Hi there! I’m Joy Ward and I’m one of your Sunbearblogsquad bloggers! My advisors (also known as the Ward pack) are Weimaraners Sol and Star and Beagle Beatrice.And we are pleased to be here! I’m going to share a bit about us and I am sooo looking forward to hearing from you.
You might know us from Dogster’s For Love of Dog Blog. I was the founding editor and am still listed as Editor Emeritus. We spent a little over two years writing about dog (and sometimes cat) issues, reviewing books, movies and products and talking about the marvelous Dogsters and Catsters. If you read the For Love of Dog Blog way back in my day then you know I am passionate about changing human awareness of animal needs and changing laws to protect animals from abuse such as puppy mills and dog-fighting.
You might also know me as the author of Haint: A Tale of Extraterrestrial Intervention and Love Across Time and Space. We might have met at one of the many conventions I’ve attended over the last four years. Since Haint came out a few years back I’ve been busy on some other products including some short stories (one of which is included in the 2009 compilation Dragons Composed which is a USA Book News Best Books Award Finalist). I’m still working on the Haint sequel but it keeps getting pushed to the back of the writing bus. Right now I’m working on what I hope will be an amazing book with animal translator Melissa Dixon. No title yet but we’re shooting for a Spring release.
Before Dogster and Haint, you might have read one of my columns or articles I’ve been writing since 1994 or thereabouts. I was a staff and freelance writer with a wide variety of publications covering politics, business, technology, women’s issues, shopping and pretty much anything else you can name except maybe sports.
That’s a bit about me on the writing side but what about dogs and other animals? I was raised with all kinds of animals. My family was very animal friendly! We had dogs, horses, chickens, a myna bird, turtles, snakes, hamsters, goats and probably more species I just can’t remember. I spent a lot of my early teen years hanging out with my horse (who would probably have said I was his girl) Red. You haven’t lived till you’ve woken up with a horse knocking on your bedroom window or opening the kitchen door to find him standing on the steps headed inside!
I also spent a good bit of time with our Weimaraners. My mom was a responsible breeder who showed and occassionally bred what I will humbly call a great line of dogs. One of her females was probably one of the most photographed dogs in the world. She left that passion some years ago so don’t write in to tell me how we should all stop breeding dogs. I’ll agree with you to some extent but maybe not as far as you’d like. So I learned how to birth babies when I was around eleven or so. Some day I might even tell you about waking up to my Mischka delivering her first puppy in my bed while I was asleep. Talk about a wake up call!
Sol and Star are father and daughter. He is one of the loves of my life and she is his only daughter, the last of my mom’s line.
Beatrice invited herself into our lives. I was on the way to a concert in Iowa City with a dear friend and her daughter. We stopped for lunch in Hannibal, Missouri. When we emerged Beatrice was sitting next to my car. For all the world she looked like she was waiting for us. After some back and forth (you can imagine how my friend felt about putting a strange dog in a car with her eight-year-old daughter) Beatrice jumped in the car and well, you know how this goes. I planned on turning her over to a no-kill shelter or even a responsible rescue but, well, take a look at those eyes and you tell me you could give her up.
We share a home in St. Louis, Missouri, one of the most dog-friendly places in the US. Really. I often wonder if there is some regulation requiring that every other home MUST have a pet, preferably a dog. Sol’s not keen on all our neighbors but he and the other dogs love having lots of squirrel TV to watch.
I’ll be writing about animal issues of course. I’ll also be giving you reviews of books, movies, products and who knows what else. I already have a pile of books and movies to review but if you’ve got something you think other animal lovers would love to watch or read, feel free to let me know about it. As many of you already know, I am also passionate about sharing creative work that many people might miss because it comes from a small press or producer. Some of the best and most exciting work is coming from these relatively unknown sources.
That’s pretty much it for now. I look forward to getting to know you and your furfriends. Bark in and let me know what you want to talk about.