February is a month that has a celebration for just about anyone. For sports fans, there’s the Super Bowl. For party-goers, there’s Mardi Gras. For foodies there’s National Pizza Day – and National Chili Day for good measure. For the health-conscious, it’s National Heart Month. For the history buffs, it’s Black History Month, as well as Iwo Jima Day and Presidents Day.

And of course, there’s Valentine’s Day. But there’s also Random Acts of Kindness Day and, one of my favorites, National Love Your Pet Day.

More than 60 percent of Americans own a pet, and studies have shown that owning a pet can reduce stress, anxiety and depression.

I’ve had a variety of pets throughout my life, though unlike President Calvin Coolidge, I never did have a pet pygmy hippo. As a child I talked my parents into practically every kind of pet, including a German Shepherd, a cat, many fish, mice, guinea pigs, parakeets (One bird actually chose us by landing in our front yard.) Oh – and did I mention the gerbils that I was assured were both female?  Thirteen babies later proved the pet store sales clerk didn’t have a clue what he was talking about.

I like cats though they make me sneeze, but they love me. A friend told me her shy cat had never approached any stranger other than me. Most of all, I absolutely adore dogs. There’s nothing quite like the enthusiastic tail-wagging they greet you with, no matter how many times during the day you leave and come back. Their entertaining antics keep me smiling, while their love of play keeps me active and healthy.

Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish festival of lights and religious freedom

Piper is my husband’s co-pilot as they fly over Puget Sound! She eagerly jumps in his plane but doesn’t have her solo license — yet.

I love my cairn terrier Piper every day, but Love Your Pet Day – February 20 – gives me a chance to shower her with extra time and attention.

One thing I’ll do every now and again is make these super easy, only three ingredient, dog treats.

3-Ingredient Dog Treats


1 cup whole wheat flour (or 1 cup oat flour)
1/3 cup natural peanut butter (ground peanuts should be the only ingredient) **
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix together.
  3. Place a sheet of parchment paper on your counter. Roll out dough ¼ inch thick.
  4. Cut with a cookie cutter or simply into bite-sized squares and place the pieces on a nonstick or foil-lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes depending on the desired crunchiness of the treats.

**Remember to double-check that your peanut butter does NOT contain Xylitol. This sweetener is highly toxic to dogs.

If you’ve read any of my books, you know how much I adore dogs, especially Piper, my cairn terrier. No surprise that all but one of my books have a dog as a pivotal character.  I’m working on the final editing of my latest manuscript, which has a loyal and sweet Pembroke Welsh corgi named Bonnie.

I recently read Annie Rains’ latest book, The True Love Bookshop.  A sweet romance, with a satisfying ending, and yes, there’s a much-loved cute dog running around.

She’s ready to start a new chapter in her life…

For Tess Lane, owning Lakeside Books is a dream come true, but it’s the weekly book club she hosts for the women in town that Tess enjoys the most. The gatherings have been her lifeline over the past three years since her husband’s mysterious death. Tess has tried to move on, but when River Harrison shows up on her doorstep, all her lingering questions come rushing back.…

When secrets surrounding her husband’s death are finally revealed, can Tess find it in her heart to forgive the mistakes of the past … and maybe even open herself up to love again?

If you don’t have a pet, you can still share some love by making a donation or volunteering some time to your local pet rescue.

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