A Teen Fights for Guinea Pigs and the Planet in “Bravo’s Freedom”

Now Available, from Who Chains You Books and author Samantha K. Riggi: Bravo’s Freedom.

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In Bravo’s Freedom, fifteen year old Gabriel is chosen by his village to travel to Old Guinea, where he must face the rulers to stop them from destroying the planet. With the impacts of global warming in full effect, Gabriel leaves his village with evidence that there is still time to reverse the damage and repair the planet. Will the rulers of Old Guinea listen to what Gabriel has to say, or will Gabriel and his new friend Bravo get locked away forever?

Bravo’s Freedom makes a wonderful classroom addition for environmental and humane education studies, and is perfect for ages 8 and up.

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle

About the Author:

samanthariggiauthorphotoSamantha K. Riggi is an elementary school teacher with a passion for animals, the environment and writing. She lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband, children and two old dogs. She is the author of Bravo’s Freedom, and Wesley Reese: Fourth Grade Hero.

About the Illustrator:

aprilpedersenApril Pedersen is a freelancer based in Reno, Nevada. She is partial to frogs, geocaching, science fiction, video poker, and chess. April is the illustrator of Adopting Adele, Brave Benny, and Bravo’s Freedom.

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle

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“I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found: Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary Rescue” Now Available in Audio, with its own Book Trailer, Too!

lostcover-audioloFor those who enjoy listening to books on audio while commuting to work or traveling, we’ve got a great new selection for you: I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found: Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary Rescue.

The book is written by author Laura Koerber, with audiobook narration by Kelly Libatique.

On the far side of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, halfway between the mountains and the ocean, stands the little town of Forks. In that town, in a quiet neighborhood of modest homes and shabby businesses, there remains a dilapidated pink warehouse.

Packed inside that warehouse, living in deplorable conditions, were once over 120 dogs. Some of the dogs were kept in crates piled high on shelves, arranged in rows along the walls, and shoved into corners behind heaps of garbage and urine-saturated straw. Some of the dogs were confined to wire-sided or glassed-in kennels. One was kept in an old horse trailer. Dead ones were stored in a cooler.

In one of the crates was a black dog named Daisy. This is her story.

It is also the story of the rescue of one hundred and twenty-four dogs—and one snake—from the Olympic Animal Sanctuary, the only large-scale dog rescue in the U.S. to be carried out with no support from local government. The OAS rescue was an epic narrative that extended over several years and featured small town politics, protests, assault, lawsuits, arrests, and a midnight escape, all played out to a nationwide audience.

Interested? Watch the Book Trailer for “I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found: Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary Rescue” by Laura Koerber. Audiobook Narration by Kelly Libatique. Available in Paperback, Kindle, and Audiobook from this link: https://www.amazon.com/Once-Was-Lost-But-Found/dp/194604413X/

YouTube video link: https://youtu.be/F3eAbE5OUSE

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to our Charity of the Year | Buy Audiobook | Watch Book Trailer

About the Author

Laura Koerber is an artist and writer who lives on an island with her husband and her two dogs. Her first book, The Dog Thief and Other Stories (written as Jill Kearney), was listed by Kirkus Review as one of the Hundred Best Books of 2015. She’s also the author of The Listener’s Tale, I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found, Limbo, and the upcoming The Shapeshifter’s Tale. She is a contributing author to Rescue Smiles.

About the Narrator

Kelly Libatique began his career in the high-tech and telecom industries in the early ’90s as a technical writer and trainer. Since then, he has done training, speaking, marketing, and representing around the country for some of the biggest players in the corporate world, including Sony Electronics, Cisco Systems, and Verizon Wireless.

Kelly has been a theatre performer since grade school still regularly performs as an actor, singer, dancer, and choreographer. Although he does camera and commercial acting from time to time, he found his true love to be voice-over.

Kelly holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Master’s in Education and resides in the San Francisco East Bay area. Check out all his work at his website: https://www.klvoice.com/

“I Found Myself Laughing and Crying”: Narrator Lee Ahonen on Creating Audio for “Foster Doggie Insanity”

fdinsanityaudiocoverloAuthor Tamira Thayne wanted to take her book Foster Doggie Insanity into audio, but needed to find a narrator who ‘got’ her voice. She was thrilled to find Lee Ahonen, telling her: “Your reading is EXACTLY how I would have wanted it to sound if I did it myself. You got right into the character and created all the nuances and inflections the way I would do it or want to do it. Thank you!”

