I Hope My Books 'Good Dog!' & 'Good Cat!' Make a Difference


For 17 years, I’ve been answering your questions in my Tribune Media Services newspaper column. That’s about four questions and answers a week; if my math is correct that’s a grand total of over 3,500 questions and answers.

I’ve compiled a sort of ‘best of’ those Q & A’s into two just published ebooks, “Good Dog!” and “Good Cat!”

The truth is that the number one of cause of death in pets isn’t heart disease or even all the types of cancers combined – it’s bad behavior.

So, if the dog barks too much while you’re away – and neighbors complain, the dog may land at a shelter. For sure, aggressive dogs might be given up, or dogs who may be deemed “impossible” to house train. Misbehaving cats have it worse; they are not only relinquished to shelters, sometimes they’re just given the heave-ho – pushed out the door to live their lives out on the street, in alley or fields. Kitty has one too many accidents outside the litter box, and the edict is ‘get out.’

It’s a shame because with guidance, most behavioral issues are solvable.

In these books you’ll read answers to most common questions, from litter box indiscretions in cats to crate training puppies. Other topics include basic socialization and training, problem jumping and thunderstorm anxiety in dogs, cats who scratch in all the wrong places, compulsive behaviors, aggression to other pets, aggression to people, and much more.

As a certified dog and cat behavior consultant, I provide many answers in these ebooks – but also enlist opinions from some of the world’s experts in animal behavior from superstar veterinary behaviorists and PhD behaviorist to elite dog trainers as well as certified cat and dog behavior consultants.

I also included a chapter that features uncommon questions, such as the cat who paws that the flat screen TV whenever Justin Beiber is singing (clearly the cat has an illness, cat scratch Beiber) to the dog who seeks out eating deer poop (which I call Bambi burgers).

While I have fun with oddball questions, seriously I can’t count all the email and ‘snail mail’ I’ve received over the years thanking me for the advice offered in this column, sometimes pointing out that I saved an pet from going to the shelter. My hope is that the answers in these books will be as helpful.

Forewords for the ebooks were authored by some awfully impressive friends. Victoria Stilwell of Animal Planet’s It’s Me or the Dog begins “Good Dog!” And the best selling cat book author of the past 20 years, certified cat behavior consultant Pam Johnson-Bennett contributed to “Good Cat!”

To insure veterinary medical accuracy all these years, Dr. Sheldon Rubin has reviewed nearly all my columns, so who better to author the introductions to both books.

Saving the best for last, I am incredibly honored that Betty White herself authored the prologue for each book. I have interviewed her several times. Truly an animal lover, she is familiar with my work, and eager to support science-based information.

A great last minute gift idea, I thought it important to also maintain a reasonable price; “Good Dog!” and “Good Cat!” are $2.99 each, wherever ebooks are sold.

As a added bonus, if you have an Apple device, such as an IPad, an enhanced version of “Good Dog!” includes several embedded videos. So, not only do I write how to solve problems, you can watch some explanations in action and see experts discuss solutions, $4.99 (at Itunes.com).

Thank you for your support and your questions, keep them coming – even the oddball ones. Have a safe holiday season.