The Surprise for readers of “Dog in the Gap” [Video]

Doug Jackson
Doug Jackson

 Here are a few excerpts of some advanced praise for our book!

Dog in the Gap: Brief Explorations of Canine Care-Taking and Human Flourishing” (It releases on Amazon: Monday August 19th!)

From Evelyn Romig:
What a refreshing read! And by refreshing, I mean not only crisp prose and photos that are–wait for it–so doggone cute! but true living water for the spirit. This collection of small essays by two different stylists not only celebrates the wonderful relationships of humans and their best friends, it examines the spiritual significance of ownership, training, domestication, and companionship. Doug Jackson and Lisa Colon Delay complement one another: one will write about a specific experience (the true “Labrador” nature of her pup) and then the other will challenge the reader with questions about animal souls, using sources as varied as C.S. Lewis and St. Francis. Hard for the Christian reader to finish this treat of a book without wanting to do two things–share the book and volunteer at the local animal shelter. Thanks, Doug and Lisa, on behalf of the sweet souls that cannot speak for themselves!”
From Michelle Moore Mitchell:

“Just finished reading the review draft. I want more! … Not sentimental — but lots of tears. I’m going to read it again, starting tomorrow. This time, a chapter a day, so I can live with, experience, think about, and feel what is there more fully….”

From Clark Roush:

“Only on page 30, and I can already confidently declare you will want to read “Dog in the Gap.'”

Would you be willing to write a review? Hooray! Use the contact form here.

ONLY 7 days until you can get the much anticipated book I’ve written with esteemed professor and long-time pastor Doug Jackson.

I’m really proud of the content and layout of this book. For instance:
• Nearly all of the 88 pages include a captivating photo which really adds a lot to the experience.

Anyone who’s had a dog they loved will “get this” book (both editions). It’s powerful. It put into words and takeaways those deep bonds and lessons we experience uniquely when we have a furry companion.

• The BONUS EDITION (will also be released on the same date) has well over 100 pages of extras, secret links to exclusive videos for this group, and plenty of extra photos and humor. (It’s the hardcore doggie fans Edition.) See below for the Charity component.

It’s set up to be easy to read. It’s no dense tome. There are terrific stories and there’s plenty of material and insights even a non pet owner can enjoy.

• We are donating portions of the money you pay for the book (which is an affordable $2.99. You’d shell out $3 to help dogs, right?) to two local non-profits:

For Doug, it’s the Gulf Coast Humane Society of Corpus Christi, TX.

For me, it’s a low-cost spay and neutering clinic in Allentown, PA (named alliteratively: “No Nonsense Neutering“). They offer low cost services in Reading, Allentown and Quakertown, PA as a humane and preventative alternative to regulating overpopulation through euthanasia. (Unlike PETA who funds mass euthanasia programs secretly. “Fur is murder!” they say, but they have a mass extermination system in place for kittens, rabbits, and puppies. VIEWER CAUTION ADVISED: Previous link has some grisly and disturbing photos.)

Doug was kind enough to sit down and answer a few interesting questions on video for me. Some I’ve saved for the Bonus Edition for you super fans!  You’ll have to hold tight patiently for a few more days!

In this video (just 80 seconds long) Doug shares what he thinks will most surprise readers about the book.

I hope you’re as excited as we are!

Want a sample to read for free?
Just sign up just below! We’ll be sending it out soon.

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“Dog in the Gap”

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Wet Dog Diary: Providing for the Pack

I’ll spare you a corresponding photo, but Luna, our chocolate lab, tried to bring a dead rabbit into the house.

Luna our chocolate lab

Not long ago, just after Luna began adjusting to us and as her new family, I took her outside for her final bathroom break of the day.

She sniffed around as usual and then slowly blended into the inky night. Chocolate labs are pretty tough to spot at night, unless you catch the light reflected off the backs of their eyes. I waited. Then sensing that she might smell something and head off after it, I called to her. Nothing. Again I called and a few more times.

I heard the jingle of her collar in the weeds and then she pranced back with something furry in her mouth.

Not quite the hunter, Luna found an already killed and gutted rabbit and brought the carcass back. She wanted to bring it inside and share it. I screamed. And she seemed stunned.

“Put it down. Put it down. No, girl. Get inside.” I said.

She dropped it–mortified. Clearly she was a mix of mystified and disappointed you could just tell by her face. She sneaked inside and kept checking back to see what could be the matter. For days after we hosed down the back area where she dropped her present she would sniff and make some attempts to roll in the smell.

Gone were her chances to provide for the pack, at least in that way.

I wonder if we’re like that too sometimes. Trying to provide or contribute, thinking we’re doing a great job, and really God knows that our contributions are more like rotten carrion. It’s incomprehensible sometimes to us why somethings we’re doing won’t work, but for reasons that escape us God wants us to put down our treasured booty and come back inside.

