Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Lou, Eugenie and I want to wish all our friends a Happy, safe Halloween. While you humans seems to take all the faux gore and mayhem in stride (some even relish the chance to be naughty for a night) remember that your 4-legged pals can see the commotion as weird and intimidating. So make sure we're well secured when all those goblins and ghouls start ringing the bell, demanding you pay up or else. The last thing either of us wants is for you to spend a spooky night searching the neighborhood for your missing friend.

Some news stories that caught our eye. In the LA Times on Friday, October 25, there was a short piece about the Project Homeless Connect fair in downtown L.A, where the National Museum of Animals and Society, and other groups gave out free dogfood, toys and vaccinations to those without permanent shelter.
A.J. Martin & his puppy, Soldier at the Project Homeless Connect Fair
Also in the L.A. times on Saturday, October 26, a terrific column from Sandy Banks urging animal lovers to consider the plight of people forced to surrender their pets. Quoted in the story is Lori Weiss, the founder and leader of Downtown Dog Rescue, whose groups runs an intervention program to help keep dogs and cats from the shelters. She urges understanding and compassion for people sometimes forced to make a painful choice between keeping a pet and sleeping on the street. Read the article

For those of you thinking about getting a rescue pet, NO KILL LA (NKLA) will be sponsoring their Fall mega-adoption on November 9 & 10, from 10am - 4pm, at the La Brea Tarpits, 5801 Wilshire Blvd., LA, CA 90036. With over 1,000 dogs and cats from 50 rescue groups, you're sure to find the friend of your dreams. At the May 2013 event, 400+ animals found homes. How cool is that! So spread the word and help set a new record saving lives.

Finally...our Halloween/Dia De Los Peros (Day of the Dogs) GIMME SHELTER GIVEAWAY was a huge success. During the 2-day promo, over 1,500 people downloaded the book. Now all we need is for them to write rave reviews and tell everyone they know. In a simultaneous giveaway on Goodreads book lovers' website (owned as of late by Amazon), nearly 400 people entered to win 5 signed copies of Gimme Shelter. Our thanks to everyone who took the time to join us for either event.
Getting some love from the 'Kiss Bulls at NKLA, May 2013
Lou, Eugenie and Tanner at NKLA, May 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Earlier this year, Eugenie and I convinced Lou to enter GIMME SHELTER in the annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards Competition. Although he won't admit, we all felt we had a good shot to win the big enchilada. Turns out we came close, but no cigar. We did, however, receive a very positive commentary from the judge that we'd like to share: "GIMME SHELTER is a well written, sincere account of a special friendship between Mr. Spirito and his dog. Unlike many pet-human memoirs, this once tells an appealing story with a real arc for both the author and the dog Tanner.The author does a nice job integrating his early family experiences with his 'current' story of acquiring and caring for...the rescued pit bull. It's important for the reader to have some context about the author's anger issues, and the italicized passages provide real insight...Another element that works well is the information and advice on pet / dog owning, presented at the end of the chapters. This is a generous extra, which elevates the book above the run-of-the-mill."
Tanner on alert for the sound of treats
Courtesy of Karma Rescue, here's a great poem by Joe Hernandez-Kolski that captures the joie de vivre of our four-legged pals and the need to step up the rescue efforts until they all find two-leggeds partners. (cute dog, too)

Attention Tanner fans and Pit Bull lovers! Don't miss the free 'GIMME SHELTER' HALLOWEEN GIVEAWAY, October 31 & November 1.  See why American Dog Magazine called GIMME SHELTER "Wonderful, interesting and insightful" and why Actor/Author Harry Hamlin said "I loved this book!" To get your free copy, just go to our Amazon page. Don't have a Kindle? Download the free reader app for your PC. Mac or iPad. And please share this with your friends.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


As friends and fans of GIMME SHELTER know, I was living at the Agoura Hills Animal Shelter when Lou & Eugenie happened by. They weren't looking for a dog, especially not a Pit Bull, but my sweet disposition and composed demeanor (my friends at Sandpiper Kennel call me "Tanner With Manners") won them over. If you want to know more, you can read all about it in the book, which would make a great holiday gift for the dog lovers' in your life, hint, hint. I mention it now because on October 5, we participated in the Author's Event at the Annual Agoura Hills 'Reyes Adobe Days', a festival commemorating the founding of the pueblo-turned-city. We had a fabulous time chatting with visitors and signing books. We must have made a good impression because they invited us to participate (as in sell books) at their Annual Holiday Boutique. Many thanks to Amy Brink Jones, Jamie Goldstein, their colleague and the people of Agoura for making us feel welcome. And a big 'thank you' to the folks at the L.A. County Agoura Shelter, for helping animals in need.

Flogging GIMME SHELTER at Reyes Adobe Days, 10/5/13
It's Treats not Tricks with the GIMME SHELTER GIVEAWAY. Lou and I want to spread the word that on October 31 and November 1, we're giving away digital copies of GIMME SHELTER to celebrate Halloween and Dia De Los Peros (Yes, it's Dia De Los Muertos but we're rolling with the dog theme). Just go to Amazon and download the e-book for free, gratis, nada, bupkis, zilch, zero. Don't have a Kindle, download the free Kindle reader for your PC, Mac or iPad. Be sure to tell your friends and to share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


This was a great week for those of us who roll on 4 legs, and our human friends.  First, Elle a Pit Bull (yes, a pit bull!) was named 2013 'Hero Dog' by the American Humane Association. Making it even better, our friends and dog park pals, Megan Blake and Smiley were there to co-host the gala.
Megan and Super Smiley with last year's emcee, stage superstar Kristin Chenoweth
Then there was a moving piece in the Huffingtom Post about a woman who rescued a wounded Pit Bull and took to Craig's List to chide the dog's abusive former owners. Be advised, Kleenex necessary.
Mama Jade
Finally, in case you think I have a pit bull agenda (moi?) that runs toward saccharine, my hard-nosed 'dad, Lou asked me to include this story from the New York Times about Gregory Berns, a neuroscientist from Emory University whose work is proving what we've known since the first dog strolled into the first human encampment, that  DOG ARE PEOPLE, TOO. - "For the past two years, my colleagues and I have been training dogs to go in an M.R.I. scanner — completely awake and unrestrained. Our goal has been to determine how dogs’ brains work and, even more important, what they think of us humans. Now, after training and scanning a dozen dogs, my one inescapable conclusion is this: dogs are people, too." (read the article & watch the video)
With Tanner and his girl, 'Lola' Mazza - Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets!