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Dig It! Gardening Tips for Dogs

Dig It! Gardening Tips for Dogs
a book for when your dog gardens too, too much!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Self-publishing My Book

How did I go about self-publishing? OK, first book first “Dig It! Gardening Tips for Dogs”.
This little book started out as an amusing article in a dog club magazine. It then sat in the drawer for more years than I care to think about, before I decided to do something with it. I read it, expanded it, edited it, then I mentioned it to a friend who is quite good at drawing. She asked to see a copy, I gave her a copy, she did a drawing (very good).

We talked about the whole thing and decided to have a go at printing it ourselves. The friend did more illustrations, I organised an ISBN number and barcode, my friend put the whole thing together, I took it to a local printer and Hey Presto, I had a book.

The first print run was for 50 copies, they sold or were given away, I did another print run, same story, sold or given away. Third print run. I still have about half of the third print run left, and won’t be going for a fourth print run this year, unless somehow there is a run on people wanting copies.

It’s been fun, but I know I’m not brilliant at marketing, I have a lot to learn.

Second book was quite different. “How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off”. I had this one done online by I wrote a small book, and uploaded it to Lulu for publishing as an Ebook. The only copy sold was bought by me, and I would certainly use this method again. The copies are available from Lulu, but there are millions of books there, and mine doesn’t stand out, hence the lack of sales.

For both of these books have a website each, on, and they get a few clicks each, but it hasn’t led to sales at this time.

Adelaide Plains Poets Inc have self-published two anthologies, using the same local printer, who I think does a good job at a fair price. Grandeur Press is the name, in Balaklava.

So that’s my story

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dogs in the Garden

I was talking to someone the other day and they told me their dog doesn't do any gardening. Doesn't dig holes, or chew plants, none of that naughty stuff.

Then they remembered. Their dog likes to move plants around a bit. He digs plants up, moves them to another part of the garden, then replants the plant in the new spot.

The person said it almost apologetically, like they were sorry their dog wasn't destructive! I would love to have a dog that did what that person's dog does. One of our dogs had a real thing about a camelia we had in a pot.
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Helga, our first schnauzer, would dig the camelia out of its pot, time and time again, until the inevitable happened and we got sick of putting it back in the pot and just chucked it away. The camelia was looking sicker and sicker all the time. They don't like having their roots mucked around with.

Helga is also the dog that taught us how tasty bonsai trees are, or possible how bad out protective fencing abilities are. In the end the bonsai trees lived on a table on the back patio, surrounded by chicken wire and posts. It wasn't the most attractive display in the world, but it kept the plants safe.

In her defense, I will say that Helga was a puppy at the time, and she grew out of the habit. Or maybe she didn't do it any more because we moved house and the bonsai was kept in a part of the garden the dogs didn't have easy access to.

Anyway, our bonsai are safe from dogs now. It's just the bugs and the sun doing them damage these days.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hanging baskets

My husband and I are dog breeders, and every year or so we have a new litter of puppies. The puppies stay inside the house for their first four weeks, then, depending on the weather, they get to go outside to explore.

I love watching the puppies as they discover brand new things, bravely venturing out, or sticking close to me for safety, depending on their character. One thing that always delights the little babes is the bits of plants dangling from the hanging plants on our veranda.

One plant in particular dangles nearly down to the ground when we don't have any puppies, and when we do have puppies it dangles just out of puppies' reach (they prune it). When I water the hanging pots the pups are fascinated by the drips and drops landing on the concrete, or their heads, or each others' heads.

One of the main roles of baby puppies is to amuse sometimes sour and cynical people. The puppies at our kennel fulfill this role beautifully.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What my dogs do in the garden

My husband called me to look out of the window about an hour ago. 'Look what they're doing,' he said.

So I looked, and it was so funny. I'm glad I looked. La De (show name Holkschter La De Da) was standing behind is little sister Missy (show name Holkschter Kiss Me Quick) and he was waiting for her to dig up some dirt.

She dug, he chased the dug up dirt. She kept digging, he kept chasing. I don't know if they're still doing it, but I'm sure they'll get back to it at some time again. It's usually La De doing the digging and chasing on his own, but today he had an accomplice. I don't know if that's better for the dogs, but it sure was funny to watch.

La De loves to chase, it's a genetic thing. Pharaoh Hounds are like greyhounds, they have an innate desire to chase. I don't throw the ball for the dogs, so La De does his own thing, with chasing the dirt. He used to like chasing water when I had the hose on, but with the water restrictions on in South Australia, that's not an option any more.

So that's gardening for a couple of our dogs - they're into the digging aspect of it. If only I could get them to dig where I want dirt dug up. I could hire them out and make a fortune!