When I teamed up with Anna Roy, the President of the Animal Heroes Hall of Fame, last year, our main focus was to be able to keep Dagger's Legacy alive. At first, I was a little skeptical about teaming up with someone on the other side of the planet even though she was a super kind person to Dagger and me. You see, I live in New York and Anna lives in Cyprus. How was this going to work and also be successful with such a huge distance between us? After talking with Anna and coming up with a reasonable plan, we decided to give it a go. I think that success is defined as having a mission, being determined and putting it all into action. If all of these things are implemented and in place, one can also sprinkle in a lot of gratitude and blessings! All of which, Anna and I have experienced throughout our journey together.
Our "Howling Talent" Podcast has been hugely successful. Anna wrote about our Mission so eloquently by saying, "At Howling Talent, we are driven to do our part in making the world a better place by creating activities that empower individuals and communities. We strive to build productive relationships and make a positive impact with all of our pursuits." Thus far, we've interviewed everyone from talented animals' masters to filmmakers and producers. It's been enlightening and so very educational to meet such remarkable people and some pretty talented animals. We are already working on Season 2 ~ Episode 9. How great is that!! Now, that's something to HOWL about!
I invite and encourage everyone to listen in. You can listen on www.HowlingTalent.com, Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Our podcasts are scheduled bi-monthly, and are generally 30-40 minutes long. In fact, many of our guests feel so comfortable chatting with us that we continue our conversation well after the podcast interview is over.
If you happen to know anyone who would love to be a part of our "Howling Talent" Podcast, please email your suggestions to HowlingTalent@gmail.com
In addition to our "Howling Talent" Podcast
our vision also includes events throughout the year.
Our newest event is called "Kindness of Animals."
This event welcomes ALL animals…the talented animal painter, as well as the beginner animal painter. If your animal uses their snout or their paws/hoofs or they hold a brush in their mouths, we encourage you all to use your imagination and creative know-how and engage your beloved animal/pet to create an original Valentine’s Day Card to be given or sent to someone in your local area or overseas to brighten their day and make them feel valued and appreciated.
When your card/s are ready take a photograph of it and email it to us for our gallery with the first name only of the recipient and why you chose them.
If you deliver the card in person and they agree, why not send us a photograph of them receiving the card.
Remember to Hashtag us on social media:
I do hope that you will all get involved in our Valentine's Day Event. Either personally or by sharing our event with your family and friends. The more cards our animals create the bigger our community of happy Valentine receivers will be.
Have a very Happy Valentine's Day!
Remember to be the smile someone needs!
Happy tales to you,
🎉 Happy New Year! 🎉
As I welcome in a new year, I can't help but reflect on the previous year and how bitter sweet it was for Denis and I. After loosing Dagger in January, I felt my purpose was suddenly taken away from me. In an instant life changed for us. I've often thought about the song "What a difference a day makes...twenty-four little hours..." It's so true. Looking back I guess I took my days with Dagger for granted thinking that Dagger would always be there by my side. WOW! What a shock it was when in a matter of 24 hours he was gone from us!! It's never easy when we loose someone that we love. Whether it happens suddenly or due to an illness over a long period of time. It's still very difficult. I know this past year has been challenging for many people.
But, as we ring in a new year, I feel it's important to keep the faith and move forward. I feel Dagger by my side in a different more spiritual way now. I know that he's with me and I also know that when and if I enter the pearly gates of heaven when I leave this earthly life, he's going to tell me that he was instrumental in sending Barney and Picasso to rescue Denis and me. They both entered serendipitously. Barney through many angels that got him to our home and Picasso through many other angels who raised him, trained him and saw he was too sensitive to be a CC Service Dog. Both of whom entered our lives needing a forever loving home. Both came to a home in need of being rescued.
So, now we look forward to a new year and a new beginning. Dagger's studio is being used almost everyday now. I'm training Picasso to be a Therapy Dog for CC and to paint with the help of his CC professional trainer, Alex. I'm finding my purpose again. It's a good feeling. Grief never, ever leaves. If we shut down after a loss the only path is sickness and depression. That's not healthy for anyone. There were things that I did throughout the year of 2023 that I felt gave me comfort in the mist if my great loss. I cried whenever I felt like crying...I didn't hold it in. I had a Service of Thanksgiving in Dagger's Memory at St Rose of Lima Church. We were invited to Dog Mountain in St. Johnsbury, Vermont to film an up-coming PBS episode of Shelter Me which concentrates on grief and loss. Barney will be featured in it. The release date is scheduled for early 2024. I also collaborated with Anna Roy, The President of The Animal Heroes Hall Of Fame, and created a day on Dagger's birthday, October 6th, to honor him and all of the Talented Animals all over the world. The website has an Art Exhibition and currently has a Podcast called "Howling Talent" which is up to its 7th Podcast now. We are so very proud of it!! Check it out! It's available on Apple, Spotify and www.HowlingTalent.com
I'm excited to witness what's serendipitously in store for us as we enter this new year. If you have any suggestions and/or guests for our future Podcasts please let me know by clicking HERE.
