My birthday weekend in February brought me a genuine surprise: I won an award from the Dog Writers of America Association for my story in Bark Magazine on the organization LCC K9 Comfort Dogs. I had actually been pretty thrilled about my nomination and didn’t think I stood much of a chance to win. Hearing my name called at the ceremony stunned me, but there was no time to linger. Our presenter was meticulous with her time, and moved through the categories quickly. No speeches, just pictures and then get out of the way. Really, it’s the way all award shows should be.
While at the DWAA awards banquet, I hobnobbed with Jill Rappaport, the current NBC animal welfare correspondent. She brought with her a rescue dog whom she adopted as a senior – her passion is advocating for senior dogs in need of homes. I also hung out with my friend and mentor Jen Reeder, writer and outgoing president of DWAA. Jen has been incredibly supportive of my work as a dog writer and her friendship in general means the world to me.
While in NYC I checked out the new Museum of the Dog. The long line to get in during this opening weekend indicated that our country of dog lovers has been hungry for dog-specific exhibits like this. Alas, dogs are not allowed inside – understandable once you see all of the breakable stuff on display. It is supported by the American Kennel Club so the breeds discussed are only AKC-approved breeds. There is no section dedicated to rescue dogs, and no section about dogs of the world.
It’s all fine, but I sense that something dedicated to the mutts of the planet is also something the public yearns for. I have nothing against a multi-winning, perfectly coifed Bichon Frise. I do think that there are plenty of scruffy crosses out there who would represent the dog world just as well.
My story in Bark Magazine can be read here: https://thebark.com/content/how-dogs-bring-comfort-disaster-victims A huge thank you to LCC K9 Comfort Dogs for not only talking to me but also for all that they do in bringing comfort to victims of tragedies around the US. Also a huge thank you to Connor Dietrich and other kids from Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School who talked with me via messenger – I know you have been bombarded with interview requests and I’m honored to have had the chance to talk with you.