Archive for February, 2015

10 Reasons to read The Bog

If you are a dog lover, here are 10 reasons for you to consider reading The Bog, The Legend of Man’s Best Friend:

1) You will understand how dogs were ‘selected’ to be man’s best friend.
2) You will be challenged, regarding the concepts of “coincidence” and “fate”…a challenge that will forever alter your relationship with your dog.
3) You will understand the source of a dog’s soul and his place in the hereafter.
4) The multiple forms of direct and unmistakable communication between man and dog are clearly presented.
5) You will be consoled as to how a dog deals with time.
6) Are they guardians? Messengers? Substitutes? The Bog explains.
7) You will understand what dogs think about. You will understand their gift of Momentary Understanding and how they make choices.
8) By reading The Bog, you will be exposed to your dog’s ‘greatest fear.’
9) Lastly, you will learn your dog’s ‘defining trait,’ and that knowledge may be a life changing experience for you.

10) You will be supporting the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital in Huntington, WV

My Life With Dogs #6

Friends: I have decided to share with you My Life With Dogs. These Blogs taken from my book, 14000 Dogs Later, may be one page at a time, or more. I don’t want to dump too much on you at a time. I hope you enjoy. Feel free to make comments here, or on my Face Book or Twitter account. Best, John
Face Book: Twitter: @PrestonBook


“My little old dog: A heart-beat at my feet.” Edith Wharton

During high school, the military, and college, my dog was Harold Chadwich. He was average size, of mixed ancestry, and of chocolate descent, I say this because his was a tint of brown I have never seen since. I define his color as a mixture of brown found in the eyes of an Indian maiden, an acorn freshly fallen, and the inner coat of a Grizzly cub.
Chad was named after my Boy Scout Master of the same moniker, who, learning at scout camp that I did not know how to swim, and reasoning that I might be the only member of BSA that did not know how, rectified that by throwing me in the deep end of the pool at Camp Arrowhead. Interestingly, no one came to my rescue but Chad…and not my scout master, Chad…my dog, who I had received permission to bring along since Camp Arrowhead is only a few miles away from my home.

What I’ve learned: Will someone please explain this to me? My dog, untrained in the art of protecting the life of his master, even at the risk of death, belly busted into the pool fully intent on keeping me afloat. I’ve read all about wolves, from whence dogs descend. I know what the pack is willing to do for its leader. I know that my family became his pack the day we picked him up at the pound and I became the leader. But, how did he transpose all that over to me to the extent of: knowing I was in peril, and figuring he needed to do something about it. Is there any other animal in the world wired like a dog?

Now, if you agree with what I just said, then can you explain the following to me? That same summer I loaded that same dog into the car to take her to the vet. I then returned to the house for her collar and lead. When I came back to the car, just as I reached to open the door, she jumped on the automatic door lock. We just looked at each other. I swear she knew where we were going and locked me out of the car on purpose. Here’s the thing: if he belly-flopped into the deep end of a swimming pool to save my life…could he not have figured out the vet trip?

There are several aspects, senses, or instincts of dogs that allow
them to be perfect companions for you and me:
Ø The pack instinct. They crave companionship, leadership, and family.
Ø They are social. Whether it’s just you or a large family; they can be perfectly content.
Ø The territorial instinct. Yes, this can be problematic. It’s why they chase cars, the mailman, all delivery men…and it’s why there’s a dirt path worn along the front fence. But, in their minds, they are protecting our property and our lives. It’s a pretty good tradeoff if you ask me.
Ø They have the uncanny capacity to adjust to our needs, wants, desires, and wishes.
Ø There is a dog or breed that can fit perfectly into your life style, whether you are a hunter or fisher. Whether you live in the country or an apartment. Whether you travel, are solitary, or sedentary. Whether you need a protection, alarm, or guard dog.
Ø They come in any color, size, or disposition.

“When is the best time to write?”

writingAs an author, I am often asked, “When is the best time to write?”  It is easy and trouble free to brush this person off with a trite response, such as, “Whenever you feel the urge.”  Mostly, though, that question comes from the heart…the same as it did from me when I first thought about putting pen to paper.  In other words, I take that as a serious question, and so I answer it seriously.  I refer to the book, Beyond Imagination, specifically to the short story, Eight Hours to Live, and even more specifically to Principle Number Two…as follows:


