Sunday, March 2, 2014

"My Dog Understands English" by Cherise Kelley

EXCERPT
My Dog Understands English!
by Cherise Kelley


Cherise Kelley, better known for her Dog Aliens series, has recently released a nonfiction account of the amazing things dogs do that make us think they understand what we say. Today you can read an excerpt from Cherise's My Dog Understands English! This book blitz is brought to you by Reading Addiction Book Tours. Please be sure to visit the other participating blogs as well.


Description
Dogs are smarter than we think.
Has your dog ever surprised you by doing something you said the first time? You are not alone! Here are 50 stories about amazing dogs who understood what their humans said. Some even saved lives in the process!
Chloe the golden Beagle braved a hurricane to obey the new command, "I need Dad, Girl."
Ellie the Coonhound helped her human family escape from an angry bear by obeying the new command, "Get it!"
When her human brother said jokingly, "Maybe Cocoa could dig again and find it," Cocoa did just that!
Our Queensland Heeler mix, Raffle, gave me the idea for this book when he finally but unexpectedly ate some green beans off the kitchen floor after I said, "Oh, so you'll eat grass but you won't eat green beans, eh?"

Excerpt
By the time my eyes fluttered open, Hurricane Elvis was already underway.
The entire house was shaking by the time I woke up. The wind angrily pounded at the window with such force that I was sure it was going to break. I sat up and tried to flip the light on, but the power was out. Terrified, I climbed off the bed and hid between it and the wall. I was still disoriented from just waking up, but I remember vividly not being able to hear anything except the storm. As I sat there though, I heard a noise from outside the room.
Mustering up the courage to pull myself up on my knees, I opened the door just in time to see the living room window shatter as a tree flew through it.
As I watched the storm raging inside the house, I grew worried for my sisters. I called for them, but they didn't answer. I could feel the panic swelling up inside me, taking over. I looked over my shoulder. My dog Chloe was close behind me, and I told her to stay. Then, I began my journey across the living room. The plan was to crawl underneath the tree. I could reach the bedroom that way. As I crossed the living room, the wind pushed up.
Before I knew it, the entertainment center was on top of me, pinning my legs down.
Try as I might, I couldn't move. I now realized the predicament I was in. Thankfully, Chloe hadn't listened when I gave her the command to stay. As soon as I was trapped, Chloe was on her stomach, crawling to me. I looked at her with tears in my eyes, and with a whimper, she nudged me.
I whispered, too scared to speak in my normal tone. "I need Dad, Girl."
That was all I said. I never expected anything to come of it. After all, I had never taught her a command that was anywhere close to this. I was only telling her because it made me feel more comfortable. I was so scared, and hugging and talking to my animal made me feel better. But before I could pull her into my arms, she pulled herself out of my grip and ran back in the direction we had come from.
I closed my eyes, trying to ignore the cold that pressed against my unprotected body. I was rapidly growing numb. I could hear Chloe barking, but faintly so. I didn't realize what she was doing. My dog was getting my dad's attention. Within seconds, he was alerted to the situation and was fighting the storm to get to me. It didn't take much for him to get the window blocked off and the entertainment center off of me. The rest of the storm was waited out quietly.
That was how Chloe became so much more than just the family pet. She saved my life, and all because she understood English so much more than we expected her to.

Review
This is a book of short dog "tails" that highlights the bond between human and their canine best buddies. It emphasizes the fact that dogs are smarter than we give them credit for. Mine, I know, outsmart me all the time.

About the Author
Cherise Kelley grew up in a family of teachers. Her father, Ronald Morris, taught at Arcadia High School in Southern California. Her mother teaches new parents about the special needs of their premature infants. Her sister, Kristine Morris White, is a grand prix level dressage horse trainer.
Mrs. Kelley became a credentialed teacher herself in 1991 through a "fifth year" of study after earning her bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of California at Berkeley. She has taught English at the college, high school, and middle school level but prefers to substitute so that she has time for her writing.
Cherise writes fiction from the dog's point of view, for dog lovers of all ages.

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