In the meantime...
Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!
Happy Tales to you,
"An Artist is born"
A Children's Book Written By: Yvonne Dagger
It took four years, but it was well worth the time,
effort and tears I put into my first book of a
series of books about the adventures of Dagger DogVinci.
Encouraged by many people including most of the librarians we met as we held our "DogVinci" Workshops at their libraries, I heard them often say on our travels all over Long Island and New York City, "Why don't you write a book?" Then when we were hit with the pandemic, that caused Dagger and I to go into isolation for close to three years. Our workshops and Dagger's love of community ceased. I'm sure everyone felt the effects of COVID. The scary horrible toll it took on every family all over the world. We all felt the effects of it and still do, I suppose. Of course, we continued to create in Dagger's studio. That was our saving grace. In isolation, I began to think about what was said to me during our workshops about writing a book. But, could I do it? I'd written papers in college, but never a book!! I could give it a try, I thought!!
Therefore, taking to my writing tablet, I started writing my first children's book about Dagger's life as a canine artist. It was important for me to include his message of education and community service in the book.
The first draft I wrote was about Dagger's life as an artist. It was simplistic and geared more for toddlers. It was about the dog that painted from his heart. After sending my manuscript to experts in the area of writing direction, I was told that they yearned to learn more about Dagger's journey from his birth. They wanted to know his back story. Their points were well received by me. So...back to my writing tablet I went!
It was fairly easy to tell Dagger's story from the day I picked him up at Canine Companions' Miller Family Campus at eight weeks old until the time he learned how to paint, sell his works and give all of his money to charity. I knew it by heart since I told our story at all of our over 150 "DogVinci" Workshops in the years we visited libraries, schools, senior living facilities, museums and charity events.
It literally took me four years to get my book to publication, though. That part of the process was not an easy task. For sure! I learned that an author needs an agent to get into the big publishing houses. That takes oodles of money and because Dagger gave all of his funds to charity, we didn't have the funds to make this happen. I was also told that sometimes it takes years even with an agent to get the big publishing houses to recognize your accomplishment. I knew that I had already spent four years creating my book, the thought of waiting many more years to get published was not something I wanted to do and pay for. So, I decided after investigating publishers, that my best mode of operation on the publishing scene was to self-publish my book through Amazon and IngramSpark. That alone takes an expert to manage. A friend and author of two books gave me the name of an expert in the field....Jaye Medalia. Jaye was instrumental in helping me with everything from how to create the book for publication to giving me steadily advice all through out the process. As an art director and seasoned expert in book publishing, Jaye knows her business. Her expertise in all areas of publication was beneficial to getting things done. She followed the process to a "T." She was able to secure a wonderful illustrator for me, Penny Weber. Penny is a fabulous illustrator. I love her style. I'm not an illustrator. Penny is. She was so accommodating and patient with the little nuances that Jaye and I felt needed to be added such as the spaghetti and meatballs after Dagger's day at the Broadway Show. Hee! Hee! She did all of it with grace and understanding.
I have so many people to thank. First and foremost, my husband, Denis. Denis has been a driving force and wind beneath my wings to get to the finish line of this endeavor. Jaye and Penny were there for me throughout the process even up to the date of release. They're still there whenever I need them. I will be forever grateful to them. And to all of you, without your encouragement and support, I'm afraid that I would've never had stepped outside of my world to challenge myself to live a dream that I've always had.
I'm beginning my next great adventure in Dagger DogVinci's life. So, stay tuned to travel with him on another zany journey.
In the meantime,
I wish you and your families a
Happy, Blessed, and Peace-Filled Holiday Season!
Happy Tales to you,
P.S. Make sure you tune into our New Podcast "Howling Talent."
Anna Roy, the President and Founder of the Animal Heroes Hall Of Fame and I co-host this enlightening and fun podcast as we interview people from all over the world who share their talents by helping animals through their creative process.
Tune in today to learn about a wonderful dog name "Buddy Mercury"
and his human mom and dad,Laurie and Glen Wolfe.
Click HERE to listen to this amazing story.
Welcome to our world
Grateful and Blessed
We needed him and he needed us!
I just know that Barney's journey will be an exciting adventure!! We plan to take him on a road trip
to Dog Mountain, Vermont at the end of May.
We are looking forward to enjoying our first road trip with him.
It should be a real HOWL of a trip!!
...To Be Continued...
To all of the Mom's, Grandma's human and furry...
Happy Mother's Day!!
A Place where I can Bark, Blog and Woof a Little
written by Yvonne Dagger