Tracy Weber - Author of the Downward Dog Mysteries

Favorite Links and Resources

Although my novels are works of fiction, I write what I love: yoga, dogs, and cozy murder mysteries. The links below are some of my favorite resources related to those topics.

Rescue Organizations for Special Needs Animals

Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah, is the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for homeless, abused, and abandoned pets. Each day, Best Friends provides a temporary home for over 1,700 animals, most of whom have special needs, such as medical care, training, or even the simple luxury of time and space to heal. They also work with like-minded shelters and organizations nationwide. Their goal is to create a time in which there are no more homeless pets.

Pasado’s Safe Haven is a rescue organization about an hour’s drive northeast of Seattle. Pasado’s provides a home to hundreds of animals, including dogs, cats, and farm animals. Most of these animals have been victims of abuse and neglect. Staff and volunteers at Pasado’s also help prosecute perpetrators of animal cruelty and work to reduce animal overpopulation.

Books and Training Programs for Reactive Dogs

I was fortunate enough to work with both of these amazing trainers with my own reactive dog, Tasha. Although Ahimsa and Bright Spot are located in the Pacific Northwest, their founders both give seminars worldwide and have written state-of-the art positive dog training books.

Grisha Stewart, owner of Ahimsa Dog Training and author of Behavior Adjustment Training: BAT for Aggression, Frustration, and Fear in Dogs and The Official Ahimsa Dog Training Manual. Ahimsa, by the way, is the yoga principle of nonviolence.

Kathy Sdao, owner of Bright Spot Dog Training and author of Plenty in Life Is Free – Reflections on Dogs, Training, and Finding Grace. Kathy got her start training dolphins for the US Navy!

Resources for Owners of Dogs with Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)

EPI is a life threatening disease that cannot be cured. It can, however, be successfully managed in most cases. When treated, dogs with EPI can live fulfilling lives as search and rescue dogs, agility champions, and treasured family pets. The limiting factors are often cost and misinformation, and many animals are euthanized on diagnosis. The members of k9-EPIGLOBAL (a worldwide discussion group for owners of dogs with EPI) helped save my dog’s life. They are a wonderful resource for dog owners learning how to manage this disease.

Diane Sloan, founder of Enzyme Diane gets my vote for angel of the century. Shortly after her dog Sarge was diagnosed with EPI, an enzyme co-op that had been providing affordable enzymes to EPI dog owners disbanded. Diane took charge and expanded the program, which now serves dog owners worldwide. Many dogs are alive today only because of her efforts.

Olesia Kennedy has developed a one-of-its-kind resource for owners of pets with EPI and their veterinarians. Epi4dogs.com is jam-packed with information on managing EPI and its concurrent health conditions. The site includes genetic research, recommended veterinarians, and useful products. From special “do not feed” harnesses to teeny-tiny enzyme measuring spoons, if you need it, you can find it here. The site also includes an EPI discussion forum and the “Chunky Monkey Club” of EPI success stories.

EPI is rare, and many veterinarians are unfamiliar with the disease. If your dog is rapidly losing weight despite having a voracious appetite, print and share this EPI fact sheet with your vet. It might save your dog’s life!

Teaching and Practicing Yoga

My mysteries include references to several styles of yoga, but the style I personally practice and teach is Viniyoga, which is known for its ability to adapt yoga to the needs of each individual student. The businesses below offer Viniyoga classes and Viniyoga teacher training.

The American Viniyoga Institute offers multi-year yoga teacher and yoga therapist training programs, and their website contains a database of AVI certified yoga teachers nationwide. I received both of my yoga certifications through AVI.

Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, Washington is my favorite yoga studio in the world! Not coincidently, I founded and own it. If you are interested in practicing yoga and live in the Seattle area, contact me and I’ll send you a guest pass. We pride ourselves on offering “Yoga for Real People!”

Yoga teacher training at Whole Life Yoga can change your life and transform your yoga practice. This ten-month program offers opportunities to nurture your personal practice and learn to teach others, all while building a community of lifelong friends.

Although it’s always best to practice yoga under the guidance of a trained and certified yoga instructor, I’ve written several blog articles on my favorite yoga books and Viniyoga specific CDs and DVDs.

Let me know if you like them!

Favorite Canine Mystery Authors

Yoga mysteries are rare, but canine mysteries have been popular for decades. Below are some of my favorite dog-centered series and authors. I’m always on the lookout for a good read, so if you find others, let me know. Happy reading!

Susan Conant is my all-time favorite author, and I’ve read all of her books. Her Holly Winter Dog Lover Mystery series was my writing inspiration. Holly Winter and her Alaskan malamutes Rowdy, Kimi, and Sammy have entertained me for years and taught me a thing or two about training dogs in the process!

Carol Lea Benjamin is a well-regarded dog trainer who writes the Rachel Alexander and Dash Mysteries starring a pit bull named Dash and his private investigator owner. This series isn’t as lighthearted as many of my favorite cozies, but the characters and scenes are well developed, and her books are definitely worth a read.

Laurien Berensen writes the Melanie Travis Mystery series featuring a special education teacher who also shows standard poodles. I’ve read all of the books in this series so far, but rumor has it there will be a new installment out soon!

Sheila Webster Boneham writes the Animals in Focus mystery series through my publisher, Midnight Ink. This series stars animal photographer Janet MacPhail and a slew of dogs and cats—even exotic birds! This lighter series with a mid-life sleuth never fails to entertain.

Melissa Cleary writes the Dog Lover’s Mystery series with Jake, an ex-police dog, who helps film studies professor Jackie Walsh solve crimes. Jake is an Alsatian shepherd, a breed very similar to the German shepherd.

Waverly Curtis is the pen name of two Seattle-area authors who write the newer Barking Detective Mystery series. The main star, Pepe, is a talking Chihuahua who helps his owner solve crimes. Waverly Fitzgerald gets extra kudos for meeting with me to talk about her experiences in the publishing world.