Summer Heat: Be Proactive not Reactive

How Fast Can A Car Heat UP?

10 minutes = 19-degree increase
20 minutes = 29-degree increase
30 minutes = 34-degree increase
60 minutes = 43-degree increase

Just read where another baby got locked in a hot car. Fortunately, people found her in time. Without going into the particulars of the case, I’d like to share a few of the best suggestions I’ve heard about how not to forget there is a child (or pet) in the back seat when you jump out and run into the store, office, bank, etc.

  1. Put your left shoe in the back floorboard/seat. When you get out, you will see or feel your shoe missing and will look & find it and the child too in the back.
  2. Put something you MUST have or need in the backseat. Wallet, purse, briefcase, anything you normally remember to take inside with you, in the back seat. Find your item, find the child.
  3. Place large reminder note saying LOOK in the Back Seat BEFORE Getting Out somewhere on your dash so you will see it as your drive and when you turn off the car.

People and parents are not perfect and in the stressful lives we live, it is possible to forget a child or pet is in the back seat, especially if you aren’t the one who normally drives the child to daycare.

Best to be: PROACTIVE for the possibility you might forget rather than REACTIVE to a preventable tragedy.

Also, if you don’t have the time to take your child out of its car seat when you “run in” for something, go through the drive through window, get it/do it later when you don’t have the child, or do without. What is more important than the safety of your child or pet? The correct answer is A.) nada, nothing, zilch, naught, zero

Stay cool and safe this summer. Thanks for stopping by,


Deborah & Jasmine

Deborah & Jasmine


Breaking TWIG eBook now on sale $0.99 at

Breaking TWIG
eBook now on sale $0.99 at


Confessions of an Critteraholic

I am crazy about animals. I’ve had cats, rabbits, horses, cows, a snake, a baby armadillo, dogs, and more dogs. I’ve had pedigreed dogs, rescued dogs, mutts, curs, big dogs, bigger dogs, and 100+ pound dogs.  Of all the dogs I’ve been blessed to know, it has been two golden retrievers whose paws captured the biggest pieces of my heart.

The first golden girl of my heart came to me when I was twelve and stayed by my side until cancer took her thirteen years later. Some folks may tell you goldens are not good watch dogs. They would be wrong! Mae was just ten months old the first time she came to my rescue. She and I were sitting on the porch of an old, closed feed store when a tall, lanky fellow in his forties came up and tried to talk me into going with him. I said no and started to leave. That’s when he grabbed me, and that’s when Mae went from being a big tail-wagging pup to Cujo. She jumped off the porch and landed on his back and held on. When she finally let go of him, he took off in one direction and Mae and I ran the other way.

The local sheriff told my parents that the man had been in the state mental hospital twice for molesting children. Now my momma didn’t believe in letting any animal except a goldfish live in her house. But from that night on, Mae slept next to my bed. My mother dubbed her my protector, and Mae rose to that role numerous times. Through high school, college, marriage, and divorce, Mae was always by my side.

 The golden girl lying next to my chair tonight came to me as a puppy in 2004. In 2009, Jasmine and I decided to become a Pet Partner Therapy team (okay, I decided, but she liked the idea). After training for six months, we went to Billings to be tested. Jasmine made 100% on her tests and received the highest rating given to registered therapy dogs. We can go into mental hospitals and rehab centers, as well as hospitals, nursing homes, and schools. Jasmine loves getting her service vest on and heading out to bring comfort and cheer to those who need a little unconditional love. An added bonus for us is that our bond is stronger than ever. To be a good therapy dog, the dog must trust her human partner so much that she will obey her partner’s commands even when her animal instincts tell her to do something else. To have a friend that trusts you and loves you so unconditional is a rare and precious thing.

I’ve always lamented the fact that humans outlive our dogs. I read a great explanation from a six-year-old boy, Shane, who’d lost his dog to cancer. He said, “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life—like loving everybody all the time and being nice. Right?” He continued, “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

Sounds about right to me, Shane.

Thanks for stopping by,


Breaking TWIG

Breaking TWIG


By Kathy Dunnehoff

I didn’t know I needed a dog, until I had one.

Last November, mostly at the urging of my daughters, I brought home a 6-week-old Yorkie. I vetoed a couple of names for the one I’d only had a chance to use on a character, Tally. It doesn’t mean much to anyone outside my family, but for us it’s a wonderful lake we love.

Tally, the dog not the lake, looked at me once and I became irrationally enamored…

Tally - ride home

(I know, right?!)





I thought the thrill of having her greet me at the door after a long absence (taking out the garbage or checking the mailbox, for example) would lessen over time. But it hasn’t…

Tally sitting over my arm
I’m sure a therapist could shed some light on the situation (and speaking of shedding, Yorkies don’t 🙂 Although the Montana Women Writers author Ann Minnett is a retired therapist, I believe, and her last post was about falling for her puppy!

At least I’m not alone in my nuttiness for a dog. My entire family is under this one’s spell, and when they’ve headed out to their days, it’s just Tally keeping me company in my office and I’m reminded…

Tally on lap on back

I didn’t know I needed a dog, until I had one. 

Happy Reading!


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Hollywood Beginnings audio cover




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