Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Meet Hana & Saba, proud owners of author and animal communicator Nancy Kaiser

Give a warm woof to my guests today, Hana and Saba, owners of author and animal communicator Nancy Kaiser! Nancy is a very special lady. She lives in the healing Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina surrounded by her family of dogs and a horse. She is the author of Letting Go: An Ordinary Woman’s Extraordinary Journey of Healing & Transformation, about her recovery from trauma with the help of animals and nature. Nancy operates Just Ask Communications, a practice devoted to healing the human-animal bond through enhanced communication and understanding. Nancy offers animal communication and healing consults via phone, in-person and on Skype. Visit her at: www.NancyKaiserAnimalCommunicator.com

It's great to have you here, you guys! Nancy sounds like a wonderful person. Describe her as a writer and as a pet owner.

HANA: Since I can’t read, it’s hard to comment on her talent as a writer. Nancy spends an awful lot of time pecking away at that thing on the table with the screen. I’m not sure if that means she’s good at it or terribly bad.

She’d be the first person to tell you that she doesn’t own my brother and me. She is our person, and we’re her dogs. Nancy abhors the word “owner.” We’ve been with her since leaving our mom and siblings. I think she’s great despite spending too much time pecking at that thing, but I guess whatever she’s doing is important.

She showers me with love, but I do cause her some grief at times. As she tells me, “You’re just a devil-catcher.” Apparently, it was something her father used to say. Sometimes she yells if I go too far, but she doesn’t stay angry for long.

SABA: I’m sure she’s a wonderful writer. Nancy’s happy most of the time, so I guess what she does at that table thing is satisfying to her. I know my brother and I keep her smiling and laughing too. I’m so glad I picked Nancy to be my person. She loves me too and takes great care of us. We have so many toys and bones although she’s pretty strict about our eating habits. She does give us treats and marrow bones, but not nearly as much as I’d like.

I hate it when Hana gets her upset. My brother gets in trouble much more than I do. I’m definitely more sensitive than he is. Hana’s the carefree one. I’m the thoughtful and emotional one. We share Nancy pretty well though, and she loves us equally; that is obvious.

I’m guessing your human mom chose your name... tsk, tsk, tsk. What has that done to your self esteem?

HANA: We agreed on it together. She can talk to animals, which is her other job. She explained about Hana and asked if I liked it. I told her, “Yes!” Hana is the name of a special place far away in Hawaii, wherever that is, that she visits. She loves the exceptional healing energy there. She knew that Saba and I would help heal the hole in her heart from losing the Labs that lived with her before us. They got old and returned Home.

Nancy calls me Hana Banana all the time. I really don’t care for it. What does banana mean? She says it with lots of love in her voice, so I put up with it. I love my name, but I don’t think I’m as calming & healing as she thought I’d be.

SABA: It was the same for me. She actually asked! So far she’s the only person that talks to me this way. She explained that Saba was a very special island in the Caribbean, wherever that is, that she visited several times. It is volcanic, so she chose this name for me since I’m black. She says the place Hana is volcanic too, but she thought Saba was supposed to be my name. I agreed. I am black like lava, but I don’t erupt like my brother does at times. Maybe he should have been Saba? I’m glad he’s not. She thanks me all the time for coming to live with her because I balance Hana’s mischievousness.

Has your Mom immortalized you in any of her books? Did she show your real character or did she exaggerate it for the book’s purpose? Are you happy with her portrayal of you?

SABA: I want to answer first this time. Nancy wrote a book about a painful time in her life just before we came to live with her. Hana and I arrived in her life just as she was almost over the worst of her pain. We appear towards the end of her book, Letting Go.

Nancy was pretty needy when we came to live with her. Just after we arrived she got really sick and her patience was low. She yelled at me once when I wouldn’t go out in the rain to pee, but I didn’t have to. She was outside with me and got angry when I sat by her feet under the covering thing (umbrella). I hate rain even though I adore water, especially snow!

Nancy wrote about it honestly and gave me credit for forgiving her very quickly, which made me proud. I forgave her a lot sooner than she forgave herself. People are odd that way. They worry too much about things that have already happened. I was embarrassed when she wrote about some accidents I had in the house. All in all, she tells it like it is.

HANA: Nancy doesn’t exaggerate. Why would she have to when we’re such great dogs? She wrote in her book that I’ve been in her life three other times. I don’t remember that, but I knew when I first saw her that she was my person. She writes about how much Saba and I have taught her, especially that she is worth loving. I don’t know why she would need to be taught that. She’s easy to love.

