Sunday, January 29, 2012

Massive Dogs, Lots of Fun

I'll be going to a Patriots sendoff rally later today at Gillette Stadium, and traveling to Indianapolis for the Super Bowl tomorrow (Monday).  I'll miss my wife, children and dog, but going to the Super Bowl really is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  With that in mind, I made sure to take them out to a nice family lunch yesterday, and Beverly over to her favorite place:  Centennial Park, in Wellesley.

Beverly, foreground.  Bucky, background.

We had exceptionally warm and sunny January weather.  I knew it would be a good day when we pulled into the parking lot at Centennial and saw a massive German Shepherd sitting in the back of his car with the back hatch open.  He and his owner walked with us.   Bucky was massive and handsome.  His light colors reminded me of my first GSD, Tiffany.  Naturally, Beverly fell in love, and loved her walk with her new pal.

Bucky just exuded a quiet calm, a regal sense of "I'm the man!" on the trails.  We encountered a male Boxer along the way with whom Bucky had a history.  Bucky thumped the Boxer a few times with forearm shivers to send the dominant message without a single bark, or baring of teeth.  It was impressive.  So too was his pose during his top of the hill rest.  Now that's one helluva dog.

On the way down the hill we bumped into Heidi, the St. Bernard.  My family had a St. Bernard years ago, long before I was born.  When you have a past history of breeds in your family, you're pretty much forever attracted to them.  Heidi attracted plenty of attention, and apparently is a pro when it comes to striking a pose.


Friday, January 27, 2012

A ForeWord Review:
 A Happy Ending?

"We made it through the review.... I'll let go of your neck now, Kevin." 
- Grandpops, Bob Walsh, with Samantha and Kevin Walsh at an editorial meeting.

Thank you to ForeWord Reviews for such a wonderful review of "Follow the Dog Home."

Hardcover release date is February 1, 2012.

We're still a family

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chance Meeting with President Obama's Dog

Bruins present Mr. Obama with Bruins Jersey
I went to The White House the other day as President Obama honored the Boston Bruins for winning the Stanley Cup.  Aside from goalie Tim Thomas snubbing the team invitation for personal and political reasons, it was a wonderful day.  The President called Brad Marchand "a little ball of hate", told the story of Claude Julien's daughter eating Cheerios out of the Stanley Cup, he even worked the word "wicked" into the conversation--which always goes over well with New Englanders.

Outside front door of White House

NBC News place on "Pebble Beach"

Plenty of people knew I was going to Washington, and they asked me to say hello to Mr. Obama.
The reality is, you really don't get all that close to the President, and he's in and out in about 8-10 minutes.

A couple of people even asked me to say hello to the First Dog, like he too is readily available in the very structured visitor experience.  But as luck would have it, Bo came trotting by the room in the basement where I was interviewing Bruins and team brass.  "Does he just have the run of the place?" I asked a young staffer with Boston roots. "Yep," Brandon said.

Bo, the First Dog, White House Photo

So I saw the man, and his best friend.  It was all very cool.  Bo was bigger than I thought.  Just thought you'd like to know.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Life Saving Dogs

I came across this photo on the German Shepherd Dog Community, a group I belong to on Facebook.  At first I was creeped out by the doggy funeral, or whatever you want to call it.  Then I read the story that accompanied it.  I'll summarize.   These were working dogs in the war zone.  The poster, Michael Hoffman, estimated that bomb sniffing dogs in the military save an average of 3-5 lives a day, alerting soldiers about IEDs and stuff before they explode.  It's dangerous work, and doesn't always work out for the dogs.

It reminded me of when I started my TV career in Guam, and told the story of an old Marine who came back to Guam to put flowers on his working dog's grave.  Guam, if you don't know, is a US Territory.  It's the only American soil occupied by a foreign invader in modern history.  The Marines basically came in, and saved the Chamorro people (now Americans) from the Japanese.  The old vet took me up on Nimitz Hill, pointed down to Apra Harbor, and told the story of how his German Shepherd sniffed out a sniper lurking in the bushes.  Were it not for the dog, my friend would have been a dead man.  The dog took the bullet.  Fifty years later, the Marine--who also happened to be a veteranarian--returned to Guam to honor the dog who saved his life.

