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An ebook on animals from history.  If your favorite animal was a historical figure who would they be?
An ebook on animals from history. If your favorite animal was a historical figure who would they be?
123 backers pledged $10,382 to help bring this project to life.

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Featured Animal Finale - Roscoe P. Coltrain


Last Post!

Well what can I say about our buddy. Roscoe was boisterous, lovable, sassy and humorous. He weighed 70 pounds, stood 17” off the floor and had long caramel colored ears of luxurious velvet fur. Let me introduce you to my inspiration and mayor of South Philly, the infamous tri-colored basset hound, Roscoe P. Coltrain.

He loved two things most….people and bread. Living in south Philadelphia there was a shortage of neither. Roscoe joined us at 6 months old, rescued from a pet shop in North Jersey he was sick with kennel cough. It didn’t take him long to recover and he sniffed our uptown apartment raw with his little wet nose. Never much of a chewer, he surprised me one day to two broken tubes and a trail of oil paint running from my studio through the kitchen down and up the small steps and into the bedroom. I spent the day cleaning yellow and blue off the carpet and off him while he tried to help. A few years later our apartment collapsed (not kidding….it fell down in a haze of smoke and rubble…..everyone was ok….even the neighbors cat but that’s another story) and we bought a row home in South Philly. Roscoe was elated to have two floors and an outside to galavant around. On walks he greeted and befriended all the people in the neighborhood. If we were walking without him people (some we swear we never met) would yell “Hey, where’s Roscoe?!”. To this day, 10 years later, only a few people know our names……but they all know Roscoe’s.

The literature said that bassets calm down and get lazy after two years of age. Lies. Pure lies. He was a handful up until his 13th year. One would think that a low and heavy dog would not be able to steal food off of a counter. Wrong. Enter the lore of the doughnuts. The box was closed on a desk yet all the powdered doughnuts went missing. After a closer inspection I saw little circular powder marks on the floor and a big bellied, yawning basset hound. Like a ninja, he closed the box of doughnuts after each take. Amazing. Then there was our New Year’s Eve get together. As we were enjoying the fireworks out back our guest yelled and pointed….”Roscoe!”. As I rushed in he was standing back feet on the sofa and front feet on the coffee table. A circular loaf of bread in his mouth pulling his jowls out and up giving him the appearance of the Joker, minus the makeup. Then there was the day after an ice storm. He spotted a whole loaf of Italian bread on the curb. Before I could see it he lunged and quickly bounced back, barking and sneezing like mad. He didn’t know it was encased in ice.

That was our dog. At night he would grab his monster bone, a gift from Dom’s parents, and drag it downstairs clunking on each step….one by one as we tried to watch a movie. Then he would parade it back and forth in front of the TV giving us side long looks waiting for us to laugh. It was hilarious. He eventually would give up and jump up on the sofa with us, put his front paws on my lap and settle into a snuggle….staring relentlessly at Dom, dominant down style. Boys.

I could go on with the stories just as all us pet owners can. In the end the funny stories, exasperating tales and heartfelt situations will always be in our memories but it’s the mark they make on us that lives on forever. It’s also the mark we make on them that gives life more meaning, for both them and us.

I’d like to give a special thank you for all the wonderful stories the backers gave us. It’s been a wonderful experience. Thank you all for taking this journey with me.

Puppy Pics
Puppy Pics
Saucy on the Sofa!
Saucy on the Sofa!
Loving the outdoors.
Loving the outdoors.
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This is the End....or is it?


Hello All!!!

This will be the last email regarding the campaign, with the exception of the final “Featured Animal”. I just wanted to thank you all so much for your support. This project has done more for me than you can imagine!

I have put together a small video (a little over 1 minute) that shows the progress of the project. Please take a minute to watch it when you get a chance.

I just wanted to outline some things that happened…

- 124 Backers, 23 Characters and stories, 5 oil paintings, 9 graphite illustrations, an ebook, 83 post card packs, 34 11x14 prints, 111 mini calendars, 4 hardback books, 82 ebooks. Book, logo and collateral design. IN 11 MONTHS! 

- Radio interview on Philly’s, Featured on,,, front page of 

- Many lovely bloggers featured my project worldwide….. US, UK, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, New Zealand, Australia, Russia, Lithuania and Poland to name a few! 

-The calendar was a very big hit on my etsy store. Over 200 sold in one month! 

-I started a mini site for AfH. Visit for more info. 

-My two stores are chalk full of Animal tote bags, prints, pillows, shirts, iPad skins and much more! I also have a handful of calendars left on my etsy store.  Visit or 

- Marie Antoinippe is now gracing the cover of a seed packet for catnip at the Hudson Seed Library….

All of this and more has driven more attention to the project. Most importantly I was approached by a few agents and now have a terrific literary agent who is working with me to pitch AfH to publishers. I’m currently rewriting 15 of the stories which is why the ebook is NOT for sale yet. If “Animals From History” gets picked up by a publisher you will be the first to know!

Now What? 

- I will be continuing to update and expand my “Animals From History” Website to include a store and additional links 

- I will be starting a podcast for “AfH” with featured characters who are and aren’t in the book. 