I wasn’t thrilled when she wrote about how much I whined in the car when she brought us to live with her. I wasn’t scared just confused. She had a hard time with us when she got so sick, but I think we helped her feel better. At least that’s what she kept telling us. I’m so happy Nancy found Saba and me.

What type of books does your human mom write?

HANA: Nancy’s book, Letting Go: An Ordinary Woman’s Extraordinary Journey of Healing & Transformation, is about her life before we were born. It’s called a memoir. Something terrible happened when she moved from her horse farm in some place she calls New Jersey to where we live in the mountains of somewhere called North Carolina.

Her man, husband they call them, left her while they were building the house we should be living in. Thanks to her animals, 2 dogs, 3 cats and a horse, and her journaling, she was able to recover from her devastation.

Nancy says by writing she was able to discover lessons buried beneath all her pain. Her recovery was dependent upon her ability to learn the lessons and let go of the pain. She published her writing so that other humans that are suffering can learn from her story and let go of their pain more quickly.

I can tell every time Nancy hears from someone that her book has helped. She is filled with the most wonderful energy. I didn’t know her two dogs, Shadow and Licorice, but she has pictures of them all over. They were Black and Yellow Labs just like Saba and me. I’m thankful they took such good care of her until we were ready to take over. Nancy needs to be reminded all the time how great she is.

SABA: Hana told you about Letting Go, so I’ll tell you about her next book. Nancy’s been so busy promoting her first book that she has only just started the next one. It’s going to be about her animal communication stories. Nancy knows it will be a series, because the animals have taught her so much that humans need to know. Nancy always intended to write her animal stories, but Letting Go had to be written first.

With all the time Nancy spends pecking at that thing, I can’t believe she hasn’t written more of it, but she writes other things too. She’s had lots of online and print articles published, as well as print interviews and guest blog posts. What’s a blog? What an odd word.

Nancy writes a weekly column on Thursdays for Petsense.com called Animal Insights. Hana & I are so excited that she’s agreed to be a regular contributor to a neat, new publication, “Dogs…Naturally! Magazine.” That starts this March. Nancy’s happy about that too and also about writing for “The Infinite Field Magazine” starting in February.

What does Nancy do besides writing? Is she a hermit or does she actually set her foot outdoors?

SABA: Me first! Nancy talks to animals and helps their people deal with all sorts of problems. It is so cool. She’s been doing this for a really long time; longer than she’s been writing. I’m not exactly sure how, but Nancy helps animals overcome fears they have from many things that happen when living with humans. Not all animals are as lucky as Hana and I are which we hear all the time!

Nancy does her animal work downstairs away from that screen thing. It’s very important that we don’t bark when she’s communicating or she gets upset with us. I’m not the barker of the family though. You know who is. Nancy helps lots of animals live more happily with their people. I want to help her by keeping her happy too. She must be pretty good at it, because she’s always doing it.

HANA: Nancy takes us everywhere in the car, as long as it’s not too cold or too hot. Mostly we go to the stable where her horse, Stormy, lives. He lived with her on her farm. We have to stay in the car while she rides Stormy, but afterwards we get out and play with the two dogs that live there. I love going to the barn. It’s so much fun. Really I love going anywhere. We both do.

The other place we go to that’s so cool is what Nancy calls, “The Mountain.” We run free all over the place, and it’s big. I think it’s where we’re supposed to be living, but the man ruined that plan. We both love it since there’s no fence like at the house we live in. I can feel sadness in Nancy when we’re there. She thinks she’s let it all go, but she hasn’t. I don’t care where we live as long as we’re all together.

SABA: Hana didn’t tell you that we go hiking too. We have to have our leashes on mostly, but sometimes Nancy takes them off. That’s the best! She’s more willing to do that since we’ve gotten better at coming when she calls. Of course, I always come.

HANA: I heard that. You don’t always come. You know how our sensitive, Labrador noses interfere with our hearing. But, we are getting better at coming when Nancy calls. It’s those thousands of smells that direct us away from her shouts. Who can blame us? We have a great life with Nancy. Saba and I are lucky dogs!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Interview with Corley, Elizabeth Eagan-Cox's canine companion

Say Woof to my canine guest today: Corley. She's here to spill the beans about her author mom, Elizabeth Eagan-Cox. Take it away, Corley!

