Thursday, November 15, 2012

Things Your Dog Doesn't Want You to Know

11 Courageous Canines tell all! 
By Hy Conrad and Jeff Johnson

Steve Martin - "I laughed, my dog howled."

Dear Human:
Your dog probably puzzles you. Most of us do that. And most of us would like to keep things as they are: humans in the dark, dogs with the upper hand.
But we dogs are about to let you in a little secret.  Okay, a lot of secrets.
    Things Your Dog Doesn't Want You to Know: Eleven Courageous Canines Tell All
  • We graduated first in our obedience class three times. This should tell you something.
  • Puppies know that they're being cute. They're using you.
  • We don't sound anything like those silly voices you use to imitate us.
  • We hate those ridiculous names you give some of us. Moonbeam is not a dignified name for a mutt.
  • You might want to check your herb garden for fertilizer.
  • We are only wearing this stupid birthday hat so we can get some cake. No self-respecting dog cares about his birthday.
  • We are not spoiled, certainly not in comparison to teenage girls.
  • We are in charge of the house. We let you pretend that you are.
  • We'd be lost without you. We love you.

It's all in our new book, Things Your Dog Doesn't Want You To Know, as told to humans Hy Conrad and Jeff Johnson. Even Steve Martin (yes, THAT Steve Martin) raves about us!  Inside you'll find revelations such as the reason we at the sofa (leather tastes very similar to rawhide), and what we really think of the costumes you dress us up in.

I'm not alone. Ten other courageous canines have stepped forward to tell you what your dog won't – every last dirty, hairy bit of it.   If you have dogs, love dogs, or have ever been baffled by a dog, this book is a must-have.

From Amazon: "Hy Conrad and Jeff Johnson must have been dogs in another life. Their wry and witty insights into the minds of dogs are downright uncanny. Things Your Dog Doesn't Want You to Know is hilarious and sensational."

"If you've ever wondered what your dog thinks about sharing his life with you and, if you're like me and have created your own "voice" for your dog already, you'll find this book is belly-laughing funny. I read it while stuck between flights at an airport and got a number of concerned looks from passengers hoping they wouldn't be sitting next to this crazy woman laughing hysterically while reading about dogs."

Why do dogs eat furniture when there are endless chew toys nearby?
Why do they always dash to a rug when they have to throw up?
And why are they always absolutely starving?

Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know answers the questions that dog owners have asked for centuries. The book is a collection of 115 humorous essays that reveal the truth behind some of the most baffling canine behavior, their hopes and dreams, their grudges and pleasures, and what they really think about us humans.  Peppered with lively, clever stories and visually appealing photographs, Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know is a verbal and visual delight that is laugh-out-loud funny.  If you have dogs, love dogs, or have ever been baffled by a dog, this book is a must-have.

Hy Conrad

Image of Hy ConradBest known for his work in mysteries, Hy was one of the original writers for the groundbreaking series, Monk, working on the show for all eight seasons, the final two as Co-Executive Producer. In a related project, Hy was Executive Producer and head writer of Little Monk, a series of short films featuring Adrian Monk as a ten-year-old. His latest TV work was as writer and Consulting Producer for White Collar.
Hy is also the author of hundreds of short stories and ten books of short whodunits, which have been sold around the world in fourteen languages. Hy's first mystery novel series, Abel Adventures, debuted in 2012 with the publication of "Rally 'Round the Corpse." And his first full-length comedy/mystery play, "Home Exchange," premiered at the Waterfront Playhouse in May 2012.
Hy's first humor book, "Things Your Dog Doesn't Want You to Know," also debuted in 2012.
He lives in Key West with his partner and two miniature schnauzers. (



Jeff Johnson
Image of Jeff JohnsonJeff spent most of his working life in advertising agencies, currently as General Manager of Cramer-Krasselt in New York City. He is the author of "The Hourglass Solution: A Boomer's Guide to the Rest of Your Life" and co-authors (with Paula Forman) a national online advice column called "Short Answers," which also appears in newspapers all along the east coast (from Massachusetts to Florida). Jeff lives in Vermont and Key West and is on the Board of Directors of the Waterfront Playhouse and the Florida Keys SPCA.

“Why I Became a Writer”

By Hy Conrad

Author of “Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know”

It’s always been my theory that the things that excited you as a ten-year-old, before all the limits and temptations of life lead you astray, are your true passions. For me, those early loves included mystery books, humor and dogs.
Since then, I’ve spent most of my life writing mysteries and owning dogs.  Two out of three. It wasn’t until the producers of the TV show  "Monk" hired me and threw me in with a bunch of comedy writers, that I developed enough confidence to try my hand at humor.
This book began with my friend , Jeff Johnson, and me watching an infomercial.  It could have been “Things The Banks Don’t Want You to Know.”  Or “Things The Government Doesn’t Want You to Know.”  At some point, one of us turned to the other and said, “Sure, how about ‘Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You To Know.’”  And that’s how it started; the title came first.
Like many humor books, this one started out as a blog. Our first posts were on the most obvious topics: “What We Do When You’re Gone” or “Sticking My Head Out The Car Window.”
The initial idea was to keep them generic, in a sort of Everydog persona. But we soon realized that the humor was in the specifics. It was funnier if the dog had a real personality, and even funnier if we invented a variety of “dog bloggers” with radically different personalities.
For inspiration, we used Nelson and Charlie, our miniature Schnauzers, and spent a lot of time at the local dog park, mostly observing the humans, who always seemed clueless about their dogs’ behavior. If that wasn’t grist for a humor book…
A few weeks after we started, the site garnered enough attention to get a publisher calling.  That’s when the fun really began.
We wound up creating eleven dogs, from tiny and obnoxious (Tinkerbell, author of “My Life in Your Purse”) to large and dumb (Axelrod, author of “The Reason I Ate the Sofa”).   And we gave each dog an arc, which is a writerly term for “all the little stories add up to something.”  For example, Sarge is a German Shepherd and a working dog.  In each of his stories, he gets a new job and it always winds up being a disaster.  By the time Sarge tells his tenth story, he has finally been adopted by a great family.  But he still thinks it’s a job, and this one he doesn’t want to lose.
The blog morphed into a website called and it’s still up and running with new content all the time.  And if you submit a question about your own dog’s behavior, one of our 11 dog experts will answer it (in a humorous way, of course).
 Topics include:
  • My Life in Your Purse by Tinkerbell, the Chihuahua
  • Waiting by the Table (for food scraps, of course!) by Orson, the bulldog
  • The Bed Rules (Rule #1—It’s my bed) by Dimples, the boxer
  • The Reason I Ate the Sofa (leather tastes a lot like rawhide) by Axelrod, the yellow lab
  • I  Can Poop the Second I Start My Walk (but choose not to) by Sophie, the cocker spaniel

 My Review:
          I don’t know what made me pick this book up. Books written in the voice of a dog? Not my usual reading. And, then I opened the book and read the first story. I can’t remember when I’ve laughed so hard. I was hooked!

          From the second story on, I began reading them aloud to my husband – who was looking a little weird at me. I guess it’s difficult to understand someone who is laughing so hard they are crying – and trying to read to you at the same time. I finally gave up.

          I’ve been known to sit and converse with my dogs. I have two of them; West German Shepherds. I actually converse more with one than the other, as one of them is always chasing her tail and it’s a little difficult to gain her attention. Having said that, my favorite dog stories in the entire book were, of course, by Sarge, the German Shepherd Police Dog.

          Who cannot help but love a police dog who loves his job a little too much – so much so that he gets fired for partaking in the drugs he’s sniffing out. I loved this story, first, because I have two German Shepherds; second, because my father and husband are retired state troopers; and third, because once he was fired, he went to live in a junk yard. Why? We purchased a junk yard. Then, we cleaned the junk out. Now, it’s a green yard complete with a home and, yes, German Shepherds. Sarge would fit right in to my life.

                    “…Now I spend most of my time dozing and licking myself and trying to remember where the water bowl is. Officer Simon and I go out a few times a week, …When I find a stash of pot, I always try to eat a little before I jump and bark and signal a bust.”

          Then, there is the note to the dog walker from Charlie. By the time he finishes giving directions, you are so confused that you do not remember if you took the dogs for a walk or not.

          “First off, you can’t walk all seven of us together. I think you learned that lesson. But it’s also very important who take with whom and when and where. It’s simple. Chloe has to be first, since she hates us and won’t pee if we’ve been out there before her. But you can’t walk her alone because that would upset Snowball, who gets jealous. I would recommend walking the girls together…”

          The book is great. The stories are well written, even if they were written by a dog. It will truly make you stop and wonder what your dog might be telling you. I know that I can read my dog’s facial expressions and I can only imagine the stories they might write – if they could.

          If there is a dog lover on your Christmas list, this book would be a great gift – just make sure you also buy one for yourself, and a few to give away. 

If you found my review helpful, please consider clicking on the link below and voting "yes" on my review. Thanks!!

Things Your Dog Doesn't Want You to Know can be purchased on Amazon:

As per FTC requirements: My Life. One Story at a Time. is an advertising affiliate with Amazon. A small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above link. A free book was obtained from the source mentioned above in order to provide an honest and fair review. The views, beliefs, and opinions expressed by guest post authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views, beliefs, or opinions of My Life. One Story at a Time. Guest Posts are offered so authors can share their writing with my audience for their enjoyment.

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  1. Man I'm not sure what the craziest thing my pets have done! I have 2 cats, 2 dogs, and a hedgehog. I have a rottweiler who thinks he's a lap dog though. One day he was sitting on my lap and I was talking to him and he swung his head around to look at me but his head (which is really hard) hit me in the nose. And that was when I got my first bloody nose! I found your blog through Book Blogs and I'm your newest follower! Hope you can stop by my blog for a visit sometime soon! I also just posted an author interview/giveaway if you'd like to check it out.

    Leigh Ann
    MaMa's Book Corner

  2. Oh my word, this looks like a super book! I think I may have to get several to give away this Christmas! LOL Crazy? How about our younger dog, Kooshie, who loves to be patted and loved, but every time you reach out to pat her, she falls over like she fainted -- she wants a belly rub!

  3. Donna -- thank you so much for the great review, for hosting a giveaway AND posting an interview. Your support means a lot to me. You truly are Lucille Ball and Gracie Allen combined!

  4. our cat is pretty mild but sometimes he crawls up under the covers on a made bed so there's a lump in the middle where he is, how can he breath in there?! - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com


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