Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dark and Light of the Paranormal: My Talk at University of Maryland

On Monday afternoon, I took time off of work and went to speak to a college class at the University of Maryland. Dr. S.
Peter Resta has a class where he teaches about paranormal and unexplained phenomena, and I got to speak to the students. I spoke to his previous class this past springtime, and he asked me back for the summer course.
   I did a double presentation - the same one I gave at the FORTFEST conference this past May, that I called the "Dark and Light of the Paranormal." The first talk involved the Double Murder investigation from my book "Lessons Learned from Talking to the Dead" where Inspired Ghost Tracking investigated a private home. The home turned out to be the location where two women were murdered, and both me and Troy, the group mediums, discovered the women and learned their identities. We later proved everything we sensed. The entire story is in Lessons Learned.
 - For the Light side of the paranormal - I talked about my latest book "Pets and the Afterlife" and taught the class how pets are able to communicate and how they do communicate to the living.
  One student was kind enough to tell his parents about it, and they were so interested they attended my talk - I was honored. Several students asked really good questions.
  Someone asked if they need to be "religious" to believe in an afterlife. The answer is "no." You can be an atheist, agnostic or any religion- I look at it from a scientific perspective: We are energy that cannot be destroyed when our physical shell wears out and we continue on as a ghost or spirit (depending on location). That's not religion, that's science. 
  One other thing I stressed is "There is NO such thing as a coincidence." Never dismiss anything as a coincidence- because it's very likely influenced by spirit!


The loss of a pet is like the loss of a child to pet owners. The love we share with our pets never dies, and in a new book called "Pets and the Afterlife" by Rob Gutro, the author provides proof that our pets do communicate with us from the other side.    Available in paperback and E-book, on and other outlets at: To order paperback of Kindle-
BOOK: "Lessons Learned from Talking to the Dead" by Rob Gutro
In medium Rob Gutro's second book, See photo proof of a ghost haunting a residence. Go on a treasure-hunt-style journey in Virginia as Rob and others explain random and obscure words, signs and symbols from a spirit, that prove the spirit was with his family. Learn lessons from Spirits and their suggestions on how we can live better on Earth.
Explore the science behind how they communicate. Learn how to receive their messages, where they appear, and important messages in how to live your life. Go into cemeteries, battlefields, and historic places in various parts of the U.S and beyond. Learn about spirits of suicide and murder victims, and how infants and animals pass messages to the living.  FOR THE BOOK ON AMAZON.COM IN PAPERBACK or EBOOK:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Comics News: ‘Life with Archie’: Archie will die saving his gay best friend

    I (Rob) love comic books, and have been reading  them since the early 1970s. I never collected Archie comics but I've
Cover of the comic book, Life with Archie #36
Archie Comics/AP
read quite a few and enjoyed them. Over the last several years I've really grown to respect and enjoy them because they tackle current social issues with teenagers and young adults. The Archie line of comics created a gay character named "Kevin Keller" a couple of years ago, and he's become a big hit. So many readers are able to better understand what its like growing up and knowing someone you know is gay -and the struggles they go through. I think it's been helpful to younger comics readers. This past week, Archie Comics announced that in an Archie comic depicting the future, Archie will meet an untimely end to save the life of his gay friend, Kevin, who becomes a politician. It's another danger for gay politicians - that some right wing nut will attempt such a thing, but it's also a sad reality, which I assume is why they're writing this comic book. Either way, I'll be reading it.

Here's the article from the Examiner:
Comics News: ‘Life with Archie’: Archie will die saving his gay best friend

