Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Year of the Dragon

I love dragons.

The magic. The mystery. The fantasy. I love it all!

I even found a place for a friendly dragon in my new book, Forever Paws, up there in the stars with the dogs and cats.

So, imagine my delight the other day when I opened a package from my dear friend, Judy Ditfurth, and staring back at me was a fabulous stuffed dragon in all its teal blue glory!

I immediately knew this was a female dragon.

The moment we locked eyes it was clear she had accepted me as one of her own. I was now under her protection. I started calling her Grandma.

Why I had such a strong reaction to her wasn’t clear to me at first. I kept thinking about those dark, penetrating eyes.

And then I got it.

This dragon looked a lot like my Mother’s mother – my Grandmother - a kind and gentle woman.

A coincidence?

I think not.

Note: For many years I’ve had only one book on my coffee table – Dragonology. The only person who ever noticed it was a three year old child.


Chris Davis
Lighthearted Press
Publishing magical books for animal lovers

Monday, January 16, 2012

Rescue gear for pets - is your fire station equipped?

Last week I stopped by my local fire station.

I wanted to see if their trucks carry small oxygen masks specifically designed for dogs and cats. I was THRILLED to learn that all the stations in my district are equipped with masks in varying sizes for small animals.

According to Public Information Officer Steve McAdoo, the oxygen masks (also known as “snout masks”) went unused for 3 or 4 years, and then suddenly they were needed at several fires, resulting in the rescue of 5 pets.

Imagine if one of those lucky critters was yours!

I often wondered if the little signs many people (including me) have on their doors warning emergency crews about inside critters are helpful. While the signs can provide important information, Steve said there are other ways pet parents can help keep their critters safe in the event of a fire.

If you call 911 to report a fire be sure to tell them there are animals in the house! That info will be passed along to the fire crew as they’re on the way, and those oxygen masks will be ready to go.

According to Steve, one of the most important things you can do is keep your critters isolated in one room, with a closed door, as opposed to giving them the run of the house. A pet confined to one room can be found more easily, and that closed door could mean the difference between life and death.

This is especially true with cats. Steve said that, sadly, unless a cat gets out of the house on its own it often won’t survive a fire.

In case you’re curious, these pictures were taken in front of my home. You see, in addition to asking about critter safety I had voiced concerns about truck accessibility to my own home in the event of a fire.

Carol Evans put me in contact with Steve McAdoo, who passed along my concerns to Mike Carlsen and asked for a drive-by to check out my home.

I thought someone would pull up in a car…maybe a 4WD. Saturday afternoon I knew something was going on outside when my cats suddenly flew off the couch and scattered to their favorite hiding places.

I looked out the window and there was the fire truck and crew! They assured me they COULD make the 90 degree turn onto my funky little road in case of a fire.

These people are wonderful!

If you have any concerns about fire safety I urge you to contact your local fire station as I did. I know you’ll get all of your questions answered.
I can’t guarantee the fire truck will show up!

Chris Davis
Lighthearted Press
Publishing magical books for animal lovers

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Do you celebrate Forever Day?

A few weeks ago I received this special email from Shannon Breznai:

It felt important to email you and tell you of my loss as well as the role your book played in my life. My forever cat passed away unexpectedly Thursday morning. I had her for almost 11 years. My heart is broken...absolutely broken.

Each year, on the day I adopted her, we celebrated her "Forever Day." One of the ways we celebrated is by reading her your book. March 31st will be extremely difficult for me next year, as I read your book to myself only.

She is being laid to rest at a pet cemetery. Her grave marker will read, "Tiger Lily, My Forever Cat."

The idea of Forever Day touched my heart, so I contacted Shannon to learn more about it.

When I adopted Tiger Lily the shelter did not know her birthday so I decided we'd celebrate her adoption day instead. I was working with children at the time and one little girl was adopted from China.
She saw that I had pictures of Tiger Lily on my desk and we would often talk about her.

This little girl explained to me that she and her mom celebrate the date she was adopted...they called it her "forever day." I told her I was doing the same thing with Tiger Lily. So on Tiger Lily's special day, this little girl brought me a card. It had a picture of a cat on in it and inside she wrote, "Tiger Lily, Happy Forever Day!"

Within weeks I discovered your book! I loved it even though I cried each time I read it. I especially adored your term "forever cat" and felt the book was written for Tiger Lily and me. It was then on that she had the special title "forever cat" and I read her your book each March 31st on her Forever Day (as she ate tuna, her favorite food).

Her love got me through so many trying times. Her passing has broken my heart. I have 3 other cats. I love them of course, but Tiger Lily was the one...she was my "Forever Cat.”

Thank you, Shannon, for sharing your beautiful story. I’ve always celebrated the day each of my critters came into my life, but from now on I’ll consider it their Forever Day…and I’ll think of you and Tiger Lily.

Chris Davis
Lighthearted Press
Publishing magical books for animal lovers