Official Upcoming Release Schedule!

Due to changes in how my publisher assigns dates, I won't have release dates until I finish the book. I'm currently working on:

Taking the Realm which is book 3 of Sha and Connor's trilogy (previously titled Shaking the Balance)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Paws with a Cause - Day 1 - SIMI!!!

Hello Lovelies! We have a total of 59 blogs that have gotten together to help raise money for a great cause. There are going to be some awesome prizes up for grabs for people that donate money to the cause. Here is a little about the company that we are raising the money for:

Paws With A Cause® enhances the independence and quality of life for people with disabilities nationally through custom-trained Assistance Dogs.
PAWS® increases awareness of the rights and roles of Assistance Dog teams through education and advocacy. Founded in 1979, Paws With A Cause is dedicated to helping its clients who are challenged by many disabilities, such as Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Seizure Disorders, and Hearing Disorders to name just some. Each of our dogs are trained to meet the specific needs of our clients. Tasks may include opening and closing doors, picking up objects, pulling a wheelchair, turning lights on and off, and alerting a person to particular sounds like a telephone, doorbell, smoke detector and many others. Our dogs change lives by enhancing the independence of our clients. By just opening a door, a dog opens up the world for a person with a disability and your donations will go to making that happen. PAWS thanks you so much for your donation and allowing us to open more doors.

Paws With A Cause
4646 South Division
Wayland, MI 49348

How to donate:
1. Go to Click on "Make a Donation"
3. Enter a amount you wish to donate. Everibbon will add a small fee to your donation for processing. My fee for donating $5.00 was .49 cents. So keep this in mind when deciding your donation amount. You will receive 1 entry into the giveaway for every $1 you donate.
4. In the box that says "on the behalf of" please put your name. This is the name that will be listed on the everibbon website so put a name you do not mind being visible to everyone. Do not check the box to make a anonymous donation because I will not be able to track your donation to enter you into the giveaways.
5. Next it will ask you for your credit or debit card information.
6. Then it will ask for your email address to send you a receipt. This is so that you can submit it for tax purposes.
7. Ta Da! Your all done making your donation. Now you need to contact Danielle to enter the giveaway.
8. Please email Danielle at with the name you used to donate your money. For example the name I used to donate on behalf of was Romance Book Junkies. Do not send me your name off your credit or debit card because I will not be able to see this. Along with the name you used please tell me how much you donated and if you live in the US or are International.
9. Your all done. Thank you for donating!

Warning: Do not try to email Danielle the name and donation amount of another person that is not yourself. If Danielle recieves more than one email with the same persons name and donation amount she will have to ask for your copy of the receipt from everibbon to verify that you are the correct winner. Thank you.

We will have 3 winners for the main giveaway.
We have 2 $65 gift certificates to any online book store.
Also we have a huge box of books and swag from Romance Book Junkies for US residents only.

On my blog you have the opportunity to win s $10 Amazon Gift Card!!! 

To enter, just leave a comment below telling me about your pet or a pet you wish you had. 

You must include your email address.

Good luck to all and thank you for helping make this fundraiser a success.

Now, today's feature pet is my very own Simi, a 4.5 year old miniature Schnauzer!

Meet Simi!!

My husband and I named Simi after a character from one of my favorite authors, Sherrilyn Kenyon. In the books, "Simi" means "baby" and is the name of a demon, so I used to say she'd either turn out to be a sweet baby or a hellion. Well, she's a bit of both. She hogs the bed, demands to be in your lap the second you sit down, and can be a diva. She walks backwards across non-carpeted floors (yes, she literally turns around and walks backwards) and refuses to jump above certain heights. She is also amazingly well behaved, was housetrained at 9 weeks, only barks at people when someone comes to the door, and doesn't bark when other dogs go nuts.

She also has a very special medical condition. Simi was diagnosed a year ago with Myasthenia Gravis and Megaesophagus. The MegaE was a result of the MG diagnosis. Basically, Simi's esophagus stopped working properly. She used to be fed dry food and one day began regurgitating the food as soon as she'd finished eating it as well as regurgitating water. I had no idea what was wrong with her and her vet couldn't figure it out either, but reality struck home when I came home from work and found her struggling to breathe. She had regurgitated water and aspirated it.

She contracted pneumonia and was a very sick dog for a days, but one blessing that came from it was finding a magnificent vet. We finally had a diagnosis and realized we needed to make very big changes. Simi couldn't handle solid food or water anymore so I joined an online community and learned everything I could. I needed to create a specialized food blend that would provide all the water she would need. I had to accept she may never eat like a normal dog again. I had to learn her med schedule and adapt it to the life of two people working full time. And I had to improvise a feeding solution. You see, Simi had to begin eating vertically so the food could fall by gravity into her belly. Otherwise it would trap in her esophagus and we risked regurgitating. Even vertically, we couldn't stop the regurging and I got damn good at catching it in bags to minimize cleanup, to recognize the signs it was about to happen, and to adapt to life with a special needs dog. The pictures below are the first time we put Simi into her child's car seat and the eventual method of feeding we evolved to. In the first, she's doped on pain meds because she was in so much pain from her inflamed esophagus she was crying non stop for hours.

