all the evil in the universe because why not (conflict).

But what makes a character conflicted?

Basically anything that stands in the way of her goal.

This can be herself (Gabby wonders if barking is her true calling and doubts herself – an internal conflict).

This can be others (The neighbors call the police because of Gabby’s barking – an external conflict).

This can be the environment (Gabby is in space and cannot bark because there is no sound. Horror! – a conflict caused by setting).

19059937_10155503940174073_8046077922293186764_n

 

Writing Tip

Make sure your  main character has that trifecta of conflict, motivation, goal.

Writing Prompts- 

Write about wanting to sing when you have to be quiet.

Write about wanting to tell a secret.

Write about being a zombie who is allergic to meat.

Do Good MONday – 

So, I wrote a lot about Gabby being a rescue dog. All my dogs have been. If you have the money, consider donating to a dog rescue. If you have the time and space and need and love, consider adopting. If you have the time, find a rescue near you and be a volunteer. I’ve done home visits and photos for rescues. If you don’t have any of these things, but have social media, share a rescue’s site or a post about a dog (or cat or gecko). You could be the step that helps bring a dog like Gabby to her forever home. Even the smallest things help.

Here are the rescues where I got Sparty the Dog and Gabby the Dog.

New England Lab Rescue

National Great Pyrenees Rescue

And this rescue is possibly my favorite one.

Big Fluffy Dog

 

Random Marketing Things

 

NEW BOOK ALERT!

I just want to let everyone know that INCHWORMS (The Dude Series Book 2) is out and having a good time as Dude competes for a full scholarship at a prestigious Southern college and getting into a bit of trouble.

Here’s what it’s about:

A fascinating must-read suspense from New York Times bestseller Carrie Jones.

A new chance visiting a small Southern college.
A potential love interest for a broken girl obsessed with psychology.
A damaged group of co-eds.
A drowning that’s no accident.
A threat that seems to have no end.

And just like that Jessica Goodfeather aka Dude’s trip away from her claustrophobic life in Maine to try to get an amazing scholarship to her dream school has suddenly turned deadly. Again.


What would you do to make a difference?

After his best friend Norah was almost abducted, Cole Nicholaus has spent most of his childhood homeschooled, lonely and pining for Norah to move from best friend to girl friend status. When birds follow him around or he levitates the dishes, he thinks nothing of it—until a reporter appears and pushes him into making a choice: stay safe at home or help save a kidnapped kid.

Cole and Norah quickly end up trying to not just save a kid, but an entire town from a curse that has devastating roots and implications for how exactly Cole came to be the saint that he is.

Can Cole stop evil from hurting him and Norah again? And maybe even get together? Only the saints know.

From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of the NEED seriesSaint is a book about dealing with the consequences that make us who we are and being brave enough to admit who we love and what we need.

BUY NOW! 🙂 I made a smiley face there so you don’t feel like I’m too desperate.

The cover. Creepy, right?

You can read an excerpt right here.

What Makes A Sexy Beginning and Emergency Poop?

I was not going to make it to the house. Not with this kind of poop.

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
What Makes A Sexy Beginning and Emergency Poop?
/

Every writer and storyteller wants their beginning of their story to be enticing, sexy, something that someone can’t put down.

A story is like a hot fudge sundae. You want the reader to gobble the whole thing down and that’s not going to happen if the first few bites suck.

Luckily, there are a few components that absolutely help us writers make the beginnings of our stories sexy.

Hook – This is the first sentence or first paragraph. You want it to clutch the reader in its hands and never let go.

What makes a sexy hook? A mystery. A question. A strong voice. Urgency.

I was not going to make it to the house. Not with this kind of poop.

Disruption – This is the tension. This is the suspense. Will there be trouble in the beginning? Can you sense it like a good phone psychic in the quivering resonance of the sentences and word choice? Are there big stakes?

I was not going to make it.

Backstory – I know! I know! It’s a naughty beast and we must be wary of it before it takes over our entire lawn like some sort of invasive weed. But you do want to sprinkle a little bit of it here and there.

I was not going to make it to the house. Not with this kind of poop. It had almost happened before in first grade in the pool.

Emotion – There needs to be some emotion on the page and that emotion needs to be detailed and sexy and all about the showing and not the telling. Don’t say, “Shaun was sexy.” Say, “Shaun rubbed that ice cream sundae all over his bulging pecs and he didn’t fart at all. He was the perfect husband.”

I was not going to make it to the house. Not with this kind of poop. It had almost happened before in first grade in the pool. They called me Poop Pants Patty forever after that. My eyes watered as I grabbed the steering wheel.

