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October 31, 2014

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Guest Columnist:

Amy Newmark: Add a little ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ by adopting a pet

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Amy Newmark’s granddog Riley, a rescued Pug.

The Animal Foundation and Amy Newmark

Amy Newmark, publisher, editor in chief and author of the last 100 “Chicken Soup for the Soul” titles, has partnered with Las Vegas-based the Animal Foundation. Launch slideshow »
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A cat up for adoption at Las Vegas-based the Animal Foundation.

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A dog up for adoption at Las Vegas-based the Animal Foundation.

As Robin Leach arrives for his annual summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy — he also visited Lake Como and Lake Maggiore this year — many of our Strip personalities have again stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. We continue today with Amy Newmark, publisher, editor in chief and author of the last 100 “Chicken Soup for the Soul” titles who has partnered with our Las Vegas-based the Animal Foundation.

I’m so excited to be coming to your fair city this week for SuperZoo 2014, a national pet retail conference at Mandalay Bay! Besides having fun, my focus will be to help promote dog and cat adoptions in Las Vegas through your local organization the Animal Foundation.

This private, nonprofit agency is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of animals in the Las Vegas Valley. We know that they will be the perfect partner to help us celebrate “Dog-ust,” the unofficial birthday month of shelter dogs across the country.

Any new pet parents who adopt a dog or cat from the Animal Foundation from today through the month of August will receive a complimentary copy of our newest titles “Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dog Did What?” or “Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cat Did What?” Each book has a foreword by country superstar Miranda Lambert, who is a big supporter of pet adoption. Additionally, new pet parents will be entered into a sweepstakes to win a year’s supply of Chicken Soup for the Soul pet food.

These books won’t be on store shelves till Aug. 19, but we wanted to share them ahead of time with the Las Vegas community and encourage people to bring a new pet into their homes. We have always been big supporters of dog and cat adoptions, having read thousands of stories from people who have adopted dogs or cats and found their lives immeasurably improved. We even use rescue dogs and cats as models on all our pet food packaging.

There is something so loving about a dog or cat who knows it was adopted. I remember being awestruck by the temperament of my daughter’s Pug, Riley, who was found wandering the streets a few years ago. The poor little thing had apparently given birth and then been abandoned. Despite being a purebred, Riley was considered undesirable.

She was either born with deformities or severely injured at some point in her life, as the right side of her face is mushed in, and she is missing all the teeth in her lower right jaw. Her tongue hangs out a few inches on the right side, and she also has a tiny, blue, blind right eye and a big, brown normal left eye.

When people see her, they stop and stare, take photos and often laugh out loud because, after all, even normal Pugs look like aliens, and this is not a normal Pug. But to me, she is beautiful, and it’s because of her incredible disposition. From the moment my daughter adopted her from the shelter, Riley was friendly, even-tempered, cuddly and obedient.

More than 3 million dogs and cats are adopted from shelters in the United States each year, but unfortunately an equal number don’t find a new home and face a grim fate. Our little Riley was saved, and she has brought so much joy into our lives. So as we get ready to kick off Dog-ust, we hope that you will consider opening your hearts and homes to a fabulous cat or dog who just wants somebody to love.

Now available for pre-order on Amazon, “Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dog Did What?” and “Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cat Did What?” each feature 101 inspirational and entertaining stories about our canine and feline companions and the magic they bring to our lives.

Check out our other guest columns today from stunning “Fantasy” dancer Tracey Gittins and her hilarious castmate comedian Sean E. Cooper, and on Wednesday meet up with singer Pia Zadora and Food Network star chef Ben Vaughn and go behind-the-scenes of star chef Kerry Simon’s new downtown restaurant Carson Kitchen.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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