Hoping to hear from homeschoolers . . .

At the risk of repeating myself, I have recently published a children’s picture book, “Puppy, the Navy Seal Dachshund.”  To help get my book out there, I gave it to several teacher friends of mine.  They were so nice and happy to get the book, but when I ask if they had read it to their classes, the problem they are encountering is that the curriculum is so strict there’s no time to read a book aloud just for fun.  This is very different from a few years ago when everyday, for the last fifteen minutes, I would read aloud to the class whatever book they wanted (provided of course it was suitable).  It was such a fun time for us.  I would read a few minutes and then ask a question about a small detail from the story and draw a card with a student’s name on it.  If they could answer the question, I would give them a Jolly Rancher.  I’m sure the giving of Jolly Ranchers would be frowned upon as well.  If all of this is wrong, I would love to be corrected. This is my third year out of the classroom and I can’t really say that I’m familiar with the current situation.  It seems so sad to me that something as simple and fun as a teacher read aloud is virtually impossible now.

With that thought, I now turn to homeschoolers.  I imagine they have the freedom to read for joy whenever they want.  I was really hoping I had written a book that could be used in the classroom.  An animal hero works hard to fulfill a dream with unexpected results.  The book is available in kindle format for only $3.99.  I used higher level vocabulary and then prepared vocabulary activities and posted them here on my blog.  I also planned an entire unit that could be used with the book, in the old school way, and described those activities too.  Maybe a home schooling teacher might enjoy some ready made things that a student could do when he or she is all finished, and you are still working with his or her classmate.  My sincere hope is that the work I have done could be useful.  Of course feedback would be most welcome.

Rallying from a low point . . .

My old dog, Lucy, has rallied from the point of death to now wanting to take a walk and check all of her messages on every bush, cable box, and fire hydrant!  I had made the awful decision to have her matted hair shaved.  I did it to assuage my own guilt for not having groomed her as I should, and when I took her to the groomers, they said the only solution was to shave her.  Lucy’s hair is long, blonde, and flowing.  It’s her crowning beauty, and I, her supposed loving owner, had it all shaved off,  Lucy seemed to give up at that point.  She was like an aristocratic French noblewoman, whose head was shaved in the prison before being beheaded.   I was crying about this to my daughter who said, “Mom, why don’t you give her some pain killers?”  Why that didn’t occur to me, I don’t know, but I googled whether it was safe to give dogs aspirin and the answer is yes.  To verify that, I went by the vet’s office and spoke with his assistant who confirmed that aspirin was ok in low doses.  It has worked wonders!  

Like Lucy, I have been at the point of giving up on my book, “Puppy, the Navy Seal Dachshund.”  However, my good friend, Dahlia, who is a doer and a shaker, has given the book sales some aspirin.  She is a retired administrative assistant from the school district in California where I used to teach.  She dared to take my book to a school board meeting and make a presentation about how the kindle version could be used in the classroom along with the activities from my blog.  Now I have noticed some sales at Amazon which to me is incredibly exciting, making me want to blog again!  Thank you Dahlia!

Agonizing days . . .

Here is the true downside of pet ownership, the aging and deterioration of a creature who has been a family member.  Lucy will be 16 in January.  The last few months it has become evident that she has hip trouble as she falls a lot and wants to spend most of her time sleeping.  When I made attempts to brush her long, unkempt coat, she would do her best to escape, and I didn’t have the heart to make her endure.  So, I did something far worse.  I took her to the groomers.  They looked at her and told me that her hair was so matted that it would be torture for her to comb it out, and they recommended that she be shaved.  Like an unthinking idiot, I went along with it.  I don’t know what I expected, but when I saw Lucy, my heart broke.  In the place of her long hair, was a thin body with swollen hips, skin irritation, and some lumps which I’m afraid must be tumors.  I should have just made Lucy as comfortable as possible and let her sleep on the porch.  

After the grooming ordeal, Lucy has gone down hill drastically.  She can barely get up and walk.  I am hand feeding her and giving her small doses of aspirin as recommended by the vet’s assistant.  I keep her covered with a towel or pillow case and clean her up when she goes to the bathroom where she lays.  I know we should take her to the vet, but I hate to put her through that trauma.  I can’t stand making a decision to end her life.