Author Maria Hanson started creating Dog Heaven after the death of her old Airedale, Joe. “I just wanted a simple picture book, something comforting for people who didn’t want to wade through loads of text to find that comfort,” she says. “There was nothing like that out there that was geared toward adults and also good for children, so I set about creating it.” She reworked the book and storyboard over the next years during little pockets of time between her daily writing jobs, inspired by her love of her yellow Lab, Jake, who is a featured dog in the book. Jake lived a long and happy life, but also now resides in Dog Heaven. Maria lives in San Francisco with her husband, human child, and young yellow Lab, Gus. 

Dee Densmore-D’Amico is the award-winning illustrator of Dog Heaven. Her popular dog illustrations have been published in many magazines and online forums. Dee lives with her family and the family dog in a dog-heavenly part of upstate New York.

Laura Altair Hanson spent an entire summer immersed in painting Dee’s illustrations. Her watercolors add a warm, soothing glow to Dog Heaven. Laura, who grew up with dogs as “siblings,” studies art and acting, and lives in San Francisco.

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