Book Review/Give-Away: SIT! STAY! SPEAK! by Annie England Noblin

FROM THE PUBLISHER: People say nothing happens in small towns, but Addie quickly learns better. She’s got an elderly next door neighbor who perplexingly dances outside in his underwear, a house needing more work than she has money, a best friend whose son uncannily predicts the weather, and a local drug dealer holding a massive grudge against her. Ever determined, Addie is set out to unravel a secret among this curious town, even if that means confronting some big names.

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But most surprising of all, she has a dog. Not any dog, but Felix–a bedraggled puppy she discovered abandoned, lost, and in desperate need of love. Kind of like Addie herself. She’d come to Eunice hoping to hide from the world, but soon she discovers that perhaps she’s finding the way back to living, laughing, and loving once more.

A touching novel of friendships, memories and quirky southern charm, fans of Alice Sebold and new readers alike will be transfixed by Noblin’s writing, and inspired by her real life rescue stories.

FROM DAKOTA’S DEN: SIT! STAY! SPEAK! exposes the sad reality of breed discrimination and dog-fighting vividly and for me, in a realistic and disturbing way. Disturbing because these archaic practices are still prevalent throughout our country.

“Author Noblin was compelled to write her novel after spending a year teaching in the Delta of Arkansas. She worked in animal rescue there during the same time the animal control facility was shut down due to city budgets. This act resulted in releasing all of the stray dogs into the national forest, which added to the issue of stray animals in the city. A few concerned citizens began a Humane Society, and Annie joined in and never looked back. It was the first time she worked with severely abused animals and there are so many animals that Annie will never forget working in her ten plus years of rescue.”

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Annie England Noblin is an obvious dog lover which is what I loved most about SIT! STAY! SPEAK! I was less enthused with the main characters (Addie and Jasper), for me, they weren’t overly likable, that is my opinion and many might disagree. I found much of what took place between Addie and Jasper (and there is some lusty stuff in here!), to be a bit unrealistic, (could that be because I am in a much different stage of life than many who will read this book?  I viewed some of Addie’s actions with Jasper  as being foolish, you will have to read the book to see if you agree).

I do agree that Annie’s “portrayal of life in this part of the United States as seen through the eyes of an outsider gives an authentic take on small town southern culture–and a place where outsiders are few and far between.”

SPECIAL BONUS: There are tons of delicious regional foods mentioned in SIT! STAY! SPEAK! and the recipes can be found in the back of the book. I am looking forward to trying a number of them.

DAKOTA’S DEN FINAL THOUGHTS: If I zero in on the fact that there is an obvious love of dogs (specifically Pit Bulls), in SIT! STAY! SPEAK!  and a deep appreciation for the customs of this part of the country (and for antique buildings/furniture), I feel it is a worthwhile read. It definitely DID capture my interest. Will you find some parts of the book disturbing and difficult to read? YES. Are some important issues brought to light in reference to dogs, dog fighting/breed discrimination? YES. Are Addie and Jasper’s personalities dry and boring? (and their relationship somewhat unrealistic?), YES…but don’t let my opinion about them deter you from purchasing this book, pick up a copy and decide for yourself. PURCHASE WHEREVER BOOKS ARE SOLD!

Annie

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Annie England Noblin lives with her son, husband, and four rescued bulldogs in the Missouri Ozarks. She graduated with an M.A. in creative writing from Missouri State University and currently teaches English full-time for Arkansas State University in Mountain Home, Arkansas. 

GIVE-AWAY! The publisher has generously offered to give away THREE COPIES of SIT! STAY! SPEAK! by Annie England Noblin, to my readers who are 18 and over and who reside in the U.S. (A $14.99 value). Entering is super easy! Just enter on the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

In full disclosure:I was sent a complimentary copy of SIT! STAY! SPEAK! in exchange for my always honest review.

Dearborn Animal Shelter hosting Summer Adopt-A-Thon Meet 50 or more adoptable animals on Saturday, June 13th.

