Carol Bryant


Carol Bryant is a pet influencer, writer/blogger, speaker, social media pro, and dog mom. She owns the trademark, “My Heart Beats Dog” and proudly wears the mantra on her left bicep. A dog lover of the highest order is how Gayle King introduced Carol when she appeared with her Cocker Spaniel, Dexter, on Oprah Radio’s Gayle King show to dish dogs. While building her own blog and social media presence, Carol helped grow the BlogPaws Pet Blogging and Social Media company as their PR, Marketing, Social Media Manager, and blogger. She is a familiar face in the digital pet park that is the Internet.

Bryant is also the founder of, a highly trafficked health and wellness dog blog for Cocker Spaniels and their canine friends. Together with her wife, Darlene, they formed Wigglebutt Warriors, which has raised over $75,000 for homeless dogs to date. She has appeared on many television segments, radio shows, podcasts, speaking engagements, and has contributed to numerous pet publications, including Dogster, Paw Culture, Dog Fancy, Fido Friendly, Pet360, AKC Family Dog,, and Hamptons Pet. Carol is also engaged in public relations and social media as an event planner, pet product, and pet travel expert. She has helped numerous pet industry clients obtain coverage in various forms of media. Some of her previous clients include Morton Salt, Doodie Pack, and Benji the Dog.

Carol received the DWAA 2018 Distinguished Service Award sponsored by the American Kennel Club. A repeat nominee for the Dog Writers of America Maxwell Medallion and the winner of the 2015 Women in the Pet Industry Woman of the Year in the Advocacy Category, Carol’s passion is dogs. Carol telecommutes, which adds an additional layer of professional innovation to her career path. Google “Carol Bryant dogs” to explore her impact. When not blogging, reading, or writing about dogs, the Bryant family loves dog-friendly road tripping, binge watching tv shows, and adding outfits to their dog’s wardrobe closet. Carol looks forward to elevating the role of the dog blogger during her term with DWAA.

Maggie Marton

Vice President

Maggie Marton is an award-winning writer immersed in the pet industry. She earned her MA in narrative nonfiction from The Johns Hopkins University and has written for dozens of publications including, Pet Enthusiast Magazine, Bust Magazine, Bloom Magazine, and Pet Age Magazine, and she served as the Director of Content for BlogPaws.

She wrote Clicker Dog Training, a how-to dog training book that utilizes positive reinforcement; Authentic Blogging, a guide for pet bloggers who want to attract and retain a larger audience; and The Zero-Waste Pet, an actionable guide for pet owners who want to lessen their impact on the planet.

Maggie has spoken about pets at conferences and on radio and television, and she has been profiled in print and online. Her passion project is her blog, Oh My Dog! ( Active in animal-welfare, Maggie served on the Board of Directors for the Monroe County Humane Association, and works with her local shelter, and pit bull education and advocacy organizations.

Jen Reeder

Immediate Past President

Freelance journalist Jen Reeder has been a member of DWAA since 2012. She started writing frequently about dogs after she and her husband adopted a goofy Lab mix named Rio. Her work has appeared in Family Circle, BBC News, The Daily Beast, The Christian Science Monitor, Modern Dog,, The American Animal Hospital Association’s Trends Magazine, AKC Family Dog, Happy Paws, Shape, Just Labs, HuffPost, PBS’s Next Avenue and many other publications.

Jen is proud to have received numerous awards from the Cat Writers’ Association and the Dog Writers Association of America, including the AKC Microchipping Awareness Award and the Fear Free Pets Award. She volunteers on the bio writing team for PawsCo, a Denver-based animal rescue organization, and for Therapy Dogs International as Rio’s therapy dog handler.

Jen shares her home office in Colorado with her husband and their beloved dogs, Rio and Peach.

Kristin Avery


Kristin Avery has been a member of DWAA since 2015, and has been befriending and rescuing homeless dogs, cats, and other animals practically since birth. She received her MFA in Creative Writing and Visual Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2001. Kristin worked in nonprofit fundraising for more than 15 years, before leaving in 2017 to concentrate on her writing and rescue work. She now splits her time between her pet blog, freelance writing in the pet industry, and contract grant writing.

Kristin is proud to have received multiple BlogPaws Nose-to-Nose Pet Blogging and Social Media Awards and the Maxwell Medallion from DWAA for humor in 2017. Her blog, My Rescued Life (formerly The Daily Pip) provides resources, inspiration, and humor for animal lovers. More specifically, the site is about second chances, rooting for the underdog, and choosing compassion as a lifestyle.

Kristin currently serves on the board of directors of Safe Humane Chicago and volunteers with several local rescues as well as nationally with Best Friends Animal Society. She lives in the Chicago area and shares her home with her husband, 12-year-old daughter, senior Yorkie-poo, two cats, and three mice.