We asked Lee some questions about her narration and how she chooses her books.

Q & A with Lee Ahonen, Narrator and Producer of the Audiobook for “Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips and Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent” by Tamira Ci Thayne

Q:        How do you choose the books you audition for?

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A:        When it comes to nonfiction, I look for books that interest me and that have a positive message. Then I review the writing itself. Does it flow when I read it aloud? Does it make sense? Will the listener be able to connect with it? I don’t expect all books to be written perfectly when it comes to grammar, punctuation, and spelling. However, the author’s meaning needs to come through so that I can inject the correct feeling behind the words and the listener can get caught up in the narrative.

Q:        Is it difficult to interpret the meaning and feelings behind the author’s words

A:        Well, sometimes, yes. That happens when books are poorly written, meaning there are incomplete sentences, the use of pronouns makes it confusing, and the information is disorganized, which makes it difficult to follow the story. I don’t audition for those books. But when a book is well written, the story flows and it is easy to get into character. That’s why I enjoyed narrating and producing Foster Doggie Insanity. I felt Tamira’s personality in every word, and she was consistent throughout the book.

Q:        What does that mean – that you felt the author’s personality?

A:        The author was able to express her feelings with words. Her caring nature and sense of humor were interwoven with the gritty, day-to-day work of rescuing and fostering dogs. Also, she made herself vulnerable by sharing some of the bad stuff she experienced during her many years of service to dogs. It was very real. I could feel what she experienced, and I hope listeners will feel it, too. It’s powerful.

Q:        Was there anything in particular that stood out in this book?

A:        There were a couple of things. First, there were many emotional moments in this book – happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, and more. Somehow, Tamira was able to balance the good and the bad with humor. As a result, while there was tension in the book, it was not overwhelming. However, this is the first book in which I found myself laughing or crying too much, forcing me to do more takes so that I didn’t sound too emotional in the recording. Second, I realized that much of her advice could be applied to anyone – not just people who foster. There are many great “life” tips in the book that can help people take care of themselves so they are healthy and happy while caring for others.

Q:        To whom do you think this book will appeal?

A:        I think this book has a very broad audience – not just people who foster or rescue, but anyone that has ever had a dog or thought about having a dog in their family. It certainly would make people think about adopting a rescue dog rather than “buying” one from a pet store or a non-reputable breeder. And for anyone who currently has a dog in the family, it will make them appreciate their doggie even more!

Q:        When you do take time off, what are your favorite hobbies or things to do?

A:        I love to read. I read all types of fiction – mysteries, romance, science fiction, etc. – and I read nonfiction, which includes self-improvement, health and nutrition, business topics, and more, while lounging with my dogs, Bella and Bear (both rescues). I also spend time with my granddaughter, which now that I think about it, also involves reading! Reading has always been a big part of my life. I guess it’s not so surprising that I got involved with audiobook narration.

Q:        And where can we find you online? Do you have a narrator page link we can visit?

A:        You can find me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/leeahonen/, ACX at https://www.acx.com/narrator?p=A28X5JDMI20RBN, and AudioFile at https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/referenceguide/detail/6193/.

Q:        Do you have a couple other favorite books you’ve narrated our readers can check out?

A:        Yes, I do. “Entangled Empathy: An Alternative Ethic for Our Relationships with Animals,” by Lori Gruen; “Don’t Stay Stuck!: Eliminate Your Excuses and Gain the Confidence to Achieve Your Dreams,” by Lori Chavez-Wysocki; and “Sport Is Life with the Volume Turned Up: Lessons Learned That Apply to Business and Life,” by Joan Cronan and Rob Schriver. Although, honestly, they’re all my favorites because I’ve learned something from every nonfiction book I’ve worked on. That’s another reason I enjoy the process so much – continuous learning.

About the Narrator, Lee Ahonen

I began my audiobook narration and production career a year ago. It was a couple of years after finishing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration (with a concentration in management) and a Master’s Degree in Instructional Design and Technology while working full time. I tried to enjoy my free time after being so busy, but I became unhappy with so much time on my hands. I needed to be productive, and I wanted a creative outlet. Narration provides the creative outlet, and production satisfies my detail-oriented nature. I’ve completed 23 books to date while continuing to work full time as a legal assistant, and I have six books currently in production. It’s been a very busy year, and I love it!

