I as born in 1954, the youngest of 5. My mom assures me that both she and my dad were quite happy about my being a girl. This is a little hard to believe as I have 3 older sisters and only one brother. But I certainly didn't care one way or the other and they obviously got used to it in time. My father especially doted on me, calling me his "little rosebud".
My mother took me to my first dog show when I was eight. This fascinated me and I immediately wanted to show our standard poodle. Mom explained the many reasons why this wasn't possible and I understood but there was a little voice in my head that said, "Some day I'm going to do that." Of course, being eight, the next week I was telling everyone that I wanted to be a jockey.
I always loved to draw and filled sketchbooks with an attempt at professionalism. Mom later told me that the family expected me to go to art school, but I took another path.
As a teenager, I became interested in Scientology. I liked the practical aspects of the religion, and Mr. Hubbard voiced many opinions I had always privately held. It just made sense to me. I went to Copenhagen and studied there for many years to become a pastoral counselor. I met my husband in Copenhagen and we started married life in Munich, Germany.
My daughter was born in Germany, a true "Munchener Kindl". Jason was born here in Clearwater. As the kids got older I realized that I wanted to teach them myself and so I drew on my experience as a counselor, took some courses and opened up my own school. This was also when I began showing and breeding Silky Terriers.
Success did me in after 10 years at the school. It got too big and I found myself sitting in the front office all day long doing paperwork. So I sold the school in 1994 and went back to my old profession of pastoral counselor, but this time with a specialty of working with children.
It started to occur to me that it would be fun to take up my drawing again, but with a twist, as I also had years of experience in working with and showing my dogs. I contacted a local editor and she worked me over the coals until I had a "voice" in my writing and illustrating. The result was "How To Turn Your Dog Into a Show-Off" published by Doral in 2002.
In 2008 I was a Maxwell Nominee for my dog portrait work. I have an expanding portfolio of canine fine art, dog cards and a tickle for people’s funny bone in my dog comic “Funny Dogs, Funny People”.
Through it all I continue to show my Silkys. We just completed our 95th AKC Champion, including Winner’s Bitch at the Silky Terrier National Specialty in 2010 and Award of Merit at Nationals in June 2011.
The Clearwater Kennel Club hired me to do portraits of all fourteen of the Group 1 winners of their two 2011 shows. In 2012 I won my first Maxwell for illustration.
In August 2010 my second book "Dogs 101: Yorkshire Terriers" was published by TFH. My third book "Dogs 101: Pomeranians" will be published in 2013.
I also continue my work as a pastoral counselor, a sort of "super nanny", traveling all over the world around 250 days a year, working with kids and their parents.
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This is the front of our card "Papillon Kisses". Ten 5 x 8 cards are $18.50. To pick up your set, click on
The Store At About Small Dogs.
You can find lots of small dog Greeting, Thank You and Sympathy Cards there at surprisingly low prices. All our cards are hand drawn by the Maxwell Award winning artist Sandy Bergstrom Mesmer. We also recently opened our seasonal Christmas Card page.
And as always, free shipping!
(Or do you want to keep on settling for cards that are kitchy, silly or smarmy?)
Small Dog Shopping
While we get often get inundated with demands to buy buy buy from questionable sources, About Small Dogs has found a couple of quality stores that really do deliver great products at reasonable prices. They also have great Christmas gifts.