A Want and a Must Have – Your character needs to want things. Those things need to be surface level (an ice cream sundae or a toilet) and a bigger yearning (to finally feel loved or not be made fun of). They need to be on the page throughout the whole book and inform the entire book.

I was not going to make it to the house. Not with this kind of poop. It had almost happened before in first grade in the pool. They called me Poop Pants Patty forever after that. And now? Right before my first interview with Santa Claus? Seriously?

Things that Suck – Similarly, most books involve the transformation of a character on their journey. To have a positive transformation, there needs to be things wrong in your character’s life. Those things need to be there in the beginning.

I was not going to make it to the house. Not with this kind of poop. It had almost happened before in first grade in the pool. They called me Poop Pants Patty forever after that. And now? Right before my first interview with Santa Claus? Seriously?

Some day I’d know not to eat Flaming Hot Doritos sprinkled with Da Bomb hot sauce. Some day I’d be able to control my anxiety and my colon. Some day I wouldn’t self monologue in the car on the way to my super-important interview with Santa. But today was not that day.

Writing Tip of the Pod

Make your beginning (and your ending) sexy.

Dog Tip for Life

Make everything sexy

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

Email us at carriejonesbooks@gmail.com


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 263,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the strange and adorably weird things people say?

And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about fear setting and how being swallowed by a whale is bad ass.


And Carrie has new books out! Yay!

You can order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

best thrillers The People Who Kill
The people who kill

It’s my book! It came out June 1! Boo-yah! Another one comes out July 1.

And that one is called  THOSE WHO SURVIVED, which is the first book in the the DUDE GOODFEATHER series.  I hope you’ll read it, like it, and buy it!

The Dude Goodfeather Series - YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones
The Dude Goodfeather Series – YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.

SHOUT OUT!

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. 

Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.

WE HAVE EXTRA CONTENT ALL ABOUT LIVING HAPPY OVER HERE! It’s pretty awesome.

AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW!

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.

Carrie is reading one of her poems every week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

The Problem With Zoom and Dogs

Why is it that the only time my dogs pant really hard is when I’m on the phone with people I don’t know or leading a class/session/workshop/anything on Zoom?

Like the moment I unmute and say, “Hi, Carrie Jones, and I’m so excited to be…”

The cute dog will nudge my hand by the computer and go PANT PANT PANT.

And then I’ll say something like, “That panting? That’s not me.”

it is me. It is how I say ‘hi.’ 

And then there will be this awkward Zoom moment where someone will say something like, “……”

Or “Sure!”

Or, “Mmhmm… right.”


And I’ll say, “No. Really. It’s not me. It’s my dogs.”

And they’ll say, “Okay. No worries.” 

But, I know what they are really thinking is: 

 I do not believe you! 

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

Email us at carriejonesbooks@gmail.com


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 263,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the strange and adorably weird things people say?

And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about fear setting and how being swallowed by a whale is bad ass.


And Carrie has new books out! Yay!

You can order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

best thrillers The People Who Kill
The people who kill

It’s my book! It came out June 1! Boo-yah! Another one comes out July 1.

And that one is called  THOSE WHO SURVIVED, which is the first book in the the DUDE GOODFEATHER series.  I hope you’ll read it, like it, and buy it!

The Dude Goodfeather Series - YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones
The Dude Goodfeather Series – YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.

WEDGIES AND THREE BIG STEPS TO LEARN HOW TO WRITE GOOD STUFF

To be the best writer you can be, you need to spend time learning.

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
WEDGIES AND THREE BIG STEPS TO LEARN HOW TO WRITE GOOD STUFF
/

In the random thoughts part of the podcast we talk about Big Foot, wedgies and how you can tell when predators are looking at you.

THREE BIG STEPS TO LEARN HOW TO WRITE GOOD STUFF

There’s a lot of people out there who say that if you write every day you’ll become a better writer and that’s true … sort of. You also need the basics.

If you write every day, but you don’t learn about writing every day then you don’t get to improve. You just write.

And that’s not good enough.

Learning how to write has to do with a few things. And the first step is to know what you want to write.

FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU’RE INTO

Writing an epic fantasy isn’t the same as writing ad copy and that’s not the same as writing poetry. Pick something. It doesn’t have to be your only style, but pick one way first.

LEARN THE TOOLS

Now here’s the fun part. The learning. How do you learn how to write?

  1. Enroll in courses.
  2. Read things like what you want to write.
  3. Watch blogs, listen to podcasts, and read books about craft.
  4. Talk to other writers who do what you do. They might have cool resources too.
  5. Hire a writing coach or editor who loves helping people and not just loves making money.