Foster Doggie Insanity is available in paperback, kindle, kindle unlimited, and audiobook at the following links. For a limited time, buy Foster Doggie Insanity on Audiobook, and get the code to any of our other audiobooks FREE. Just forward your receipt to info@whochainsyou.com:

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue | Buy Audiobook

Author Tamira Thayne lives in Northern Virginia, and is available for speaking engagements and author visits. She can be reached at tami@whochainsyou.com.

WCY Authors Tamira Thayne and Brandy Herr Offer Book Signings in October

The Who Chains You Publishing authors are getting out and about in the community, spreading the word about not only their book offerings, but also highlighting animal welfare issues and our responsibility to care for the animals with whom we share a planet.

This weekend Tamira Thayne, founder of Who Chains You Publishing and author of The Wrath of Dog, The King’s Tether, Foster Doggie Insanity, and Capitol in Chains, and the co-editor of Unchain My Heart and Rescue Smiles, will be joining local authors in the Northern Virginia cities of Warrenton and Culpeper for book signings on Friday, October 13, and Saturday, October 14. She’d love to see your friendly face at either of the events!

Great Writers, Right Here
Friday, October 13, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Family Life Center
39 Alexandria Pike,
Old Town Warrenton, VA

Author Extravaganza
Saturday, October 14, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Culpeper, VA Public Library
271 Southgate Shopping Center
Culpeper, VA 22701

More About the Author:

In her empathy for the plight of the chained dog, Tamira Thayne pioneered the anti-tethering movement in America, forming and leading the nonprofit Dogs Deserve Better for 13 years. Her swan song culminated in the purchase and transformation of Michael Vick’s dogfighting compound to a chained-dog rescue and rehabilitation center. In 2016 she founded Who Chains You, publishing books for those who believe people—and animals—deserve to be free.

Author Brandy Herr from Granbury, Texas, has been busy attending events and even sat down to talk with NBC Dallas-Forth Worth about her Second Chance series. You can watch her fabulous interview here: http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Clear-the-Shelters_Dallas-Fort-Worth-441017853.html

Below are some of her upcoming signings and speaking engagements:

October 16, 2017, Private Event, Speaking at middle school

October 18, 2017, 6:30 PM, Haunted Granbury Presentation, Benbrook Public Library

October 19, 2017, 6:00 PM, Haunted Granbury Presentation, Mary Lou Reddick Public Library in Lake Worth

October 26, 2017, 6:00 PM, Haunted Granbury Presentation, Weatherford Public Library

About the Author

Brandy Herr was born near Dallas, Texas. She graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a major in public relations and a minor in theatre. She now lives in Granbury, Texas with her husband, Matthew, their rescued dogs, Pillow and Luna, and their rescued cats, Emma and Goblin. She currently has three books available: Honey’s Second Chance, Emma’s Second Chance, Haunted Granbury, and a short story featured in the collection Nine Deadly Lives: An Anthology of Feline Fiction. Learn more about Brandy and her work on her website at AuthorBrandyHerr.com and follow her on Facebook at Facebook.com/AuthorBrandyHerr.

Be sure to Join our Facebook Page to keep up with all our authors and our new and forthcoming book releases.

Remember: Only three more days to sign up for our Goodreads Giveaway for our new book I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found: Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary by author Laura Koerber. We’re giving away three copies to the lucky winners—no strings attached—so sign up Here Today!

Now Out! I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found: Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary Rescue

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On the far side of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, halfway between the mountains and the ocean, stands the little town of Forks. In that town, in a quiet neighborhood of modest homes and shabby businesses, there remains a dilapidated pink warehouse.

Packed inside that warehouse, living in deplorable conditions, were once over 120 dogs. Some of the dogs were kept in crates piled high on shelves, arranged in rows along the walls, and shoved into corners behind heaps of garbage and urine-saturated straw. Some of the dogs were confined to wire-sided or glassed-in kennels. One was kept in an old horse trailer. Dead ones were stored in a cooler.

In one of the crates was a black dog named Daisy. This is her story.

