Excerpts from Reviews

USA BOOK NEWS (2011)

Covering What's Hot, New & Noteworthy in the World of Books!

The 50+ Dog Owner provides up-to-date information and advice about choosing and caring for a dog to match canine companionship with the lifestyles of Americans entering their golden years—the fastest growing demographic within the population. Written in an engaging, straightforward, senior-to-senior style by a proud member of the “50+ club,” the in-depth expert advice is both easily accessible and appropriate for seniors who want, or already have, the companionship of a dog.

The Boomer Chronicles July, 2011

Why You Should Get a Dog When You Are 50+

I had a dog growing up, and loved my dog to death. Then I had no dog until I was 47. Why? Because I made a lot of excuses: I am not home enough, I don’t have time to walk him, I don’t have the money for the vet bills, my schedule is unpredictable. And, frankly, I was just afraid of the responsibility. Then, after much deep thought, I finally took the plunge. I got my Lhasa apso (that’s his baby picture up there), and have never looked back. I adore him and lavish attention and $$$ on him. He is a fabulous companion, and yes, I still travel a good deal. Having a dog has not stopped me.

There’s a new book out devoted to The 50+ Dog Owner: Complete Dog Parenting for Baby Boomers and Beyond by Mary Jane Checchi. The book is designed for lots of different folks — those with empty nests who want a great companion, those who want to feel secure at night, or if you simply forgot to get a dog earlier in life. Heck, there are studies that show dogs are great for your health. You are outside more often, have more social interactions, and, if you live alone or with just one other person, a dog can simply make you feel not so isolated. The book covers all the bases: Finding the Right Dog For Your, Sharing Your Home with a Dog, and Growing Older Together.

If you love dogs, and can afford to have one, don’t wait another day.

 

www.best-pet-tips.com May, 2011

The 50+ Dog Owner provides up-to-date information and advice about choosing and caring for a dog to match canine companionship with the lifestyles of Americans entering their golden years —the fastest growing demographic within the population. Written in an engaging, straightforward, senior-to-senior style by a proud member of the “50+ club,” the in-depth expert advice is both easily accessible and appropriate for seniors who want, or already have, the companionship of a dog.

 

Collins Booksellers’ Featured Book May, 2011

The 50+ Dog Owner provides up-to-date information and advice about choosing and caring for a dog to match canine companionship with the lifestyles of Americans entering their golden yearsthe fastest growing demographic within the population. Written in an engaging, straightforward, senior-to-senior style by a proud member of the 50+ club, the in-depth expert advice is both easily accessible and appropriate for seniors who want, or already have, the companionship of a dog. The topics covered are especially relevant to any senior whether an empty-nester, newly retired, or widowed and include travel, housing, cost of care, and equipment, as well as the numerous health benefits linked to dog ownership for those with depression, loneliness, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Each chapter features Money Saving Tips to make dog ownership more cost effective and Make It Easy suggestions for time-saving services and products that suit your income and activity level. Every page of the book is designed with easy-to-read print and spacing.

 

FOREVER YOUNG Magazine: Enjoying Life Over 50 in Western New York January 2011

Find the Right Dog for You
By Anthony Chabala

Owning a dog can be wonderfully rewarding, if you’ve found the right animal for you. If not, it can be physically and emotionally draining. A member of the 50-plus crowd, author Mary Jane Checchi has written a book that will undoubtedly make it much easier for you to find a dog to gel with. And if you already have one, she offers great tips, training secrets and ways to save money.

Titled The 50+ Dog Owner: Complete Dog Parenting for Baby Boomers and Beyond, her easy-to-read, beautifully illustrated how-to answers every question from “What will happen if my dog outlives me?” to “How do I brush my dog’s teeth?”

One very helpful chapter is titled “Sharing Your Home With a Dog.” Here, Checchi breaks down different living situations and how they can impact dog ownership.

For example, she explains the importance of reading the fine print on your lease before bringing a pet into a rental property, and what to look for if you are considering taking your pet with you when relocating.

According to Checchi, once you find a dog-friendly building that you like, you may discover that the little hidden fees add up to one large fee. For instance, there is sometimes an extra security deposit, a nonrefundable pet fee, or even an added monthly fee, depending on the size of the dog.

