A Horse Named Lady & Lady’s Big Surprise by Marion Brake

Purchasing a horse had been a life-long dream for Newfoundland author Marion Brake. Lady, purchased in the late 1990’s, became the inspiration for her first two books: A Horse Named Lady and Lady’s Big Surprise. Both picture books are somewhat unconventional, yet delightful. A Horse Named Lady is about a young boy named Simon who wants a horse. His grouchy neighbor owns a horse that he overworks. One day after a visit, Simon senses that Lady is sad and asks his parents about buying her. How she ends up with him forms the rest of the tale.  Lady’s Big Surprise was written based on … Continue reading A Horse Named Lady & Lady’s Big Surprise by Marion Brake

Can Cats Rival Dogs in Social Intelligence?

Can cats rival dogs in social intelligence? Recent research suggests that they can. In this article, I’ll briefly summarize the work of Kristyn Vitale, a postdoc at Oregon State University who studies cat socialization. I’ll also share four experiments that Vitale says pet owners can try at home with their cats. I tried them with my cats, and I’ll share their results in this article as well In November 2018 I interviewed Vitale, who grew up wanting to work with cats. Not seeing many opportunities in the field, she initially pursued zoology as a career, then switched to feline research … Continue reading Can Cats Rival Dogs in Social Intelligence?

Review: A Horse for All Seasons, Stories Collected by Sheila Kelly Welch

A Horse for All Seasons is a collection of stories for horse lovers, compiled by Sheila Kelly Welch. Her short story contribution to it is The Strays. In that story, Brent is a teenager living in foster care with the McCormicks. His birth mom has just signed all the necessary plans for the adoption agency to make an adoption plan. If Brent decides not to let the McCormicks adopt him, he’ll need to move into another foster home. Ember is a horse that had been stabled with Sky, who recently slipped on a patch of ice in the pasture. Brent … Continue reading Review: A Horse for All Seasons, Stories Collected by Sheila Kelly Welch

Review: Misty of Chincoteague

Imagine growing up on an island where wild ponies roam. For Paul and Maureen Beebe, characters in Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry, it leaves them with an insatiable desire to have one for themselves. They even have a particular pony in mind: the Phantom. Some said she was dark like the pine trees; others said she was the color of copper with splashes of silver. When Paul catches a glimpse of her, however, the feature which most stands out is a strange white marking that begins at her withers and spreads out like the United States of America. Now … Continue reading Review: Misty of Chincoteague

COVID-19 & Our Pets

In this time of uncertainty, there is reassuring news. According to both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Veterinarian Medical Association (AVMA), there is no evidence that pets can spread COVID-19. The CDC website states that coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, of which some cause illness in people and some cause illness in animals. However, the coronaviruses that infect animals rarely infect people. While the first infection of COVID-19 (and its predecessor SARS) has been linked to a live animal market, CDC added that public health officials do not actually know the exact … Continue reading COVID-19 & Our Pets

Review: Simpson’s Sheep Won’t Go To Sleep by Bruce Arant

Simpson’s Sheep Won’t Go to Sleep by Bruce Arant is a fun and colorful picture book. Drawing on his personal experience as a parent and a sense of humor, Arant has created an imaginative fun twist on a familiar bedtime struggle of putting young ones to sleep. His pastel illustrations also help bring Simpson’s farm to life. “I need a drink.” “I want a snack.” “I have to go!” Every last one of these laments are excuses we’ve all heard one time or another. They’re also all complaints that Farmer Simpson is plagued with on a nightly basis. The difference … Continue reading Review: Simpson’s Sheep Won’t Go To Sleep by Bruce Arant