Archie Andrews, the famous freckle-faced comic book icon, will die in a heroic way. According to the Associated Press Monday, Archie will be shot saving his gay best friend in Wednesday’s installment of “Life with Archie.” The death of the comic book hero was first announced back in April.
Archie’s heroism will be displayed when he takes the bullet meant for Kevin Keller, Archie Comics’ first openly gay character. Keller was first introduced in 2010 in the Archie Comics spin-off “Veronica”. He joined the cast of characters that include Veronica Lodge, Betty Cooper, Jughead Jones and Reggie Mantle. Not only is Keller’s character openly gay, but he is also a military veteran and newly elected Politician who is pushing for more gun control in the fictional town of Riverdale after the shooting of his husband. The assassination attempt on his life is connected to his push for gun control.
Kevin Keller's own comic
The death of Archie will be symbolic because he will die doing something the character has been known for. Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO told the AP, “The way in which Archie dies is everything that you would expect of Archie. He dies heroically. He dies selflessly. He dies in the manner that epitomizes not only the best of Riverdale but the best of all of us. It’s what Archie has come to represent over the past almost 75 years.”
Archie’s demise will be a sad moment for fans of the comic series, as it will mark the conclusion of the series focused on the grown-up version of the Riverdale gang. It will also mark the beginning of a new Riverdale. Goldwater said Archie dying saving Keller will have more of an impact because it “would really resonate with the world and bring home just how important Archie is to everyone.”
The introduction of Keller in the Archie Comics was monumental because sexuality was explored and a connection was made to real world social conflicts. Keller has overcome and still deals with social challenges that have made him a complex and relatable character. He has dealt with being gay in the military and he also deals with being a gay politician. His character alone raises the issues of same-sex marriage and gun control; two issues that are dominate today’s political and social atmospheres.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Book (novel) Review: Bel-Air Dead by Stuart Woods

I enjoy mystery novels and decided to try a different author this time so I read Stuart Woods' book "Bel-Air Dead." Its more of a novel than a mystery (although there are a couple of murders in it and some questionable characters). The main character, Stone Barrington, was likeable, and I really got a good feel for the characters. I really enjoyed this book and the storyline and look forward to reading more from this author. I can see why he's been on the New York Times best sellers list.  I won't re-hash the plot, so I'll just let the author's book summary cover that. It's a good summer read. -Rob

BOOK SUMMARY (from the Author's Website:
In the Bel-Air district of Los Angeles, one of America’s wealthiest and most star-infested communities, Stone Barrington comes face-to-face with his past...
    A beautiful Bel-Air widow, already one of the wealthiest women in America, needs Stone’s help to become even more cash-rich. At stake is the sale of her investment in—and the resulting dissolution of—Hollywood’s world-famous Centurion Studios. Stone is no stranger to the stylish and lucrative world of Centurion... and he has more than a passing acquaintance with the lady herself.
   But when he arrives in Bel-Air to finalize the sale, the tranquility of that famous neighborhood turns out to be no more than a fa├žade. One of L.A.’s most rapacious power brokers has Centurion and its unique real estate in his sights, and he will not be denied. Stone finds himself dragged into a surprisingly complex and high-stakes game, the kind only the truly rich and dangerously ambitious can play... and survive.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Stuart Woods is the author of more than thirty novels including the New York Times-bestselling Stone Barrington and Holly Barker series. An avid sailor and pilot, he lives in New York City, Florida, and Maine.

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Tremendous Dog Rescue Transport: 8 Dogs in One Day!

Woody and Danny get the front seat
One of the things that we do to help dog rescues is transport dogs to their forever homes. Although we primarily volunteer for 2, we do transports for many others. On  Sunday July 13, I (Rob) partook in the largest dog transport we've done at one time. 
 Tom stayed home with our three kids because there was no room in the pickup truck and Tyler sprained his right front leg- so he had to be watched.

precious little Danny - just a tiny 8 pounds
TRANSPORTING FOR SEVERAL RESCUES AT ONCE  The transport brought several rescues together that included 7 Dachshunds and 1 Westie. Katie Wehner of central Virginia organized the entire trip that took dogs from southern Virginia to Baltimore, New York City and eastern Pennsylvania.

Murphy the Westie took the front seat when Danny left

It takes a lot of people to transport dogs up the northeastern corridor of the U.S.  The people that participated in the transport included: Katie Wehner, Celeste Magee,  Rachael Vaghn, Cindie Kura, Anne Lendzinski, Kathy Hamilton, Doxie Yolanda, Brenda Mills, Janet Tobin, Sue Nunnamaker, Barbara Orazi, Steve Shank and Tina Marie Mulvey,  Deb and John Winters, Sue Nunnamaker, James & Patricia Filippazzo

Brandy wanted to see everything
  At 11 a.m. Sunday morning, Katie drove up from central VA with 8 dogs. I took 6 of them - 4 in the cab of our pick up truck and 2 in the front seat. There was JUST enough room. Woody the smooth, red Dachshund and little Danny the8 pound Black and Tan dachshund rode in their crates in the front seat of the truck.
The other 4 rode in the cab- Murphy (the Westie - who was well-behaved, Twix, Lisa, Brandy.