Simi became a baby in a very real since of the word. This was my schedule, and bear in mind I work full time as a programmer and that work is about 45 minutes from me house:
  • Wake up at 1 AM and 3:30 AM to the sound of wretching due to acid reflux. Get up and give her Pepcid AC and hold her upright
  • Wake up at 4:30AM and give Simi medicine for a severely inflamed esophagus. This medicine had to be given at least an hour before any food or other meds.
  • Hold Simi upright for 5-10 minutes
  • Go back to bed for half an hour
  • Wake up at 5:30 AM and give Simi her medicine for Myasthenia Gravis
  • Wait 20 minutes. During this time I blended her food, mixing wet dog food with pumpkin, honey, baby oatmeal, and water in a very precise recipe designed to give her all calories and water she needed.
  • Spoon feed Simi (took around 20 minutes) and keep her vertical for 30-45 minutes. During this time I had to be there to release her from her chair if she started regurging and get her into a position where she would have less chance or aspirating
  • Let Simi out of her chair and prepare for work
  • Put Simi into a special neck pillow that keeps her head elevated while I'm at work and minimizes chance of regurg
  • Work 9 hours then come home
  • Let Simi out of her cage and give her round one of meds
  • Keep her vertical for 10-15 minutes
  • Make dinner for her
  • Give Simi her Myasthenia gravis medicine and wait 20 minutes
  • Spoon feed her dinner and keep her vertical for 30-45 minutes
  • Eat my own dinner
  • Give her the last round of meds about 90 minutes after dinner
  • Rinse and repeat
We got lucky and after 3 or 4 months we were able to stop most of her meds and she learned to feed herself by propping the food container on a special bar. She even got to the point where she'd jump backwards into the chair when it was feeding time. We ran into issues keeping her in the car seat because she has weak back legs and the pressure began to hurt her so I had to improvise another solution. I wedged pillows into a laundry basket and used her foam bar that kept her in the car seat to keep her propped upright. She was mostly vertical and it kept pressure off of her back legs.

Now I'm beyond pleased to report that she eats in a normal position most of the time and only sometimes has to go vertical. I recognize that sound well and can flip her upright onto my lap in no time flat. She knows what it means and is fine getting into her chair when she needs it, though she can be a bit petulant.

It was hard work for a long time but I adapted. I managed her med schedule, food routine, kept diligent notes on everything I did throughout the day including when she regurged and discovered patterns crucial to her treatment. We will always face the risk that this could happen again but we cross our fingers it won't. If nothing else, she's a miracle doggie in beating the odds. Most dogs who get Megaesophagus have it for the rest of their lives.

I hope you've enjoyed learning more about Simi! This week I'll be presenting other stories from some of my closest friends!!


  1. OMG! I can not believe poor Simi has to deal with that. You are amazing for giving Simi such loving support!

    I have two dogs, both are teacups, 1 black Chihucahu named Blackie, my daughter 4 at the time named him lol. The other is a Jack Russell/Shitzu mix, although we dont see the shitzu part at all. He is highly intelligent. They are my 4 legged babies. lol

  2. What an amazing story - and an amazing little dog!

  3. I love your story Linds. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  4. OMG! What a cute dog and amazing story. I just happy you found out how to deal with her condition. I wish her and you guys the best.

  5. Poor Simi! Simi is so lucky to have you guys! I have to wait until our youngest gets a little older to adopt another furry family member but am patiently waiting.

    susanmplatt AT hotmail DOT com

  6. Wow. Poor Baby. It is a good thing she has y'all. Not many people would even raise a child with health problems so y'all are doing a amazing thing.

  7. What a great story! I've had special needs dogs and I know how you have to schedule things. What a great person you are to help her so much. Plus, she is adorable!

  8. Cute dog. Would like a dog.


  9. you dog looks appropriately spoiled. I said a final goodbye to my puppy girl 2 yrs ago, but while we were together she brought me lots of smiles every day & I have to admit she had me trained pretty well too ;)
    gamistress66 (at) aol (dot) com

  10. what an amazing story, thanks for sharing :)

    i want another dog, thanks :)


  11. I've always wanted a dog, a big one like a german shepherd or a golden retriever but I know I won't be able to take care of it :(

  12. Simi is cute!!

    My cat is stripey and is spoiled rotten!

    Such a great cause! Thanks for being a part of it!!