The first of two large offsite tented Adopt-a-Thons this summer takes place on Saturday, June 13th  from 10a-4pm in the parking lot in front of Home Depot in Allen Park in the Fairlane Green II shopping mall.  Home Depot is near the Oakwood boulevard entrance to the mall, described locally as “On the Hill”, just off Southfield freeway.  The Dearborn Animal Shelter plans to have 50 animals or more available for adoption that day including playful kittens, adult cats, all shapes and sizes of dogs and possibly even puppies! 

"Lou" Photo courtesy of Friends for the Dearborn Animal Shelter

“Lou” Photo courtesy of Friends for the Dearborn Animal Shelter

 

Counselors will be on hand to help potential adopters find their new best friend, including a meet and greet area to get to know new dog family members a little better in a separate section.  Attendees will enjoy adoption specials, be able to shop Shelter merchandise and purchase Fido Bakery treats for their canine best friends.

"Piggly Wiggly" Photo Courtesy of the Friends For The Dearborn Animal Shelter

“Piggly Wiggly” Photo Courtesy of the Friends For The Dearborn Animal Shelter

Summer is a busy time for animal shelters, especially as kitten season moves into full swing, so there are many pets for families to consider.   Elaine Greene, Executive Director, Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter, commented “This Adopt-A-Thon kicks off the summer season for us and is similar to bringing a one day “pop-up” Shelter to a highly visible location for one day.  It’s a great way for us to feature many adoptable pets in a fun festive atmosphere. We’re bringing available pets to the public to help them find their new best friend”.   

 

This is the third year in a row that the event is being hosted in the parking lot of Home Depot in Allen Park.  A second offsite tented Adopt-A-Thon will take place in the parking lot of Westborn Mall on Saturday, August 22nd at the intersection of Outer Drive and Michigan Avenue.

dearborn animal shelter logo

Learn more about adoption, events, volunteering or donating online. The Dearborn Animal Shelter is located at 2661 Greenfield Road, Dearborn, and is operated by the Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter, a 501C3 nonprofit organization. Main phone (313) 943-2697 and on the web www.DearbornAnimals.org, you can follow the Shelter on Facebook or Twitter.

#Michigan 10th Annual Mutt Strut & Pet Expo Takes Place This Saturday

Fundraiser walk benefits adoptable animals in the care of the Dearborn Animal Shelter 

dearborn animal shelter logo

Mutt Strut & Pet Expo is coming this Saturday to Ford Field Park in Dearborn, 22051 Cherry Hill Street.  It’s a pledge-driven dog walk and community-wide animal celebration day.  The Strut is a casual, relaxing opportunity to participate in a fundraiser walk with your dog (or without) to raise funds for the Dearborn Animal Shelter’s adoptable animals.

Walk start 2015                                                                         Photo courtesy of Dearborn Animal Shelter

Walk start 2015 Photo courtesy of Dearborn Animal Shelter

 

Registration is available online in advance on the shelter website and opens for walk-up at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning. The walk formally begins at 11 a.m., turning Ford Field Park and the neighboring streets into an easy, flat surface 2.4 mile walk. Mutt Strut & Pet Expo is the largest pet enthusiast event in the area with free, family friendly activities throughout the day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

 

Highlights of this year’s event include:

 

  • 11am Walk start with Indy the spokes-dog and other dignitaries at the ribbon-cutting
  • The metro Detroit Food Trucks return with great street food for every palate to enjoy
  • Fastest Mutt in the Midwest K9 Fun Run contest
  • com VIP Hound Lounge for walkers raising $300 or more
  • Celebration Tent with a chance to meet new adoptable pets
  • Former Detroit Tiger Milt Wilcox and his Ultimate Air Dogs in dock-diving competition
  • Luring-style race for family pets
  • Doggie Fun Zone offering games and contests
  • Midway of vendors with pet-related and human friendly items
Family fun while a pup looks on                                                Photo courtesy of Dearborn Animal Shelter

Family fun while a pup looks on Photo courtesy of Dearborn Animal Shelter

Attending Mutt Strut & Pet Expo is free and open to the public.  Some activities for dogs may include a nominal donation to benefit the Dearborn Animal Shelter.  Even families without companion animals are welcome and are sure to be delighted by activities such as the Ultimate Air Dogs and the dock-diving competition.