Deb swapped dogs- and gave me Molly and Merlin at Baltimore
Traffic on I-95 was Miserable!!!
BALTIMORE STOP 1:  I met Deb near BWI airport and gave her Brandy and little Danny. She, in turn, gave me two long-haired, red Dachshunds, Merlin and Molly - destination: Delaware.

Deb and John with Twix and Lisa at the Delware hand off!

DELAWARE STOP 2:  Newark, Delaware was the meeting place where I would bring the 6 dogs to 3 different sets of volunteers for further transport. Traffic on I-95 on an early Sunday afternoon was BRUTAL. A disabled bus between Baltimore and Delaware ground traffic to a halt for miles. Volume was so heavy going north (and south) that it took over 2  1/4 hours to get to Delaware.

Merlin and Molly
Three of the dogs were headed for a destination in New Jersey to their forever home: Twix, Lisa, and Woody.

Molly and  Merlin (red long-haired Dachshunds went to New York for their final stop! 
Everyone made it to where they needed to be.... ALL 8 DOGS!!
Merlin and Molly with new Celeste
Twix, the piebald dachshund with 1 blue and 1 brown eye!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Big Thanks to Baron's K9 Country Store!!

A HUGE thanks to Stacy Martin-Duffy and John Duffy, owners of  Baron's K9 Country Store for allowing me to talk with so many pet owners at their store Friday night. What an amazing time. The room was packed, and there were great questions, personal stories of spirit encounters and hugs. 

Rob (middle) with owners John and Stacy and dog friends!  Cr:Baron's k9
  So many people brought their dogs, too, it they were all well-behaved! It's like the dogs were saying "listen to how we're going to communicate with you when we get to the other side, Mom and Dad!"
Rob giving his talk
    Baron's K9 is moving into a new and larger store (and are open) next door, and have everything you could ask for for your pets! That's where I gave my talk, and Stacy, John and many others put out food, arranged chairs and made it a wonderful eventing. 
   They also have guest speakers on a regular basis, which is how I got to give a talk about my book "Pets and the Afterlife."    Click here to see all of the great events and speakers they have! 

A full house for my talk!  Credit: Baron's K9 Store
   What an Amazing event!  Thank you SO, SO much for all who came out, and especially to Stacy and John for allowing me to spread hope, knowledge and peace of mind for grieving pet parents! 
ANIMAL SPIRITS AROUND -    There were some spirit dogs and a cat in the audience, too- what looked like a chow dog, a Yorkie (Yorkshire Terrier) and a grey cat with just one white paw on his right, rear side. I didn't get to ask many people whom they may belong to, though.

A Yorkie's spirit was vocal on a couch there
LOCATION:  525 Pritt Lane, Bel Air, MD  21014,  410-838-MEOW (6369)

**If you can't get there, they also have an On-Line Store!:
ABOUT BARON'S K9 COUNTRY STORE: Baron's K9 Country store is located in Bel Air, Maryland (about 15 miles northeast of Baltimore, off Interstate 95.
spirit of a Chow Dog or something like him was there
Named for their beloved Golden Retriever, Baron, they offer a wide variety of all natural pet foods, treats and gifts for both dogs and cats. With their 20 years of experience, they decided to open a country store style retail store and renovated a Cape Cod house in the Bel Air area located near the intersection of Conowingo Road and Route 1. Stacy established Red Baron Pet Sitting Service back in 1995 and came to the conclusion that in order to utilize their combined passion for animals and their care, they needed to open a health related pet supply store. We wanted to cater to the pet owners that truly believe their pets are family members. We offer creatively distinctive items for all pet lover families. Harford County needed a place for pet lover connoisseurs.

A grey cat with one white paw was around
As residents, these two have watched Harford County grow and prosper for many years. They know they can add to the appeal of the County's small town feel with their nostalgic country store where the hardwood floors echo the footsteps of each patron. Honoring Baron's memory was their main priority, Baron is here in spirit and we know he is pleased with his store.

