Why do you call your dog “Princess Jasmine”?

Jasmine was about one year old when we adopted her from the Franklin County Animal Shelter and it was evident from the start she’d had a rough life. Although we quickly bonded with our new girl, she was a fiercely independent dog … so much so that we use to joke “the Princess has her own agenda” and the name Princess stuck! Jasmine was a wonderful, loving dog but liked her space, and we respected her privacy when she wanted it. She was uncommonly kind to kids and animals of all ages, so we always knew she was a really sweet dog underneath that independent exterior!

Black Dog Syndrome

In this day and age it’s hard to believe there could be a stigma called Black Dog Syndrome (or BBD for short!), but indeed such a fear exists! Black dogs are generally the last dogs adopted and first on the list to be euthanized … many theories exist as to why this stigma prevails and the consensus of opinion seems to agree it’s largely because people feel the dog’s expressions and actions are hard to read. This idea totally blows my mind, as over the last 21 years my wife and I have rescued and adopted three black labradors in a row and nothing could be further from the truth!

So why use a black dog?

I’ve used a black dog in my children’s books for three very simple reasons. First, Jasmine’s been such a huge part of my life for over 8 years so I could never conceive the idea of writing or illustrating a children’s book without using her! Second, I think this type of dog works beautifully with the multi-colored universe of a children’s story! And third, in my own subliminal way I wanted to show readers of all ages that the facial expressions and body postures of a black dog are just as easy to read as any other dog of color known to Man!

We lost our beautiful girl Jasmine this past October to cancer, but her legacy and memory continue to live on and on … kids still approach me and talk about her adventure in There’s A Crazy Dog Under The Palace!,  and I’ve assured them that because of her loving character and spirit, she will always be a prominent figure in this series of kids books!

Locations:

Chicago  Columbus Dallas  Greece Haiti  London  New York  Sicily Tokyo, Japan Toronto