The Dog Writer’s Association of America was established in 1935, and is the most recognized professional writing association focused exclusively on dogs. Every year, the DWAA holds a writing competition. Late last year, two articles from M&E were announced as nominees. The selected articles were the Canine Ear Health Guide, and the training article Sitting Still in Exciting Environments: A Simple and Positive Exercise for High-Drive Dogs.
The awards ceremony for the DWAA Awards is always held on the eve of the Westminster Kennel Club show, on February 16th in a nearby New York City hotel. I wasn’t able to attend this year, so I asked my good friends Keith and Sharon if either of them would be able and interested in attending on my behalf. To my great delight, Sharon immediately replied with an enthusiastic “yes!” I was elated!
When the big night came, I sat eating dinner with my family, growing increasingly anxious. It felt strange to be so far away from the action. The hours swept by, and I hadn’t heard a peep from Sharon. Finally, after dinner, a long walk, and some strained small talk in my kitchen, my phone rang. It was Sharon. “Sitting Still in Exciting Environments WON!” She called me later that night from her hotel room to tell me every detail, (Keith there too) despite it being around 2am on the eve of their big day (the first day of Westminster).
It is such an honor to be recognized alongside so many talented and influential people in the dog writing world. Holding a shiny heavy medal is pretty great too. But by far, the most exciting part of the award to me is that an article about unique training methods for high-drive terriers was recognized as being an important contribution to modern dog writing.
The DWAA recognizes excellence in media about dogs — and more specifically, media that promotes the betterment of life for dogs. The DWAA is passionate about helping rescue dogs, and showing the importance of service and other working dogs. My work is to help discuss and spread information about often misunderstood types of dogs, so I think my mission is right in-line with the DWAA. The more understanding there is about the behavior and needs of unique types of dogs like high-drive terriers, the better their lives will be, and hopefully, far less of them will end up in need of rescue.