GO FOR THE GRAMMAR

Yeah. Yeah. We know. Periods aren’t sexy. Most people don’t get turned on by scene structure, but you should!

If your story is awesome, but there is no punctuation or grammar or even sentences?

You’re not going to be understandable to your potential readers. They are just going to stop reading.

Places to Check Get Your Sexy Grammar On

  1. Grammar Girl
  2. Merriam Webster Dictionary
  3. Strunk and White’s, The Elements of Style.

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

To be the best writer you can be, you need to spend time learning.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Dogs don’t give other dogs wedgies. We aren’t dogs, we have to take the time to communicate.

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 263,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the strange and adorably weird things people say?

And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about fear setting and how being swallowed by a whale is bad ass.


And Carrie has new books out! Yay!

You can order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

SHOUT OUT!

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. 

Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.

WE HAVE EXTRA CONTENT ALL ABOUT LIVING HAPPY OVER HERE! It’s pretty awesome.

AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW!

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.

Carrie is reading one of her poems every week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

If you like what you read, please heart it below or share it, it means the world to this writer. x0- Carrie

Keep Your Cat Out Of Tinder and Other Sucky Advice

Generalizations can be so inspiring and they can have truth in them for some people and sometimes even for most people, but they’re never going to work for everyone.

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Keep Your Cat Out Of Tinder and Other Sucky Advice
/

In our Random Thought section of the podcast (Notes not transcribed), we talk about how straight men aren’t supposed to let the world know they like/have cats on social media. Shaun has thoughts.


The rest of the podcast follows.

Every weekday Carrie posts on her personal Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Linkedin, inspiring quotes from our dogs and cats.

Sometimes they are just about bacon and naps because bacon and naps can be inspiring.

But it made us think of famous writing quotes and whether or not they are kind of b.s. And how very privileged some quotes are.

Like Marianne Williamson, who we are sure is an incredibly lovely person wrote this:

“Nothing binds you except your thoughts, nothing limits you except your fear; and nothing controls you except your beliefs.”

Which is lovely and partially true, but it comes from the perspective of a really lucky person who is white, who is good looking, who had a lot of advantages as a white American, right? It’s hard to say nothing binds you except your thoughts to a political prisoner who is legit in chains, to a Black man or woman in the U.S. who is jail for pot, for someone who has paralyzing fear because of trauma that’s happened to her or him or them, right?

Generalizations can be so inspiring and they can have truth in them for some people and sometimes even for most people, but it’s never going to work for everyone.

Writing advice and quotes are like that, too.

Like even the most amazing Ray Bradbury wrote

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”

That’s a good quote, right? Us writers are easily destroyed. But being drunk on anything all the time usually means for most of us that we’re not helping create a solution to problems. Instead, we’re being drunk, putting lampshades on our head and saying, “Nah. Nah. Nah. I can’t hear you.”

It’s not the best look, really.

But sometimes the advice is pretty cool.

“Be strategic and resilient in the pursuit of your dreams. That sounds like a cheesy quote, right? But nah, I’m serious. Resilience is one hell of a quality to master and not many have the skin for it.” —Tiffany D. Jackson

“People are going to judge you all the time no matter what you do. . . . Don’t worry about other people. Worry about you.” —Jacqueline Woodson

 “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” — Henry David Thoreau

“Write what should not be forgotten.” — Isabel Allende

“Healing begins where the wound was made.” -Alice Walker (The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart)

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

Blow off the b.s. And realize where it’s coming from. Sometimes it’s coming from people whose lives and brains are nothing like yours and sometimes it’s just coming from people who want to make a butt ton of money selling their advice to you.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Cats are okay. They’re good to snuggle with, too.

SHOUT OUT!

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. 

Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.

WE HAVE EXTRA CONTENT ALL ABOUT LIVING HAPPY OVER HERE! It’s pretty awesome.

AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW!

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.

Carrie is reading one of her poems every week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

best podcast ever
loving the strange the podcast about embracing the weird

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 263,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the strange and adorably weird things people say?

And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about fear setting and how being swallowed by a whale is bad ass.


And Carrie has new books out! Yay!

You can order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

Email us at carriejonesbooks@gmail.com


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 263,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the strange and adorably weird things people say?

And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about fear setting and how being swallowed by a whale is bad ass.


And Carrie has new books out! Yay!

You can order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

best thrillers The People Who Kill
The people who kill

It’s my book! It came out June 1! Boo-yah! Another one comes out July 1.

And that one is called  THOSE WHO SURVIVED, which is the first book in the the DUDE GOODFEATHER series.  I hope you’ll read it, like it, and buy it!

The Dude Goodfeather Series - YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones
The Dude Goodfeather Series – YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.

%d bloggers like this: