Friday, August 30, 2013

Cover Reveal: Author Lia Michaels @HouseofTaboo Presents Her First #Erotic Short Story #LGBT #shifters

Welcome to Not Enough Time in the Day. I'm thrilled to reveal the brand new cover for my alter ego's very first short story Forbidden Destiny.  Author Lia Michaels and Sassy Vixen Publishing have set the release date for this one. It's just one week away on September 6th but they wanted to get the word out there about it now. 

Just to give you a bit of background on this one, as a short story, it's well, short. LOL! Lia has made this a bonus, or teaser if you will, to introduce you to the heroes in her full length novel Call of the Thunderbird (Fearless Love).  In this part of their tale, you'll get to experience one of the dreams both men experience throughout their lives. This one is special though. It's the very first time BOTH men learn the story behind their bond and take the steps necessary to ensure they'll recognize each other again outside of their dream world. 

Ethan Quaderer is the Great Thunderbird, the creature of Native American legend. He grew up knowing exactly who and what he was thanks to his grandfather. At a very young age, Ethan could merge with the bald eagles and soar with them high across the land. Eventually he would learn to shift completely from human to one of them...only larger and more powerful. His destiny as the Great Thunderbird was to find his soul mate and together they would save their people.

Abraham Tuttle didn't grow up in a household where being different was acceptable. For years he hid the fact he was "berach" or Two Spirit. For many Native American tribes, being Two Spirit is considered a blessing. It's actually a third gender classification, not male or female, but both.  Two Spirits are often honored and revered, considered to be highly spiritual and often take on leadership roles within their tribes as healers.

Where Ethan's spirituality and Two Spirit nature were embraced by his family, Abraham learned early on his would be shunned by his family and many others within his tribe. He kept his true self hidden and did his best to fit in, all the while dreaming of the Great Warrior who would someday rescue him from all of it. He dreamed of courting eagles night after night. Their majestic free fall toward the ground took his breath away each and every time. It was in those dreams the Warrior would come to him as the Great Thunderbird and claim him as his mate.

This part of their story won't be in the full novel, but will be referred to by the characters.  Abraham and Ethan's story is one that's taken Lia over a year to fully develop, but now it's time to share it with you.  Until next week, how about we get a look at the cover...

Look for Forbidden Destiny on September 6th on ARe, Amazon, Smashwords and other major outlets.

Until next time

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Who Are You Trying to Kid?

by Danillo Rizzuti/
      When I first let it be known that I was writing erotic romance, I got my fair share of comments about me writing porn.  I put up with that long enough.  Erotica is NOT PORN!!!  I write characters who use explicit language in and out of the bedroom.  I describe what my characters see, feel and taste when they are with their partner or partners.  I write the way I talk and I do swear, sometimes a hell of a lot.  The intent is to give let the reader experience the whole thing with the if they were one of them.  
      If you want "darn," "heck," "whoopy," or "shoot," you need to look elsewhere. If you want flowery language that's vague or only hints at what is going on under the sheets, then you have found the wrong author.  
      I'm not knocking those kind of romances.  I read enough of them over the years and enjoyed them immensely, but I prefer the more explicit and graphic novels now.  I enjoy how reading and writing those scenes makes me feel about myself and my love life with my Muse.  I know for a fact there are more people like me out there than not.  I just find it funny that people deny it.
      For example, on my Goodreads profile, one woman commented on the page for For the Love of Quinn with "no thanks."  No thanks?  No one offered it up to her as a recommended read. She found it on a search and decided that she had to make her opinion known.  Funny thing is, her profile is private.  Makes me wonder if she is a closet erotica fan but doesn't want members of her family or church group to know that she is.  My advice for her is to keep to her "preferred" book list and leave mine alone.
      I have had people recommend books and movies to me that I didn't feel I would enjoy so I never read them or watched them.  There are a few that I did and regretted it, and then there were some that were fantastic surprises. 
      So how about keeping an open mind when it comes to erotic romance.  If it's not your cup of tea, then so be it.  Just don't get on your holier than thou soap box and claim that what I write is porn or smut especially if you've never even got past the cover.  You take the time to read it and then say you didn't like it, well then fine.  At least you gave it a chance.  
      I have my adult disclaimer on both of my blogs for a reason.  If anyone is searching the Web and found it by accident, you will be told do not go any further if you are not over 18.  That alone should be a clue to you to leave if you are not into that or if your kids are hanging around you when you are online.  Why the hell would you open the site up?  The responsibility lies with you.  I warned you and you chose to enter.  Don't complain about my explicit photos or videos. Don't complain about my explicit book excerpts or my language.  You entered at your own risk.  It's all on you.
Honeymoon Lovers Piyaphon/
      That being said, for those of you who enjoy what I post here and on my other blog Behind Closed Doors, keep coming back.  I'll keep posting my stuff and that of my fellow authors.  We'll all get to know each other better and pick up some hot reads for our book wish lists.  If you know someone who would like what we post here, send them on over.  They are all welcome here!

Until next time my friends!  

Friday, August 16, 2013

#FurbabyFridays: Dr. Tammy's Manic Mondays, Terrible Tuesdays, And Wild Cat Wednesdays

Welcome to Furbaby Fridays. I'm Dr. Tammy and today I thought I would share a post I did in October of last year. It was written right after a particularly stressful Monday at my veterinary hospital. Not that it was atypical for it to go down the way it did, but having so many patients with similar ailments was a bit odd.  

Mondays tend to be one of our busiest days in general because people don't feel like giving up their days off to take their sick pets into the vet and don't get me started about animals that get sick after hours!  I've discussed this numerous times before. It's an honor and a privilege to own a pet, not a RIGHT. Along with pet ownership comes huge responsibilities including but not limited to: keeping your pet healthy with routine checkups, vaccinations, flea control, and heart worm prevention; seeking medical attention when the pet is ill, providing clean and protected housing.  If you can't provide these things for yourself and your family, you really shouldn't be a guardian for a pet until you can.  I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but it's a bit of advice that can save you a lot of heartache in the long run.  

Now to today's post...

I've worked over twenty years of Mondays as a veterinarian and to this day, it's my least favorite part of my work week. Not only is there always a rush first thing in the morning with client's who conveniently "forgot" we were open on the weekends, there usually is a literal flood of transfers of patients from the emergency clinics. The 8 am doctor is usually swamped and by the time I get in there at 10 am it's chaos at it's best. 

There are the usual dogs and cats that have been sick for at least the last three days and of course NOW it's an emergency to their owners. Each and every single one feels their pet is sicker than the rest and should be taken care of first. We have a basic triage system at our hospital. Each patient is given a stability check. If they are deemed stable to wait, they will wait their turn. If they are thought to be critical, they move up the list. Even appointments have to be delayed if an emergency walks in the door. Most folks understand that, but there are those chosen all know the folks I'm talking about. The ones who come into the lobby crying and screaming "My BABY! My Baby is dying and I need a doctor NOW! Lawdy Jesus, save him. He's got the epilepsy and he's been having seizures for the last three days straight..." When asked why they waited to bring their precious in, our ears are assaulted once again. "We ain't got no money! You have to save him. You took an oath!"

Yeah, I do see those kind of clients more often than I care to admit, but today was a mixture of emotions I hadn't felt in a while. Two good Samaritans brought in a stray Chihuahua they found on the side of their street. This poor dog was in severe shock after being hit by a car. He had a broken back leg, broken pelvis, fractured ribs creating what is referred to as a flail chest, and major head trauma. These wonderful people took the time to carefully transport this older dog to us so we could end his suffering. He had no microchip, was not neutered, and had no collar or tags. He would have died along the side of the road, alone and afraid if it wasn't for these two men. From the bottom of my heart I thanked them for helping this animal die with dignity. 

I wade through the next several drop ins and appointments until I come across one where the owner wants to talk about a weight loss program for her cat. You see, he's just a little larger than your average cat. He tops the scales at just over TWENTY-FIVE POUNDS!!! Holy Guacamole!

This cat doesn't like to get very active at home and he feels he's run a marathon just getting from his litter box to the couch every day so he's not thrilled with the idea he has to earn his keep. After going through how many calories he is to get TOTAL per day and an exercise program for him, my staff took over to draw blood from him for his Senior Wellness panel. Well, let's just say the blood draw went very well, but not the collection of urine. He was much too big to even feel his bladder and the our needles weren't long enough to reach it through all of his body fat. Ugh!  (yes he could have been a twin to the one shown in the picture!)

Besides all the pets with major diarrhea issues over the weekend, multiple pets came in with broken nails. Not one of them broke them outright. No, they had to be partially broken so that we have to let them grow out some more in order to cut them back. At least they were all good spirits about it. Cookies go a long way with the bouncy Pitbull who keeps trying to lick your glasses off when you are placing the padded bandage on his front foot. And of course, let's not forget the wrestling job we have to go through to get the E-collar on! LOL

We didn't get any patients ingesting their owner's marijuana stashes today, but one energetic boxer decided to polish off half a chocolate cake around 8am. What time did his owner actually bring him in you ask? Well, 2:15 pm. That would be beyond the window we have to induce vomiting and he really should be admitted to the hospital for intravenous fluids and a seizure watch. What were we allowed to do? Subcutaneous fluids and activated charcoal. That's it. Hopefully that will be sufficient. I guess we will find out more by morning when the dog is transferring from one of the emergency clinics for convulsing all night long! 

Sometimes we get patients in because their owners are actually going through some medical issues of their own...the psychiatric kind. I had one of those today. This very nice woman insisted her cat was covered in bugs that were burrowing under her skin creating these horrible sores on her body. We went round and round about it and finally I got her whole story out. The owner had been off her own meds for too long and was actually self medicating with Goddess knows what. One thing she was doing was coating her body in Desitin. She thought she would put some on her cat and did, but luckily she thought better of it. Desitin has zinc in it and can cause serious life threatening anemia if it's ingested by a cat. Oy! 

Finally I got the woman to listen to me when I told her that her cat was healthy and only had a flea allergy. I also told her that her home was infested with fleas since they were also biting her and she was digging the shit out of herself. She agreed to call the exterminator again in the morning. 

Today was also the day of the "land shark." I'm sure you've heard the term from me from time to time. It's used in the veterinary field to describe the little dog that introduces itself to you with a snapping jaws. Wouldn't you know that all of my land sharks today were chihuahuas? One of them even lunged at me as I was leaving the room. Well, I went right back in and the dog backed up cowering behind the owner. I took the leash and walked him back out. Ha! He was more than okay to be my friend then. Stinker!  

I had one cat today that made it's way onto the land shark list. All claws and teeth this one. Of course he was on his "best" behavior with me, but as soon as my staff took over for testing, he turned into the Tasmanian Devil! What the hell? He even launched himself around our treatment room daring my technicians to catch him long enough to give him his tapeworm medication. Whew!

One last thing before I end for the day. I know many folks like to keep a bowl of fresh fruit out on their tables or counters. If you have pets, it's probably a good idea to be sure you don't include grapes in those bowls. Grapes and raisins can be very toxic to dogs and cats. If they eat enough for their body, they can end up with kidney failure. How much is too much? No one knows. The amount varies from pet to pet so it's best to just keep grapes and raisins safely locked in the refrigerator. 

For cats, make sure you keep any and all lilies out of their reach. Not all of them will cause kidney failure in cats, but many do. Two in particular, the Easter Lily and the Tiger Lily will cause kidney failure if any part of the plant or flower is eaten. Peace Lilies will cause horrible gastroenteritis...yeah tons of vomiting. So do yourselves and your inquisitive cats a favor and don't have these flowers/plants around.

Well, that's it for me. Another Manic Monday under my belt and I'm wiped out. Time to head to bed and rest up for Terrible Tuesday! LOL  

Until next time...
~Dr. Tammy

Saturday, August 10, 2013

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Author @ZeeMonodee And Her New #Contemporary #Romance #multicultural

Welcome to Not Enough Time in the Day's Saturday Spotlight. Today we have a very special guest. Author Zee Monodee is making her first appearance with here to celebrate the release of a new series of books called the Island Girl Trilogy. The first book was released on July 30th by Decadent Publishing and is called The Other Side.   Come on over and join us while Zee and I talk a bit about herself, her writing and her new series.

What inspires you to write?
The love of a happy ending. As much as I enjoy reading about HEAs, I prefer to write my own, because writing a love story brings you that much closer to the characters, so much so that you become them, in a way, to live their journey right along with them. All this is present when reading a good romance, but writing romance gives that little bit extra.

Are you a plotter or panster or a little of both?
Plotter all the way. While I did start out with rigid outlines that detailed every scene, along the way I’ve moved to a more panster-type approach within the scope of my outline. Like, the outline for a scene can have simply “Hero and heroine hash their issues out” and this gives me the direction I need to take. The actual scene ‘writes itself’ when I’m at that point and letting the story unfold.

Do your stories tend to be character driven or plot driven?
Character driven. I love letting them loose and seeing what sort of things they can come up with. Most of the time, I, too, am ‘discovering’ what makes my characters tick and how they react to issues during the first 3 chapters, and this comforts me in the knowledge that I better let them take the story the way they want it to. Of course, I do have a plot arc behind it all – I cannot write without direction – but it’s a line that’s written in the sand, not set in stone.

Do you listen to music while writing? What kinds of music work best for you? Do different types of music help you for different types of scenes?
I always ‘zone out’ when writing, so much so that I probably wouldn’t know if an earthquake were happening under my feet.  So even if I had music playing, I wouldn’t hear it.

But I do work with music in the sense that many scenes are inspired/highlighted by specific tracks that I like to think make up the soundtrack to my scenes/books. I often find the sentiment I want to express in a specific song’s lyrics, and the type can vary from Demi Lovato-pop music to Shania Twain-country, with Scorpions-rock in between.

Tell us about the different types of characters you like to write about? Why are these types so appealing to you?
I like to think I write about strong women. They are no wallflowers or damsels in distress – they don’t ‘need’ a man to be whole, but they do desire love. I love this type of heroines because to me, they show the inherent strength of the women’s heart and spirit, but they also demonstrate the beauty and peace that comes from being body, heart, and soul in a relationship that nurtures them.

My heroes are always strong, Alpha men, but they’re not the caveman-type (usually!) and they know how to respect a woman and give her space to be her own person, all while providing her with cherishing, comfort, and shelter when she needs it.

Why these types appeal to me? I like to think I’m a strong woman; I can exist perfectly well on my own, but still, I do wish to have someone to share my life with, someone who ‘gets’ me totally. 

Strong Alpha heroes – no need to look any further: my husband is one of those, and I’m a ridiculously happily married woman (though I want to throttle him more often than not!). :) He is my hero, and no wonder I write about men who have threads of his persona in their character.

Do I project my own relationship out there in my romances? Probably. 

What are the recurring core issues in your stories? Why do you think you are drawn to these types of characters/plots again and again?
I enjoy having family at the heart of all my stories. Whether it be brothers and sisters, or children/offspring, this notion of family and ties is very important to me, and some of this gets carried into all my stories. Though I do have an elder brother, he is 16 years my senior so I grew up pretty much like an only child. In my books, I have the kind of big, boisterous sisterhood I would’ve loved to have.

And there’s something about a baby/child that tugs at my heartstrings and gives a different dimension to a romance; I love this additional level of complexity when two people are trying to forge a relationship.

What are your favorite fiction genres to read from?
Light, funny romances. Chick lit also ranks high up on that list.  Basically, give me anything with a satisfying happy ending, and I’m content. But I also admit to being totally fluffy, so hard and heavy mysteries/thrillers are not for me (though I do enjoy these in movie form).

What are your favorite non-fiction genres to read from?
Cookbooks and/or books about cooking. Mind, I don’t really enjoy cooking, though I do find being in a kitchen to be stress-relieving, but food fascinates me.
I also enjoy memoirs, and health books (this one, mostly because I’m a 2x breast cancer survivor so anything that can help me prevent the risk of cancer recurrence wins a read in my corner).

Who are some of your favorite authors and why do you think they appeal so much to you?
Jill Mansell, Sophie Kinsella, Kristan Higgins, Susan Mallery, Susan Anderson – they’re all authors who pen lightweight romances, often with a huge dose of humor. I have too many authors I love to mention here, but those above are auto-buys for me. I know I will be setting down for an enjoyable read with any one of their books.

Who inspires you and why? (loved ones, friends, authors, public figures, historical figures, actors, teachers etc)
My husband. Sounds cheesy, lol, but this man has stuck by me through thick and thin and never once faltered in his commitment to me (I send thanks every single day for that, coz I’m not an easy person to live with!). I want to be better because I want him to be proud of me, to know he hasn’t dedicated himself to a lost cause when he asked me to marry him. :)

What inspires you and why? (Art, poetry, music, movie, book, etc. Please share something specific if you like.)
Cheesy and maybe a tad weird here, but I have to say my faith in God. I’m not overly religious but faith plays a huge part into who I am and what I do and how I do it. Having faith helps me to know I can always strive to be better, to do better, and make myself rise above everything. It’s also rather comforting to trust that everything happens for a reason and we simply have to go with the flow. People can think that is naive of me, but maybe I need this dose of naiveté to survive. :)

Besides reading and writing, what activities do you enjoy in your leisure time?
I like to crochet, though that hardly gets any dedication lately coz I have no free time. I also enjoy baking, especially making cakes. Then, too, I’m a gaming fan and this is how I spend quality time with my son and stepson (though I do prefer the more ‘cerebral’ stuff like Candy Crush – you get the drift, lol – rather than the racing and bashing/zombie-killing sprees the boys love)

What’s your day job? Do you like it? Why or why not? How has your job affected your personal development? How has it affected your writing life?
I’m an editor in my day job, and for about a year now, have been granted the opportunity to be at the helm of Ubuntu, a line dedicated to African romances, at Decadent Publishing.
I love words, so becoming an editor always seemed like a given. And ‘working’ this way has made more conscientious professionally (things like respecting deadlines, managing, negotiating with authors and relationships with authors and superiors).

And lol, it’s affected my writing life in the sense that I can no longer while my time away and write when the mood strikes. I have had to instigate dedicated schedules to keep on top of both jobs. :)

In one or two sentences, give the core premise behind your story.
Divorce = scarlet letter that places you on the other side of society.

When and where does your book take place?
Mauritius, my homeland, at the start of the year 2000.

Lol, FYI *cue geography lesson!* Mauritius is a tiny speck of an island in the southern Indian Ocean. Think Hawaii, but to the east of Africa. We don’t have natives here, though, and our population is entirely made up of immigrants – the descendants of white colonizers (French and British), descendants of African slaves, Indian indentured laborers, Chinese traders, Tamil building artists, Muslim merchants. Just about every religion on Earth exists in peaceful cohabitation on what is termed the ‘rainbow island’.

How does the time and setting weave into the plot and persona of the characters?
Even though the year 2000 is just about a decade away, society has taken a huge leap in those 10-12 years. Divorce was an unheard-of concept back then, and those women who dared get a divorce (double standards for men! No consequences for them) were shunned, vilified, and pretty much treated as outcasts.

Fast forward to now, where (sadly) the divorce rate almost goes head to head with the marriage rate.

The book showcases this state of affairs, and over the course of the trilogy it is part of, chronicles the changes in Mauritian society over the period of 2000-2010.

Who is the heroine?
Her name is Lara Reddy. She is of Indian origin, born to Mauritian parents in London, and recently divorced from the ‘proper’ Indian boy she married back in England. Back in Mauritius to take up a prestigious job, she never expected to face a backward society that casts her away because she dared break free from a marriage that wasn’t working anymore.

What drives her?
Lara is a perfectionist, and very much a career girl, coz she excels in the professional realm while being a lost case on the domestic front.

What obstacles will she encounter in this story?
She will have to face her past, in the form of the ‘unproper’ boy she had loved as a teen, the one that got away, and she’ll also have to take a good look at her personal issues that are preventing her from living free, learn to trust in herself to do the right thing.

What about her will make readers sympathetic to her?
Lara never really asked for all that gets dumped on her. Her husband leaves her for a more accommodating uterus; her mother is a harpy and would drive anyone insane; her family is nuts. We’ve all, at some point or the other, been stuck between a rock and a hard place and had no idea if it would be possible to work out of everything. Like they say, when it rains, it pours, and Lara’s plight is not helped when she has to face the same crossroads she stood at twelve years earlier. As adults, we’ve all faced crossroads, and how to find the right direction is something we all have to face sometime.

Who is the hero? 
Eric Marivaux. White man, descendant of wealthy former colonists and thus part of the ‘upper classes/unofficial aristocracy’ of Mauritian society, pediatrician who came back to Mauritius after his studies in France because he knew the one he’d loved and lost – Lara – would not be there and he wouldn’t be reminded of what he’d forfeited because she now lived in England.

What drives him?
Eric wants nothing more than a quiet life to be lived in peace and harmony, preferably with the only woman he’s ever loved. When he finds out she is single again, he will stop at nothing to make her a part of his life again – permanently, this time.

What obstacles will he encounter in this story?
A headstrong, obstinate woman named Lara! :)

What makes this hero hot and lovable? 
He loves with all he’s got, and he’s got the patience of a saint. Eric knows there’s no other woman for him except Lara, and that’s how it’ll be, full stop. He stops at nothing to win her back, even though he gives her space to come into her own and doesn’t pressure her.

What about him will make readers sympathetic to him?
That he is the kind of man every woman dreams of. Eric was the first-ever hero I wrote, so yes, he does have that aura of perfection to him. But I believe readers will root for him to get his HEA, because he more than any other deserves it, and that’s what will draw them to him.

What message do you hope readers take away from this story?
That you always have to trust in yourself – in your heart, you’ll always figure out what the right thing is.

Also that love means hope, and there is always hope.  

Is this book a part of a series?
Yes. It is book 1 in the Island Girls trilogy. Each book stands alone, though.

