Recently, Kendra Clark, author of Motherpuppin’ Adorable: what to do when your dog is better than everyone else’s appeared on the Dog Words podcast to talk everything dog, life with dogs, and the Rosie Fund. Dog Words podcaster, Phil Hatterman has a wonderful story in his own right and can be found in our Amazing pet dads father’s day dog dad feature.
One of the premises of the book is we know we’re being ridiculous so let’s just have fun with it and get a little over the top and enjoy it.
I’m Phil Hatterman and this is Dog Words presented by Rosie Fund.
Today, author Kendra Clark tells us about her book, “Motherpuppin’ Adorable – What to do when your pet is better than everyone else’s” and her website ThePopularPets.com with products and resources for dogs, cats, and people.
If you’re new to Dog Words, in each episode, we explore the world of dog care and companionship. “We save each other,” is the motto of Rosie Fund, which simply means the more we do for dogs, the more they do for us. And they already do a lot.
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Next time on Dog Words Rene Agredano and Jim Nelson from Tripawds talk about resources for families facing the prospect of having a three-legged pet or who already do.
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Today on Dog Words joining us from Hollister, California is Kendra Clark, the author of “Motherpuppin’ Adorable – What to do when your pet is better than everyone else’s.” Kendra, welcome to Dog Words.
Hi, thanks for having me. I’m excited to be on the show with you today.
Well, we’re excited to have you. It’s the holiday season. And if someone’s looking for a gift, and they love dogs, or know someone that loves dogs, obviously a book with a title like this is, I’m just going to assume, a good holiday present. And you can confirm or deny that. Would this be a good gift for someone even to give themselves?
Absolutely! You know that I’m going to confirm that. I think it would be a good gift at any time of the year.
I trust your objectivity. So “Motherpuppin’ Adorable” is a fun book about being a dog owner. What prompted you to write this book? ‘Cause a lot of people are authors, a lot of people are dog owners, but not everyone writes a book about being a dog owner.
Yeah, so I have been a dog owner and dog lover for 48 years of my life and rescued many, many dogs. And what struck me is that when I do a survey on Amazon, there’s a lot of very heavy dog books. And we all know that life is better with a dog and we have fun with our dogs. And that’s why we have them. And I just was a bit taken aback whenever I went and searched for a dog that they’re a bit heavy about behavior and training. And just, I just wanted to lighten it up a bit and have some fun.
Are there inspirations for some of the stories in the book that you take from your own life? Or is it more about observing how other people handle dog ownership or perhaps aren’t self aware about their dog ownership?
There’s a bit of both. I certainly wasn’t the most self aware dog owner and I’ve often been referred to as a disaster pet parent, even. I have this great love of Great Danes and they can be very invasive into people’s personal space. Maybe didn’t watch that so much. Had a lot of roommates, and just have grown up with people and around dogs. So I’ve been exposed to it and, and the book follows and retells a lot of those stories and incidents in my life from experiences. So I have to say a bit of both, but definitely have always also followed dogs in the media. So there is a bit of inspiration from that point, as well.
Following dogs in the media, and when I mentioned being a self aware dog owner, there’s a lot of people who spoil their dog—we all spoil our dogs—and treat them like humans and buy them outfits, but aren’t aware of how ridiculous they are. My contention is 20 years ago, even 10 years ago, that was maybe 2-5% of the dog owners were the ones who had crazy outfits on their dogs, walked them around in strollers, put lipstick and wigs on their dogs, and spoiled them in a variety of ways, but really weren’t aware how ridiculous they’re being. Now my contention is, they’re still that 3-5%. Now, the rest of us do that, too. But we know we’re being ridiculous. We own how ridiculous we’re being, and we love it, and the dogs seem to enjoy it, too.
I would agree with you. There’s an illustration in the book about the evolution of dogs in society. We start out at the wolf. And then each part tracks really the evolution of social media in and of itself. And so whether that’s a driver, or our just, you know, increasing disposable income, or I’m not sure the driving force, but it definitely is true. And that’s really one of the premises of the book is we know we’re being ridiculous so let’s just have fun with it and get a little over the top and enjoy it. Embrace it, I guess you’d say.
Yeah, there’s no reason it can’t be fun. And I think we all deserve to have a little fun. We’ve had several different dog behaviorists on the show, not only dog trainers, but also researchers. And it comes up a lot that humans and dogs have evolved together. There’s this mutual development in the way we treat each other that they’re no longer wolves. And we no longer should be treating them like wolves. It makes sense that our evolution, as you mentioned, social media, with how we communicate, how we interact, how we present ourselves to the world should include dogs, as well, how they’re interacting with the world and presenting themselves to the world, with us and through us.
