Editor at Large, Life+Dog Magazine
Founder and Publisher, Grouchy Puppy
It is so hard for me to pick a top story. Each story is based on the power of “positivity” and giving back. It is hard to rank them since each makes a tremendous impact on my readers.
2. Tell us about your dream assignment.
I’m very fortunate to live out my dream on a daily basis but I would say that Richard Avanzino is someone who inspires and motivates me, so it would be a dream to interview him. Richard Avanzino is the former president of the San Francisco SPCA. He led San Francisco in 1994 to become the first city and county in the nation to offer an adoption guarantee for every healthy shelter cat and dog. As current President of Maddie’s Fund®, he focuses the family foundation on three major areas: building community collaborations for animal welfare organizations to work to create successful models of lifesaving; funding veterinary colleges to create shelter medicine programs; and implementing a national strategy to promote accountability and transparency in animal shelter operations.
3. Describe the wackiest story you’ve written.
Two years ago I wrote for the do-gooder website Tonic.com and one of my stories, called “Aunt Ruth Sleeps With the Fishes” was about various green burial alternatives. Uncovering unique places like Forever Fernwood and Eternal Reefs Inc. for the story, and relating them back to my 89 year old Aunt Ruth was pretty wacky but really fun.
4. Top trend in the industry you’re currently covering or are interested in.
I’m passionate about senior dog rescue groups like Muttville and the San Francisco SPCA who brought our dog Cleo to us. I love dogs but I really love the underdog. I’m passionate about rescue dogs in general and senior dogs in particular. There have been inspirational stories about rescue dogs that become therapy dogs. Therapy dogs not only bring joy to hospice patients, but peace and companionship to veterans. Therapy dogs also provide a calm influence and encouragement to children who read to them as part of reading assistance programs in libraries and schools. I’m a big lover
of books and of our public library and I love the idea of these rescue underdogs becoming super dogs –getting another chance to give fearlessly and influence positively.
5. Tell us a little about yourself.
Growing up as the youngest of five, with at times four Dobermans in the house, I learned from the start what life in a pack is like. In the 1970s my mother was a dog trainer, co-founder of a California kennel club, owner of a small boarding kennel and someone who taught me to respect dogs. I remember many road trips with just the two of us driving together before dawn so we could make early time slots for showing our dogs in the obedience ring.
Through my mother’s work I saw how positively dogs responded to love, clear direction and having a job to do. My childhood experiences showed me how dogs gave fearlessly to us humans, while asking for little in return. Interacting with our dogs throughout my childhood instilled in me their positive influence, and from then on I knew I would always want to have dogs in my life. Today, I combine my love for writing with my passion for dogs, and hopefully inspire and educate others in the process.