Monday, September 12, 2016

Pets in Space Update: #Giveaway #Hero Dog Mitch

Last week saw a monumental landmark in SciFi history--the 50 Year Anniversary of the debut of the original Star Trek. And what an institution it's become, inspiring generations of scientists, rocket experts and astronauts to boldy go.

To celebrate, Facebook did a special set of emoticons just for the occasion, replacing its usual like, heart and other symbols with a starry thumbs-up, a Vulcan hand greeting, a Kirk smile, a Spock wow, a sad Geordie and an angry Klingon. Star Trek tributes, trivia and Tribbles were shared all around...and then there was this.

Star Trek meets Pets in Space (courtesy of ThinkGeek)

And that brings me to the latest Pets in Space update and announcement.

T-Minus 30 Days and counting!
The Pets in Space anthology releases on October 11th.

For the last month, the Pets in Space Anthology authors have been working behind the scenes on some fun projects. There will be a plethora of upcoming blogs and posts, and some surprises in store.

There's also been an artist creating some awesome sketches of the pets included in the anthology that will be revealed at a later date.

This is where I discovered how creating a bio-engineered animal that doesn't exist--the StarDog in my story--can create a troublesome dilemma for a sketcher, but she nailed it on the second take!

It seems the U.S Postal Service is even getting in the spirit (well, not actually, but the timing is certainly appropriate) with their new Forever "Pets" stamps.

These stamps feature dogs, cats, horses, parrots, gerbils, fish, hermit crabs, and even snakes ( O.O ), this fun new collection celebrates the furry (and not so furry) friends who share our lives and our space. ( < big grin > See what I did there?)

So, I'm in the mood for a giveaway today to celebrate the upcoming release of the Pets in Space Anthology. How about you?

If I get at least five comments on this blog, I'll give away a packaged set of these wonderful PETS FOREVER stamps to a random commenter. Just enter your thoughts below--about Pets in Space, Hero Dogs, the Pets Forever Stamps, or the Star Trek 50th Anniversary--for a chance to win.

Wait, What is this Hero Dogs Anyway?

I'm so glad you asked. :) I want to talk a little about the charity that a portion of the Pets in Space Anthology profits will go to help support. Hero Dogs!

And what is Hero Dogs?

In a nutshell, it's an organization that provides service dogs and skilled companion animals to disabled military veterans free of charge.

From their site:
Hero Dogs, Inc., a Maryland 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, improves quality of life for our nation’s heroes by raising, training, and placing service dogs and other highly skilled canines, free of charge with lifetime support of the partnerships.
A wonderful cause, yes?

Here's a quick, less than two minute video that shows more about Hero Dogs and their mission:

I really have to give them a hand for all that they do.

The Hero Dogs site also lets you follow, learn more, read a blog by, and donate to the individual dogs they now have in training. Yes, you can make a difference in a veteran's life.

So here's some fun news.

As part of this program, I've "adopted" Hero Dog Billy Mitchell or "Mitch." Mitch is a yellow Lab currently in advanced training. Want to get to know Mitch better?

You can read Mitch's blog here.

I "adopted" Mitch because we have two Labradors of our own--including a yellow--and because the hero of my upcoming novel, The Outer Planets, is named Mitch. :) I'll be making donations to support Hero Dog Mitch's training, and for every comment I get on a Spacefreighters Lounge blog that mentions *Hero Dog Mitch*--including THIS one--I'll donate an extra dollar to Mitch's fund up to $100.

So leave a comment below to increase my donation and to have a chance at the Forever Pets stamp set mentioned above.

I'm also inviting you to "adopt" a Hero Dog in-training or Hero Dog puppy by helping donate to their training. You can find all the current Hero Dogs here.

And here's another surprise. Not all Hero Dogs are dogs! Betsy is a cat--and she's a Hero Dogs Ambassador. You can see Betsy here.

Let's give a big Hip Hip Hurray for Hero Dogs!

September 11, 2001: Never Forget

I also want to take a moment to acknowledge the 15th Anniversary of 9/11, the lives lost and the tragedy that befell our nation on that terrible day.

My memories of that day are very clear. I heard the news that a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers as we were driving to work. My first thought was that it was a small plane accident. A few minutes later, we heard the second tower had been hit. And I knew...this was no accident. Someone had deliberately flown into the towers.

When the news was finally reported that the planes that struck the towers were passenger jets, I was speechless. It was hard to believe it was even real.

As I was walking in the door at work (I worked for the military) our facility had live television coverage of the news channels. The first words I heard while headed to my office was from a soldier who burst out the door of our emergency operations center, shouting: "They just hit the Pentagon!"

Not long after that, I was viewing the live coverage when the first tower fell. It still bring tears to my eyes. Those images are something I'll never forget.

A few weeks later I was attending a conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. As my coworkers and I were walking to dinner, we came upon a huge stack of flowers, flags and hearts lain the entire length of a wall along the sidewalk. Puzzled, I looked up at the building where they had been placed. It was the New York, New York Casino.

I'm sure many of you remember what you were doing when you first heard the news on 9/11/2001. Feel free to share your experience in comments below.

Have a good week.



  1. Such a great idea and a wonderful tribute to 9/11. How fun you adopted "Mitch!"

    1. Thanks so much, Pauline. I really wanted to help out with this wonderful cause and "Mitch" seemed like a perfect match. :)

  2. As a human, is it okay to have a hero that is an animal? Hero Dog Mitch and Hero Ambassador Betsy are the greatest!

    I'm looking forward to seeing the sketches.

    1. LOL Riley, but of course! Many of my heroes have been animals. Rescue animals, service dogs, K9s, companion animals, horses, dragons. Well, okay, dragons probably don't count.

      Isn't Hero "Dog" Betsy the cutest? Thanks for commenting.


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