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Pet Product News Editorial Blog:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Up Close and Personal

By Sherri Collins

Editor, Pet Product News International


Before I begin my weekly ruminations on various topics related (or tangentially connected) to the pet-product industry, I think it only fair that you, my readers, know who I am, where I came from, where I intend to go and what I have to offer. It is my intention that, over the course of a year, we’ll get to know each other—me through my written peregrinations you from your feedback.

Let’s start with my love for animals. I have three cats—Piper, age 8, Saffron, 5 and Grigio, 4. All are rescued strays that wandered by my apartment at different times and decided to stay. (I’m convinced there is a sign somewhere outside that says, in cat, “Stop here for free room and board.”) I grew up in Whittier, Calif., in a cat-loving household, but experienced the joys of dogs during junior-high and high school when I lived in Eureka, Calif., with my dad. We had a lovable, galumphing St. Bernard named Gunther.

I’m also a big fan of fishkeeping; I had a 20-gallon freshwater tank for many years (mostly tetras; I called it my pacifist tank) and my dad had four 50-gallon tanks at his restaurant, as well as one 50-gallon at home. Since many of my friends have very elaborate aquarium setups (two 100-gal Cichlid tank; 75-gal reef tank; etc.), I am seriously considering starting it all back up again.

From fins to feathers, my grandmother raised/bred canaries for years, maxing out in the late ‘80s with nearly 70 birds in her aviary—her specialty was the red-eye variants. She eventually sold all her canaries and kept quail instead. In addition, I spent several grade-school summers hanging out with Henry, a tamed blue-sparrow hawk (later renamed American Kestrel) owned by my sitter.

If I haven’t yet made it obvious, my interest and love of pets—and animals in general—is wide-ranging and far-reaching. Lately, I’ve been contemplating adding a snake (a king, just like the one my kindergarten class had) to my household. I’ve thought about rats as well, but have held back since my cats would consider them play food.

My love of animals extends beyond the companion level to the entire outdoors. When not at work or ensconced in a book or magazine, you’ll find me out on a hiking trail, biking alongside a beach or river, or in a kayak, paddling through harbors and by wildlife reserves. I’ve done some amateur bird watching, too, with intentions of improving my spotting and identification skills; living near the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve will help.

Now on to the professional side of things. My publishing life started in 1989, working for the Long Beach Press-Telegram’s PT Plus production department. Having suffered more X-Acto knife cuts than I care to admit, I went looking for and found a digit-safe job in editorial. My writing career began in September 1991 with a four-plus year editorial stint on automotive aftermarket trade and association publications—all courtesy of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). This lead to many more years on the consumer side of the automotive editorial world (9 1/2 years at european car Magazine and 1 year at AUTO Aficionado) with a two-year break in between where I explored the public relations’ side of the equation, although I kept my writing hand in with freelance work. That’s more than 17 years worth (am I really that old?) of writing, editing and proofing.

Most important to you in all of this, is my dedication to bringing to you, via print, and web, the highest quality editorial to help you maintain and grow your businesses, and keep you up to date on the latest trends and news within the industry. My passion for the written word (2,600 books and counting at home, and 100s of magazine subscriptions through the years) puts me in good stead to do so.

Here’s to getting to know each other better.



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