What is the theme of the overall series and how does this story fit into that?
The series follows the lives and loves of the three Hemant sisters, and also showcases the Mauritian society during the 2000-2010 decade.

The overall theme is about finding love outside of the set parameters that had been in force until then, mainly through tradition and cultural customs. The Other Side is the first book that shows how stepping out of ‘bounds’ can indeed be the best thing someone could do; that we all have to take chances in life.

Will these characters show up in other books in this series?
Yes. All three sisters make appearances, sometimes with a secondary plot, in each book.

What are you working on now?
I’ve started a small-town series for the Tease-Entice line at Decadent Publishing (geared to category-style contemporary romances in a shorter format). Titled The Daimsbury Chronicles, Book 1 in that lineup, Bad Luck with Besties, is a holiday story that will be released for Christmas.

Each story in this series features people who live in the fictional Daimsbury village that is set in Surrey, England. As expected, I have families in there. Book 1 features Liam, the eldest of the Morelli clan, and Honor, the second-born in the Whelan sisterhood, among other families that people the town. Each brother/sister in these clans will get their own story.

What’s coming soon?
Bad Luck With Besties (The Daimsbury Chronicles #1) for Christmas, and in between now and December, the next 2 books of the Island Girls series (Light My World in September, and Winds of Change in November). I also have a standalone romcom set in the glitz & glam world of London’s rich & famous, Storms in a Shot Glass, and an Indian culture/foodie romance from the Western Escape line at Decadent Publishing, titled Transient Hearts. These two books are expected to release in the coming months.

Do you have a question you’d like to ask the readers to generate comments?
Yes – why do you read romance, and what are you looking for in these books?

(Giveaway – a randomly-drawn commenter will win a cameo appearance in my next Daimsbury Chronicles story!)

Buy Links

About the Author

Stories about love, life, relationships... in a melting-pot of culture

Zee is an author who grew up on a fence – on one side there was modernity and the global world, on the other there was culture and traditions. Putting up with the culture for half of her life, one day she decided she'd stand tall on her wall and dip toes every now and then into both sides of her non-conventional upbringing.

From this resolution spanned a world of adaptation and learning to live on said wall. The realization also came that many other young women of the world were on their own fence.
This particular position became her favorite when she decided to pursue her lifelong dream of writing – her heroines all sit 'on a fence', whether cultural or societal, in today's world or in times past, and face dilemmas about life and love.

Hailing from the multicultural island of Mauritius, Zee is a degree holder in Communications Science. She is a head-over-heels wife, in-over-her-head mum to a tween son, best-buddy-stepmum to a teenage lad, an incompetent domestic goddess, eternal dreamer, and an absolute, shameless bookholic. When she isn’t penning more stories and/or managing the Ubuntu line at Decadent Publishing, you can bet you’ll find her with her nose in her tablet, ‘drinking in’ a good book.

On August 15th, look for Zee Monodee on our sister blog Through Stephanie's Eyes for Thursday Thirteen.

Friday, August 9, 2013

#FurbabyFridays: Reflections of Twenty Years As A Veterinarian And The Battle With #DrGoogle

This year marked my 20th anniversary as a full time veterinarian. I've had some amazing days and some that I don't care to experience ever again. As I enter my last year in this career, I've begun to reflect up on all that I've seen and heard over the years. Some of it will shock the hell out of you as it did me at the time I went through it and still does as the memories run through my brain. So much more of it will warm your heart and make you laugh until you beg for mercy! 

I'm going through my older posts here and updating them a bit to share again and then add more. Sharing my memories and experiences as a veterinarian and animal lover is my way of giving a bit back to a profession that helped create who I am today.  As I move on to pursuing my writing and publishing career, I'll continue to use what I've learned as a veterinarian and from those I've met along the way. Who knows? Maybe some of you will recognize bits and pieces of it in my books! LOL!  Here's a bit of one of my days a year ago...

I've got a lot of stories to tell having been a veterinarian for over a fifth of a century. Some will make you cry and others will make you laugh until you pee your pants. Still quite a bit more will have you shaking your head and saying WTF???? Today was one of those days for me.

Just when I think I've heard everything when it comes to my four-legged patients, in walked in an adorable and obviously very pregnant pit bull. Her owner was in complete denial. He told my receptionist that he already knew what was going on with his dog because he googled it.

Seriously. You read that right. This man actually asked GOOGLE to diagnose his dog.

