A short-legged, long-tailed dog greeted 12-year-old Jinnie Strickland when she stepped off the school bus.
She had never seen him before, but the little dog wiggled, jumped and acted like she was his long-lost friend. He followed her home and stayed.
“I studied the Book of Dogs and decided that he was a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Eventually we found his owners, but he would not stay home so they gave him to me,” Strickland said. “I had wonderful memories of him all of life.”
As an adult, she wanted a dog that could do dog sports, but that she could keep up with, and thought of her childhood buddy.
“I found my first CWC and I haven’t looked back. Cardigans are a breed that fits my lifestyle.”
The Georgia resident has now owned, bred and shown Cardigan Welsh Corgis for more than 20 years. She is devoted to maintaining the temperament and health of the herding breed that captured her heart as a youth.
When she lost a beloved Cardigan at age 14 to canine cognitive dysfunction, she wanted to do even more.
She volunteered to participate in the Dog Aging Project – a national study to improve longevity in all canines. “When I read about the project, I knew I wanted to help. They were looking for younger Southeastern dogs for the study, so I nominated my youngster, and he was accepted in the program.”
The goal of the Dog Aging Project is to understand how genes, lifestyle and environment influence aging. The study brings together a community of dogs, owners, veterinarians, researchers and volunteers.
“The Dog Aging Project has captured the imagination of dog owners around the world. Not just because the project’s discoveries could lead to more time with our beloved pets, but because what we learn will be directly transferable to human health as well. Ultimately, it will lead to longer healthier lives for both humans and their canine companions,” said Dr. Audrey Ruple DVM, MS, PhD, an associate professor at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech.
While summer officially starts on June 21, the busy travel season is definitely underway. According to Bankrate, 63% of adults in the US plan on traveling this summer. And that had me thinking, will their pets be coming along? According to Forbes, 66% of U.S. households (86.9 million homes) own a pet, so pet owners will need to start thinking about all the logistics involved with traveling with a pet or finding proper care for them while they are gone. If you know me, you know the latter option is not my favorite, as I even wrote a book titled No Pet Left Behind and my philosophy has always been to do what you love in the places you love with the people and pets you love. But I understand the difficulties involved with traveling with a pet in today’s world, especially when flying is involved. Read more
Public relations is important because it will get your brand and products into the media. This helps with attracting customers to inquire about your products. I remember when I was contacted by Bloomingdales to have The SHERPA Bag included in their catalog. It was a major win for the brand.
As part of our series about how to create a trusted, believable, and beloved brand, I had the pleasure to interview Gayle Martz.
Gayle Martz is an inventor, animal advocate, business executive, photographer and author who has worked with the world’s leading brands on designing, manufacturing and marketing.
Gayle invented the iconic SHERPA bag and is founder of The SHERPA Pet Trading Company — creating the soft-sided pet carrier category. She grew the company, which she started from scratch, into a multimillion-dollar enterprise with products still sold globally. Now, she continues to advocate for a world that responsibly welcomes pets wherever their humans go and advises companies and government agencies on pet-friendly policies, just like she did with American Airlines when she first revolutionized pet travel.
Gayle provides her expertise to legislators and leaders of brand name companies in the travel, hospitality, media and fashion industries (has worked on campaigns for Lanvin, Valentino, and Godiva Chocolate), and, of course, key influencers throughout the dog and cat world. She is the author of No Pet Left Behind: The Sherpa Guide for Traveling with Your Best Friend and It’s In The Bag: How to turn a passion into a new business. Gayle has been featured on CNN, CNBC, FOX, The New York Times, and numerous other television, radio, print and online organizations. She is also the recipient of Avon’s Women of Enterprise award.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Love brought me here. I had a dog named SHERPA and wanted her to be with me everywhere I went, and I knew I couldn’t be the only pet owner who felt this way. The love people have for their dogs and cats is so strong and most have a desire to be with them. Just look at all the media surrounding employees petitioning for their pets to go to work with them when they had to return back to the office after quarantine! Read more
Check out a real life Snoopy!
Meet Pearl, who is only 3.59 inches tall and weighs in at 1.2 pounds. Good things do come in small packages.
Henry the hero dog was credited with saving the life of a baby girl. Watch the heartwarming story.