 

Mutt Strut is a key fundraiser for the Dearborn Animal Shelter and this year has a goal of $75,000.

Fundraising by pledging is made easy with personalized online Web pages that teams or individuals can set up in minutes by visiting www.DearbornAnimals.org.

Relaxing in the park after the walk                                            Photo courtesy of Dearborn Animal Shelter

Relaxing in the park after the walk Photo courtesy of Dearborn Animal Shelter

 

The Dearborn Animal Shelter is located at 2661 Greenfield Road, Dearborn, and is operated by the Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Phone (313) 943-2697 and online www.DearbornAnimals.org  Follow the Shelter on Facebook and Twitter.

Indy is the 2015 Mutt Strut spokes-dog.                                   Photo courtesy Ed Serecky, pet photographer.

Indy is the 2015 Mutt Strut spokes-dog. Photo courtesy Ed Serecky, pet photographer.

 

Meet Indy, the Mutt Strut Spokes-Dog 

Abandoned dog in the care of the Shelter is chosen to become a therapy dog for military veteran.

Every dog has its tale and Indy’s story is extra special.  Brought to the Dearborn Animal Shelter in November last year, the nearly one year old Spaniel-Labrador mix was found tied to a fire hydrant and abandoned.  The good-natured little dog had greatness in store that was soon to be discovered.

Donna Fournier, director of training, Stiggy’s Dogs, stopped in to the Dearborn Animal Shelter looking for therapy candidates, who are evaluated based on personality, compassion and intelligence. While there, Donna met the dog she would later dub “Indy”, short for Independence, who performed like a shining star in his evaluation.

 

Caleb and Indy recently visit a pet store in training together.   Photo courtesy of  Donna Fournier, Stiggy’s.

Caleb and Indy recently visit a pet store in training together. Photo courtesy of Donna Fournier, Stiggy’s.

Fournier took Indy home and began the process of readying him for Good Canine Citizen training and ultimately, his new role as a therapy companion for a military veteran.  Indy has recently been paired with his human companion, Caleb, and the pair is building a bond while learning how to work together.

 

Indy is this year’s spokes-dog for the Dearborn Animal Shelter’s Mutt Strut & Pet Expo, representing the special stories of every homeless animal that comes into the care of the Shelter.  You will have a chance to see Indy in person at the 11 a.m. ribbon-cutting of the walk on Saturday.

Caleb and Indy becoming more familiar on a leisurely walk.    Photo courtesy of  Donna Fournier, Stiggy’s.

Caleb and Indy becoming more familiar on a leisurely walk. Photo courtesy of Donna Fournier, Stiggy’s.

 

Stiggy’s  Dogs is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit group that matches therapy dogs with military veterans who suffer from post- traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury, at no cost to the veteran.  They are located at 2610 Bowen Road, Howell, Michigan, 48855. Stiggy’s is online at www.StiggysDogs.org and on Facebook. Phone 248-667-8364.

 

 

 

 

 

Dearborn, #Michigan Is Hitting the Streets to Help Homeless Animals

Exchange Club of Dearborn is Hitting the Streets to Help Homeless Animals  

Support the collection drive on Saturday, May 10th along Michigan Avenue in Dearborn    

  dearborn animal shelter logo

 Keep an eye out for Exchange Club volunteers on Saturday May 10th as they hit the streets for a collection drive at key intersections along Michigan Avenue, in support of the Dearborn Animal Shelter’s 9th Annual Mutt Strut & Pet Expo.  Donations will benefit adoptable animals in the care of the shelter.

 

“Our members and volunteers are excited about lending a hand again this spring. Many people driving down Michigan Avenue that day might not otherwise know about Mutt Strut, and this could be a great way for them to help too.”  Adorned with bright vests, the canister collection team is going to be stationed at each intersection along Michigan Avenue extending from Outer drive to Oakwood Boulevard.  Plus, there’s one satellite location at Dearborn Farm Market at Monroe and Outer drive.