When a person feels that shopping for their pet is as enjoyable as shopping for their children, then Baron's K-9 Country Store is a must. We love the atmosphere of our store because it was once a warm home and we've taken this special place and created a convenient stop to find everything for dogs and cats and their owners. Our vast array of specialty foods and treats , as well as our fun toys and gifts, makes shopping and browsing an essential and exciting venture.

For more information on this lovely must-see shop, please call 410-838-MEOW (6369). Baron's K-9 Country Store is conveniently located at 525 Pritt Lane in Bel Air, near the 7-11 and Dairy Queen and across from the Kids 2000 Daycare Center.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Another Amazing Sign from Spirits of Rob's Mom and Dad

Norma and Ed are bell-ringing again!
On June 29, my (Rob) mom and dad's house was sold. Mom and Dad wanted to give us one last sign that they knew the house was being sold and they did.

The day before the sale, my brother Doug (the executor)  went to the house to meet with a technician from the house alarm company. He was going to disable the alarm before the new owners took over, so they could decide what to do with it. When Doug met the tech, he was told that the alarm went off by itself early that morning - and rang so long and so loudly, that the neighbors called the police who in turn sent a tech over to turn it off. The police found nothing out of order - no forced entry, nothing broken. 
A house alarm ringing

It was just Mom and Dad setting off the alarm one last time to let their three boys know that they're still around us and watching over us. It was also an acknowledgement that they know the house was being sold.

What's interesting is that in the SIX MONTHS that the house was empty, the only other time the alarm went off by itself was on June 19th, my parents' wedding anniversary and my mother's birthday- so that was their first sign. This is their second sign. 

So, keep an eye or ear out during anniversaries of any kind because you may get a message from someone you know - although it might not wake up an entire neighborhood!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Tyler the "Muzzleator" Goes Back to School

Our 4 year old black and tan dachshund Tyler is the cutest thing ever-  but he can be a terror when it comes to dealing with and meeting with strange dogs. We know that it came with him when we fostered and adopted him from the rescue.

 Tyler was an abused puppy that was turned into a shelter in North Carolina and when Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue heard about him, Tom made arrangements to have a friend get Tyler from the kill shelter and transport him to us. Tyler didn't have an issue with our dogs (Dolly the Weimaraner, Franklin and Sprite (who was still alive at the time)  our Dachshunds), but walking him in the neighborhood was not good. He would bark and lunge like crazy.

Sharon of Barkbusters taking Tyler around Petsmart

Tyler working with Sharon
    We hired Barkbusters, and they helped with tips that stopped his fence running (all of our surrounding neighbors have dogs that Tyler used to love to chase on this side of the fence. That taught him aggression and it finally stopped with a lot of reinforcement. Now if he gets an urge I call his name and say "Stop" and he stops.The dog-walking aggression, however, hasn't stopped so we called Barkbusters again for lesson #2.


   I took Tyler to Petsmart and we met Sharon from Barkbusters. She worked with him in the parking lot before going inside for hands on doggy encounters at Petsmart.

Tyler barking at a puppy who didn't care
    Sharon from Barkbusters was patient and walked Tyler around Petsmart looking for puppies that Tyler could meet. Tyler did not like meeting any of them, and each time he showed aggression, Sharon tugged his leash and pulled him away, and came back.
   TYLER THE MUZZLEATOR - I decided to get a 'mesh' muzzle and once we put that on Tyler, he could get close enough to the puppies to smell them. When he realized they weren't a threat, he seemed okay.
  With a large black dog that I think was a Mastiff puppy, Tyler the Muzzealtor approached and sniffed and it was fine for about 5 minutes. The puppy didn't care, but Tyler started getting stiff in his stance so just as he barked at the pup, Sharon pulled him away. 

Tyler glares at another puppy
MUZZLE GREETINGS HAVE WORKED OVER THE LAST YEAR AT HOME-   Last year,  I started using a muzzle on Tyler when new dogs came into our home. I wound up taking it off after 2 hours and Tyler  was fine with them. Tyler will always use a muzzle when meeting other dogs until he gets familiar with them or until he's toothless and 15 years old! :)

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Super Yawn from Krypto (Dolly)

Super Yawn from Krypto (Dolly)