Agent for Carrington Real Estate services, Volunteer for American Humane Association, San Diego Humane Society, Humane Society of the United States, Art for Barks.
Catherine Cunningham earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California. She has had large and giant breed dogs since she was 18-months-old and currently shares her home with Heather (a Great Dane), Kali (a cat) and David (a very understanding husband).
Certified as a canine specialist in nutrition through the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, she owned a pet food delivery company for 17 years. Catherine regularly consulted with clients, providing guidance in many areas of pet care and helping them select the best food and supplements for their pets. Through her company, she provided numerous rescue groups with Free and/or greatly discounted food and supplies. She also studied homeopathy and applies that knowledge to pets.
Catherine has volunteered at the Seal Beach Animal Care Center and Hemopet. Hemopet, run by Jean Dodds, DVM, is a canine blood bank and greyhound adoption center. She currently volunteers at and is on the board of directors of California Coastal Horse Rescue, a tranquil place that takes in Abused, neglected and unwanted horses, rehabilitates them and gives them another chance at a great life.
Scott DiLorenzo, DVM is an associate veterinarian at Animal Urgent Care in Escondido, Ca. In addition to being a full time emergency veterinarian, Dr. DiLorenzo is also an advisor with Furlocity online animal boarding and pet travel directory as well as the vice president of the San Diego County Veterinary Medical Association. Outside of work, Dr. DiLorenzo enjoys spending time with his 10-year-old dog Winnie and playing soccer, riding motorcycles, and enjoying the beautiful weather of southern California.
Dognition is devoted to enriching the understanding of dogs and our relationships with them. The service is all about how your dog faces the world and tackles problems - that is, your dog's cognition. By playing eye-opening, science-based games and completing an individualized personality questionaniare, you gain access to your dog's Dognition Profile - a personalized assessment of what makes your dog unique, based on leading-edge research in the field of canine cognition. www.dognition.com
Nik Hawkins is a Director of Communications and Public Relations at University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. He and his colleagues aim to inform and improve postsecondary education policy, research, and practice through the creation and exchange of knowledge via research, publications, and public programs. Outside of work, Nik is a fledgling husband, avid runner, voracious reader, and occasional writer.
Diane Lofshult spent more than 30 years editing and writing for various publications, from medical and environmental textbooks to fitness and nutrition journals. She resides in rural Encinitas, California, where she enjoy spending time at nearby beaches, traveling, reading, cooking and taking Pilates classes to her heart’s content, without the pressing deadlines that defined her career.
Diane is a relentless crusader for animal rights and has been a volunteer at Rancho Coastal Humane Society since 2002, taking part in numerous educational programs for children and community outreach programs, such as Pet Food Bank for indigent pet owners. However, her favorite time at the shelter has always been walking the dogs and helping to socialize all of the animals so they are more likely to get adopted.
In the past, she has also worked with an organization that fosters senior dogs and another group (FACE) that provides funding for owners who cannot afford needed surgery for their animals. Finally, she would be remiss if she didn’t mention that she is the proud parent of two brilliant shelter dogs who adopted her on the spot and who now rule her home and heart.
Linda Michaels, M. A., Experimental Psychology (Hons) focuses on the psychological aspects of dog behavior that often mirror human psychological conditions, such as: fear, separation/attachment disorders and aggression as well as animal wellness. Her laboratory research experience in behavioral neurobiology examined the interface between behavior and the brain. Linda’s unique combination of scientific training and hands-on experience with dogs and wolfdogs creates a bridge between the worlds of research, dog trainers and pet parents as demonstrated in her presentation at the Pet 2015 Professional Guild (PPG) inaugural summit: Understanding Research: Making the case for force-free training. Linda was recently rated one of the top ten dog trainers in the United States, by Top Ten Magazine
Linda’s worked with some of the most difficult cases at the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA across five years, and is an outspoken animal welfare advocate opposing dominance-based dog training methods and aversive collar devices.
