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editor unleashed Anna Cooke, Editor in Chief


First, we have always only featured a por- trait of a dog or a group of dogs. No other species of animal and certainly no people. Earlier this year, when I


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discovered the painting, Blue, that graces this issue’s cover, it just resonated with me. Steve, my partner, husband and publisher of The New Barker, had the same reaction. As the atrocities and


tragedies of our world unfolded, we made the decision to put the spring issue on hold. We know it was a disappointment to our subscribers. The magazine is made possible through support from our advertising partners, and we felt we just couldn’t ask anything more of them than what they were already dealing with. Eventually, we began work-


“Because of the dog’s joyfulness, our own is increased. It is no small gift. It is not the least reason why we should honor as well as love the dog of our own life, and the dog down the street, and all the dogs not yet born. What would the world be like without music or rivers or the green and tender grass? What would this world be like without dogs?” –Mary Oliver


ing on the issue you're holding now. The more we worked on the magazine, and the more bad news that we continued to be exposed to, the more drawn I became to “Blue.” It gave me solace. It made me smile. It made me focus on our task at hand. We realized our little corner of the


world of dog lovers and subscribers most likely needed the same thing: something to smile about; that instilled comfort and provided focus in a blurry time. That’s what convinced me to include a child – the human element – as part of a portrait for this cover of The New Barker. You are holding something very special. Each cover of the magazine has


featured an original work of art created by a different artist since the first issue published in 2006. The artists we’ve worked with either live in Florida or have had a Florida connection. Romanian artist Valeria Moldovan


and I began following each other on social media for our shared love of Scottish Terriers. She has a very light and colorful style of capturing their features and personalities on the canvas.


6 THE NEW BARKER


ou may notice a few things different about this issue’s cover of The New Barker.


Writing about her love of dogs,


especially her wheaten Scottie Akka, and her concerns about the pandemic sounded so familiar. We are almost 6,000 miles and seven hours away, across the Atlantic, and I realized how much we had in common. This global crisis has made us feel


vulnerable. It’s taken away our sense of certainty. More to the point, it’s made us realize that there are no certainties in life, and that the only thing we have for sure is the moment, the right now, no matter how fleeting. Valeria is a full-time artist and she


wrote about juggling her work schedule to meet the needs of her dog Akka, who was very sick. “How will I go on without her?” So many of us have often asked this very question. Suddenly, working with an artist who


lived in another part of the world seemed right for this issue in particular. It was a connection, brought together by our love of dogs. Making the decision to work with Valeria was the only thing that was making any sense to me, at the time. We are a sociable species, and it has


been hard for so many of us, mentally and physically, to not be able to see and touch one another. Thankfully, we have our dogs, who are also a sociable species. Just look at the painting on this page of Scotties In The City by Valeria. I don’t see them practicing social distancing. Finally, you may notice that our cover


tagline has changed from Florida’s Top Dog Magazine to one that I feel conveys something more meaningful. “A gathering place for inspiring dog stories.” Thank you for joining me.


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Anna with Chloe, Dougie, Rita, and Ms. Zoe. www.TheNewBarker.com


PHOTOGRAPH BY LAURA ALLEN STUDIOS


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