That is loyalty, that is honor, and that is why I have a German Shepherd now.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Annie's Going Home

Beverly (left) and Annie
Annie has had a good stay with us.  Tomorrow she'll go back to her home in Connecticut with Grandpops, fellow Follow the Dog Home author, Bob Walsh.  Grandpops opted out of New England's single digit temperatures, and a round of snow, for warmer temperatures and better scenery in Hawaii and Mexico.  That lucky dog.  Annie has been with us enough to make herself  at home, and she does.  Beverly shows little jealously, and more or less treats Annie like she's a sibling.  Neither dog knows they are subjects in our family book, Follow the Dog Home, but people are starting to take notice when I take the dogs out for walks and play.  See you later Annie.  Beverly awaits your next visit.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

It's Not a Snowman, It's a Latte Stone

Carlito Rozanski with Latte stone
This blog entry has nothing to do with dogs, and everything to do with friendship.  I love contrast and an old friend in Guam illustrates it with a simple picture on his Facebook. In this photo you see my pal, Carlito. That is not snowman, that is a Latte stone. Ancient Chamorros sculpted them from limestone. Of course there's no snow in Guam either, which tells me Carl was probably in Japan. I spent a lot of time with Carl riding around the island in our little white Guam Cable TV news car, complete with rainbow logos on the sides. We always had fun. And what would a ride with Carlito be without a side trip to the corner store to pick up some beetle nut? Beetle nut is the island equivalent of chewing tobacco, and it turns your spit blood red.  I reconnected with my Palauan pal just the other day by way of Facebook.  It's Carlito's way, and Facebook is the way of the world.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dog Climbs Tree!

I saw a dog CLIMB A TREE!  I'm not kidding.  He climbed A TREE--not once, but twice!  I was taking a walk with my German Shepherd, Beverly, and two Golden Retrievers named Buddy and Taffy.  Buddy and Taffy were littermates.  Without warning, Buddy saw a tree to his liking and with Dwight Stones jumping ability, and catlike claws, he managed to spring and pull himself up into a wedge in the middle of the tree with thick limbs growing out.  It was about four feet up!

Buddy in Tree

About twenty minutes later, another tree with a crook in the middle.  Boing!  Up goes Buddy.  

Buddy, Round Two

"He does it all the time," his owner told me.  Really?  Hey, whatever wags your tail.  Buddy, I'm sure is getting a whiff of something good up there.  Maybe that's why he leaps.  But if not, it wouldn't be a leap to say he does it to show off.  Really, he put on a show, and gave us all a good laugh and great pictures.

1st Contestant of Photo Contest

Meet Shiloh!  

Thank you to Jan Norman Seibert for sending in this adorable picture!

If you'd like to participate...please email photo to or post your favorite family dog picture to the Facebook page and reference photo contest for a chance to win a signed copy of the newly released Hardcover, Follow the Dog Home! 

The winner will be notified on January 31, 2012.
Suggestions: Send us a close up shot of an adorable pet moment that would melt the hearts of FB fans or a close up of your dog doing something cool!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Home Invasion

Kevin with Annie
One of the premises of Follow the Dog Home is to follow the dog wherever it takes you.  In this case, I followed Annie to bed.  She is my dad's Corgi.  She comes and stays with us whenever Dad goes away.  And as you can see, Annie the visitor, has no problem making herself right at home!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Very Good Book Review

Waking up winter mornings in New England can be tough.  You can probably figure out why.  But there's always good news, and sometimes it comes in the form of a visitor.

Annie & Beverly waking up Amanda
Annie is visiting with us for two weeks.  My dad, fellow author of Follow the Dog Home, picked a perfect time to leave town--as soon as we starting hitting overnight single digits.  He left Annie with us and bolted for Hawaii.  Such a lucky dog--him and her.

The good news is this:  our review in Publishers Weekly was terrific.  It called Follow the Dog Home, "quaint and most darling."  It is, we know it is, now the world will too. Here's a link to the review: Publishers Weekly on Follow the Dog Home

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Dog with a Nose for a Book

When I propped Follow the Dog Home up next to Beverly, my goal was just to show her in the same frame as the book.  It was purely a marketing attempt.  My wife, Jean, saw it as something different.  She thought it looked like Beverly was reading the book.  That's one of the things I like about photography: people see different things in the same thing. When I look at it now, it looks like her nose is keeping the book up, almost like a holder with a football on a field goal attempt.  The story behind the picture is this:  this is the only picture of many I took that didn't come out blurry.  Beverly paused for just that split second that enabled me to get a still shot.  It came by accident, and I'm glad it did.  Beverly, if you don't know, is the dog we followed home--thus the book title: Follow the Dog Home.