Bluebird: Dog of the Navajo Nation

Bluebird: Dog of the Navajo Nation

Bluebird: Dog of the Navajo Nation

Bluebird: Dog of the Navajo Nation


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Follow Bluebird, a dog of the Navajo Nation, on the journey from a loving home to homelessness. Author Tamara Martin lives in the 4-Corners area of the Southwest and has seen many valuable, friendly animals abandoned, just like Bluebird. Martin wants to let others know the plight of what are called “Rez Dogs”. Bluebird’s journey is colorfully and accurately illustrated by Navajo artist Ernest John.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780578632407
Publisher: Monday Creek Publishing
Publication date: 01/26/2020
Pages: 50
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.25(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Tamara Martin is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. She and her husband moved to Northern Arizona in 1999 to work at Sage Hospital in Ganado, on the Navajo Nation (an area the size of West Virginia). During their five year stay, Tamara saw a huge need to help stray, abandoned, injured and sick animals. Dog carcasses littered the sides of busy highways and every grocery store/gas station had a pack of strays who survived on tourist handouts. She found other people in the area who were trying to save animals by themselves and they formed a non-profit group, Blackhat Humane Society. The group is still thriving and remains a foster home-based rescue. Tamara came up with the idea of a book for Navajo children that focuses on the life of one dog and how it can change very quickly. She felt that a Navajo illustrator was crucial to the project so she contacted Ernest John who provided the brightly colored pencil sketches for the book. Today, Tamara lives in St. Johns, Arizona, and has started a second foster-based rescue named Good Dog Rez-Q. The organization not only focuses on Reservation land but the rural areas that surround it. Animals stay in foster care for a minimum of six weeks while they are vaccinated, dewormed, socialized and treated for existing medical conditions. Using social media and networking with other rescues, potential adopters are screened and home visits made. In 2018, the group took in over 400 animals; saved from highways, convenience stores and tourist overlooks. The Navajo Nation has made many positive changes for animals since Bluebird was written. There is now a Tribal mobile clinic that goes to small towns to spay/neuter. Rescue groups and mobile clinics from Durango, Denver and Phoenix frequently come to help by doing spay/neuter and taking litters of puppies (and their moms) from Navajo Animal Control into foster care back home. Tamara has a dream that one day there will be a Navajo Nation Humane Society with veterinarians and hundreds of caring volunteers to help the staff find solutions for dogs, cats, horses and sheep who are no long valued. She is waiting.

Ernest John was born in December of 1956. His father, Nelson John, showed him how to train horses when he was just a boy. Ernest began to sketch horses and other animals at that time. After graduating Gallup High School in 1976, Ernest began painting with oils and acrylics. In 1989, his sister-in-law, Mary Watchman, suggested that Ernest begin drawing on pottery and showed him how to do that. By 2002, he was producing pottery which included his acrylic designs as well as custom etching and texturing. His pottery is featured in many galleries and museums. In addition, Ernest was commissioned to paint several outdoor murals. The first one is behind the Rex Museum in Gallup, New Mexico, and was completed in 1999. It shows a Navajo Warrior on a hunting trip. Two additional murals were painted in Red Rock State Park in 2001 and 2003. One illustrates a bull-rider and the other depicts "head and heel" team-roping. Today, Ernest lives in Yah-ta-hey, New Mexico, with his wife, Arlene and seven children. He is still creating his pottery and paintings as well as training horses.
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