During a recent telephone interview, Checchi, a former Capital Hill attorney, could not have sounded more driven or enthusiastic about how important a dog’s well-being is. She also acts as a matchmaker for loving canines and those in the 50-plus age group.

When I asked about her motivations behind writing this book, she told me, “It was all based on real life observations of myself, and also friends.”

One story in particular stands out. Checchi once recommended to a neighbor who was about 70 at the time that he should consider ridding himself of the complications of the puppy stage, and instead think about adopting a mature dog.

“Not only did he think that to really appreciate a dog he had to own it since it was a puppy, but he thought that all dogs in shelters were either old, sick or damaged in some way. This was a very well-educated, intelligent man, but he was simply out of date with his information and the dramatic changes in how shelters are run.

“From that experience, and many like it, I realized that there’s a lack of current information for those in the over-50 crowd.”

Matching a person with the right pet has become a major industry, she says, with multiple organizations and businesses are popping up all over the country. “There are traveling vets, groomers, professional dog walkers and even people to come poop-scoop your yard,” she says, “If you can afford it, [they] will all make owning a dog at any age much simpler.”

Choosing the right breed to fit your lifestyle is perhaps the most important part of the process. If you have trouble walking, taking in a dog that requires hours of exercise a day would be detrimental to both of you. There are so many things to consider — even transporting the dog to and from places.

“I used to be able to pick up a 60-pound collie and put him in the car,” Checchi says. “I can’t do that anymore. The same applies with bending over for an hour washing my dogs in the backyard. It hurts to bend like that!”

As both common sense and Checchi’s book tell us, there is no one breed that is great for every situation. But the book does provide a small sampling of breeds that may match an owner’s personality type. For instance, the easygoing owner would appreciate a Beagle or a Collie, while an outgoing owner may best opt for an Irish Setter or a Weimaraner.

It’s wise to research your options and know what the responsibility of owning a dog may mean, so pick up The 50+ Dog Owner, and get reading.


TULSA WORLD December 4, 2010

Find the perfect pet and pet book too
By AMANDA FITE World Scene Writer

Finding love after age 50 isn't so tough.

It's just a matter of finding the right four-footed pal.

Prospective dog owners age 50 or older - whether first-timers or veteran pet parents - should give serious thought to the next animal they choose. The dog that was right for you in your 20s or 30s might not be the breed that best suits you now.

A new book, "The 50+ Dog Owner" by Mary Jane Checchi, aims to help older dog lovers keep that fuzzy love affair going, no matter how age changes you or your dog.

Older dog owners can still gain as much as ever from dog companionship. Studies show the human-canine bond can:

  • reduce stress
  • lower blood pressure, cholesterol and heart attack rates
  • combat depression and loneliness
  • increase social interactions
  • stimulate exercise and improve fitness

These are great benefits, especially for those 50 and over.

But baby boomers' lives definitely change as they age. Does fading eyesight mean a tiny breed will be easy to trip over? Do you still have the stamina and strength to control a young Labrador? Perhaps an adult or senior dog is the best choice to complete your home.

Checchi's book recommends you start from scratch when considering a new dog, no matter the kind you've owned before. Take into account your own personality, health and activity level. What are the restrictions (legal or space-wise) at the place
you live? How much time and money do you have to care for a dog?

The book is packed with resources to help determine a dog breed that might fit your current or planned lifestyle, from playful pug to peaceful mastiff.

Expecting to retire and travel? Some dogs are calmer and handle weather extremes better than others. Do you court a swarm of grandkids on the weekend? Some dogs are more one-owner wonders, and protective.

Getting a dog is never a decision to be taken lightly, so think with your head, not your heart. But know that there are many ways to get around what appear to be challenges.

A prospective owner may worry that she can't exercise the dog enough, keep him well groomed, drive him to the veterinarian - or even hook and unhook a leash.

Nowadays, many innovations can help, such as ordering supplies home-delivered and finding groomers and vets who make house calls. Many hotels now accept traveling canines, and professional pet sitters and dog walkers abound.

