International Women’s Day – Goodbye Darlene

International Women’s Day

March is Women’s History Month and today-March 8th is International Women’s Day. This entire month of March and this specific day is celebrated around the world to demonstrate respect, appreciation and support for women’s economic, political and social achievements. That being said, I could not think of a more fitting way to honor the day and have our first post of March than to honor an extraordinary woman who heavily influenced not only the pet industry-but strongly influenced this blog as well. The pet world recently lost a wonderful woman, pet author and advocate Darlene Arden, to ovarian cancer.

I met Darlene only once. It was at BlogPaws 2013 in D.C. It was my first BlogPaws and I’d only just decided to start a blog on the care and ownership of small breed dogs. While researching the existing material out there on the subject, I discovered that the best book about the often special care and considerations of owning a small breed was written by Darlene. I decided early on that I would eventually want the topics covered in these posts to be published as a book. So, I was delighted when I saw that Darlene would be conducting a session at the conference on writing book proposals. The session was called ‘So You Want to Write a Book Proposal’ and it was phenomenal. I learned so very much from her during that session. At the end of her talk, she mentioned that she had brought with her some signed copies of her book small dogs, big hearts. I remember stealthily stalking her around the conference for the rest of that day trying to work up the nerve to ask her for a signed copy of her book. I am usually a very confident woman but Darlene had such an incredible aura about her that I found to be, quite frankly, very intimidating. Not only did she have what has been described by her friends as a “biting sense of humor” she could command a room just by sitting in it which she did quite well during her BlogPaws session. I did eventually get up the nerve to approach Darlene and ask her for a signed copy of her book but she said that unfortunately she’d run out and suggested that I mail her a copy and she’d be happy to sign it. I never did and now I very much regret that.

Darlene Arden, author of small dogs, big hearts and an inspiration for YapTalk.

After the conference, I wrote a post about how much I enjoyed BlogPaws and specifically…her session. A few weeks later, I saw that she’d left the sweetest comment on that post. Still, I could not get enough nerve to reach out to her to ask her for advice or yet still, get her to sign a copy of my book which I went out and purchased immediately after the conference.

When I met Darlene, I did not know that she was battling ovarian cancer with which she was apparently diagnosed with in 2010. I realized this only after her passing on February 27th from an obituary post by her dear friend Steve Daly. Darlene was not all about dogs though, she also had a couple of bestseller books on cats. I didn’t know her well but I got the impression that cats were indeed her preferred companion animal. I guess nobody is perfect, right? In all seriousness though, she seemed to be a great lady and her work on the subject of small breed dogs is the best out there. In addition to small dogs, big hearts, she had also written a previous guide for small breed owners called The Irrepressible Small Breed. Darlene Arden is someone to be truly admired and we do very much admire her here at YapTalk. We only hope that we can contribute half as much as Darlene did to the people who choose to share their lives with a small breed dog.

Goodbye Darlene and rest in peace, you’ve earned it!

T.K., YapTalk


He Doesn’t Even Have a Dog!

#DOTUS (Dog of the United States)

As National Love Your Pet Day comes to a close, we want to reflect on an issue that is very important to our Country-President Trump doesn’t even have a dog! Since before he even took the Oath as the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump has kept this country and the entire world entertained. Whether you love or hate the man, you have to admit that he is never boring. One thing that could possibly instantly improve his approval rating is to bring a dog into the White House. However, this is probably unlikely since he can’t even get Melania to move there, we’re just saying…

In any case, we here at YapTalk, don’t trust people who don’t like or have dogs and our President is not an exception to this rule.

Presidential Candidates and Dog Legislation


Hillary and Donald - How do they stack up on pet legislation?

Hillary and Donald – How do they stack up on pet legislation?

Tonight’s election will set us in the direction of making decisions on some very important issues in this country. This election is arguably one of the most important elections in this US history. We’ve heard the candidates speak on a range of subjects and their stances on these issues such as: healthcare legislation, abortion, terrorism, the economy and even future Supreme Court nominations, etc… However, one issue that has not been very transparent or to our knowledge even discussed, is that of animal legislation. Recently, I wrote about the recent passing of legislation that would allow pet owners to establish living trusts for their pets. Currently, it is now easier  in all 50 states to consider include your little Yapper in your family’s estate planning. However there are other nationwide animal related legislation that we are curious to know where the current Presidential Candidates-Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton stands.


Here is a brief summary of their track records:


According to an article from BarkPost earlier this year, when Secretary Hilary Clinton was a US Senator, she had an excellent rating with the Humane Society Legislative Fund (HLF), even getting 100+ one year. Her average for her 4 years in the Senate is a 92.  She voted for a positive outcome for animals almost every time. Since she left the Senate, she has had little opportunity to influence animal legislation.  Her campaign website does address issue of protecting animals and wildlife.


According to the same BarkPost article, Donald Trump who has never held public office, has no record of any stances for animals or against animals. Both of his sons are trophy hunters; however, he is on the record as saying he doesn’t understand their activities and doesn’t support hunting.  On the other hand, he tweeted some disparaging comments on the Ringling Brothers Circus decision to retire their elephants early: “Ringling Brothers is phasing out their elephants. I, for one, will never go again. They probably used the animal rights stuff to reduce costs.” As of this posting, we were not able to locate any information about his stance on animal issues on his campaign website.

In the hours leading up to the election, if you have not already voted, we urge to you to do more research on the candidates and their records of supporting animal rights or legislation. If you have already voted, then we hope that this post gives you some brief insight into animal rights issues from the candidates’ perspectives.

T.K. — YapTalk



How The Presidential Candidates Stack Up When It Comes To Animal Issues