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William Schwenn is a North Carolina transplant from Wisconsin, following schooling in Georgia and Virginia. He and Mary Bledsoe met in a church pew the day before classes began in their opening year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1967. While Mary—a member of the first class of women admitted there as freshmen—pursued something useful (a degree in chemistry), the author played with liberal arts, ultimately escaping with a JD degree from the UNC School of Law in 1973. Having had only six dates with each other in the interim six years, the pair reunited when the author took a short break from bar exam studies that summer. For them, as they say, “the rest was history.” What they could not have envisioned was a future full of dogs that opened their eyes to the incredible talent, character, and spirit of those furry beings.
Beginning their lives together in an apartment in Northern Virginia, they quickly bought a tiny house for the dual purpose of greater privacy and the ability to have a dog. Four years later, they moved to North Carolina, once again selecting a house with a fenced yard suitable for their beloved four-legged companion. Soon feeling cramped in the city, they purchased forty acres in a rural, adjoining county, both happily accepting long work commutes as the cost of living in idyllic beauty and seclusion. Naming their newly constructed home place “Meadowbrook”, they discovered a world of sharing lives in intimate partnership with a pack of dogs.
Retiring in 2005 after a thirty-year career in the Federal Judiciary, primarily as Clerk of a federal bankruptcy court, the author relocated to the mountains, where he and his lifetime mate now reside on twenty-five acres in the company of three dogs. Avid whitewater kayaking enthusiasts, they admittedly maintain a lifestyle that solidly revolves around mutually rewarding activities with their furry partners. With this background, it is hardly surprising that the author’s stories are told with abundant humor and keen insight into the minds and hearts of dogs, whose capacity for living fully “in the moment” is the unquestioned envy of humans.