According to Google, his precious "child" was going through a false pregnancy. Here is the conversation that followed after I picked my jaw up off the floor. Not only could I feel at least two puppies in her uterus, I heard their heartbeats with my stethoscope. Her mammary glands were full of milk and getting ready for the arrival of the pups. Her body temperature was a little low as well. This is another indicator that BIRTH IS COMING!!!

"So why do you think she's going through a false pregnancy?"

"Cuz it's only been a month since she was in heat. She's not been around any other dogs except at my friend's house." 

"When was that?"

"Two months ago, but that can't be it. She wasn't in heat then when they tied up."

Now I got him. "Dogs won't breed unless they are in heat and definitely won't be tied up unless the female is in heat and receptive to the male."

"I don't get it. I bred her twice last time and it didn't take. She was definitely in heat then and all she did was fight the other dog off."

Here's where I wanted to smack my head against the wall repeatedly but I refrained myself. I had a hell of a time keeping from laughing though. "Uh, hate to tell you this, but when she fought the male off, she wasn't in heat. THIS time she was, and at the right time to get pregnant. Your dog due any day now."

"But Google said—"

I held up my hand. "With all respect to Google, I disagree. If you want, we can take an x-ray and count the puppies to see how many and how big they are."

"Don't have any money for that, Doc. I just want you to fix her false pregnancy. That's what I came here for today."

"It's not a false pregnancy. She is going to give birth. Nothing false about that."

"Google said her symptoms go along with a false pregnancy so there ain't no pups in there. I used to work at the shelter and I learned a lot. What I didn't know, I looked up on Google. So far I've done right by all of my dogs, except for the two puppies that died last year."

"Oh, sorry to hear that. What happened to them?" I had a pretty good idea. The most likely cause of their death would have been parvovirus. It is a deadly virus that is highly contagious. Too many people in our area don't get their puppies vaccinated early enough, or for a long enough period of time. Because of that, these pups are unprotected when their owners take them to the local dog parks and beaches.

"Well, Google said they had worms so I gave them dewormers, but that didn't work."

"Did you give the puppies vaccines?"

"Naw. They weren't old enough yet. Everybody knows you don't start vaccines on pups until they are five or six months old."

"Where did you hear that?" Oh I regretted that as soon as I said it.

"My friend who's raised dogs all his life told me. He's raised tons of litters. Just to be sure though, I googled it."

"How about you take these handouts that explain everything you need to know about your dog giving birth. They also tell you what to look for while she's nursing them and how old they need to be when they have their first veterinary exam and vaccinations." 

"Thanks, Doc but you didn't need to go through all this trouble. If I have anymore questions I'll just hit up Google!"

Take home message:

Getting veterinary advice from Google or any other search engine on the Internet is a bad thing. Using Google to look up information your veterinarian has discussed with you can be a GOOD THING. Take the time and ask questions of your veterinarian while your pet is getting it's annual and semi annual exams. Just because someone has raised animals all of their lives doesn't make them experts. Please, please please be responsible pet owners and seek proper veterinary care for your new and current fur babies. 


Being a pet guardian is not a right. It's a privilege and an honor.  

Until next time
~Dr. Tammy

Friday, August 2, 2013

#FurbabyFridays: Dealing With Elderly Pets And Their I Know More Than You Vets Owners

Welcome to Furbaby Fridays with Dr. Tammy. This week has been filled with so many frustrating cases and clients. I thought I'd share an article I posted here 1 !/2 years ago and it sums up what my colleagues and I had to deal with working in our very busy veterinary hospital over the last month. For myself, it was nearly verbatim a conversation I had with a male owner concerning his very sick cat. He screamed at me when I couldn't just lay my hands on his cat and tell him for sure that the mass I felt in Miss Kitty's belly was in fact going to be terminal. Never mind he waited five days to bring her in this last time. She was in very big trouble and I had to try to get through to him. Ultimately he did go to the specialist as I recommended, but it took two more doctors to tell him the same things I two different clinics...before he came to grips with the severity of his pet's illness.

Ever have one of those days where no matter what you do, or what you say you just can't seem to make a difference? Today was one of those days for me and a few of my fellow veterinary colleagues. Each patient chart that turns up in the rack is a potential puzzle to be solved. Sometimes we try to come up with ideas of what could be ailing the pet before we go in, just to see if our intuition is on target...or way off depending on what kind of information the pet owner is willing to divulge to our staff before we get in there.