It is also the story of the rescue of one hundred and twenty-four dogs—and one snake—from the Olympic Animal Sanctuary, the only large-scale dog rescue in the U.S. to be carried out with no support from local government. The OAS rescue was an epic narrative that extended over several years and featured small town politics, protests, assault, lawsuits, arrests, and a midnight escape, all played out to a nationwide audience.

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to our Charity of the Year

About the Author

laurakoerbercolorLaura Koerber is an artist and writer who lives on an island with her husband and her two dogs. Her first book, The Dog Thief and Other Stories (written as Jill Kearney), was listed by Kirkus Review as one of the Hundred Best Books of 2015. She’s the author of The Listener’s Tale, I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found, and the upcoming The Shapeshifter’s Tale, and Limbo. She is also a contributing author to Rescue Smiles.

Here are some of the author’s thoughts on the book, written to her FB page last evening:

Okay, so here it is at long last. Or it seems like at long last to me, since I started working on it about two years ago.

The OAS rescue was a tremendously meaningful experience to a lot of people and the meanings are as varied as the people. It is not one story. It is hundreds of stories.

It is a fundraiser for OAS rescues, as I’m donating all my portion of sales to those who took in the dogs. Also, any nonprofit rescues can order books at reduced cost from the publisher, set their own price, and sell the book as a fundraiser to their supporters and the public.

Interested in selling this book as a fundraiser for your nonprofit? All books are $6.50 for nonprofits and indie bookstores (mix and match), which includes shipping. You can order in bulk from our nonprofit ordering page here: http://whochainsyou.com/nonprofitorder.html

What is the book about? My goal was to use the story of Daisy’s odyssey through the Olympic Animal Sanctuary as an overview of what happened, but also as a vehicle for informing readers about hoarders, failed rescues, law enforcement issues, trainers and behaviorists, and actions people can take when they become aware of abuse or neglect. The people named in the book are the ones who were named in the press or on TV. About twenty dogs are mentioned as illustrations of various points made in the text, such as the condition of dogs when rescued. The book is written in first person as a narrative with some sections written more formally. There are lots of photos, courtesy of many people who stepped up along the way, and from the Forks police files.

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Photo by Ernst-Ulrich Schafer, http://www.ernstschafer.com/

Shari Forst provided a story about Cream to illustrate how a behaviorist works with a dog and I added a tribute to Old Man Tucker just because…I think I would have loved him if I had ever had a chance to meet him. There is also a piece written by Jim Crosby who did the evaluations of the final dogs which is included to show how a real professional evaluates a dog. The cover features a very lovely artistic shot from professional photographer Ernst-Ulrich Schafer.

The book is not a comprehensive chronicle of everyone, every dog and everything that happened. For example, it does not include the long process of placing dogs after they got to Arizona.

In the end, I wanted the book to be uplifting. I hope it will inspire people who are not active in rescue to get active. I do hope that the people who were involved in the rescue, even if they are not specifically mentioned, will know that I wrote it in honor of all of you. Thank you.

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to our Charity of the Year

It’s Here! Rescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories of Love and Liberation is Now Available

You can color us excited…Rescue Smiles is HERE!

Rescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories
of Love and Liberation

Edited by Heather Leughmyer and Tamira Thayne

The heart of the animal rescue world lies in its stories—of freedom, of love, and of sacrifice by those who not only acknowledge but embrace the human-animal bond and its wondrous gifts.

In our first rescue story compilation, Who Chains You Books is pleased to offer a look into the emotional lives of rescuers and the living beings they hold dear. Join us for the heartwarming anecdotes, as Cinnamon steals Spice’s puppies, Alice steals everyone’s shoes, and a host of other animals conspire to steal our hearts.

Through these tales, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes peek into the relationships between rescuers and not only dogs and cats, but horses, goats, pigs, rats, mice, and birds, in this delightful first installment of Rescue Smiles.

We hope you’re as captivated by the kinship between human and animal as we are. With contributions by: Laura Koerber, Tamira Thayne, Reg Green, Heather Leughmyer, Joe Maringo, Patti Lawson, Sarah Barnett, Barb Michael, Sunny Aris, Christopher Barnekov, Gayla Evans, Kat Soul, Rachel Ogden, Melody Whitworth, and Liz Woloski.

