The nature of the writer

I am a native Southern Californian who now happily calls Southeast Michigan my home.  Because it’s more enjoyable to live on 10 acres occasionally covered in snow than in 10 square feet always filled with sun, especially when you live with dogs.


In 2009, I left my doctoral program at the University of Michigan and went to spend a week at Best Friends’ Animal Sanctuary in Angel Canyon, Utah.  I’ve since spent time navigating the worlds of dog rescue, animal assisted therapy and humane education, and learning to embrace the fact that, instead of  Dr. Douglas, I’m now known as Peaches’ mom.  It plays well on Facebook.  Less so on a resume.

Here’s a sampling of my favorite posts if you’re looking for a place to start:

Our current non-human brood includes four mixed breed rescue dogs, one of whom is a registered therapy dog, and a little smoky cat named Pickles who plays fetch and is under the general impression that she’s a dog.

-Emily Douglas

19 Responses to The nature of the writer

  1. Emily, click and treat for your great work! Beautiful blog + beautiful dogs = big time LOVE.

  2. genevieve Bergeron says:

    Can I share your comments on Petslife’s FB page?

  3. Melissa Victoria says:

    I’ve reached PhD candidacy, fill kongs every night, wipe paws and doggy butts after walks, and find the time with my dog to be the best part of my day. Good to know I’m not alone in my passions and desire to drop out because my studies are un-fulfilling.

    • Hang in there, Melissa! The real questions to ask yourself are, 1. Am I doing this for the right reasons?, and 2. Is this the right space for me to be working in at this stage of my life? I place tremendous value on higher education and professional expertise, but there’s no denying the limitations and narrow scope of “the academy” or “ivory tower”, particularly when it comes to the social sciences and humanities. I finally realized that I was getting a PhD because school is comfortable for me, and I know how to be a student. But my intellectual interests, professional values and personal identity were being stifled by the tiny box in which you’re required to work as an academic. I like to think and act outside the box in every aspect of my life, and it finally occurred to me that school and work shouldn’t be the exception to that. Just stick to your values and aim for risk-taking and dissonance. It’s how we learn and thrive! And keep those Kongs filled in the meantime! 😉

  4. Mados says:

    Hello Emily.

    I enjoy reading your blog and have nominated it for the Versatile Blogger Award. Your blog is number 12 on the list (the number just makes it easier to find). Thanks for your good work.

    Kind regards,


    • Mados,
      Many, many thanks. Really, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the nomination and kind words in your post. Two questions: 1) I’m assuming these nominations need to all be WordPress blogs specifically?, 2) Is there a standard turnaround time for my nominations? I thought your brief synopsis of each blog was incredibly thoughtful and well done, and I’d like to take the time to do the same.
      All the best and thank you again,

      • Mados says:

        Hello Emily.

        You are welcome, and thank you for writing a great blog! And thank you for your nice compliment. I am happy to hear that you plan to pass it on and look forward to read your nominations! (it is a great way to discover new blogs!)

        To your questions:
        1) No.
        2) No.

        I haven’t read all VBA posts and calculated the average turn-around time, but I’m pretty confident there is no standard. Personally I passed it on more than half a year after I received it:-) and it is just a coincidence if all the blogs I nominated were WordPress blogs… I didn’t even notice that.

        Have a great week.

        Kind regards,

  5. jademwong says:

    Your dogs and Mose are gorgeous!! I truly love your blog 🙂

  6. Patricia says:

    I so deeply respect and admire people like you who do rescue work. My health limits the ways I can contribute but I do what I can. But you wonderful people and critters on the front lines are true heroes. Thank you for the work you do.
    p.s. I’d did finish the Ph.D. 26 years ago and the only thing I truly loved about academic life was teaching – as an outside the box teacher. 🙂

    I know it’s easy to become discouraged and disheartened in rescue work (to wit, the StubbyDog fiasco) but know how many people and dogs benefit daily from the work you do. You have such beautiful dogs (and cat) and such a big heart!

  7. Karen Peer says:

    Emily I truly enjoy reading about you and your pack! You inspire and awe me with all the hard work you do advocating for animals that don’t have a voice. Cheers Emily you make the world a better place.

  8. Meg Harris says:

    Hi.. I have just discovered your blog and become a big fan! I would love your permission to post some of your blog posts on my website I know my readers would love it. Naturally I would give very clear and full credit and link back to your blog multiple times on the post. Please have a look at the site and let me know. Thanks so much and keep up the great posts! Meg Harris
    We are on FB @realdogsrealpeople and Twitter @realdogspeople Cheers!

    • Hi Meg-
      Thanks so much for the nice message and the enthusiastic support! Of course, you are more than welcome to share anything you like. Your site looks very positive and educational and I’m happy to hear that my blog might have some useful info to share.

      Thanks again and all the best,

  9. Just found your blog–love it! I attended my first Best Friends conference this year and it was so motivating. Your family is beautiful, I would love to have acres for my family.

  10. Really nice blog, I can tell you’re really into life with dogs. If you get a chance I’d love to get your perspective on a project I’m doing for dog beds. Looking for insight from dog owners who look at their dogs as more than just pets. If you could give the site a look and me some feedback it would be great (you can also just google “orthopawdic”). If you decide to give it a look and me some feedback, thanks, if not no worries…keep on with your blog, I love it. Eric

  11. Love your description of writing……and your sentiments regarding “being a writer”……(That IS hard to say for me too! 🙂 ). Great blog – enjoying it immensely!

  12. jademwong says:

    Hi 🙂 I nominated your blog, and your gorgeous dogs, for the One Lovely Blog Award ~>

  13. colinandray says:

    I am not a writer, but I am an individual who is writing a book about my first (and current) dog. He was a stray who was picked up by our local Humane Society and adopted me in March 2013. He had many things ……… attitude, insecurities and heartworm and here we are, 2 years later, still working on/with him and love him dearly. Any regrets? Absolutely ………… should have adopted a dog years ago! 🙂

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