The development of the Hierarchy of Dog Needs ™ (HDN) -- A wellness and force-free behavior modification guide -- is one of Linda’s most significant contributions to animal welfare and training. The HDN closes the door on the perceived need and advisability of using punitive or aversive methods to train our pet dogs, offering a clear, easy-to-use force-free alternative to some of the most popular teaching paradigms now available. The HDN is in use internationally by veterinary behaviorists, veterinarians, dog trainers (including working-dog trainers), groomers, shelters, rescues, animal welfare advocates, as well as pet parents, and will be available in Spanish soon (Dogalia).
As a speaker, certified veterinary assistant and the flagship SoCal Victoria Stilwell-licensed behavior consultant, Linda is published in the BARKS from the Guild (PPG) international trade magazine and has authored numerous articles and behavior columns. She appeared as a featured expert on Huffington Post Live, Wolf Dog Radio and PPG World Services. She is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Art for Barks charity, in Rancho Santa Fe, CA, and is the Behavior Advisor for the www.WolfEducationProject.org in Julian, CA. Her Go Fund Fifi and Go Fund Fido program matches funds to provide behavioral help for rescues in the San Diego area. Linda is a certified, FAR Beyond -- Fear, Aggression and Reactivity consultant. Her private practice primarily serves clients from the La Jolla to Beverly Hills areas of Southern California.
You may contact Linda here: Del Mar Dog Training
Christine E. Miller, M.S. has been a professional writer and editor for over 17 years, with her expertise evolving from marketing and business projects to articles/blogs, ghostwriting, and comprehensive copyediting of book manuscripts, reports, dissertations, and any other types of narrative that require an experienced and knowledgeable review. Also, combining her marketing experience and writing talent, she assists new authors in publishing their work by researching and composing effective and compelling book proposals, which are required to promote nonfiction books or book ideas to literary agents or publishers. Christine lives in San Diego with her youngest daughter, a black cat named Turnip, and her excessively pampered Bichon frisé. To learn more and read her blog, please use the link below to visit her site.
After aborting her initial interest in becoming a professor, Lynn turned to a life dedicated to a practical application of knowledge and creativity. Motivated by wanting to make a contribution to society, and unimpressed with her generation’s limited expectations of women, Lynn’s career accidentally lead to "male dominated" occupations.
Starting as E.F. Hutton’s first female stockbroker; next as California’s first female Registered Investment Advisor and owner of her own company; and then finishing her financial career as a commercial real estate developer.
These business activities created an awareness of some injustices in investment opportunity. As a stock broker managing client’s portfolios, Lynn realized that she, and women in general, could not hold many types of investment accounts in their own name in California. Lynn, with the assistance of her attorney husband, changed the California law so that women have equal opportunity for investments. As a dedicated educator, Lynn was also a pioneer in creating financial and investment education for women.
With a few others, Lynn started The Women’s Bank in order to change the national credit laws. At that time, credit history and credit card activity was only reported in a man’s name. When women were widowed, or divorced, they could not buy a car, a home, or have a charge account unless a male relative co-signed. The Women’s Bank changed the national credit laws in less than two years.
After early retirement, Lynn attended art schools in classical drawing and anatomy, and studied under numerous sculptors in pursuit of a new career in sculpture. After a decade in training, Lynn decided to expose her "Women of Substance" series of sculptures. Then the current economic decline began. As a financial professional, Lynn understood that galleries would encounter a survival problem, decreasing the opportunities for new sculptors.
Lynn turned to another passion, her love of animals. Even in a bad economic cycle, the family animal remains a priority. That understanding lead to creating sculptural dog pendants to raise money for Service Dogs and Rescue Dogs. Lynn expanded these interests by wanting to help artists survive in an expected long, slow economic recovery. Art for Barks was formed with a focus on assisting dogs, artists and creative writers.
Lynn’s recreational interests range from a love of books and a passionate pursuit of knowledge in diverse subjects, to an appreciation of sports and nature expressed in: tennis, fly fishing, hiking, backpacking, windsurfing and the San Diego Chargers. Lynn is married to retired Judge David Moon, has two daughters, two grandsons, two Labs and a rescued feral cat and her three kittens.
