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Pet Pro Profile: Author James Michael Shea

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James Michael Shea is an award-winning journalist who has worked with many national newspapers including the New York Times, Denver Post, Wall Street Journal and the Charlotte Observer. Born with one arm, Shea’s early life was a struggle to find happiness and meaning. Although dogs had never been an important part of his life, he adopted a wolf-mix puppy named Sequoia and she quickly became the focus of his existence. Shea’s relationship with Sequoia turned his life around, leading to his finding success as a journalist.  Shea’s ebook, Plucking Wolf Fur: the Story of One Arm, One Dog and an American Family, is a memoir about his  remarkable friendship with Sequoia. DogTipper recently interviewed Shea about his book.

Please describe your business:


Where are you based?

Asheville, NC

Can you tell us about your background and how you came to work with pets?

I am a journalist. I have worked in the newspaper business for the last ten years. I recently published a book about my wolf hybrid called Plucking Wolf Fur: the Story of One Arm, One Dog and an American Family. I had been thinking about writing the book for several years and finally decided to write the book in 2007. It took me several years to write and edit the book.

How would you describe your pet-related business?

Plucking Wolf Fur: the Story of One Arm, One Dog and an American Family is about a wolf dog that I owned named Sequoia. She was an amazing animal, and I wanted people to understand who she was and the impact that she had on myself and my family. She was so important to our lives.

What’s your typical workday like?

I work as a writer, so I spend a lot of time on the phone and in front of the computer. I get to tell people’s stories, which I really love.

Can you tell us about your pets?

Right now I own a cat. She was Sequoia’s best friend. They were buddies who slept together, played together and hunted together. She is a great cat and very affectionate. I have thought about getting another dog, but Sequoia was my soul mate and I don’t know if she can ever be replaced.

What’s next for your business?

I have plans for another book, but I need to find the time. It’s amazing how much time it takes to write and edit a book. I spent a couple years on this project.

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