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to our Charity of the Year, Unchained Melodies

The book is available wholesale for animal rescue nonprofits and independent bookstores. Visit our wholesale page to learn more and place your order today.

Grab our FREE Book, The King’s Tether, in Honor of our One Year Anniversary at Who Chains You Publishing

Who Chains You Books is Celebrating our One Year Anniversary from now through August 15th, and we’re giving away LOTS of Goodies for YOU!

At Who Chains You Publishing, our mission is a simple one: to amplify the voices of the animals through the empowerment of animal lovers, activists and rescuers to write and publish books elevating the status of animals in today’s society.

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Our second 1st Anniversary Giveaway is from author Tamira Thayne, author of The Wrath of Dog (out in paperback and kindle, and coming soon in Audiobook, too!) Foster Doggie Insanity, and Capitol in Chains.

The King’s Tether is a short story at just over 6,000 words, and can be read as a stand alone piece or either before or after The Wrath of Dog to lead into the series or discover more of Wrath’s backstory and how he ended up chained and feral.

This prequel story is part of The Chained Gods Series, a young adult paranormal venture into the world of shifters, immortals, mindlinkers, and earth-dwellers who come together to save not one but two dimensions.

You can buy the paperback for $5.97 on Amazon.

But why do that when you can get it FREE in .pdf, .ePub, or .mobi (Kindle) just by signing up for our bi-monthly e-News?

The King’s Tether is a short, intriguing read, and will be especially engaging for animal lovers and activists with an interest in paranormal fiction.

Excerpt:

 

In a rare moment of inactivity, the dog rested his head on his front paws. The thick logging chain weighed heavily across his body as he pulled his back legs from beneath the oppressive steel. His eyelids drooped, and even though his feral mind urged him to remain vigilant, told him he was in constant danger, sleep had its way with him anyway.

With sleep came relief.

In the waking state his mind knew only bloodlust and revenge, his body hunger and thirst, and his heart pain and sorrow. In slumber his consciousness freed itself from its bonds, and he revisited an immortal life once known—only to lose the beloved memories upon reawakening.

The ultimate cruelty.

He dreamt of a woman. It couldn’t be just any woman; according to the Prophetess, he would know her when he saw her. His brain, his heart, his mind—they all called out for her, whispering of bonds and mating rituals and a shared future that was theirs and theirs alone.

A kick to the ribs lurched him from the dream, and the woman slipped away from him, again…

 

Get Your FREEBIE Now
http://whochainsyou.com/kingstetherfree.html

Happy Reading!

Old Wounds and a New Book: Thoughts on her Upcoming Olympic Animal Sanctuary book, by Laura Koerber

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Debris piled outside the pink shed in Forks, WA where many dogs lost their lives.

A note about an Upcoming book from Who Chains You Publishing: I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found, by author Laura Koerber.

Laura has put out the following statement about the meaning behind the work she’s done to bring this story of Daisy and what she and the other dogs went through there:

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Author Laura Koerber

“I am almost done with a book about the rescue of the Olympic Animal Sanctuary dogs.

For some people that sentence is very meaningful and will trigger an emotional response: heartbreak, rage, love, awe, gratitude…

For others, that sentence means nothing, but I hope to change that.

My reaction is complex and varied. On one level, it is a story. An amazing and inspiring story about protests, assault, lawsuits, arrests and an attempt by the abuser to run away with over one hundred dogs packed in a semi truck. On another level, it is a reality, the reality of a great wrong that was done, a wrong that was righted for some, but not for all. And the victims, the dogs that experienced the wrong, are getting old and dying off. I can’t think of them without oscillating between anger, tears, and gratitude. I don’t want their suffering to be forgotten.

After all, the OAS dogs are by no means the only ones to have suffered in the hands of a hoarder, or a failed rescue or a puppymill. There are thousands of dogs and other animals suffering the same kind of abuse right now as you read this. And all over the US, local authorities either refuse to act or actively support the abusers.

The rescue was done because of activists using Facebook. Yes, the notorious social media, supposedly a fever swamp of vindictive inaccuracies. The whistleblower alerted the world of the abuse through Facebook and hundreds of people got organized and engaged in a wide range of activities to free the dogs by using Facebook. People wrote consumer fraud complaints, organized protests, communicated with local officials, raised money, and, after about a year of effort, freed the dogs. Freed the ones that survived.