- I will be continuing the work on the current ebook for hopeful professional publication. 

- I will be working on another kickstarter down the road for either a deck of cards or BIG calendar (2015 or 2016) 

- Preparing for Spectrum Live 3 in Kansas City, MO at the beginning of May to officially show my final works.

If you want to keep tabs on my journey feel free to periodically check my website, befriend me on Facebook or sign up for my newsletter at

Thank you again for all the support!



PS  *If you have not received your reward please email me asap!


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Address Change Since 2012

The printed materials are in!  Everyone who pledged $15 and over will be receiving a 6"x6" calendar in addition to your rewards.


To inform me of your new address please respond via kickstarter OR email me at the following address....


Some additional things....

•  The original survey I sent out in August 2012 is how I have access to your address.  Please ensure that you filled it out correctly.  I am missing a few addresses.  

•  If you pledged for an ebook and did not receive the prior email regarding the download please let me know so I can resend it to you.

•  If you pledged an 11x14 print and did not message me your choice of character I will send the other printed material anyway and wait for your email regarding the 11x14 print.

•  Once everything is officially completed I will post a final update with other information regarding the project.

If you have any questions please let me know.  Thanks!


Featured Animal - Amber and Taffy, Part II

After Amber was lost to cancer Taffy, another golden retriever, came to live with our parents. Taffy had big paw prints to fill but paved a path of her own. Allow me to introduce you to the sassy lolling tongued, Taffy.

Behind the house is a sitting pond with several gigantic old fish. Anne tells the story of Taffy, the spunky protector.

"Taffy saved the fish one day when a heron got under the net by the pond. If she wouldn’t have seen it out the window and ran through the dog door our fish pond would have been cleaned out. Taffy almost got the bird and he (or she) flew away just in time. The heron has not been back since."

When visiting I use to sneak a Greenie into my bag for Roscoe. It wasn't long before Taffy was on to me. She started following me around the house chomping her jaws together like a possessed golden haired zombie. She solidified my theory that Greenies are to dogs what cat nip is to cats.

Kenny feels that Taffy has the rambunctious personality of a black lab rather than that of a golden retriever.

"She never stops moving and she's ALWAYS licking EVERYTHING. When we visit, we have to jump out of the car and start toward the house ASAP or Taffy will jump on and scratch the car. Once we brought Bill's Scottish Aunt Pat to Lancaster and stopped in to see Mom. Pat is in her 70s and we were worried about Taffy jumping. So I sat on her and she wriggled around and got so excited that she peed all over the floor (the dog, not the aunt)."

Ken writes about the two dogs with their similarities and differences.

"I look at Amber and Taffy as sisters - obviously they were not. But like sisters, they looked very similar, but acted very different. One regal, a bit of a dreamer, and mostly in control; the other hyper, eccentric, and usually out of control. Similar but different."

Amber will be memorialized as the elegant, sophisticated Eva Gabor with Taffy supporting her as the fun loving bombshell Zsa Zsa.

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Featured Animal - Amber and Taffy, Part I

These two golden retrievers lived with my parents but at different times. They will be featured in one drawing but will be introduced separately. Two opposites that look alike, let me start by introducing the gentle hearted, Amber.

Amber was first in this house of retrievers. Anne recalls one moment outside that epitomizes Amber's sweet tempered nature.

"One day I was sitting on the front porch bench and a butterfly landed on the tip of her nose.  She just sat there and looked at it until it took off.  Like they were checking each other out. Of course, the camera was in the house." 

All retrievers love to show off their spoils whether it be a retrieved tennis ball or some sort of unwelcome guest. I remember two instances when I was the recipient of such a victory. 

Once involved the discovery of a bat that one of the cats dragged in. It had broken wing and was trying to crawl across the floor in the morning light. Amber was quick to point it out to me so I scooped it's hissing little body up in a shoe box and we both went outside to place it next to a tree.

On another day, yet the same summer when I was home from college, I woke to find Amber sitting by my bed....staring at me. She seemed very happy that I was awake. It was after my eyes cleared that I noticed the dead baby bunny she placed on my pillow. I couldn't really be mad at her because, after all, her job is to "retrieve".

Ken mentioned that "she was just a sweet, quiet, calm dog" who rarely ever barked or made a squeak. However, even though she was sweet as pie....she still was a puppy.

"One time when I was home visiting: I went shopping, came home with CDs and new sneakers, and left them in the great room for 10 minutes. When I came back the sneakers had been tossed around and one of the CD jewel cases were chewed and cracked. But she at least had the decency to look guilty about it." 

Amazement ensued when we would witness Amber playing lapdog. The amazement wasn't that she thought she was the size of an 8 pound was that it was the first time in the family's history that Dad actually befriended one of the dogs.

"My fondest memories of Amber are of this big floppy dog lying on top of dad (not a dog person) and he didn't seem to mind it."

I will reveal Amber's historical character at the end of next post.  She and Taffy will be paired perfectly but to get the full understanding you must read about Taffy first!  Stay tuned.

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