Today I was thrilled to receive the first copies of my new book, Basset Hound, Your Happy Healthy Pet. It is available for sale on Amazon, just in time for the holidays. I'm sure you will all want one, even if you don't have a Basset (VERY big grin).
I spent about two months on this project earlier this year. The Happy Healthy Pet series from Howell Books is a series about each of the most popular breeds. I am happy to report that this book is specifically written about about Basset Hounds, rather than just a formula "how-to-care-for-your-dog" book with a Basset Hound on the cover. Although the editor provided me with a table of contents, I was free to reorganize and add elements, and of course, write the content. This is a second edition; the first edition, written by Barbara Wicklund, a respected member of the Basset Hound Club of America, was released in 1996. I was given the first edition to pull from as I wished. The previous book focused more on breeders and dog fanciers rather than pet owners, so my mission was to rewrite the book for the pet dog owner. A lot of information needed to be updated also. Her writing style was more formal where my style is conversational, so that needed to be changed too. The new edition, while including some of her work, is mostly mine. The editors provided content for some of the sidebars– for example, on vaccinations – so it would be consistent throughout all of their breed books. Since I have so much experience with training, it killed me not to be able to write that chapter! But someday someone will probably rewrite my version too.
I had some terrific help with my research for the book. Jo Ann and Bill Nolan, of Splash Basset Hounds, Heather Simonek of Vogue Bassets, Don Bullock of Woebgon Bassets, and Cathy Wheeler (whose dogs compete in agility) all spent hours with me as I diligently took notes. Sylvie McGee of Seattle helped me with rescue and Basset health issues. She is the Basset breed rep for Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue (a group I used to volunteer for) and is on the national breed club's health committee. Jacqueline Nolan posed with dogs, and Kevin Whelan had his agility dogs perform for photos.
My close friend and a professional photographer, Melanie Snowhite, took some fabulous photos which are featured in the book. I love how the Basset's loose skin seems to be caught in slow motion, flapping around mid-action in some of the shots.I learned so much on this, my first book, that will help me when I write the next one, and there will be a next one, I promise!