That’s the part that hurts my heart. Not all of them survived.

Goodby Mario, Lexy, Rocket. I am so sorry Phoenix, Doc, Suki and Malakai. Run free, Dixie and Abel.

But I don’t want their deaths to be for nothing. The OAS rescue is a model that other people could use against abusers in their vicinity. The book is, in a way, a recipe, a how-to guide.

The title is “I Once Was Lost, but Now I’m Found”. The book follows the life of one OAS dog, Daisy, before she was sent to the Olympic Animal Sanctuary, while she was incarcerated there, her trip on the truck to Arizona, and her return home to a family here in Washington state. Along the way the book includes information on hoarders, rescues, trainers and behaviorists, difficulties with law enforcement, and other issues of interest to people who care about the well-being of animals.

The author plans to donate her proceeds to animal groups caring for the rescued dogs.

We’re Giving Away our First FREE Booklet in Honor of our One Year Anniversary at Who Chains You Publishing

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Who Chains You Books is Celebrating our One Year Anniversary from now through August 15th, and we’re giving away LOTS of Goodies for YOU!

At Who Chains You Publishing, we bring the work of animal lovers, activists and rescuers to your doorstep through books highlighting successes, missteps, and the brightest imaginative endeavors of those who love animals and fight on their behalf.

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Our first Anniversary Giveaway is from author Heather Leughmyer, creator of Adopting Adele (now out in Audiobook, too!) and If Your Tears Were Human.

The booklet is called “A Rat’s Guide to Owning a Human”, and is a tongue-in-cheek look at how a rat might deal with  selecting a human to “own.” At only 24 pages, the mini-book is a quick but amusing read, and is beautifully designed and full color throughout.

You can buy the paperback for $9.13 on Amazon.

But why do that when you can get it FREE in .pdf, .ePub, or .mobi (Kindle) just by signing up for our bi-monthly e-News?

A Rat’s Guide to Owning a Human is a short, fun read.
Written by and for rescue rats, of course!

(They kindly allow human Heather Leughmyer to translate for them.)

Description:

While owning a human can sometimes prove to be a challenging experience, it can also be very rewarding if you know how to handle them. As a rat, you can’t imagine living your entire life without whiskers and a tail; it’s understandable, therefore, that you could find this lack in others so disconcerting that you’re not interested in giving them a chance.

Bipeds often get a bad rap, though, so it’s important to remember that not all humans are cut from the same cloth. The key lies in finding the human who is right for you, and ensuring that they do not share their homes with legless creatures of the reptilian variety.

Once you think you have found the right hominid, keep in mind that consistency and patience are very important when cultivating a human—they don’t always learn as quickly as we do. Don’t be discouraged if training proves to be more difficult than you initially thought. Bipeds can be temperamental and/or lazy; however, this should not deter you from owning one.

Once properly broken in, a human can be enjoyable to have around. With a little rattie elbow grease and our tips, you will have a loyal companion and—most importantly—will never again have to worry where your next meal is coming from…

Get Your FREEBIE Now!
http://whochainsyou.com/ratsguidefree.html

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In addition, we are giving away five paperback copies of The Dog Thief and Other Stories in a Goodreads Giveaway, listed through July 24th.

Make sure you sign up on their site for a chance to win one of the five books!

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/243279

Kirkus named The Dog Thief one of the best indie books of 2015. “This collection of short stories and a novella explores the complexity of relationships between people and animals in an impoverished rural community where the connections people have with animals are sometimes their only connection to life.”

“Decrepit humans rescue desperate canines, cats and the occasional rat in this collection of shaggy but piercing short stories. A superb collection of stories about the most elemental of bonds.”

To buy the book in paperback or Kindle (audio coming out ASAP) visit this link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1946044008/

adoptingadelecoverloHeather’s children’s book highlighting the plight of a rescue rat has been making some waves, and just came out in audio this past week.

Check it out at any of the following links:

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to our charity of the year | Buy Audiobook

Happy Reading!

He Stood in the Tree, Worm in his Mouth, Looking for Babies to Feed

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The bluebird stood in the tree, a green worm in his mouth, but he had nowhere to go with it. There was no nest.