"The 50+ Dog Owner" ($24.95, T.F.H. Publications) also has money-saving ideas and tips on caring for dogs, finding pet-friendly lodging, and how to adopt from a shelter or evaluate a breeder. It discusses how you and your dog can grow old together while making the most of the time you have.

Read more from this Tulsa World article

PetLifeRadio.com
Talkin Pets With Jon Patch
Posted November 27, 2010

Jon welcomesAuthor (and member of the "50+ Club") Mary Jane Checchi who offers expert advice in key areas relevant to her readership, such as travel, housing, cost of care, and equipment. The 50+ Dog Owner also explores the numerous health benefits linked to dog ownership for those with depression, loneliness, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Senior Connection & Mature Lifestyles
(Florida Monthly Magazine)    November 2010

The 50+ Dog Owner
Anyone over age 50 who is contemplating life with—or already lives with—a dog is special within the dog owning community. The 50+ Dog Owner tells everything you could possibly need to know before getting your first dog or about owning a dog in general.

It’s a colorful, easy-to-read hardback reference book whether you’ve fed and trained a dog before or not. Author Mary Jane Checchi writes from a lifetime of dog experience straight to the heart and needs of the over-50 reader.

THE CORGI CRYER Fall 2010

Doggone Good Books for the Hawlidays
By Florence Scarinci

My sister-in-law Aurora is lonely in her retirement and her empty nest.  She wants a dog for companionship and security.  It’s hard to decide which of these two books I should give her that will help her decide what dog would be appropriate for her situation. I am considering giving her The 50+ Dog Owner, Complete Dog Parenting for Baby Boomers and Beyond by Mary Jane Checchi (Neptune City, NJ: T.F.H. Publications, 2010.  ISN 978-0-7938-0643-0. $24.95. Hardcover).   This book is a compendium, an exhaustive tome one everything anyone would need to know about acquiring and living with a dog.  In the very first chapter, Aurora can take a self-inventory, answering questions about her health, activity level, living arrangements, and financial resources that will influence her choice of dog: purebred, mixed breed, puppy, older dog, large, small, jogging companion, couch potato.  The rest of the book contains invaluable information for anyone, not just a senior citizen, planning to add a canine to the family: suggestions about equipment, diet, veterinary care, safety, training, travel, grooming, even end of life considerations.

 

Fifty Plus Magazine (Richmond, VA) September 2010

In her new book, "The 50+ Dog Owner," Mary Jane Checchi writes that researchers have found "the human-canine bond can reduce stress, lower cholesterol, and stimulate exercise" among other benefits. Seniors with pets tend to have a more positive outlook on life. A senior looking to adopt a pet would be wise to adopt a more mature, calmer animal. Yet calmer certainly does not mean lacking in personality. You need not look any further than the dogs and cats at the RSPCA to see that.

Baltimore Sun Unleashed (Blog) September 8, 2010

Animal Print: A new feature about pet books!

For starters, I've got a book written by a Maryland woman, Mary Jane Checchi. It's called The 50+ Dog Owner: Complete Dog Parenting for Baby Boomers and Beyond.

Checchi, a trainer, visits D.C.-area hospitals with her collies, Charlotte and Tony. In her book, she explores how having a dog can bring health benefits to empty nesters, retirees and other folks who might be thinking about a dog for the first time in their lives. There are tips about choosing the right dog and suggestions for how to incorporate the new pet into one's routine.

Dogwise.com September 2010

Great book for shelters to suggest to senior adoption prospects and geared towards the senior owner.

