September 2019 Update: The Oyster Thief paperback will be released on October 8

It’s that time of year again when students go back to school to learn. I’ve been thinking a lot about the lessons I’ve learned recently, and I’d like to share one with you. I recently rescued my dog, Rozetta, and this process taught me a lot about the world of dog adoption.

There are two ways to get a dog: buying and adopting. The key difference between them is that when you buy a dog, you normally do so from a backyard breeder or puppy mill; when you adopt a dog, you usually get the dog from a shelter.

Rozetta doing one of the things she loves to do – sleep


According to the Humane Society of the United States, each year, 2.7 million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States. This number is high in Canada as well, with over 100,000 being euthanized every year. In Canada, the euthanasia rate equates to one cat or dog being killed every 5 minutes; in the U.S., it equates to 5 animals per minute.

These statistics are frightening, and certainly not what our loyal companions deserve. A lot of cats and dogs are euthanized because there just isn’t enough room in shelters. As such, when you adopt, you both adopt a loving pet and open a shelter spot for an animal who may need the space.

If that isn’t enough, here are a few more reasons to adopt rather than buy:

  • Adopting costs less. The adoption fee often includes spay/neuter, a vet check-up, vaccinations, and microchipping. Getting a pet from a breeder or pet store can cost up to $500 extra dollars that you could spend on food and toys for your furry new friend!
  • Personality. Animals in shelters are usually adults. This means they already have established personalities, and you know who you’re going to be living with. Some programs even match adopters with animals that best fit your personality and lifestyle.
  • It’s the right thing to do. When you adopt, you’re changing the life of an animal by giving them a fresh start in a good home.

To learn more, check out these common myths about shelter dogs by Humane Canada.


My ocean novel The Oyster Thief paperback is coming out on Tuesday October 8! The paperback edition will be available wherever books are sold. In conjunction with the release date, my October newsletter will include some special highlights, endorsements, and previews of The Oyster Thief, exclusive to you!

The Paperback Edition Jacket

Also coming soon: The Oyster Thief Audiobook.

Stay tuned for more information on the release date!

I was recently interviewed by talented writer Grace Kwan. In her interview, Profile of an Ocean Author, we discussed Project Animal Farm, The Oyster Thief, and what it means to be an “ocean author.” Here is an excerpt from the interview:

“Faruqi uses the process of writing a book to explore these social and environmental issues herself: ‘It’s a journey for me, from novice to knowledgeable. I never know in advance what I’m going to write about, and I think that’s the beauty of books. It’s a way to follow intellectual curiosity and see where it leads. I never know what I might be interested in a year later.’”

You can read the full article here.


  • Snake-like sharks – Frilled sharks are rarely seen by humans. They prefer to live at depths of 1500 meters below the surface, in the Midnight Zone of the ocean. They are likened to a mythical sea serpents due to their eel-like body, rounded head, and long jaws. While not related to sea serpents, these sharks bear the same characteristics of ancestors who swam in the oceans during the time of the dinosaurs. In 2007, the shark below was found in Japan, measuring 5.3 feet.
  • Solar panels help plants – In September 2019, an exciting new study explains that in places where the soil is damaged and dry, many plants have a hard time thriving. But these researchers may have a way to help: solar panels! Agrivoltaics (solar sharing) is a new technique where agriculture and solar panels are placed close together in the hope that struggling plants will thrive. And it’s working! Out of a variety of tested plants, including peppers, jalapenos and tomatoes, this new system allowed the plants to thrive in the shade of the solar panels. In return, the plants give off water as they grow, cooling the panels and leaving them less sensitive to temperature! Read more about agrivoltaics
  • Dalmations and fire – Nowadays Dalmatians tend to be the mascots of fire halls, but back in the days of horse-drawn fire carts, Dalmatians were actually trained by firemen to help during emergencies. Easily trained and good companions for horses, Dalmatians would run in front of horse-drawn carts to clear a path, guiding firefighters to the fires quickly. In addition to this, these dogs were good at keeping horses calm during fires and at night in the stables.