Borders Book Signing for KATIE–Welcoming Westminster Fans & Puppy Lucy on Valentine’s Day

Posted February 11th, 2011 in Friendship by Glenn Plaskin

Puppy Lucy, now 10 months old

For all you dog lovers and puppy aficionados, please stop by Borders Penn Plaza this coming Monday evening, from 5-7 pm, to meet my mischievous cocker spaniel LUCY–who promises to put her paw print on each signed copy of KATIE UP AND DOWN THE HALL.

It seems fitting to have our final signing for the hardcover edition of KATIE on Valentine’s Day, as the book is really a love story–about what can happen when you open your door to strangers.

Katie, the heroine of our book, perspicaciously unites a group  unforgettable characters –charismatic octogenarians Pearl and Arthur, an adorable three-year-old named Ryan, and his Dad John. Over a period of sixteen years, the reader follows our many adventures, including Hollywood high times (Katie meeting her namesake Katharine Hepburn) and the perils of 9/11. Just watch the book trailer and see.

Lucy Meets Judge Judy

We’ll be signing at Manhattan’s Penn Plaza Borders, right next to Madison Square Garden, the site of the Westminster Dog Show, and many of the fans, breeders, and dog handlers will be stopping by after a long day of competition.

Included with your book will be chocolate for V. Day (a chocolate dog bone), a stuffed cocker spaniel puppy (so bring your kids), and a special Katie Up And Down The Hall book mark.

Lucy meets Calvin Klein--host of the KATIE UP AND DOWN THE HALL launch party

So whether you favor Basset hounds, poodles, beagles or pugs, (or my favorite, cocker spaniels), among dozens of other breeds at Westminster 2011, stop by the show and afterward, come see us!

Lucy in green ribbons

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What To Do With A Puppy In Winter?

Posted January 10th, 2011 in Doggie Day Care, Exercising Dogs, Friendship, Puppies, Socialization of Dogs by Glenn Plaskin

My new puppy, Lucy, needs a ton of exercise.

At ten months old, she’s in full-blown adolescence–athletic, hyper and in chewing mode–a mischievous, energetic rascal.

Like any healthy pup, she wants to run, jump, wrestle, and race–not only ‘up and down’ our long hallway (as my previous dog KATIE did) but outdoors too.

In fact, nothing makes her happier than trotting along the Hudson River and nearby parks, chasing birds and squirrels, sniffing every tree and bush, and, of course, checking out any dog she meets.

And like  any cocker spaniel, she’s an active sporting dog who revels in the hunt, her long pendulous ears flying in the wind as she gallops along the river’s edge at home here in Battery Park City, looking for “action.”

More than anything,of course, Lucy craves the company of other dogs–big ones, little ones, she likes them all.

Recently, Lucy was tackling a 95-pound bushy-haired giant, getting a hold of his tail and being whirled around by him, literally lifted off the ground as she took a ride before the Husky put her entire head in his mouth. Lucy walked away exhilarated, her tongue hanging out of her mouth with pleasure.

In the summer and fall, giving Lucy enough exposure to other dogs was no problem.

On long hikes along our tree-lined Esplanade (described in the Introduction of Katie Up And Down The Hall) Lucy met literally hundreds of dogs of every shape and size.

And it was this daily exposure to other dogs, that created in her a hearty appetite for play.

Scenic but freezing!

Six months earlier, the 1.2 mile Esplanade just outside our door

Lucy’s Play Group

She also became a regular at our Battery Park City “breakfast club,” a super-friendly group of dogs (and people) that meets each morning in an enclosed dog run overlooking the Marina. There she started every morning with a full hour of running and socialization.

One of Lucy's pals, Cesare

But now that winter has come and temperatures have dropped, it’s not safe to walk a puppy outdoors for very long, especially in gusty winds that sometimes whip up to 50 mph.

Pit Bull Donny protective of his friend Lucy

So our dog run is now sadly deserted, with residents taking their dogs out for only very quick walks, then back inside again.

But for Lucy, a leashed walk around the block doesn’t cut it. She needs to explore, hike, and tumble with other dogs and clock in at least 3-4 miles daily.

Otherwise, she’ll gain weight and become destructive at home. (She recently starting eating the wallpaper off the dining room wall!)

Looking innocent, but watch out!

And THAT’S why I finally decided to send Lucy to Ciao Bow Wowa nearby, eco-friendly, state-of-the-art Doggie Daycare Center where dogs

Lucy can't wait to get through the door...

are pampered, exercised, and minded by a devoted staff. I love the idea of it because dogs here can interact with one another for hours, helping them to become calm and confident rather than aggressive or fearful.

Lucy loves it.

Like a successful dating mixer, she socializes with gusto, blending into the pack of 25-30 small-and-medium-sized dogs, all of them supervised by three dog-loving referees. (I don’t trust just anybody to take care of my dog–but I have total faith in the people at Ciao Bow Wow. It’s spotlessly clean, lively, and the dogs are all healthy and non-aggressive.)

