About the Author
Small dogs with ponytails used to freak out the author, shown here with his second Shih Tzu, Poppy. Today, he writes entire books about them, finding this a pleasant diversion from the journalism, biography, scriptwriting, and teaching that mostly have kept a roof over his head since 1968—and even won him some awards.

In 1986 one of Buddha’s little messengers came unexpectedly into his life. Before long, like so many others before him, this inveterate big-dog man, who had seen Shih Tzu as runty, useless lapdogs, fell under the spell of his girlfriend’s Lion Dog, Sasha.

Jonathan’s improbable transformation from derisive skeptic into an aging Shih Tzu’s devoted Man Friday and a shameless promoter of the breed is recounted in Shih Tzu Nation’s first chapter, “Hair of the Dog.” When you read it, you will understand why Jonathan spent nearly a dozen years working on the book and why he dedicated it to Sasha, whom he describes, without hyperbole, as “one of the few great souls I have known in this life.”
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