Written in an engaging, straightforward, senior-to-senior style by a proud member of the 50+ club, the in-depth expert advice is both easily accessible and appropriate for seniors who want, or already have, the companionship of a dog. The topics covered are especially relevant to any senior whether an empty-nester, newly retired, or widowed and include travel, housing, cost of care, and equipment, as well as the numerous health benefits linked to dog ownership for those with depression, loneliness, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Pet Gazette September 1, 2010

For those over the age of 50, contemplating canine companionship also raises questions about how a new four-footed family member will fit in with their lifestyle. Will their living space accommodate a dog? What type of canine would match their personality and energy level? Would an older or younger dog be best? Offering guidance, insight and expert tips, “The 50+ Dog Owner: Complete Dog Parenting for Baby Boomers and Beyond” is a dog care guide for empty nesters, those still working, retirees and other adventurers. Author Mary Jane Checchi offers advice in key areas such as travel, housing, cost of care and equipment. “The 50+ Dog Owner” also explores the numerous health benefits linked to dog ownership for those with depression, loneliness, high blood pressure and heart disease. The book helps readers identify and evaluate their concerns and then shows how these issues can be surmounted. Each chapter features a resources section guiding readers to helpful items and services mentioned in the book as well as money-saving tips.

Library Journal August 15, 2010

This all-inclusive guide is typical in its coverage of the major issues of concern for new dog owners. The only difference is that Checchi (Are You the Right Pet for Me?: Choosing the Right Pet for Your Family) writes for those who are over 50. She addresses concerns such as choosing the right dog while considering one's own ailments and how to plan for a dog's life in the event the human companion dies. Each chapter contains a "Resources Made Easy" section that provides additional readings, websites, products, and services pertinent to the chapter's subject matter. The font is slightly larger than that in most books, and pictures complement the text. VERDICT Those features, coupled with the comprehensive index, make this a practical source for fiftysomethings looking for a dog to share their golden years with.—Diana Hartle, Science Lib., Univ. of Georgia, Athens

Chicago Sun-Times August 4, 2010

BY CELESTE BUSK

What if I don't outlive my dog? What will happen to my pet?

These are some of the questions that concern the older pet owner.

Those questions and many more are answered in the newly released The 50+ Dog Owner: Complete Dog Parenting for Baby Boomers and Beyond (TFH Publications Inc., $24.95) by Mary Jane Checchi.

The book is designed to help aging empty nesters, those still working and retirees who already own dogs or are contemplating getting a dog. It encourages elderly dog owners to identify concerns and then shows how simple it can be to surmount or detour around problems.

For example, the book suggests making arrangements for a friend or family member to take care of your dog in case you don't outlive your pet.

The book also suggests arranging for a dog to get into a nonprofit rescue group shelter where they can peacefully live out their lives. Another suggestion is getting a pet trust that allows an owner to provide for a dog's care in a will. Since you can't leave money directly to a pet, a trust is established to provide funds for the pet's care. The trustee will either take care of the pet or pay the pet caregiver.

The book has a brighter side, too. There's useful information on how to choose a dog that is compatible with your lifestyle by pointing out behavioral characteristics of breeds.

For example, playful breeds include: collie, English springer spaniel and Golden retriever. Quiet ones include the greyhound, basenji and whippet.

And if you want lots of noise? Consider a beagle, dachshund, some terriers (cairn, fox and yorkshire) and some toy breeds (maltese and poodle).

Aspiring dog owners also need to consider the cost of owning a dog during their lifetime (10 to 15 years).

"It can easily approach and exceed $10,000," Checchi says in the book.

At a minimum, annually caring for a small dog will cost about $500; for a medium dog, about $700, and for a large dog, about $1,000.

Other advice weighs the options of choosing a puppy (they take a lot of work) vs. adopting an elderly dog (they're already trained and housebroken).

The book also is filled with tips for taking care of your dog, down to minute details such as choosing a collar and food bowls.

There's also helpful advice on traveling with a dog, boarding them while you're away, health and safety information and grooming and daily care recommendations.

A useful resource page is found at the end of each chapter. It lists informational sources as well as products and services mentioned in that chapter.

BEACON (Western Colorado) August, 2010

THE 50+ DOG OWNER
By Mary Jane Checchi

People of all ages know that dogs are special animals.  The 50+ Dog Owner is tailored specifically for people 50+ who are either dog owners already or for those thinking of adopting one.  This book will help seniors identify and evaluate many concerns they may come across about owning a dog.  IT can help you find the perfect dog to fit your lifestyle and can help you discover easy, inexpensive but practical ways to care for your canine companion.

