Emily Carr was a Canadian artist and writer, credited as one of the first painters in Canada to adopt a modernist and Post-Impressionist style. Her paintings were inspired by that of the Indigenous cultures of the Pacific Northwest Coast in the United States, prompted by a trip to Alaska with her sister.
Carr was fascinated by animals, which was detailed in many of her writings. She had parrots, chipmunks, a raccoon, white rats, cats, dogs, and a monkey named Woo. In her 1946 biography, Growing Pains, she writes, “My sister owned a beautiful mare which she permitted me to ride. On the mare, astride as I had ridden in the Cariboo, my sheep-dog following, I went into the woods. No woman had ever ridden cross-saddle before in Victoria! Victoria was shocked! My family sighed. Carrs had always conformed…. Too bad, instead of England gentling me into an English Miss with nice ways I was more me than ever, just pure me.”
In another of her biographical works, Emily Carr and Her Dogs: Flirt, Punk and Loo, Carr compiles 25 fun-loving stories about her dogs alongside 16 illustrations. In it, she discusses raising Old English sheepdogs, harping on the affectionate and loyal nature of her dogs.