Anthropologist and writer Don Messerschmidt has won national recognition for his recent non-fiction book, Big Dogs of Tibet and the Himalayas: A Personal Journey (Orchid Press). His book received the Dog Writers Association of America’s (DWAA) prestigious Maxwell Medallion for Excellence at their annual meeting in New York City in early February, 2012.
Don was Alaska born and raised, followed by many years in the Himalayas. He served in Nepal as an American Peace Corps volunteer in the early 1960s. He is past writer and past Associate Editor at “Alaska” magazine (1970s). He is also past Associate Editor at ECS Nepal Magazine (Kathmandu) and current Contributing Editor. ECS Nepal covers Nepalese culture, history, the arts, adventure sports, people, places, travel, festivities, etc. Don also mentors young Nepalese writers.
Big Dogs of Tibet and the Himalayas: A Personal Journey
“This book is the history lover’s version of John Grogan’s memoir, Marley and Me. Part memoir, part researched history, Big Dogs of Tibet and the Himalayas tracks the large Himalayan dogs, in particular the Tibetan mastiff. From stories of Marco Polo to the author’s visits to breeders in today’s Lhasa, Messerschmidt folds back some surprising layers of truth.
“In Big Dogs of Tibet and the Himalayas, Messerschmidt displays the rare ability to combine assiduous research with emotional resonance. An anthropologist, with a PhD from the University of Oregon, the author is an acknowledged expert with years of experience in these breeds. In 1964, while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, he saw his first Tibetan mastiff. Messerschmidt writes that the sighting ‘was the realization of a long held dream and the beginning of my own studies of these noble dogs.’ His love of these great Himalayan dogs comes through in his stories of training his own pets and some of them training him.”