PRINCIPLE NUMBER TWO: Time is precious and priceless
Consider diamonds.
What fantasy fills your mind when you imagine that fine gem that represents power, potency, and riches? It is the hardest jewel known, the oldest possession you can own, and symbolizes undying love. Formed in the deepest regions of Earth and brought to the surface by volcanic force, its age may be three billion years.
How often have you said, I wish I had more time to do this or that, when in reality you had plenty of time, it’s just that you failed to face the task at hand when you should have. Procrastination is a disease with which everyone deals. “Why not put off today what can be accomplished tomorrow?” “Drag your feet, everyone else does.” “Take your time, stall, hold back—”
At what point in time are you willing to recognize the value of time. After you have failed? After a relative has passed? After a love has been lost?
Time is fleeting and short-lived. It is here for the moment—and then it is gone. You cannot grab it, corral it, control or manipulate it. And most certainly, you cannot purchase it. It is precious beyond understanding and it is priceless beyond payment. It is a gift that cannot be given, a worth that evades affordability, and a possession that cannot be owned. And yet, this priceless and precious commodity is yours, every moment of every day, to do with as you will. You may use it, misuse it, or ignore it—whichever you choose you must recognize its fickle nature. It is here only for the moment, and then it is gone—forever, because Time is precious and priceless.

Dogs I Remember #3

This is the third in a series of videos: Dogs I Remember (dogs impacting my life) I hope you enjoy.  
dog and kid playing (2)

My life with dogs #5

Friends: I have decided to share with you My Life With Dogs. The Blogs taken from my book, 14000 Dogs Later, may be one page at a time, or more. I don’t want to dump too much on you at a time. I hope you enjoy. Feel free to make comments here, or on my Face Book or Twitter account. Best, John
Face Book: Twitter: @PrestonBook


“Expect the unexpected has more to do with humans than dogs.” Unknown

Unbeknownst to me at the time, but my future label as a Dog Person was cast at age six under the basement steps of my paternal grandmother. I loved spending time with MaMa, not so much to be free of my brothers and sisters, more so because she had three Dauschunds, four German Shepherds, and my best buddy, “King”, a regal Dalmatian of medium size who could jump rabbits, play hide’n seek, and sleep with me in the afternoon shade of 30-foot pine trees.

It was a Sunday morning and MaMa and I were dressed for Church. MaMa told me to check on KaTrinka, a nine-year-old black Dauschund who was not “due” for two more days. I went to the basement to feed the mom-to-be and her three cohorts, Miggie, Gretchen, and Gus. Three of the four sat atop wooden crates in the enclosed wire pen. Each, I’d swear, smiled. “Where’s Trinka?” I asked.

(What I’ve Learned): I don’t know about you, but I started talking to animals as soon as I could speak. I am not absolutely sure why we do this. We all know, or should know, that they do not talk back to us. But somehow, and those of you who talk to them will understand, they still communicate. It may be a bark, a whine, a grumble, a growl, a yodel, a smile, a raised eyebrow, or even a blank stare…which probably means they wonder why we are talking in a foreign language…still, it’s a message.

Gus barked, jumped off his crate, ran through a newly torn hole in the fence, continued past me, stopped near piled boxes blocking the area beneath the stairs….sat, and barked a second time.

“MaMa!” I yelled.

“What is it, Johnny?” (Note: MaMa and my Dad are the only two people in the universe who called me by that name and lived to tell about it…although Danny calls me Johnny Boy.)
She came to the basement and sent me under the stairs to retrieve seven puppies and Trinka. Now, in and of itself, that doesn’t sound like a great dog story. But, it is indelibly etched in my memory, as were the days following. We watched Mother Nature through the tenderness of Trinka as she nursed, nudged, and cleaned her family. Later I’ll tell you about the bookmarks of life, but…for me, that is one of them.

New web site up and running!



My new site is up and running, It’s the place to purchase The Bog, the Legend of Man’s Best Friend, depicting the spiritual journey between man and dog. ALL proceeds from sales support the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital here in Huntington. Join me on FB: On Twitter: @PrestonBooks Best to each of you, JohnNew Bog Back Cover

New Web Page



My new web site will be up and running this coming Monday, However, you can still access the main page allowing you to purchase my book, The Bog, the Legend of Man’s Best Friend, depicting the spiritual journey between man and dog. ALL proceeds from sales support the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital here in Huntington. Join me on FB: On Twitter: @PrestonBooks Best to each of you, JohnNew Bog Back Cover

Abused dogs

  • Friends: I have received questions about the reality of abused dogs that I mentioned in this blog, Dogs I Remember abused dog (2)on Feb 1.

    YES dogs are abused!!! Read the following.