Instinct told him he had little ones to care for; so, on autopilot, he collected the worm. He held the squirming green body for long moments, hopping along the branch, looking down toward where the nest was just yesterday. Nothing.

He finally ate it himself.

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The evening before, I’d looked out my window to see what my bluebirds were up to—like I did about 100 times most days. I had never been a birder before, and probably drove my Facebook friends crazy with my requests to identify new birds I spotted around my home in the woods of rural Virginia.

“Newbies,” they’d scoff to themselves. “So annoying.”

But I’d become attached to the birds who lived in my backyard, as I became attached to all the wild animals who made their homes in the woods nearby.

I believed in their right to life, their value as members of our planet, their unique beauty, and what they could teach me about finding contentment in the moment.

I treasured them all. The phoebes who built a nest on our drain spout and were on their second batch of the summer. The bluebirds who moved into first one house and then another after successfully rearing brood #1.

So I watched them and waited, hoping to catch a glimpse of the babies leaving the nest, the parents feeding. I knew this batch was still young, not yet ready to go, but I remained fascinated and watched as only a birdie-voyeur is capable of doing.

Confusion assaulted me. Why wasn’t my birdhouse where it belonged? What was going on?

Bear.

I didn’t see it happen, but I knew it was the only explanation that made sense.

I can still envision the moment; the ease with which he reached up, cupped the small wooden house, and batted the nest to the ground, smashing the top and emptying the cubby of its fledglings.

I rushed outside, sobbing, “No, my babies!” but knew there was no hope.

Nothing there.

I desperately tried to figure out how I could fix it. How could I put it back together, bring the babies back? Was the mom dead too?

I didn’t know.

The anger and pain rushed my senses. I screamed “Fuck you, Bear, Fuck YOU!” and then fearfully eyed the bushes as the gloom of dusk eased into darkness.

I may have been enraged, but I wasn’t suicidal. If I actually attracted the bear with my verbal onslaught, I knew who would end up on the losing end of that battle.

Sobbing, I fumbled my way back inside.

I reached out to online friends for support in my grief, loss, and anger at the bear, and inevitably got that one person who feels compelled to say something incredibly insensitive like: “That’s just nature being nature.”

On what planet do people believe that’s helpful?

As a reasonably intelligent woman, I can well understand in theory that nature isn’t pretty, and that animals eat each other every single day.

But knowing that will never stop me from wanting to protect those I consider ‘family’, and grieving if something happens to these tiny beings.

The next morning, feeling empathy for my sadness, my husband climbed to the first bluebird house and cleaned the old nest out. We added more safety netting to the bottom of the tree, and removed a couple saplings that were too close to the old nest for comfort.

Then I waited to see if the parents had made it out alive.

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I saw the male.

He was perched at the bend of the destroyed pole, peering about for his lost family. Where had they gone? I watched as he flew from there to the old house, checking inside just in case, and then to a third house that had remained uninhabited.

I was helpless to fix either of our broken hearts.

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He repeated his treks from the old house to the tree limb and back multiple times, and I hated watching his compulsive behavior, suffering my own grief for the loss of his family.

I’d all but given up hope that his mate had made it out alive; I should have seen her by now. What would the male do under these circumstances? I had no idea.

But then, it happened. Something glorious.

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His mate flew up and joined him on the porch of the old nest.

She’d made it!

She made it.

More tears, but now happy ones. The bad was still there—the babies were still gone—but now there was hope for tomorrow for this gorgeous couple.

Maybe they would try again in the old house; maybe they will be back next year.

The world suddenly held room for maybes and possibilities again.

It will always be hard for me to witness “nature being nature.” I am blessed (or cursed, depending on your perspective) with a heart for the animals, and I feel each loss so very deeply.

Please, do those like me a favor. Next time we share our grief and loss over an animal we care about, don’t tell us it’s just “nature being nature.”

We know that, already, thank you.

But we love anyway.

P.S. Yes, I felt sad for the worm, too.

Tamira Thayne is the founder of Who Chains You Books and Spiritual Mentoring, and the pioneer of the anti-chaining movement in America. She spent 13 years on the front lines of chained-dog activism and rescue as founder and CEO of Dogs Deserve Better. She is the author of The Wrath of Dog, Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips and Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent, and Capitol in Chains: 54 Days of the Doghouse Blues.