Absolutely. I have one chapter on dating with dogs. And I started to even think about how you introduce your dog to a significant other and the amusing portions of that. And then also about how do you write your dating profile? Your dog is clearly part of your life. Do you include it? How do you include it? And so I came up with funny do’s and don’ts list with that. But it is exactly like you’re saying. Our dogs are a part of our life and we are embracing it and each step and it’s a fun way to navigate life.
If people listed deal breakers on a dating website, a dog lover would put “not a dog lover” as probably a deal breaker above “doesn’t like kids” or “is of the other end of the political spectrum.”
Probably. Probably. I would think so, as well. And you know, it’s interesting is also sometimes even cat lovers. Maybe that’s a deal breaker in certain contexts. But, you know, people have a way of coming around with that, because in the end, they’re both pet lovers.
Yeah, we can find a mutual ground. I think there’s a overlap of that Venn diagram. If it’s politics, we can just not talk politics. But if it’s dogs, that dog’s in the room. That cannot be ignored. Turn off the TV when the news comes on. Well, you can’t just ignore the dog when it’s on the couch in between you.
Yeah, or in the bed.
More likely yes. I find it really interesting whenever I talk to an author, Kendra, about that process of having an idea and then getting to see it in print. What was the fire that was either lit under you or you lit under yourself that moved this from an idea to actually writing a book, publishing a book, going through that whole process?
That’s so interesting, because at times I refer to it as I got pregnant with it. So I’m a full time corporate attorney. I have two small children and really no time to write a book at all. But it just came to me and it started developing inside me and I started just getting up at four in the morning and writing my ideas down and it was the most fun. I always say like when you have children, their joy at youthful things sparks memories in you. But that’s what this book did for me. And as I started to comb through the stories in my brain, I would remember this stuff. And really, it became such an enjoyable experience that I was happy to get up at four in the morning and just start writing and keep at it. But launching a book is a very difficult thing. There are several editorial processes – the marketing and then just like things like getting ISBN and stuff. I knew that I wanted to self-publish the book. And so I found a wonderful company that supported you in that entire journey. And were there for you to somewhat coach you. And I would suppose I was so on it because it was like I had a due date. But as I moved through the process, I didn’t need their prompting to write but just as checkpoints and editorial. And the whole process, it is a very established process so you can learn by yourself, but if you feel similarly, like you got pregnant with a book, I used Book Launchers, a company like that would really be beneficial. Because we have so many stories about our pets, why not get them out?
The process of writing a book, as with building a website, or opening a business, you’re not the first person to do it. There’s people who could show you the way. But a lot of it is just knowing what questions to ask. And so you don’t even know who should I be asking questions from? Who should I be getting help from? And having organization like that, just to sort of rein in your thoughts, ’cause it can be going everywhere, trying to figure out hardcover, paperback, binding, not even knowing that you need to get an ISBN number, and all these questions that you just don’t even know to ask.
Right. Yeah. And so it was extremely beneficial, because I love the writing process. And I wanted to get all these stories out and these ideas that have. I didn’t necessarily want to learn about the publishing industry. So having that coaching immediately in real time as you move through the process, and you can focus on what you truly enjoy, which presumably is why you want to write a book is actually putting it on paper. It was a great match.
Yeah, someone who has a business idea that’s manifested in becoming a website, that doesn’t mean you want to be a web designer.
Right. Exactly. Right?
I want someone to help me get this on the web. And then I will use my idea, my skills, my talents, and you would spend 90% of your time being a web manager, and 10% on the whole reason you went into it in the first place. Like, you don’t want to spend 90% of your time doing publishing stuff. You want to spend 90% of your time writing the book and then 10% of your time consulting with someone who’s going to get this book on the shelves.
Right. And from what I learned, too, I mean, you could go the traditional publishing route. But for me, self publishing with a company like Book Launchers made so much sense because you get to keep a larger amount of royalties. You get to keep control over your book and the process. And when you go with the publisher, you’re still gonna have to do a lot of your own marketing and get out there anyway. So why not just do it yourself? Do it on your own terms, do it how you want. And there’s lots of these companies that can support you, including Book Launchers.
I’ll link to Book Launchers in the description. And I will also let our listeners in Kansas City know that Mid-Continent Library’s Woodneath branch – which you probably think it’s in Liberty, it’s actually just outside of liberty on Flintlock road just north of the Target – is the headquarters of the National Storytelling Network. And they will help you write your story and publish a book and even the whole printing process. So if you’re in Kansas City, that’s a great resource for you. And certainly, Book Launchers is going to be useful, whether you’re in Kansas City or Hollister or elsewhere. And if you have an idea for a book, I think you would regret not writing the book more than you would the work that goes into writing the book. 10 years from now, 20 years from now, if you look back and think, “I wish I’d written the book,” there’s gonna be a lot more regret than, “Boy, that book was a lot of work and I didn’t get rich off it.”