    New York City Dog Left to Starve to Death in Suitcase: ASPCA Offers $20,000 Reward for Information Leading to Arrest
    Monday, January 26, 2015 – 12:15pm

    Last week, a malnourished pit bull mix was found zipped inside a suitcase in the south Bronx by New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers. Thanks to a generous benefactor, the ASPCA is able to offer a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this horrific cruelty case.
    The approximately three-year-old male dog was abandoned behind a housing complex. The NYPD transferred the dog to the care of the ASPCA. He is currently being examined for evidence and receiving life-saving medical treatment.
    If you have information about this case, please contact the NYPD Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-577-TIPS or going online to submit a tip to via Crime Stoppers’ website. NYPD Crime Stoppers accepts anonymous tips.
    We encourage New York City residents to call 311 to report suspected animal abuse and to call 911 to report crimes in progress.

My Life With Dogs 4-4

Friends: I have decided to share with you My Life With Dogs. The Blogs taken from my book, 14000 Dogs Later, may be one page at a time, or more. I don’t want to dump too much on you at a time. I hope you enjoy. Feel free to make comments here, or on my Face Book or Twitter account. Best, John
Face Book: Twitter: @PrestonBooks
“If dogs could talk it would take a lot of fun out of owning one.” Andy Rooney

Behind the house where I grew up the backyard stretched all the way to the horizon, a distance such that you could ride a horse into the ground before catching an hombre on the run. Back then, jumping from the porch steps and into that yard transported me from the age of six into a world of fantasy. My first death was there, but not before I killed some of the meanest, low down scoundrels in the West. And always, my sidekick Jeep, a Heinz special, black haired and of medium build, stood by me. He knew though, there were times he would have to scamper for his life. Depending on my supply of rubber tipped arrows, or plunger tipped darts, he was deemed anything from a wild boar to a diseased wolf.
As an Indian I could zing arrows from behind a huge Sycamore catching Buffalo Bill and his sidewinders totally unawares. As a cowboy I could ride my white steed through blazing enemy fire without so much as a scratch. My second dog, Taxi, endured every minute of my pain as I was dragged by my feet along rutted forest paths, through rocky creek-beds, and burning coals.
An old dilapidated shack at the end of the yard doubled as an oft-robbed bank, a fort surround by bloodthirsty Indians, or a house on fire where damsels awaited rescue by firemen or Knights of the Round Table, depending on whether dad had left the garden hose out or not.

Silver, another dog of mixed ancestry, often played the part of the bad guy, the demon, or the damsel in distress.
Death in the backyard was not only inevitable, it was dramatic. I fell dead in rusted fencing that separated our yard from Mr. Fischer’s, I died hanging by my ankles from Cigar trees, and death left me draped across an inverted U-shaped steel bar in the middle of the yard, in fantasy I was hanging from the gallows. Always though, always, Jeep, Taxi, or Silver remained in the midst of my fantasy. They were my playmates and my fantasy friends come to life.
The most trusted weapon back then was the semi-automatic pistol that carried a load of 50 caps. Sometimes I used rifles, but they were not as dependable and nothing’s worse than a jammed cap-gun when the wagon train is surrounded by savage Indians who’d just as soon scalp and torture you as to put an arrow in your neck.
Today, I can still smell the pungent odor of the smoke that came from the exploding caps, right through the barrel of my gun. I can taste remnants of the gun powder that I sucked into my mouth. And I remember blowing that gray-colored-smoke back into the air as if I were the toughest cowboy this side of Death Valley.
(WIL) But, none of that ever came to life without one of my dogs at my side. Each listened as I planned every venture, they jumped from the back porch steps and into that fantasy world with the same excitement as I, and at the end of each day I would sit on those same steps with one of my dogs snuggled at my side. I’d review the day’s adventures and plan those for the morrow while they’d look me in the eye and bark with anticipation. I never considered that they didn’t understand me, or that they couldn’t speak…in fact it was quite the opposite. None of that excitement would have come to pass without my constant companions. I didn’t know, back then, that most of my failures and accomplishments of the future would end the very same manner…with one of my faithful and trusted friends at my side. dog and kid playing (2)

Dogs I Remember 2-2 followup


I was thinking about my recent video entitled, Dogs I remember 2-2, and about the four groups of dogs that I remember to be the most difficult to train. There are four: dogs that bite, dogs that have not been socialized, dogs that have been abused and dogs that are mentally unstable.

I occurred to me, as a life-long trainer of dogs, that what I learned from these four groups is also the components needed within the psyche of every dog trainer and owner wishing to train his dog. Those ingredients are: caution, patience, compassion, and observation.

Give these ingredients some consideration, and I’ll bet the next time you snap the lead on his collar for your daily workout…you’ll be a better trainer on your end of the leash, and he’ll become a better dog on his end. And by the way, please remember that I support our local Children’s Hospital through the sale of my book, The Bog, The Legend of Man’s Best Friend available on Amazon at: Don’t forget “Everybody needs a dog, and every dog needs somebody.” Best to each of you, Johndog training (2)