 

Mutt Strut ribbon cutting ceremony about to begin

Mutt Strut ribbon cutting ceremony about to begin

Mutt Strut & Pet Expo is a pledge-driven dog walk and community wide animal celebration day.  It is the largest gathering of pet fans in the area. Festivities take place at Ford Field Park in Dearborn from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., with the walk commencing at 11 a.m.  Register for the walk online at www.DearbornAnimals.org 

 

Additional Mutt Strut highlights include a midway of vendors with services and products for pets and humans.  There is a Paws-itive Energy Zone with pet and human psychic readings, Doggie Fun Zone with activities for your dog, an adopted-pet Celebration Tent to honor adoption alumni and former Detroit Tiger great, Milt Wilcox’s Ultimate Air Dogs in a dock diving competition.  Entertainment and free family fun events take place all day long.  The Food trucks will be on hand serving a great variety of street cuisine.

 

A young walker with her doggie companion after the Strut.

A young walker with her doggie companion after the Strut.

Exchange Club of Dearborn is the local chapter of the National Exchange Club, a 100-year-old service organization.  Members participate in fundraising activities and outreach to support local youth and other non-profit organizations to improve lives for those in Dearborn and surrounding communities. Call 734-355-8114 to learn more about the Exchange Club.

 

The Dearborn Animal Shelter is located at 2661 Greenfield Road, Dearborn, and is operated by the Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Phone (313) 943-2697 and online www.DearbornAnimals.org  Follow the shelter on Facebook and Twitter.

The Tuesday’s Tails blog hop hosted by Dogs N Pawz andTalking Dogs. This is the blog hop that features shelter pets.  Find a pet at your local animal shelter or rescue and join the hop!


Tuesday’s Tails blog hop participants can post any day of the week and link up with a fresh blog hop linky every Tuesday.  Though targeted at adoptable pets, they  also welcome blog posts regarding pet adoption, rescue organizations and adoption events. Fetch the new Tuesday’s Tails Facebook page and give them a like! Please help spread the word about these beautiful animals via social media and help find them forever homes!  

 

 

Rachael Ray Nutrish Donates A Year’s Worth of Dog Food To Puppy Adopted From The Michigan Humane Society!

Remember when we posted this video

that Michigan Humane had sent to us to share?

We originally posted it

on MARCH  13,  2014?

 

 

 

 

Well, who did I see while watching the Rachael Ray Show this morning? HUNTER!!!! Apparently the folks at The Rachael Ray Show were so impressed with Hunter having saved his family’s life, that they had Hunter and his parents on the show!

And……GUESS WHAT?

Rachael Ray gave Hunter a year’s worth

of NUTRISH DOG FOOD!! 

RR_Nutrish_Logos_Green

HUNTER IS JUST ONE OF 

MILLIONS OF EXAMPLES

OF HOW RESCUE DOGS ARE GREAT!!!

KUDOS TO RACHAEL RAY, HUNTER AND MICHIGAN HUMANE who shared the video with us…..hmmmm…wonder if the Rachael Ray peeps saw the video on my blog? I mean after all, I AM an “Ambassadog” for Nutrish!

michigan-humane-logo

Oh and I wasn’t compensated for this post,

I was watching the show, saw the story, and wanted to share, because my love for Rachael Ray, Nutrish,  Michigan Humane and the good that they do,  never ends!

nutrish badge

Barks and licks and love,

Dakota

 

Help the Baxter Burgundy Scholarship for Classy Dogs! Give Nutrish a “Like” on Facebook! #RachaelRayNutrish

CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO BE TAKEN TO THE NUTRISH FACEBOOK PAGE AND GIVE THEM A "LIKE!"

CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO BE TAKEN TO THE NUTRISH FACEBOOK PAGE AND GIVE THEM A “LIKE!”

 For every page ʻlikeʼ they receive,
Rachael Ray Nutrish will donate $1 to the Baxter Burgundy
Scholarship for Classy Dogs to the 
San Diego Humane Society. Wonʼt you help them reach their goal of 10,000 new likes and $10,000 for San Diego dogs in need?

YOU CAN CLICK ON THE PHOTO ABOVE TO BE TAKEN TO THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE OR CLICK HERE!

THANKS SO MUCH GUYS!

Barks and licks and love, Dakota