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There were once these little matchbook covers advertising for an art school that asked you to ‘draw me.’ As a kid, I remember being able to reproduce the drawings with precision; however, I was never terribly good at creating images or sketching. I am a communicator. I am not an artist.

Ironically, I raised one very talented artist in my son Michael. Not only can he draw, paint, sketch, make, or mold anything, he is my architect son and works at a very prestigious firm in New York City: Robert AM Stern (RAMSA.)  When he was younger, Michael would sign birthday cards to his grandparents and draw caricatures of his dogs, Fay and Sam, along with their whimsical signatures. I treasured his childhood drawings and saved many of them in his art box stored in our attic.

As I wrote chapter after chapter of Surviving In A Dog Eat Dog World, I could imagine in my mind’s eye each chapter beginning with a lesson quote or chapter synopsis and a simple line drawing or sketch of a dog featured in the chapter. Those drawings, I thought could be prominently placed on T-shirts, coffee mugs and other marketing merchandise along with their chapter titles as part of my overall branding as I promoted the book. When I closed my eyes, I could see Michael’s drawings.  After some cajoling, begging and motherly guilt, Michael sent me his first rendition of Sam, our Schnoodle. 

It immediately became my phone screen saver. It was pure doggie delight.

As time went on, Surviving In A Dog Eat World was nearing completion. But, Michael caught somewhere between work drama and not thinking his illustrations were good enough, had only managed to send me sketches of a few dogs, and none of them camera ready. 

I bribed (paid) him with expensive computer software. Still no completed drawings. The illustrations were put on hold and I turned my attention to proofreading.