The Authors

Nancy Chwiecko

Nancy Chwiecko

Nancy Chwiecko is an Associate Professor of Interior Design in the School of Design at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, NY. She has been teaching since 1989. In 2004-05 RIT awarded her a sabbatical for research on “Living with Pets: Designing Interior Space with Animals in Mind.” She has presented her ideas on “Designing Interior Spaces with Dogs in Mind” at the National Dog Conference, April, 2008 in Morristown, NJ and April 2007 in Ithaca, NY. She has been a regular presenter at Camp Unleashed in Beckett, MA (“Where city dogs go to ruff it!”) as well as Lollypop Farm Humane Society in Rochester, NY.

As an educator her areas of specialty are sustainable design and socially responsible design.  In 1999 she received a Faculty Development grant to create a sustainable resource library for the School of Design. In 2005 she was a faculty contributor for a HUD grant entitled “The RIT-NENA Community Outreach Partnership Center (COPC).” Nancy received NCIDQ certification in 1991, a presidential citation from ASID in 1993, and is a current member of the Interior Design Education Council (IDEC).  She has served on the Patient Relations Committee for the James Wilmot Cancer Center and the Library Power Advisory Board for the Center for Educational Development.

Prior to teaching, Nancy worked as an interior designer for Getsloff Design Group, Hafner Associates and Whitney & Graziano Architects. In addition to teaching she maintains an interior design consulting practice. In 1992 Nancy and her husband Rich Tannen, Professor, School for American Crafts at RIT, designed and built their own home and studio in a rural location near Rochester.

Nancy and her husband share their home with three dogs, a Doberman Pinscher, Tibetan Spaniel and Shetland Sheepdog. Nancy and one of the dogs train and compete in agility.

Amy Fernandez

Amy Fernandez (right)


Amy Fernandez has been a professional writer since 1990. She writes a monthly column for Top Notch Toys, monthly book reviews for Dog World, and feature stories for the AKC Gazette, AKC Family Dog, Popular Dogs, Dogs in Review, and the Purina Pro Club Newsletter. She has authored 12 books in the Kennel Club Books series and recently completed Puppies-Complete Care Made Easy (Bowtie Press), The Maltese (TFH), The Poodle (TFH) and Training Your Dachshund (Barron’s).

In 2003 she received the Dog Writers Association of America Maxwell Award for Best Reference Book and the prestigious DWAA Presidential Award for Excellence for Dog Breeding as a Fine Art. She is a three time winner of the Elsworth Howell Award and the 2006 winner of the Robert Cole Award.

She is past president of the Dog Writers Association of America, a member of the World Dog Press, president of the Xoloitzcuintli Club of America and a member of the Sphynx Cat Club. She has lectured on dog breeding and rare breeds for educational groups and dog clubs throughout the US and Canada since 1988. She has bred and shown top winning Chinese Cresteds since 1981 and shepherded one of the world’s rarest breeds, the Xoloitzcuintli through the AKC recognition process since 1986.

Her dog paintings have received awards from the Society of Illustrators, The Pastel Society of America, The Art Show at the Dog Show, and can be found in the Dog Museum of America. Her work has also been included in exhibitions of the Dog Fanciers Club in New York City; the AKC Museum of the Dog’s “Artists Registry Exhibition; the Animals in Art Exhibition at Louisiana State University; the Long Beach Museum of Art, and The Pacific Rim Wildlife Art Show. Samples of her artwork can be viewed online at Amy’s website.


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