“I’m Corley, a half lab, half Sharpei mix. It’s a good ancestry because I have the smarts and loyalty of a Lab and the Sharpei prowess for guarding and protecting. I love to fetch. I love to make doggie angels in the snow and in summer I love to swim in the creek. And I love our bed, it’s an air mattress, I have my own sleep number, it’s 35! Another number I like is 7, ‘cause that’s my age in people years.

"I hate free-loading animals, like the raccoons that come into my yard.
Rah-erh! You better watch out coons, I’ll get ya!

(I can relate to that, Corley--I hate the rabbits in my backyard. They pretend they're so cute and fuffly. It's all an act!)

"I’m the proud dog and BFF of author Elizabeth Eagan-Cox. She’s my Mom and she writes paranormal mystery novels. Her books have dogs in them, I think this is due to my influence over her. You can learn more about us on my Mom’s Web site: http://www.ElizabethEaganCox.net

So, Corley, what’s with your name? Did Elizabeth choose it? What has this done to your self-esteem and what does that say about Elizabeth?

Huh? My name? It’s an Irish name. Whadda ya mean, what’s with my name? Can’t you pronounce my name?

It’s C-O-R-L-E-Y. Here, I’ll make it easy for you. It’s CORE , like an apple core, then LEE, like, well, I don’t know, um… like the name LEE. A Long time ago, it was MacCorley.

It’s a good name, a really good name ’cause I have my very own street. Yeah, for rea,l I do! There’s a picture of the street on Elizabeth’s Web site. It’s a proud name and it makes me feel proud! ‘Cause, well, I was adopted. And my Mom (okay, you should call her Elizabeth, but to me, she’s my Mom) wanted to make me feel special, she said she gave me the name of a street named for her great-grandmother Elizabeth Corley.

I’ve got the best name ever, because I’m the best dog ever! My Mom said it was a special name for a special dog, ‘cause, well… this is a secret, I chose my mom, she didn’t choose me. You see, it happened like this…

A puppy caretaker named Zara had taken me and my sibs to this big adoption day at a mega-giant pet supply store. And I told my sibs: “Hey, look cute, put a sparkle in your eyes, this is a great opportunity to put your best paw forward!”

I knew I could pick out the best mom for me. There we were in this little pen and I looked up, and W-O-W, it was like in a dream, there she was: my mom-to-be was walking down the aisle rolling a big basket with a huge bag of puppy food in it. W-O-W! Like magic, ya know. I jumped up and almost cleared the pen, but I got stuck, that’s when she saw me. She came over and picked me up and then I heard her say to Zara: “This is Corley, I just know it is.”

The rest of the day was a blur. We went for a long ride in a JEEP, a real JEEP, and when we stopped, we were home, in a place that is another world, maybe another planet! Mountains and forest! Trees are everywhere! Yippee! I’m a mountain dog!

So…uh, about my name…it’s a legendary name and was meant to be for me, ‘cause I’m special, I know this ‘cause my Mom told me so.

That's quite a story, Corley! Tell me the truth… is Elizabeth as disciplined as she said she was in her last interview?

Yep, she sure is, and then some! She works so hard, by the end of the day, she'’s the one who’s dogged tired. That’s when I’m super appreciated. I do things to make her laugh. Like when I told her she shouldn’t feel bad for not making up our bed, because “Mom, our bed is not messy. Uh-uh! Our bed oozes with doggie-lover’s ambiance!” Or I’ll ask silly questions like: “Mom, how come you have only two boobs and I have eight?” HA! We always laugh at that question.

Does Elizabeth plot like a madwoman or just write ‘down the bones'?

My Mom plots like the dickens, she does. A madwoman, you ask? No, not at all, more like a mad dog. She gets this crazy look in her eyes and starts to foam at the mouth, a real Cujo. She reminds me of a bloodhound on the scent of a criminal. ‘Cause ya know, it’s takes that kind of determination to turn an ordinary book into a page-turning murder mystery!

This reminds me of the time I stole my mom's piece of pizza... she started foaming at the mouth too...

Psst… if you want to know the secret to my Mom’s plotting strategy, well, she uses recipe cards to keep all the twists and turns straight! People think she’s writing food recipes, when actually she figuring out how to murder someone. My Mom is sly as a fox.

My mom uses index cards!

What’s the best part of having an author as a mom? The worst part?

