SHERPA, a Lhasa Apso was born June 23, 1987 in West Stockbridge, Massachusetts. She was the canine love of my life and inspiration for SHERPA’S Pet Trading Company, which I launched in 1988. She was the most wonderful gift ever given to me, that gave me the opportunity to do what I was really meant to do in my life. Angels With Tails Now Have Wings is about the wonderful life that SHERPA gave me.
From the moment I began SHERPA, more than 30 years ago, I have made it my mission to ensure our beloved pets can travel safely, comfortably and stylishly with the people that love them the most. SHERPA was always a real “spokes dog” about pet travel. She was always by my side delivering her message with grace and humility. SHERPA loved meeting her four-legged friends across the country and the world and was so honored to be on Oprah’s Millionaire a Minute, Cesar Milan and the many other superstars and super shows who also believed our mission and goal. Fame never went to her head! A new friend or a new treat still sent her into total delight!
Thanks to our mission on pet travel advocacy I continue to this day with my vision, mission and dream. SHERPA’s soft-sided pet carriers and other luggage became a truly iconic lifestyle brand which I can proudly say has an impeccable legacy, celebrating the exceptional care today’s pet-loving consumers expect and that our pets richly deserve for the love and joy they bring to us.
Thirty years ago, in New York, I shockingly woke up to find that my fiancé had died in the night, I was totally devastated. In shock and ran next door to my neighbor calling 911, the horrible tragedy and nightmare of my life had only just begun. I needed and wanted to fly home to California to my Mother and family for comfort. Of course I would only go if I could travel with SHERPA. There was no way I would put my darling little dog in cargo. I knew there had to be a better way. However, back then there was no way a dog or cat was allowed inside the passenger cabin. Therefore, Connie, my Mother, business partner and friend, along with SHERPA and I had no choice but to drive across the country.
I was an airline hostess for TWA, a professional photographer, had worked in the handbag industry and absolutely loved bags. Thirty years ago I flew to Seoul, Korea and created my first original SHERPA bag. I had to order one thousand pieces and oversee production, so everything was perfect. I really didn’t know what I was going to do but I knew this was something I was truly meant to do. Then, I had to find a no-frills warehouse in Queens, New York and my first shipment went there and in my bedroom at my apartment on 57th street. I began to take my one medium black SHERPA bag to the stores I knew in New York City. Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Hammacher Schlemmer, The Ritz Hotel. Bootstrapping my initial carrier, I made a prototype and took it with me, first to my airline, TWA, then to several other airlines. By my side, always, “demonstrating” the carrier’s comfort and other benefits to canines, felines and their humans was—you guessed it—Miss SHERPA! Over the years, SHERPA and I continued our steadfast mission to improve the lives of pet loving travelers. I made it my business to anticipate the trends and ever-changing regulations in safety for our pets, both in the air and on the road.
SHERPA left to go to heaven when she was 17.25 years—which in human terms, makes her a true centenarian. She had to go, but I had my Beloved, adorable SuNae, a Coton De Tulear totally by my side every second. I was able to continue my passionate work on behalf of our canine and feline companions, using my airline and global travel experience, my eye for fashion trends and product design. KIMBA, my three-pound Mi-Ki filled with more love and joy than you could ever imagine, had to leave for Heaven on July 20th, 2018, where she would join SHERPA and SuNae. Today, I am blessed with KARTU, the jet setting Shih Tzu who is 12 years old and has always been known as Miss Attitude.
Bless the Universe and Spirit and the god of many names for our loving four-legged companions. They help make our lives worth living. Don’t you agree?
If you liked Angels With Tails Now Have Wings then check out one of my other blog post such as My Dog Gets Car Sick