When I drop Lucy off, she’s anything but insecure. No separation anxiety for this Alpha dog. As I’m saying:  “Bye Lucy…..” she’s already taken off into the pack without a glance backward, chasing her new friends, bouncing a rubber ball, leaping from one level of the room to the next, back and forth, I’m told, for five hours at a time.

So far, Lucy’s best friend is Jack, a 1 year old Corgi. She also spends a lot of her afternoons playing with Ramsay, a 1 1/2 year old Poodle Mix.

Amusingly, from 12-2 pm, all the dogs are put into individual crates or beds, the lights dimmed, with soothing classical music lulling them to sleep for their afternoon Siestas.

Lucy snuggling in for a classical music Siesta

And then it’s lights up again until check-out at 7 pm.

By the time Lucy returns home, she’s worn out and deliciously content, falling off into a deep sleep right after dinner, which only proves that a tired (and well-socialized) dog is definitely a happy one!

So Ciao Bow Wow, for me, is the perfect solution–and I know that doggie daycare is a growing industry with lots of contenders in the field.

Just be sure to check them out carefully, educate yourself on what to look out forand soon your dog is going to have a brand-new set of friends, and so might you!

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Red Carpet Puppy, The Best Go Getter In Town

Posted December 20th, 2010 in Friendship by Glenn Plaskin

Mystery Queen Mary Higgins Clark

Taking a nap on the red carpet after 2 hours of shaking paws

In Judge Judy's arms, kissing Judge Jerry

For the last three months, my new cocker spaniel puppy, Lucy, has been the most fantastic canine companion, a “literary” star, if going to book parties counts.

With Calvin Klein

Wherever I go to promote KATIE UP AND DOWN THE HALL, Lucy goes too.

Most memorably, Lucy trotted around in a pink rhinestone collar, posing for photographers while greeting and licking guests at the KATIE UP AND DOWN THE HALL launch party.

This was an event for 350 people held at the MacKenzie Childs flagship store on West 57th Street, the party hosted by the legendary Calvin Klein.

With Ernie Anastos

Judge Judy Arriving

With Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and his wife Veronica

There, Lucy enjoyed being carried around by the likes of Judge Judy, and Fox anchor Ernie Anastos,while offering her paw to such luminaries as Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and bestselling authors Mary Higgins Clark and Barbara Taylor Bradford.

Not to mention my dog-loving agent, JAN MILLER, Katie’s greatest champion, now selling the book as a major motion picture.

Jan Miller

Backstage with Liz Smith at Barnes & Noble

At the Barnes & Noble book reading, hosted by the incomparable Liz Smith,

Liz and Glenn onstage at Barnes & Noble

Lucy patiently sat on stage with us for 90 minutes as Liz and I chatted. When Lucy got bored, she started chewing my notes, only a minor infraction.

Dog Lover Ivana Trump

Signing Autographs at Book Expo America with Hachette PR Director Shanon Stowe by my side plus Lucy

Earlier in the year, at Book Expo America, where Katie first made its debut, Lucy greeted more than 300 fans who lined up at the Jacob Javits Center to meet her, while also turning her charms on book editors, book chain buyers, agents, plus the Sam’s Club sales force of Walmart.

At "Meet The Breeds" Jacob Javits Center Book Signing

Later in the year, again at the Javits, Lucy held court at the American Kennel Club’s Meet The Breeds event. She sat in her own booth, the prettiest cocker spaniel there, surrounded by Katie books sold by Borders, chocolate  in the shape of dog bones, and stuffed cocker spaniel puppies.

And at the Katie book signing in Battery Park City, held at Izzy & Nats, a great local restaurant, Lucy arrived with orange bows in her hair–greeting more than 150 guests and selling 100 books in less than an hour. She’s a real go getter.

Posing With Calvin Klein at Launch Event

Through it all, Lucy has a special knack, never wavering in her attention, eager to pose for pictures, the flash of cameras no distraction at all.

This puppy doesn’t seem to have a nerve in her body. In fact, at the main launch party, with 15 photographers flashing away, and some of them mistakenly yelling Katie’s name at her, she just patiently stared into the cameras, never blinking, even responding to commands: “Katie, over here,” with her head turning prettily to catch the light.

Katie Best Friends (l to r) Lee, Roberta, and Ana

Her secret?

Constant socialization, which I recommend to anyone getting a puppy. Lucy arrived  in Manhattan at just eight weeks old from a farm in upstate NY, and from the minute she landed here, she was actively socialized with dogs of every size and breed.

She joyfully ran around the dog park chasing dogs three times her size. She frolicked with kids in the lobby of our building. She sat on any lap should could find–adults, seniors, everyone and anyone who wanted to hold or pet her.

And for that reason, she is fearless, fun, energetic, and eager to please.

I feel so fortunate to have a red carpet puppy, the best in town, a dog who is intelligent and affectionate, ready for all the fun that she can find.

The next time she’ll be greeting her public officially will be in 2011, when the paperback edition of KATIE UP AND DOWN THE HALL is published.

Maybe one day, Lucy will hit the big time on her own, and they’ll be another book–LUCY UP AND DOWN MANHATTAN–PARTY GIRL EXTRAORDINAIRE.

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