Dog Careers That Led to Books

Jesse Freidin, Lili Chin and Dr. Marty Goldstein all had dog-related careers that taught them the importance of the bond between a dog and his owner. They harnessed this knowledge and found a way to share it with others through books.

Dog Photographer with a Cause

In his work as a dog photographer, Jesse Freidin focuses on the dog-and-human connection.

As a dog photographer, Jesse Freidin found himself in a position to help share powerful stories about the dog and-human connection. He made a profession out of combining his passions — photography and dogs.

His style is unique in that he doesn’t focus his lens on just the pup. His goal is to capture the unconditional love a dog and owner have. As his work is so intimate, he often keeps in contact with his clients.

Dr. Robert Garofalo and his dog, Fred, were one of Jesse’s subjects. When both men were in Los Angeles, they met up. Rob shared with Jesse something he wasn’t emotionally able to earlier in their friendship. He had HIV. It had been clear to Jesse during their photo session that Rob and Fred had a strong bond, and now he knew why. Fred had helped pull Rob out of his depression that his diagnosis had caused.

The two men spent the next seven years searching for dog owners who had HIV and credited their pup for their joy and survival. The duo succeeded in finding a diverse group of people willing to share their stories. Jesse had already self-published some books, then moved on to getting a book agent, who asked what else Jesse might be able to put together. Jesse and Rob had already turned their work into a multi-city exhibit, so why not a book? Jesse’s book agent got to work and found a publisher. When Dogs Heal: Powerful Stories of People Living with HIV and the Dogs That Saved Them came out March of this year. It’s a beautiful collaboration that focuses on what is most important to Jesse: that through loving our dogs, we learn to love ourselves.

Illustrations to Help Behavior Issues

What started out as drawings of Lili Chin’s dog, Boogie, became an educational book to help other dog parents.

Lili Chin had fostered Boston Terriers for Southern California dog rescue group Boston Buddies, proving to herself that she could own a pup. That’s when Boogie came into her life.

Boogie wasn’t just Lili’s partner — he would also become her muse. Lili started drawing dogs, more specifically, her dog. Illustrated Boogie can be found enjoying all types of activities through the years and is easy to identify with his signature one blue eye.

In an attempt to address some of Boogie’s behavior issues, Lili studied dog behavior and positive reinforcement training. The list of specialists she has worked worth reads like a who’s who of modern dog behavior and science.

One of Lili’s educational posters, Doggie Language Starring Boogie the Boston Terrier, found its way into the hands of the U.K. publishing group Summersdale Publishers, who believed it would make a terrific gift book. The publisher approached her twice, and the second time she agreed. Although Boogie shows up in the book (it’s dedicated to him), the author and publisher decided it made sense to feature a number of different dog breeds.

The result of her hard work and passion is Doggie Language — A Dog Lover’s Guide to Understanding Your Best Friend, which is available to purchase in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. Her publisher has announced that due to its popularity, it will be printed in Dutch, Finnish, Spanish and traditional Chinese this year. It has received rave reviews, hailed as a visual guide to understanding the subtle cues and behaviors dogs use to try and express how they are feeling.

A Veterinarian Ahead of His Time

His own health problems allowed Dr. Marty Goldstein to make advances in canine health.

Dr. Marty Goldstein was a practicing vet when he started to have his own health problems. While searching for something that would help him, he came upon Traditional Chinese Medicine. The methods he learned dramatically improved his own health, and he decided it made perfect sense to look into it for his canine patients. In the 1970s, he became one of the first veterinarians to become a holistic vet.

Ahead of his time, he was condemned by his profession, but people sought him out and traveled from all over to help their dying animals. He was working 18 hours a day on terminally ill pets and seeing a skyrocketing number of cancer diagnoses that traditional veterinarian methods weren’t able to help. He proved himself over and over, and eventually the industry caught up. Now, new scientific findings support Dr. Goldstein’s treatment methods.

He was driven by what he identifies as his favorite topic: the spiritual connection between dog and owner. His first book was to help reach out to more people than his individual practice would allow.

Dr. Goldstein retired after being a practicing vet for 47 years. He is still actively reaching out to help get the idea of integrative medicine to as many pet owners as he can. His newest book, The Spirit of Animal Healing: An Integrative Medicine Guide to a Higher State of Well-Being, continues his life goal of making a huge impact on this planet for the two-legged and four-legged species.

Books for Kids

PJ Gardner is the author of the middle-grade animal series Horace & Bunwinkle. When thinking of qualities for her main character, Horace Homer Higgins III, she only needed to look at her family’s own Boston Terrier, Rosie. When reading about the adventures of the pup Horace and his pig friend, Bunwinkle, you get a good understanding of what PJ thinks would happen if Rosie was dropped into the same adventures.

©paylessimages | Getty Images

You may be asking yourself if your adorable pooch could star in her own book. PJ suggests you ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does your dog make adorable faces?
  • Does your dog have funny, weird traits?
  • Is your dog a member of the family?
  • Can your dog make you feel safe and/or loved?
  • Do you have a special voice you use to speak for your dog?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then your dog definitely should be a character in a book. Now all you have to do is write it!

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