Urbana (Illinois) Free Library Picks July 28, 2010

The 50+ Dog Owner

Do you resemble this title? I certainly do! Now, not every baby boomer owns 5 Border Collies, as my husband and I do, but I've noticed many folks in our Urbana community are dog lovers. And just the fact you're older shouldn't keep you from becoming a proud companion to an animal that could be your best friend.

This guide, new to our library this week, is written especially for seniors contemplating life with a dog. The dust jacket flap announces that dogs can "fill a nest emptied by departing children, comfort a surviving spouse, re-energize a recent retiree, or simply continue a long tradition of human-canine relationships." All very true. Examine the useful chapters which will help you decide if you want a dog, how to choose the right dog for you, and what you need to think about when you live with a dog. They need grooming, training, and medical care, just like human companions. And you can travel with them!

Here's a shout-out to our local Champaign County Humane Society. Just as there are lots of us seniors who might want a dog, there are older dogs that would love to be adopted into a forever home. So don't just consider a puppy! Bond with a dog that shares your energy level.

Take a look at The 50+ Dog Owner: Complete Dog Parenting for Baby Boomers and Beyond, by Mary Jane Checchi. Find out if you're ready to bring a canine companion into your life.

 

MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL July 23, 2010

THE 50+ DOG OWNER: A great dog tutorial for empty nesters looking for their first pooch.  It discusses the benefits and problems of dog ownership and how to find canine love after 50.  Money-saving tips fill every chapter.

Tulsa World July 19, 2010

Canine bond: A healthy way of life for seniors
By KIM BROWN World Scene Writer

For dog-lovers, there's no joy quite like bringing home your new canine companion.

But many people more than age 50 worry about getting a new dog for many reasons. Author Mary Jane Checchi lays out all the answers in her new book, "The 50+ Dog Owner: Complete Dog Parenting for Baby Boomers and Beyond" (T.F.H. Publications, $24.95).

Even though potential pet owners might be worried about their health, compatibility or their accommodations, Checchi maintains that sometimes the benefits outweigh the concerns. She writes:

"Researchers have found solid evidence that for owners the human-canine bond can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, lower heart attack rates, decrease the number of physician visits, combat depression and feelings of isolation, increase the number of social interactions and stimulate exercise and improve fitness."

Packed with information, "The 50+ Dog Owner," offers advice for important decisions, such as cost calculation, care and training advice, canine-friendly housing options and how to travel with your dog.

And selecting the right breed is at the top of the list, Checchi writes. She outlines ways to pick an ethical breeder, as well as how to avoid puppy mills.

She also advocates adoption.

"Adoption can be a bargain because fees typically include a range of services already performed, such as spay/neuter surgery, deworming, a health exam and vaccinations."

Star Ledger (Newark, NJ) July 1, 2010

Curl Up With Your Pet - And A Book
Joan Lowell Smith

“The 50+ Dog Owner” by Mary Jane Checchi (TFH, $24.95), subtitled “Complete Dog Parenting for Baby Boomers and Beyond” combines lively text with practical advice on finding the right dog, age issues (yours and the pet’s), grooming tips, travel, health care and training – making this an excellent choice for potential dog owners in their 50s and older.  Color shots share space with fantastic resources and sidebars giving “Money $aving Tips” like this one: “Acquiring a puppy from a pet shop or over the internet is a bad bargain.  You’ll overpay for a puppy likely to have physical and behavioral problems.” That’s sage advice.

Amazon.com July 2010

The 50+ Dog Owner provides up-to-date information and advice about choosing and caring for a dog to match canine companionship with the lifestyles of Americans entering their golden years—the fastest growing demographic within the population. Written in an engaging, straightforward, senior-to-senior style by a proud member of the “50+ club,” the in-depth expert advice is both easily accessible and appropriate for seniors who want, or already have, the companionship of a dog. The topics covered are especially relevant to any senior—whether an empty-nester, newly retired, or widowed—and include travel, housing, cost of care, and equipment, as well as the numerous health benefits linked to dog ownership for those with depression, loneliness, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Each chapter features “Money Saving Tips” to make dog ownership more cost effective and “Make It Easy” suggestions for time-saving services and products that suit your income and activity level. Every page of the book is designed with easy-to-read print and spacing.