Well, some times during our work day, we sneak down to the bedroom, kickback on the bed, switch on the TV and watch reruns of the Sam and Dean show….uh wait, wait! That’s not the real name that’s our code name for Supernatural. Yeah, Supernatural. Mom can’t decide whom she likes best, Sam or Dean. But me…most definitely, I’m a Sam girl! WOOF! I’d do a lab dance for Sam, cause, ya know, I’m part lab.

Hmm…the worst part? Well, when we go out for walks, I get sooo annoyed when people stop us and yakity yak about a book that they’ve written and they want my Mom to read their manuscript and blah, blah, blah. Those are the times I pretend I’m a boy and I mosey up to the wannabe author and ever so slowly I lift my leg! You should see the look on their face! Mom pretends to be shocked and pulls me away and then I take the lead and we get outta there, fast! So ya see, even the worst part can have a good part.

Will you be boasting to your other pet friends about this interview? Do you think they’ll be able to take it?

Boast…uh-uh, but I will do a lot of barking. Mom promised me she would too and she said we would tweet about it on Twitter! Though, it would seem to me that Twitter is just for the birds and I don’t think birds will give a hoot for what a dog has to say. And she promised I could howl at the moon about it. In fact, she said I could bay like a banshee and she wouldn’t stop me. And, Mom said she would talk about my interview when she goes on the radio. Boy-oh-Boy, my Mom does lot of radio appearances. I’m waiting with baited breath (hmm, make that bacon breath) for my interview to hit the cyber waves.

Will my pals be able to handle my celebrity status? Oh sure, why not. Now my foes, they might get their hackles up, but I don’t care and besides, the only real foe I have is Crabby Rose (that’s not her real name, it’s really Abby Rose), the cat that lives here. She’s just a cat, and a sour puss… whadda she know, anyway! Cats drool and Dogs Rule! WOOF!

Thanks, Corley! Good talk, girl!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Interview with Teddy, proud owner of author and model L.E. Harvey

My guest this week is Teddy the cat (no, he's not named after a teddy bear, you people, but after Roosevelt!). teddy shares his home with author and model L.E. Harvey, who's written a number of novels in the suspense, mainstream and romance genres. Check out her website and blog. You can also find her on twitter and facebook.

BIO: “Teddy Roosevelt” is a Maine Coon that was found homeless and dumped in Las Vegas, Nevada. His outgoing personality quickly won over the heart of contemporary fiction writer, L. E. Harvey. He is the youngest of the four felines and one canine Harvey household. Bold and outgoing, he is more than happy to discuss his life with his fellow felines, a canine, and a crazy writer.

What’s with your name? Did Lauren choose it?

Yes, Mommy Lauren named me Theodore Aloysius Satan Roosevelt Cuprillowitz Rocker, III. Ummm…As far as my self-esteem goes, I try not to let it get to me. I figure that many names must make me memorable!  What it says about her is that she has too much time on her hands if she can give me that many names. I mean, I was supposed to be Theodore Roosevelt, and she turned it into that! Clearly, she needs to get out more!

I agree! Tell us, is your mom as stable as she looks in her website photo?

No. Mommy Melinda thinks that Mommy Lauren doesn’t look stable in that picture any way. Regardless, she is anything but stable! She sings and dances around the house a lot. And she holds one-sided conversation with me and my other siblings. That’s not normal, is it?

Not if she does it hours and hours. I agree that's odd. But then most authors are weird!

Writer’s block… yeah right! The fantasies lazy writers come up with! What excuses does Lauren give for her procrastination?

She blames us a lot. She always complains about taking care of four cats, a dog, a three year old and cleaning the house takes away from her writing time. I don’t get it. I mean, all she does is feed us, clean the litter box, let Yankee (my doggie brother) in and out of the house (I still don’t understand why), pick up our fur balls, and play and feed with the little girl. That’s not much!

My mom uses similar excuses... Does Lauren let you sit on her lap while working at the computer?

No. I’m not allowed near the computer at all. Neither of my Mommies like my gifts of mouse and computer wire pieces. They say I destroy their computer equipment. I call it art.

Will you be boasting to your other pet friends about this interview? Do you think they’ll be able to take it?

Oh, I am absolutely boasting about this. I mean, I have three cat brothers, a cat sister and a dog brother and I was the one to spill the beans! My oldest cat brother, Chantico, is going to be really jealous. He thinks he rules the house. Little does he know, it’s all about me! 

That's pretty evil for a cat named Teddy... Woof!