About Laurel

laurel_photoI’m a “dog person.” I love all types of dogs, but especially spaniels. I love talking about dogs, reading about dogs, learning about dogs, and writing about dogs.

Dogs are my muses. Following the loss of my beloved Marmaduke, a Great Dane-Mastiff mix, and then Molly, a Flat-coat Retriever, to cancer, I was inspired to create a tribute to them. Thus began a journey to find poems and essays that spoke to pet loss. I searched through musty old books and tattered magazines as I rummaged at countless flea markets, estate sales, dog shows, and book fairs. What started as a simple notion to pay tribute to my dogs became Angel Pawprints: Reflections on Loving and Losing a Canine Companion (Hyperion, 2000), and at the request of cat lovers (including my editor) I also compiled Angel Whiskers: Reflections on Loving and Losing a Feline Companion (Hyperion, 2001).

My mission became to explore and honor the enduring bonds that we form with pets, and to understand the deeply felt grief when we lose them.

Now, this web site celebrates all things canine, the occasional feline, and perhaps a few equines, through book reviews, interesting web sites and organizations I come across, poetry and quotations, pet loss resources, and stories about how dogs enrich and change our lives. I welcome your comments and stories!

As an advocate for dogs and all animals, I serve on the boards of Paws with a Purpose, a therapy dog organization, and the Asheville Humane Society. I’m also a member of the Delta Society (international accreditation agency for therapy and service dogs), Best Friends Animal Society, American Humane Association, English Springer Rescue America, the Association of Human-Animal Bond Veterinarians, and the Association of Pet Loss and Bereavement. I’m a past board member and board president of Pathways – Life After Cancer, a cancer-counseling center now part of Mission Hospital.

In addition to my career as an author, previous experience includes marketing communications, business development, and investor relations for a public corporation, and fundraising for nonprofit organizations, but my first love is writing about dogs. I’m a member of the North Carolina Writer’s Network, Storycircle.org, BlogHer.com, and several Yahoo groups devoted to dog books and pet loss.

I’m a graduate of Cornell University and Pratt Institute, but I’ve learned my most important life lessons from dogs. I’ve found that a faithful companion is not only the best medicine, but also the most profound teacher.

My current canine companion is Alex, a two-year old Welsh Springer spaniel. We live in a beautiful town in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where I’m completing a memoir of the dogs that inspired Angel Pawprints.

Book review policy:

Most of the books I review on this site have been purchased for my personal library, and have a focus on the human-animal bond. If you are the author of a book you’d like me to consider for review, please contact me (laurel (at) laurelhuntbooks.com).