Photo ©Tom Bean
I've always loved animals, especially dogs, and running with them through forests and earthen trails is when I feel most at home. I tried to do what's best for those canines in my life although I had no idea what I was doing. Living with Siberian Huskies among the mountains and canyons of Northern Arizona for fourteen years was a constant learning process, especially when they wandered off for days and came back with all kinds of dead things! Clearly these dogs needed a purpose in life to keep their athletic bodies and agile minds occupied and enriched and it became somewhat of a mission to figure out what I could do for them. Although every canine soul is an individual, I do believe there is something to be said for the original function of the various breeds and mixes and my two were happy enough when they had the opportunity to haul something, anything really!
Then I trained as a veterinary nurse with a view to better understanding animals' natural behaviour and thus improving the welfare I could offer them when in my care. During my practical training, whether in Norway, Ireland, Sweden or Utah, I met so many misplaced and misunderstood dogs who had developed all kinds of physical, mental and emotional issues. I was thus inspired to write and illustrate a series of children's books I called Tikaboo Tales and to create artworks that might elicit a smile and maybe even empathy from the readers and viewers. At least it might get them thinking about their own behaviour. After all, we're never too young or old to reflect on how we treat each other, no matter what our species!