I think so. I think you’re right.
‘Cause you’re not writing it to get rich. You’re writing it to share your story. And if you make some money off it, great. If you get to be on the Dog Words podcast, that’s a win.
Absolutely. Absolutely. I think you’re so right. Navigating life with our dogs, we all have fun stories to tell. So if you similarly get pregnant with a book, it’s time. Just get it out there. And there are lots of resources and ways that you can get support to get it out into the world.
Do you still get up at four in the morning?
Almost. In the end, what I’m learning is that the marketing of a book is pretty labor intensive as well. So not four and I’m not as excited about the marketing part as I certainly was the writing part, but it’s all part of the package. And so not four but definitely bright and early.
So this is a fun book. I encourage our listeners to check it out. And there will be a link in the description of this episode to the Amazon page that you can use your Amazon Smile account and help Rosie Fund out with your purchase. Or you can also go to Kendra’s website and access the book there. Tell us about your website, Kendra.
The website, again, is really focused on having fun with your dog. I create a lot of content from everything from should I get a tattoo of my dog to how to memorialize my dog. Do dogs really make us smile? Some really heavy subjects. But again, it’s to bring a little levity to navigating life with your dog. Embracing that joy. We have some fun party downloadable printables for your next dog party. And, you know, one of the things that also contributes to the wellness of your life, you know, what we found is CBD. Having older dogs and working with older dogs, senior dogs, you know, and dogs with anxiety and certain issues, we found CBD to be an awesome tool. And so that’s also for sale, our very favorite collection of that. We worked with the brand to create what we believe is the top of the line. So that’s available there, as well.
ThePopularPets.com also will be linked in the descriptio. ThePopularPets.com. Peaches, our dog—regular listeners know who I’m talking about when I say, “Peaches,” but you perhaps didn’t you just thought he’s taking a left turn into talking about fruit now. Our dog is named Peaches, and she is 15 years old and gets CBD oil, and it absolutely makes a difference.
So glad to hear that.
So I give it my endorsement. What has been your experience with using CBD oil with dogs? Is it just a general supplement? Or is there something specific you’ve used it to address with your dog? Because for Peaches, it’s joints. She’s had two ACL surgeries and she has regular chiropractic care to keep her mobile. And this has helped immensely with that.
Same thing for me. I have a senior dog. She’s a 16 year old rescue mixed breed. She still hikes regularly. She’s not one that wants to stay home, but she’ll follow me where she really shouldn’t be doing and the higher level activity. But I really believe that with a regular use of CBD—and especially ours is an easy spray in the mouth water soluble so it’s very absorbable by the dog’s body—that she really does a lot better. I also had a fun experience last summer during COVID. We, you know, put all the kids and the dogs in the car and took a trip to Jackson Hole. As I started down the driveway, I realized we had a one year old rat terrier and he’d never really been on any long trips. So we started on this 20 hour trip and thankfully, I had some calming CBD in the car and he settled right in, too. We have two varieties. And I think there’s really, you know, targeted benefits for both.
Yeah, I have a friend whose dog is high anxiety, gets very anxious. And it’s really been the best thing for her. There’s all the other you know, give it Benadryl, give it this and the thunder coats and, and, and all those things. If they work, great. But if you can give it something that doesn’t have the side effects of a medicine or wrestling with a thunder coat, because the CBD oil, like you said, if it’s a oral spray, boom, you’re done. You don’t have to worry about it. Let’s get in the car and go. And some dogs with a heavy coat, do you really want them to be secure, but overheated?
Right. Right. And I’ve heard a lot of people with not the greatest feedback from thunder coats. I applaud everyone for trying to find an alternative form of anxiety relief. Right? That we will all likely need at some point. But I think CBD is really the most effective.
We’re right in the middle of the holiday season. That’s an anxious time for some dogs because you have people coming into the house, it’s a little more crowded, the energy changes. So CBD oil might be a good item to have on hand. Any other tips for celebrating the holidays with your dog?
Yeah, so I think saying that’s an anxious season for our pets, it’s probably one for people, as well. So again, in the book I do a whole chapter on celebrating holidays with your pets. And because again, this is a fun time. Our dogs are an integral part of our life. They’re with us all the time. So why not celebrate and enjoy them? And so really, what we have to remember is just that. So fun ways to incorporate them with special holiday themed treats. Obviously, pet safety is a really big one and making sure that they’re not going to want anything that you hang on their tree at their level, or any presents to open early without your assistance. But in general just relaxing a bit and enjoying them and having them be a part of your life. If your family has some traditions, incorporating your pet. And some of those may be like seasonal treats, having a special dog present, dog advent calendar, and have the kids open their advent calendar and the dog get a special treat as well.
