This question has haunted me for decades. Dogs have been a part of my life since I can remember. They have molded my days, slept with us, hiked with us, sailed the San Juan Islands with us. They have traveled with us and they have kept us from traveling. They have filled me with joy and with anguish and continue to do so.
For years, sensing that they had bewitched me, I sought out activities that excluded them, reluctant to narrow my world and fall completely under their spell. But dog training and work with reactive dogs, the study of their behavior, and finally the writing of their stories inserted themselves into my life as surely as breathing. I have now been a dog trainer for thirty years, volunteered at a shelter for fourteen, and written their stories for six.
In this blog, I wish to share some of their stories, and the things they have taught me. Finding Vera, my first novel, tells the story of Vera, a reactive German shepherd and her two sisters—partially from their points of view. Writing it helped me to better understand the evolution of their behaviors and motivations, their political interactions, and who they were.
But there are other stories to be told and insights to be gained from all those years of working with dogs. I hope my readers enjoy them.