|Born||1961 (age 57–58)|
|Notable works||God Stories |
The Divinity of Dogs
Jennifer Skiff (born 1961) is an American author, journalist and television producer, best known for writing inspirational books.
Early life and education
Skiff was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and raised in Bar Harbor, Maine. Growing up, her family had pet dogs, and she has said she received emotional healing from dogs. Jennifer is a graduate of Hebron Academy, a college preparatory boarding school located in Hebron, Maine. She graduated from Texas Christian University in 1983 with a double major in broadcast journalism and criminal justice.
Skiff began her career at WTVX-TV in Fort Pierce, Florida, and also worked as an anchor and reporter at WABI-TV in Bangor, Maine, and covered crime at KUTV in Salt Lake City, Utah. Wildlife Minutes, a television series she developed that highlighted the plight of endangered and threatened species, premiered on the Discovery Channel in 1987. She worked as an investigative correspondent and producer for CNN for 14 years, and was a producer on the channel's environmental program Earth Matters. As a segment producer for TBS's Network Earth, she was nominated for a 1992 CableACE Award for magazine show special or series, and received an Environmental Media Award for TV News Magazine Segment as correspondent and writer for the series in 1996.
Skiff started working on her first book, God Stories: Inspiring Encounters With the Divine, after what she described as a miraculous recovery from bone marrow cancer at the age of 32. It was published by Random House in 2008 and includes 100 stories of encounters with God, which she collected from people of various faiths, backgrounds and nationalities. Publishers Weekly called it "mysterious and faith-inspiring" and "inspiring if uneven". It was excerpted on Today.com.
Her second book, The Divinity of Dogs: True Stories of Miracles Inspired by Man's Best Friend, was published by Simon & Schuster on October 23, 2012. The book is a compilation of inspirational stories about dogs gathered from people's submissions. It reached number 8 on the Toronto Star nonfiction bestseller list in April 2015. The Divinity of Dogs was based on submissions Skiff received when writing God Stories. Starting in 2010, she spent over a year collecting submissions, photos, and interviews. The stories are told from the point of view of the dog owners. The book has a musical companion, The Divinity of Dogs: Music to Calm Dogs and the People Who Love Them, created by Skiff and pianist George Skaroulis.
Skiff's third book, Rescuing Ladybugs: Inspirational Encounters with Animals That Changed the World, published by New World Library in 2018,highlights the true stories of remarkable people who didn't look away from seemingly impossible to change situations, and describes how their lives have been enriched while they've worked to save animals. Leaders in what Skiff calls the "Compassion Movement", their stories illustrate how we can break barriers to improve all life on earth.
From Rescuing Ladybugs: “There’s an honorable war being fought in our world for animals. In it, the good are going after the evil, the generous are taking aim at the greedy, and the kind are blanketing the cruel. I refer to it as the compassion movement because it’s fueled by a desire to alleviate suffering.”
In the book, Skiff says that in 2018 “there are more laws and corporate policies protecting farm animals than ever before, and more consumers are leaving animals off their plates and eating plant-based meals instead. This colossal shift is due to Josh Balk and other leaders in the compassion movement who confront cruelty head-on, using common sense and innovation.”
In the book, Skiff says “There are many leaders in the compassion movement — too many to profile in one book. These are the people we admire for their ability to see the roots of problems and develop effective strategies for fixing them, as well as for their courage to combat greed when it inevitably clashes with compassion. They are the visionaries, pacesetters, and analytical thinkers whose unexpected connections with animals are driving sweeping change throughout the world.”
Dr Michael W Fox, veterinarian and author on Rescuing Ladybugs: "Rescuing Ladybugs is an exceptional book - a clarion call to awaken our empathy, ignite compassionate action, and help recover our humanity in these dystopian times. It should be required reading."
- Humane Society of the United States, Chair, Maine State Council
- SPCA of Hancock County: Chair, SPCAHC Trustee Council
- Animal Aid USA, Adviser
- Institute for Humane Education, Adviser
- Dogs' Refuge Home WA, Australia, Trustee
- God Stories: Inspiring Encounters With the Divine (Penguin Random House / Harmony Books, 2008)
- The Divinity of Dogs: True Stories of Miracles Inspired by Man's Best Friend (Simon & Schuster / Atria Books, 2012)
- Rescuing Ladybugs: Inspirational Encounters with Animals That Changed the World (New World Library, 2018)
Skiff splits her time living between Maine, USA, and Perth, Australia. She is a trustee of the Dogs' Refuge Home, a no-kill shelter in Australia, and also works with other charities to help abused and abandoned animals.
Skiff was featured in the book, One Hundred & One Reasons to Get Out of Bed: Small World Steps, Big Planet Heroes by Barbara Royal and Natasha Milne.
- Judy Harrison, "Somesville author shows divinity of dogs through owners' stories," Bangor Daily News, October 27, 2012.
- G. Jeffrey MacDonald, "Close encounters with the divine," USA Today, November 21, 2006.
- Letitia Baldwin, "Newscaster a defender of animals," Bangor Daily News, September 21, 1996.
- William Yeoman, "Canine tales simply divine," The West Australian, March 7, 2013.
- Judy Harrison, "Author searches for tales of divine dogs," Bangor Daily News, July 11, 2010.
- "Conversation with Jennifer Skiff '83," TCU Magazine, Winter 2008.
- Judy Harrison, "Good God stories wanted," Bangor Daily News, August 26, 2006.
- Martie Zad, "CableACE Awards to air Sunday," Bangor Daily News, January 16, 1993.
- "EMA Awards Recipients & Honorees," Archived 2016-01-30 at the Wayback Machine green4ema.org. Accessed March 7, 2016.
- Julia Duin, "'Stories' Abounds with God's Grace,"[dead link] Washington Times, April 26, 2009.
- "God Stories: Inspiring Encounters with the Divine," Publishers Weekly, November 11, 2008.
- "'God Stories' of divine intervention," Today.com, December 22, 2008.
- "New Book Asks: Is ‘Higher Power' Behind the Special Abilities of Dogs?" CBS Chicago, June 30, 2013.
- Brook Bolen, "7 Stellar Books That Dog Lovers Won't Be Able To Put Down," BarkPost.com, July 2015.
- "Bestsellers," Toronto Star, April 3, 2015.
- Jennifer Skiff, Rescuing Ladybugs: Inspirational Encounters with Animals That Changed the World, New World Library, 2018
- Jennifer Skiff, Rescuing Ladybugs: Inspirational Encounters with Animals That Changed the World, New World Library 2018, page 145
- Ibid. pages 129,130
- Ibid. page 149
- Ibid. page 150
- ): https://humaneeducation.org/who-we-are/ihe-staff/
- Steve Dale, "New pet books make ideal gifts," Chicago Tribune, September 28, 2013.
- Shannon Cutts, "What Pets Know That People Don't," Psych Central, October 2013.
- "McNally Named New President of Hancock County SPCA Board," The Ellsworth American, April 11, 2012.