Helen Ruggieri was born in South Plainfield, New Jersey, on August 30, 1938, to James Gordon and Lily Mitchell. Her family frequently moved around during her childhood, and after attending six different elementary schools and two high schools, she graduated high school from Blakely High School, in Blakely, Pennsylvania, in 1956. She feels her strongest connection to Pennsylvania comes from this period of time, located particularly in the small town of Peckville, just up the road from Blakely. Ruggieri attended Keystone Junior College for one year before transferring to The Pennsylvania State University. She graduated with a B.A. in Arts and Letters (Literature in English) in 1960. She received two degrees for post-graduate work, a M.A. from St. Bonaventure University and an M.F.A. from the Pennsylvania State University, where she received the Academy of American Poets Prize. In 1963, she married Ford F. Ruggieri, and together they have three children: Maria, Ford Mitchell, and Andrea.
Aside from writing poetry, Ruggieri has worked in jobs as both an editor and a publisher. One of her first jobs was society editor for the Olean Time Herald. She has also worked as an editor and publisher at the Allegany Mountain Press, as well as a professor in composition at Jamestown Community College in Olean, New York. She also taught at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford as a Professor of English.
Ruggieri was first published in the English Journal in the early 1970s. Since then she has been featured in many anthologies, contributed more than 200 poems to magazines, and written several books of poetry, including The Poetess, Concrete Madonna, and Glimmer Girls. She has also written creative non-fiction. Recently after a prolonged visit to Japan where she was a visiting professor, she wrote a collection of memoir essays about being a visitor in a strange culture.
Ruggieri feels that her poems are accessible for all age groups, and one of her major themes is the angst that comes from being a teenager. When discussing the connection between herself and the reader of her poems, Ruggieri stated, “I hope that I can touch some aspect we have in common, some shared emotion, some moment.” In her book Glimmer Girls, “Under the Arbor” perfectly captures the attitude of little girls playing house and their attempt to imitate adults. “The Worst We Did to Each Other” is more about teenage girls, drawing upon examples such as girls sneaking out of their house, giggling to each other, and dancing to the jukebox. Ruggieri’s language and word choice is simple but precise, evoking memories from childhood and emotions never quite forgotten.
Throughout her career Ruggieri has received several awards for her work, including a Sasakawa Fellowship from the Nippon Foundation in 2001, the Allen Ginsberg Prize from the William Paterson College of New Jersey, and poetry prizes from the Artists Embassy International and Goose Festival. Her work in the following anthologies earned her nomination for the Pushcart Prize: Earthtones: Twenty Years of Uncommon Nature Writing, Knocking on the Silence, Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania.
Ruggieri currently resides in Olean, New York, where she continues to write poetry from her home.
Best known for her expressionistic and soulful animal paintings, Santora works in acrylic and soft pastel, and her styles are equally diverse. Her acrylics are conceptual, symbolic, drip-method paintings on canvas and board, and her pastels are intimate close-ups of animals that employ bold strokes of pastel, the emotion of color and the beauty of form. Both media express her passion for painting animals in different ways.
School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California Davis. The Center for Companion Animal Health is dedicated to advancing studies in veterinary medicine – encompassing new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases including cancers, genetic and immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney and heart diseases, and nutritional disorders in companion animals.
As well as a painter, Laura is the author and illustrator of several award-winning gift and children’s books, including THE BOOK OF SHADOWBOXES, THE MAGICAL MOONBALLS and New York Times Best Seller THE BOY OF STEEL.
“Over the years,” Laura says, I’ve been surprised at how many times I’ve been asked, ‘What do you do first, the words or the pictures?’ “Well, the words, of course,” I’d think to myself. “How could it be any other way? How does one do the pictures for a story that’s not even written yet? Well, so much for what I thought,” Laura smiles, “as of late, it has been the other way. Currently I’m working on a book, writing verses to go with images already completed.”
Cats, among the many subjects of her art, have become Laura’s star subjects. “And there are so many kinds, all spectacular, of course,” she says. “But I guess part of me feels there still aren’t enough kinds, because my cat images range from your normal tabbies and toms to cats with polka-dots and people eyes.”
Laura’s paintings have been shown and sold in galleries from San Francisco, New Orleans and L.A. to other southern Californian cities including Laguna Beach, San Diego and Carlsbad. Her cats have graced the Royal Canin-supported San Diego Cat Fanciers’ Club poster and the cover of the International Cat Fanciers’ Association Yearbook. And they ride on the back of a life-sized baby elephant sculpture along with a verse written by Laura for Singapore’s Elephant Parade, for which proceeds were donated in the quest to help save the Asian elephant. Her elephant now resides at the home of a private art collector in Switzerland.
Recently she began licensing her images for ceramic tiles, apparel, totes and various gift-oriented items. Her own line of Picture Pendants, for necklaces and pin charms, displays her cats, dogs, flowers and other images from her portfolio and books. “It’s a pretty wonderful feeling to see people enjoying my art,” says Laura. “Whether it’s a piece for their wall or something they wear, there’s a special connection. We share something that makes us happy. Art and animals. To communicate through written words and painted pictures has taken me down a good path. A joyful one. Especially when someone smiles at the pictures, or even cries at the verse. My joy becomes theirs.”
Some of Laura’s art and book collectors have become new friends. “Blessed again,” she says. “And while I feel that happiness in my job, I also recognize that for many of these folks and their jobs, it has usually been a matter of working to live. Although some are lucky to enjoy their work, as I do, many see their job as their job. And they find time to play. That’s fine. That’s how it usually works, how it’s supposed to work. But like many artists, my job happens to be my playtime, too. I live to work. It’s fun, and also, often my therapy! And for that, I feel blessed again and again.
“If it hadn’t been for that creative passion,” Laura recalls of her days as a student, “I might have become a veterinarian, as I also loved biology, chemistry and especially, animals. But I pretty much fall apart when a critter suffers or dies. That doesn’t exactly translate into good doctor material! So the choice was pretty clear.”
College-bound, she left her hometown of Andover, Massachusetts for Rochester, NY, where she eventually graduated from R.I.T. “With a shipload of design and artwork,” says Laura. “R.I.T. was a great school. But had I known better at the time, I would have picked a school better suited for my own goals, with more fine arts and illustration programs. There I was, surrounded by hugely talented graphic design students, and one day it hit me. I was in the wrong school. Instead of figuring out how to combine the images and words for aesthetically strong designs, like my peers were doing so brilliantly, I was more interested in drawing the pictures. Even the letters! Admittedly, though, coming away with good design skills has proven mighty handy. Not only has it helped to compose my art, but I can also knock out some pretty good graphic design to go with my images, for postcards, business cards and catalogue pages, even parts of my website.
“I’ll never forget one of my professors,” Laura recalls. “All his antics! One day he walked into our class studio, saying nothing, and began tossing all the junk in the room into a corner. Boxes, stepladders, stools, tools, old sneakers, a desk or two, mannequin parts, you name it. The pile grew and grew until it was just a few inches from the ceiling. When the commotion finally stopped, we all just kind of looked at each other, eyebrows raised, thinking, ‘He’s not really going to ask us to draw that, is he?’
‘Okay,’ he said. ‘Now draw all the spaces in between.’ That was the moment I was introduced to the concept of negative space. For some reason it was much more interesting (and successful, as it turned out) to draw it from that perspective instead of simply drawing a pile of junk from the conventional point of view…. one of many examples of memorable and helpful experiences during those years. I just didn’t recognize it at the time.”