It can be like pulling teeth getting an accurate history. I've had clients refuse to give any details about what is up with their furry companion until I get in there, and still they keep quiet, thinking that just by laying my hands on the animal I will miraculously know what is making "Fluffy" not want to eat for the last week. Starting with the usual questions about what foods they animal is being fed and it's "potty" habits can be the most challenging. 

"I don't know the name of the food, Doc. It's the one in the yellow bag."  

"I got four cats, how am I supposed to know who pissed or shit in the box?"  

"What does his food have to do with why Ranger is itching and keeping me up all night?" 

"Flea control? Naw, I never saw a flea on him so it ain't flea allergy."

Wanna make a bet?

Today I had one woman say to me that she knew the reason her cat was so ill was because she switched his food over to a raw food diet.  That was over five days ago and he still wouldn't eat ANY food. I told her that the diet switch may have been the final trigger that set the anorexia off, but probably not the cause. Do you know what she said to me? "Well, you're just guessing now. You have no proof of that."  

I stared at her for a half a beat and then let her have my sweetest smile.  "You are the one guessing here. It's time we do some blood work and figure out what the heck is wrong with Angus instead of guessing until we're both blue in the face."

"Well, I don't see the point in spending a lot of money to find out what's wrong if there's a chance the tests will come out normal."

I had to really restrain myself from rolling my eyes. "Well, you're obviously worried about Angus, otherwise you wouldn't have returned here three times for us to check him out. I think it's time you take our recommendation and see if we can at least find out what's NOT making him sick."

"If it turns out to be the food that's making him sick, do I have to still pay for the tests?"

"Yes. The costs are for running the tests and interpreting the results. If we don't do some sort of testing, we'll keep guessing and throwing treatments at him that may or may not work one bit."

"Can't you just tell me what's wrong by looking at him? Are you a newly graduated doctor? Why can't you just tell me right off what's wrong? My old vet who retired ten years ago could do that. I never had to pay for these expensive tests."

Now I am really biting my tongue and hoping that the blood from the wound doesn't seep out onto my lips. "I graduated over 20 years ago now, Mrs. Green and have been in practice ever since. We can get into why properly diagnosing pets often needs more than just the physical exam, or we can do the testing you came in for today. You agreed to come back if Angus didn't respond to the fluids so that we could do these tests."

"You vets just want all of my money. I've had cats all of my life and I never had to do this stuff before."

"Angus is nearly 17 years old now and there are a lot of things that could be going wrong with his kidneys, liver, or other organs. He could have a cancer somewhere that we can't feel on exam yet, or the start of diabetes or hyperthyroid disease. The only way to know is to do the blood tests."

"Well, I just don't want to spend any more money on him.  The treatments you all gave him didn't work. He's sick again.  Why won't he eat?"

We stare at each other a few more moments. This woman brought her cat into the hospital THREE times now and has refused to do anything for him other than subcutaneous fluids. She was told repeatedly that this was just to help with his dehydration and wouldn't tell us anything about his condition at all.  "What do you want from me, Mrs. Green?"

"I want you to fix my cat. Tell me what food to feed him so he'll eat again. Tell me what's wrong with my cat."

"We have to do these tests to figure out what is going on so we can treat him properly."

"I don't think the tests will tell us anything."

At this point I'm so tempted to tell her Angus has a terminal cancer, but know that's not what she wants to hear and I don't know that's what's wrong with him. "Why did you come back today, Mrs. Green?"

"I want you to tell me what is wrong with my cat and fix him."

"I'm trying to do that but we need the tests so we can do this the right way."

"Why can't you just look at him and the notes from the other doctors and figure it out that way? I know I'm right and it's because I changed his food."

At this point, I basically want to pull my hair out. Angus has lost another pound in the last week. That's over 10% of his body weight gone in less than 7 days.  His anorexia had been going on for the last two weeks, off and on. It was now five days since he ate anything at all. This wasn't good at all and until we figured out what was going on, he could continue to go downhill. I changed tactics a bit. "I know you love Angus and want what's best for him. I wouldn't recommend these tests if I didn't think it was the first steps we need to take in order to help him. That's exactly what the other doctors have recommended as well."

She bit her lip a few times. "Well, if really you think the tests would help find out what's going on, then let's do them.  If I would've known they were so important to his health, I would've done them sooner. You know, it's not a matter of the money. I'll do whatever I need to do to help him.  I just don't want to do any unnecessary tests if he can be fixed with just a shot."

Oy! Does anyone else feel like they're in the middle of an Abbott and Costello movie? I did at the time it all happened and still do reading through it again!
~Dr. Tammy

Wildfire Romance Series