I don’t think God wants us to give up our “doggie-like ways” or our “doggie-ness”, after all God made us people entirely on purpose. He knows we tend to get into trouble sometimes. Nevertheless some habits are important and healthy to break. And just like I started attaching Luna to her chain during outdoor pit stops maybe sometimes we have to get reigned in too.

ANGER: Venting vs. ?

WOW! 25,000 times readers came by to check out this blog! What an honor. Thank you for being a part of something that is much bigger than me and you. May God’s love and grace be with you. May the posts and comments here be a benefit to your growth and your relationships.

I encourage you to link up (scroll to the bottom, click the “Yes!” button). to get email updates when something new gets posted (you pick whether that happens daily or weekly.) Your interaction is very much appreciated. Thanks for participating when you can.

Steam pipe, for machines or Cyborgs

Edited from ethoughts weekly 5/13/04

Lisa Colón DeLay ©2004

Letting off steam regularly is fine-- if you're a train

Anger: Venting vs. ?

Indulge with me in a short scenario to see if you can relate:

Suppose one beautiful spring evening you sit in your living room enjoying a good book, or something on tv. Outside you hear the sound of adolescent laughing. Mildly amused, you peek through your curtains and see some familiar neighborhood youth tossing several ping-pong balls to each other as they go up your street. You smile and settle back in your chair reminded of the simple but fun antics of your younger days. The following morning you go outside to find your car crusted in egg yolks and smashed shells.

You fume with anger. “How dare they! Rotten kids,” you think. “Those weren’t ping-pong balls! If I had known they were going to egg my car I would have stopped them.” Your blood boils. You fantasize of chucking an egg at those ankle bitters who made your car a target of vandalism. You feel the need for a good vent for your fury. Right?

However, as you approach your car you notice a mother bird in a tree branch high above your vehicle fussing about her nest nervously. Suddenly an egg falls from the nest and lands amongst the other destroyed eggs. You realize the young people had nothing to do with your car’s condition. Does your attitude change? You feel a certain sense of relief, right? If so, what happened to the anger? Where did it go?

I contend that the notion of purging or venting our anger for good mental health is actually a myth, and a destructive one. It seems it rarely is necessary for feeling better at all. We don’t go around like human forms of unopened soda pop that have bounced down the stairs. One crack in the container, and–POW!

The only thing that cools, or adjusts the anger, in the scenario I mentioned, and many others like it, is the change of the mind. It’s a choice, rather than a reaction. It’s a way to see a happening without being emotionally hijacked. In reality, all that is required to alleviate anger is a change in mentality, or a new perception. As one modifies anger, the feeling is consequently neutralized.

I think the idea of the venting our anger as a tactic for good mental health may have been birthed when those burying anger found it coming forth in baffling and unconstructive ways. (The technical term is repression.) The discovery of psychoanalysis was pioneered by delving into the sub-conscious mind; including the newly named matters of “repressed feelings”. If matters are dealt with– pop psychology  tells us– in a proper visible “exorcizing,” we won’t have unexplained, reoccurring anger problems, frustrations, and related psychological disorders. This kind of “repressed anger management strategy” of our era is so intertwined with our culture and norms, we scarcely see it as a recent invention.

Notwithstanding, repressed anger is real and dangerous, like submerged toxic waste. I will dare allege anger buried becomes guilt; and this anger pointed inward (guilt) ferments, and turns into depression. It is also quite avoidable–without ever discharging the anger like steam from a blazing locomotive. These negative emotional features and many others surface because anger isn’t transformed or neutralized. Buried, anger of the past however; in contrast to present-day, situational anger, is not the same matter.

Surely we should attend to anger and not stow it. A constructive, respectable dialogue regarding upsetting issues is quite wise. Unfortunately, what often happens in using venting as anger resolution is we may feel entitled to vent, or ill at ease if this venting doesn’t transpire. This is simply not accurate. In reality, expelling our anger is so often counter-productive or damaging. It can be like throwing a grenade on a comfy campfire. Additionally, we are bound to be angrier people if we rehearse being angry and letting the vehemence rocket rather than changing our perspective.

Next time something deplorable happens we can think to ourselves, “How can I consider this differently ? Do I have all the fact to warrant blowing up, probably not.” This will transform the mind and transport us from anger. We don’t have to rely on the ventilation of anger. Understanding this is truly a victory. We need not be captive, or slaves, to anger. We need not give vent to it, like detoxifying a poison from our system, if we truly resolve it, and more importantly transform it.

If something offensive occurs soon think of it as a chance to practice this principle. I believe it will also develop our strength of character to think this way more often.

Please leave your thoughts about venting, anger, or anything related to this topic.