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COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS - Natalie C. Markey, freelance writer and
animal enthusiast, recently wrote a book offering practical advice
and hope to owners raising dogs with special disabilities, entitled
"Caring for Your Special Needs Dog." This former PR practitioner
hopes to give back to the pet industry by donating five percent of
all of her book profits to the Texas A&M College of Veterinary
Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) Small Animal Clinical
Sciences Neurology Service.
Markey's personal experience with a special needs pet started
about two years ago when her adopted German Shepherd - Rhodesian
Ridgeback dog, Oscar, experienced his first seizure at 1 year old.
She immediately contacted her veterinarians Dr. Alison Ivins and
Dr. Carole Price of Bear Creek Animal Clinic in Houston, Texas.
Alumni of the CVM, Ivins and Price helped to diagnose Oscar with
epilepsy, and they educated Markey and her husband on how to best
prepare and deal with a special needs dog.
"I'm fortunate that I have a skill set where I can work from
home," notes Markey. "Since I'm with Oscar all the time, I began to
find triggers for seizure episodes and began to find a way to
prevent them. I also figured out simple, around the house things
that anyone can do to improve their dog's quality of life. As a
writer, I knew that I had to share this information. I talked with
other families and learned from their personal experiences of
dealing with special needs dogs. I didn't want the book to be about
Oscar, but he is its inspiration. I wanted to make a difference and
I wanted this book to give any dog owner whose dog is diagnosed
with a special needs condition hope."
"Natalie is a very conscientious owner and she is very aware of
the timing of Oscar's seizures," explains Ivins. "I feel this book
will be a helpful resource for owners dealing with special needs
pets as well as being an applicable tool for pet owners of all
kinds who deal with various pet personalities."
"I knew before I wrote the first words in this book that I would
give a percentage to charity," says Markey. "Even though I now live
in Arkansas, I liked the idea of supporting a Texas-based
institution, but more importantly I respect the reputation of the
CVM, and I knew that my donation would be put to good use. It is my
plan, as more money comes in, to start a special foundation called:
The Oscar Endowment for Neurological Research."
"I'm grateful for the support of the CVM," notes Markey. "I do
not want owners to give up on
their dogs, because I can't imagine my life without my dog, Oscar.
My heart and cause will always be with dogs and I look forward to
having a long relationship with the CVM."
"Caring for Your Special Needs Dog" was released on May 18, 2011
and is available via e-book for $2.99 on
Barnes and Noble.
Markey received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism/public
relations and speech communications with minors in business
development and event management from Baylor University. After
working for several years in the PR and communications industries,
Markey became a freelance writer full-time. She has published over
500 articles in both local and National publications including her
column: The Special Needs Dog Care Examiner for the Examiner.com.
She also writes young adult and middle grade fiction. She lives in
Arkansas with her husband, daughter, and Oscar.
Angela G. Clendenin
Director, Communications & Public Relations
Ofc - (979) 862-2675
Cell - (979) 739-5718
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843
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