Heidi Schulman is a writer, story consultant, and dog lover. In her previous life in New York and Los Angeles she was a writer, reporter, and news producer in television, radio, and print media. She’s worked for, among others, NBC News and WCBS News; as a freelance segment producer/writer for National Geographic Explorer TV and Nick News; and on independent documentaries. She writes short fiction, has written articles and book reviews for newspapers, magazines, and the Web, has taught writing, and worked in the educational and nonprofit worlds. Heidi lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Heidi’s beloved dogs, Bosco and Tillie, were her chief advisers on The Original Dog Tarot.
Recently, Heidi spoke with author Meredith Blevins about what inspired The Original Dog Tarot.
Heidi: Bosco has always been the kind of dog who looked like he would speak, really speak, if you just waited one more second. He’d stand in front of me with his hound dog eyes like he was desperately trying to tell me the most important thing in the world. Sometimes he’d bark and just plant his legs on the floor, like they were made out of cement, and stare at me. You couldn’t move him if you tried. And I’d say “Bosco, what is it?” We’d both get frustrated when I couldn’t figure out what he wanted to say.
MB: Did you try books on dog behavior?
Heidi: Definitely, and there are a lot of great ones. But Bosco didn’t really have a behavior problem. I know it sounds a little goofy, but it always seemed like he was looking for a new way to express himself. I remember once asking our fabulous veterinarian if she believed in animal communicators. She said: “I don’t know if I do, but if I could communicate with any animal, it would be Bosco.”
MB: So you took a mystical approach?
Heidi: I figured if I really wanted to know what Bosco was trying to say, I’d have to dig beneath the surface. I’ve always been drawn to tarot and fascinated by its symbolism, and one day it just occurred to me: “That’s it! I’m going to write a Dog Tarot.” I had lots of fantastic interpreters of true tarot as inspiration. I sure hope they forgive me for taking so many liberties.
MB: Do you understand Bosco better now?
Heidi: Actually I do. And we’re having a lot of fun with the deck, and hope everybody else will too. I’m still waiting for Bosco to talk, though. I’ll bet a lot of other people out there wish the same thing for their dogs. Wouldn’t it be fantastic?
The wonderful collage artist Marty Blake worked doggedly with Heidi, Bosco, and Tillie to bring The Original Dog Tarot to life. Visit Marty through our links page.