With the skills acquired from college and that innate passion to draw, Laura kept busy in the early professional years doing freelance illustration and logo design, but eventually she sensed something was missing. She missed writing. And, like her dad, she loved to write in rhyme. In September of 1984, the year he died, she began writing the verses for what would eventually become her first book. Working on the project intermittently between income-generating jobs felt like forever, Laura says, before it finally came to fruition. It took her six years, but a 64 page search & find book, THE BOOK OF SHADOWBOXES, A STORY OF THE ABCs was published and named Best Children’s Literature that year by The Council of Authors and Journalists. THE MAGICAL MOONBALLS followed two years later, and won the same award (and in a prophetic sense, is about the gift of a smile.) She illustrated the multi-award winner AGATHA’S FEATHER BED, by Carmen Deedy, as well as Tom T. Hall’s CHRISTMAS AND THE OLD HOUSE. Soon after came McSPOT’S HIDDEN SPOTS, THE LEMON LOVER’S COOKBOOK, and Ruth Tiller’s CATS VANISH SLOWLY, which won Laura an American Illustrators award. And SHADOWBOX HUNT, A SEARCH & FIND ODYSSEY, is a challenging book for ages 5 to 105.
Laura taught commercial, editorial and children’s book illustration at The Atlanta College of Art, working with students for day classes and adults of all ages for a night class that the college created for her. For K-5, her pioneering work in co-founding the Authors In Schools programs inspired children to spend more time writing and drawing. These interactive presentations, then and now, focus on the importance of rough drafts. “…for both writing and composing a picture,” Laura says. “As I tell the kids, most of us are not Mozarts. Unlike him, most of us don’t get it right the first time. I remember myself as a kid, how much I wanted to get it right the first time. I smile at my young audience and tell them, that even as an adult, I still don’t get it right the first time. That makes them smile. I tell them they shouldn’t fret if they don’t get it right the first time either. It takes as many rough drafts as it takes; as is necessary.”
As the session wraps, the kids draw with Laura, while she encourages them to add words or even stories to their pictures. “Of course, that’s their favorite part,” she says. “And they come up with some pretty amazing stuff. Many will be my future rivals, I’m sure!
“To this day, I view my surroundings as a countless variety of shapes, positive and negative space, (thanks again, my professor)…and with that, the countless colors toned with light and shadow. That, by itself, has repeatedly provided inspiration for me to paint… to record what I see, with the goal to translate the beauty around me onto canvas and paper.”
San Francisco became Laura’s home in 2001, where she lived for ten years. Now settled in southern California, she has opened Laura Seeley Studio in Dana Point, and has her art, books and gifts available at Best Friends Art Gallery. “It’s been so much fun to meet art and animal lovers all in one,” says Laura, of her experience at shows and events, and now at her own little space on Route 1. “Another great therapy. That, along with having the Pacific Ocean three blocks and a bluff away, has me feeling that I have finally found where I want to be. Geographically, and in life.”
Victoria Stilwell is a world-renowned dog trainer best known as the star of the international hit TV series It's Me or the Dog ( www.positively.com/its-me-or-the-dog ). Having filmed over 100 episodes since 2005, Stilwell is able to reach audiences in over 80 countries with her philosophy of positive training methods. A best-selling author, Stilwell appears frequently in the media and is widely recognized as a leader in the field of animal behavior.
A passionate advocate for positive reinforcement dog training methods, Stilwell is the Editor-in-Chief of www.Positively.com, and the CEO of Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training: the world’s premier global network of positive reinforcement dog trainers.
Stilwell is committed to helping the cause of animal rescue and rehabilitation and is heavily involved organizations around the world to increase awareness of puppy mills, dog fighting, animal abuse, pet overpopulation, dog bite prevention and other animal-related causes, but she is best known as a champion for force-free positive reinforcement dog training methods. She is a National Ambassador for the American Humane Association and serves on the Advisory Boards of RedRover, DogTV, Dognition and Canine Assistants.
Victoria currently resides in Atlanta with her husband, daughter and two rescue dogs, Sadie and Jasmine.
Laura-Gray Street is author of Pigment and Fume (Salmon Poetry) and co-editor (with Ann Fisher-Wirth) of The Ecopoetry Anthology (Trinity University Press). Her work appears in/on Poet Lore, Hawk & Handsaw, Many Mountains Moving, Gargoyle, From the Fishouse, ISLE,Shenandoah, Meridian, Blackbird, Poetry Daily, The Notre Dame Review, and elsewhere; was selected by George Garrett for Best New Poets 2005; and has been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes. Street has received a Poetry Fellowship from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the 2010 Poetry Prize from Terrain.org: A Journal of the Built and Natural Environments, the Editors’ Prize in Poetry fromIsotope, the Dana Award in Poetry, and The Greensboro Review’s Annual Literary Award in Poetry, and fellowships at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Artist House at St. Mary's College in Maryland. She holds an MA from the University of Virginia and an MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers. She is an assistant professor of English and directs the Creative Writing Program at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Origins - Intrigued by my name? Here's the rub: my parents are French/Belgian; I did a lot of growing up in the UK; and I live in the Netherlands (with my husband, dog and son).