We have flannel jammies that Peaches wears, waiting for Santa, and it’s just adorable. And a couple years ago our friend Rosa, her friend Rosa, was here and she had her flannel jammies too and so you have two 60 pound dogs in their flannel jammies waiting for Santa. Just adorable. And you mentioned the stress of the holidays. Let your dog be kind of the canary in the coal mine. If your dog is looking a little stressed out, a little frazzled, a little anxious, maybe you should look in the mirror.
Because they’re probably reacting to you. That you maybe need to take a breath. You maybe need to get some CBD oil. Don’t let the holidays be stressful. They don’t have to be stressful. Like you said, make it fun.
Right. And that goes with so many things, right? And a little outdoor time with your dog and a little walk that can also do wonders, too. And that may be just the way that you need to incorporate them into the seasons.
Make time for that. I enjoy walking in all kinds of weather. I don’t mind if it’s raining. I don’t mind if it’s cold, walking through the snow. Peaches, however, Peaches is a little reluctant. So she has all kinds of coats that we can dress her up in and she even has little boots that if it’s icy, she will wear her boots. And if she hasn’t worn them in a while it takes about a half a block or so before she remembers, “This is how these work.” She has more traction. Make it fun for your dog. Remember, they need to dress for the weather just as you do. Of course, you’re in Hollister, California, so you’re probably wondering, “What is he talking about?”
Yes, yes. Okay, I have heard it’s a, it’s an LA thing lately, putting booties on to go downtown. So there’s all sorts of, you know, fun outfits you can do that are theme oriented and take advantage of the holidays that way to add a little extra.
Again, you can make “Motherpuppin’ Adorable” part of your holidays. And with shipping now you can get it within a day or two. Easily have it before Christmas as a gift. Buy it for yourself. Buy it for others. Check out the website ThePopularPets.com. And also we’ll have a link in the description to all of your social media. Do you have any special plans for your pets coming up here in the holidays?
Yeah, we like a lot of outdoors time. I’ve got great Pyrenees and a Rat Terrier and my older dog and so we just spend a lot of time outside. Lots of good hikes and our family just enjoys outdoor time with our dogs. But my great Pyrenees I can look over right now. She’s enjoying a nap on the sofa. So we cuddle up on the inside, too.
What’s her interaction like with the Rat Terrier? That’s an interesting combination.
Yeah, really interesting. We live on a ranch. So the thought was that she would be the perimeter and ranch protector dog but she is on the sofa right now. But they get along great. I think they, they’re both young. And so they both really appreciate having a pal to play around with.
That’s fun for them. And “Motherpuppin’ Adorable,” ThePopularPets.com, and everything else that’s linked in the description for this episode. And whether your idea is writing a book or a website or a animal welfare group, pursue it. That’s what Kendra has taught us. Kendra, thank you so much for joining us today. And when you write another book or when this becomes a movie or any updates you have, come back and we’ll visit again on Dog Words.
Thank you so much, Phil. I really appreciate you having me and your community for spending some time of their day with us.
I’m Phil Hatterman and you’ve been listening to Dog Words presented by Rosie Fund.
Thank you to Kendra Clark for joining us today. Links to ThePopularPets.com, it’s social media, and resources mentioned in today’s episode are linked in the description.
Next time on Dog Words Rene Agredano and Jim Nelson tell us about Tripawds.
A big thank you to alternative string duo The Wires featuring cellist Sascha Groshang and violinist Laurel Morgan Parks for playing the wonderful music you’ve heard on today’s and previous episodes of Dog Words. Supporting The Wires supports our mission. Now you can join Laurel and Sascha as they explore new music and delve into the inspiration behind each work as hosts of Sound Currents on 91.9 Classical KC. Click on the Sound Currents link in the description for more information. Learn more about The Wires, including their concert schedule, at TheWires.info and download their music on iTunes. Check out FiddleLife.com and learn to play fiddle and cello-fiddle online from Laurel and Sasha even if you’ve never played before.
Celebrate five years of Rosie Fund by supporting our campaign to sponsor 50 dogs. You can donate on our website or Facebook page. You can also contribute by making a purchase from the website store buying a t-shirt at Bonfire.com or putting some of our merch in your cart when you shop at BarkYours. Links are in the description. Your donations help fund the Rosie Life Starter Kits that make sure these senior and harder-to-adopt dogs have some of the items they’ll need in their forever home.
As always, please download, follow, rate, and share Dog Words. This helps us with sponsorships then Rosie Fund can help more dogs. Support Rosie Fund by following us on social media and please subscribe to the free Rosie Fund YouTube channel. Our latest post features a wonderful KC Pet Project dog looking for a forever home.
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Thank you for listening and remember, we save each other.
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