For all that has been,
For all that is to come,
— Dag Hammarskjold (as read by Mooch)
Happy 2019! Hopefully you had a wonderful holiday season and were able to spend it in the company of people and animals who make your heart happy. As we enter a new year, there are many fond memories to be grateful for and plenty of new adventures ahead.
Last month, we celebrated the second annual Gift of Nothing Day and heard from people around the world who shared the message of The Gift of Nothing. You can read some of their stories here. In December I was presented with an award from Animal Care Centers of New York City at their annual Boroughbred Ball. ACC of NYC is a model large-city municipal shelter that does innovative work to help homeless and surrendered animals. They are true heroes.
In October, we teamed up with The Dodo to create a series of social media-based MUTTS Shelter Stories to promote real-life adoptions. The animals featured in the illustrations came from shelters across the country — including ACC of NYC, St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, and Secondhand Hounds.
Last year my children’s book A Perfectly Messed-Up Story won the Buckaroo Book Award. Yippie ki-yay! This award, presented annually by the Wyoming Library Association and the Wyoming State Reading Council, is a unique privilege because its nominees and winners are chosen by students in kindergarten through third grade. Just thinking about it makes me smile.
Next month, Team MUTTS will once again join Petco Foundation for their annual “Love Changes Everything” campaign, which will include multiple nationwide adoption weekends and other fun events. The team is also preparing to roll out Social for Shelters, a project which provides free social media assets to help animal organizations boost their digital reach. We’ll share more details about both of these projects in the coming weeks.
As you may remember, “Me…Jane: The Dreams and Adventures of Young Jane Goodall” (the musical adaptation of my children’s book about Jane Goodall’s childhood) premiered at The Kennedy Center in late 2017. It was a true joy seeing this story come to life on stage, and I’m pleased to announce that the production will be on tour in several different cities this year. A full list of locations and tour dates is available on our blog.
Finally, an announcement 25 years in the making (175 according to Earl): a new book celebrating the silver anniversary of MUTTS will be published in the fall by Abrams. It will be a beautiful coffee table art book, and right now it’s keeping me quite busy. I’ve been doing a deep dive into my career and am choosing what I think best represents MUTTS. I can’t wait to see it completed and to be able to share it with all of you.
Happy New Year!