Dogs - Back in 2007, I was asked to foster a dog. I hadn't had a dog in ages, so I started obsessively reading about it. I stumbled upon Jean Donaldson's Culture Clash. By the last page, I knew it: I would be a dog behaviorist.
Education - I studied Zoology (BSc, Newcastle, UK), then IT (MSc, Liverpool/Chester UK). Applied Animal Behavior Postgraduate (Leuven/St Lieven, BE) Magna Cum Laude. I got certified in Dog Training (O&O, NL) and Canine Ethology (DogVision, NL). I also followed on-line qualifications like pet first aid, canine psychology, science writing and dog nutrition.
Former Corporate Life:
I have always been insanely bad with computers. Always one to over-shoot, I enrolled for a Masters in IT and ended up implementing IT projects all over the world. I loved the mathematical modeling, the project management structure, and the travelling lifestyle. But, I hated computers. I was trapped in a golden cage. Now I am happy and poor - and I've recycled my organization and consulting skills for dog training.
Recently completed my Applied Animal Behavior Postgraduate (Leuven/St Lieven, BE). It is class-based course by the leading figures in ethology, psychopharmacology, neuropsychiatry, animal welfare, behavior therapy, and learning theory. It's been an exhausting, but mind-blowing journey.
Experience - I got my first dog behavior case in 2009. As more dog parents came knocking on my door, I had to choose. Verdict? "Goodbye IT, hello dogs." Now I run my behavior practice, Canis bonus (www.CanisBonus.com); and I co-run The Hague's OhMyDog! (www.ohmydogschool.com) - a science-based dog training school.
When I am not training, I devour books and papers on dog behavior. I also write articles translating dry concepts into something pet parents can use.
Interests: In my 'spare' time, I teach tricks to my dog (and fish): "Find my keys", "Detect bank notes!", or "Shoot a hoop!" (please). I am an active member of the skeptics community, and a history and philosophy buff. I play the piano (passably), the guitar (barely), and the violin (atrociously).
My motto? "So much to learn, so little time." I pack forty eight hours every day, and love every minute.
My name is Luke Williams, and I am a 12-year-old who loves dogs from any part of the world. I have two dogs of my own – Ace and Tie – and they are sweet, kind, fun, and very cute. Ace is a black-and-white Springer Spaniel, and he loves playing fetch, having me pet him, and getting a good belly rub. Tie is a yellow Labrador Retriever, and she is adorable too. Tie is so loving, she will stop at nothing until she has licked your face off.
I hope that writing on this site helps dogs all around the world live a healthy and happy life, like my dogs Ace and Tie.
I grew up in Los Angeles, California where I attended Art Center College of Design, graduating in 1977 with a BFA degree in photography. For the following 35 years I made my living as a commercial photographer shooting mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area for design firms, advertising agencies, book publishers, and magazines.
The beginning of my “second” career in 2001 emerged out of the transition from shooting film to digital photography. Honing my computer skills in an effort to keep up with deadlines and the demands of an established clientele, I discovered a new creative playground: Photoshop.
The technical side of this transition was difficult and extremely frustrating at times. Simultaneously, all I had come to know about light in my years as a commercial photographer translated directly into this new medium. Once the steepest part of the learning curve was behind me, I was off and running.
Today, I am retired from commercial photography and happily spending my time creating new imagery, mostly of cats. My art is licensed for use on a variety of products including greeting cards, wall calendars, coasters, journals and decorative flags.
Every day I spend my time with three of my favorite things, my husband Brad, art, and cats. Lucky, lucky me!