Maryellen grew up in Brooklyn NY and lived in this area for the first 25 years of her life. She graduated from Brooklyn College with a B.A. degree in Education. She also holds a Masters of Business Administration from Loyola University Chicago.
It was in Brooklyn that Maryellen had her first experience with her wonderful family dog – that being “Kelly Ann,” who was adopted through a local Brooklyn animal shelter in 1969.
Her professional career, working in the corporate travel field in New York City, eventually lead her to Minneapolis MN & Chicago IL, where she had the privilege of having three dogs in her life. These were “Martini, Rossi and Shannon,” three adorable Shih Tzu’s, who were “Heartbeats at her Side” for a span of 13-18 years, when her life and theirs experienced remarkable love, tremendous heartache, and dramatic change.
She currently resides in Winfield IL with her husband Jim and their pet dog “Lillie,” a beautiful Red and White Irish Setter, who was rescued from a shelter in Ft. Collins Colorado in 2014. Maryellen recently retired from the business world and is dedicating her time to family, writing and volunteer work.
In her book, Maryellen details the amazing love and compassion she and many others have for their dogs. Her wish is that everyone who reads these stories understands and respects the bonds formed with our dogs and their souls, and why we owe it to them to tell their untold stories. She also believes that caring for our pets, from puppy hood to old age, is exactly what we are destined to do.
Janie Nicole was born in North Bergen, New Jersey and at 3 years old taught herself how to read simple children’s books. By the age of 6, she was devouring fifth grade reading level books at the speed of light.
In the fall of 1996 at the age of nine, her family adopted their first and only dog, Chelsey Louise. She was named by Janie after being in awe of Bill Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea Clinton. Both Chelsey’s had the most beautiful shiny reddish hair and beaming smiles. Janie’s family dog lived a very long life of 17.75 years old and passed away in 2015.
Janie has a background in writing and publishing. While in high school, she was editor of their newspaper and wrote front page articles for her local regional newspaper. She became a local prodigy when she was offered an opportunity by Pepsi to write original content on a website for aspiring teen writers.
Janie pursued her Communications, English, and Psychology minor at Cabrini College in Radnor, Pennsylvania where she graduated with honors and also worked for CNN in broadcast news.
On her 22nd birthday, Janie received the best gift of all from her now fiancé Brendan – a new, beautiful 8 week old, 4.5 pounds brown puggle puppy named Ernista, who can better be described as a butter ball and lady of the house.
At 24, Janie rescued a second puggle who was about to be put into a kill shelter. She knew this breed was not always understood due to their sometimes stubborn and moody behaviors and from the crossbreeding of pugs and beagles. She would not let that happen, especially since her companion and best friend, Ernista, had been her one of her only constants.
Janie provides editorial guidance for this book with her beloved Aunt and God Mother, Maryellen. Janie recognizes the unconditional love which can only be felt through the heartbeats by our side, the love of the dogs that treat their owners like the stars and moon in their sky. Her wish is that everyone who reads this book learns greater respect for dogs.