Marsha Pugh


Marsha Pugh has been a member of DWAA since 2004 and has been treasurer since 2009. She is a second generation dog person and has been showing and breeding dogs since her earliest memories. Marsha writes a bi-monthly pet care column for The Italian Greyhound Magazine. She conducts handling classes and judges 4-H competitions.  Until her retirement in March 2010, she was the administrator of a multi-million dollar pension fund.

Ida Estep, Esq.

Legal Counsel

Ida Estep, Esq. is an attorney with a postdoctoral degree in tax law, also holds a master’s degree in social work. She has been active in dogs for most of her life and is involved in dog rescue, both as a foster and as legal advisor to rescue groups.

Board of Directors

Caroline Coile, Ph.D.

Class of 2022

Caroline Coile, Ph.D. writes about dogs full-time, with 34 books and hundreds of articles published. Her work has appeared in print, television and online. She holds a Ph.D. with research interests in canine behavior, senses, genetics and neuropsychology. Caroline has competed in dog events since 1975. She has bred, owned and handled top-winning Salukis in conformation, lure-coursing, agility, and obedience.

Patricia Cruz

Class of 2020

Patricia Cruz began “stringing” for the NY Times in 1967 and wrote a weekly column for the original Long Island Press, New York Post and Newsday. I joined DWAA in 1971 and Approved to judge by AKC in 1972. I became an AKC Field Rep in 1978, and was elected to the AKC’s Board of Directors in 2012. I picked up a column in 1989. I judge all breeds outside the US including India, Cuba, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and most of South America and Central America.

Laurie Williams DWAA

Laurie C. Williams, CPDT-KA, CDTI

Class of 2022

Laurie C Williams CPDT-KA has had a love of and connection with dogs from as far back as she can remember. She is the owner and Director of Training and Behavior Counseling at Pup ‘N Iron Canine Fitness & Learning Center in Fredericksburg, VA. where she has been serving her community as a canine education specialist and dog behavior counselor for the past 15 years. She holds a B.A. from Norwich University in Montpelier, VT and was a member of the adjunct faculty of the Natural Sciences Department of Northern Virginia Community College for 7 years. Laurie is a nationally published writer with works appearing in the APDT Chronicle of the Dog, The Whole Dog Journal, Dog & Handler, 911, Essence, Fitness, and Good Housekeeping magazines. She is currently a member of the Board of Governors of the Dog Writer’s Association of America and is a therapy dog evaluator for Pet Partners, a Canine Good Citizen evaluator, and a licensed judge for the American Kennel Club.

Karen A. Harbert

Class of 2019

Karen Harbert has been a breeder and exhibitor of Cardigan Welsh Corgis for over 40 years with approximately 100 championships in dogs she has owned and/or bred, many of them obedience titled as well.  She has served multiple terms on the Board of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America, and been president of two regional Cardigan clubs.  She has judged a national sweepstakes in Canada and a CWCCA supported sweepstakes at home.  She has served as editor of national and regional magazines, written breed columns for the AKC Gazette and is author of the ‘Murder at the Dog Show’ mystery series.  Her professional background is in management in mental health and Child Abuse Investigation.

Gail C. Parker

Class of 2020

Gail lives and writes in the Mayfair area of Philadelphia with Danny, an Irish Setter, and six cats, Magic, Patrick, Misty, Brandie, Athena and Leo. Married to Carl Weber since 2003, Gail writes about collectibles and new finds in dog-themed items for the Canine Collectibles Courier. Gail also writes for the Irish Setter Club of America’s Memo to Members Magazine. These columns alternate with collecting Irish Setter memorabilia and her pet therapy and Dog Walker Town Watch activities. Members of the nationwide group Dog Walker Town Watch, she and Danny check out and report back to the local branch’s leaders when they see anything amiss in the neighborhood. They’ve found two abandoned cars and clothing bins, and reported graffiti. Formerly a pet therapist with two of her late Irish Setters, Parker currently volunteers for Irish Setter Rescue. Her work is published in magazines and newspapers. She was a featured speaker at the Academy of Natural Sciences at their exhibit honoring dogs, and is a two-time Maxwell winner.

Joel Gavriele-Gold, Ph.D.

Class of 2021

Joel Gavriele-Gold is President of the Metropolitan Dog Club, NYC. He is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City. Joel has published articles on the use of his dogs with his patients in the AKC Gazette, The Psychoanalytic Review and in other publications. He also writes about psychological mechanisms operating in humans in their relationships with pets. Joel has appeared on radio and television programs including: Good Morning America, Men Are From Mars, MSNBC and local TV news guest spots. He is a member of the Stewards Club of America and the American Canine Education Foundation. Joel is an instructor and supervisor to psychoanalytic students and has Skype sessions in Louisville. KY and Beijing, China. His Bouvier des Flandres, Dova accompanies him in his Manhattan therapy practice.