Andrea Brown Berman was born and raised in Chelsea, Massachusetts, where she attended the city’s public schools. Although she failed miserably in most of her studies, she excelled in socializing, as well as in grammar, journalism, and creative writing, and eventually learned the correct usage of “their, there, and they’re”. She received several awards in English Literature, and aced Spitball 101. Her sense of humor and an overwhelming desire to graduate with her class earned her a diploma as well as a passion for writing.
Growing up in a rented third floor apartment as the youngest of three children, her parents (a stay-at-home mother and a meat cutter father) encouraged her to attend business school, reinforcing the belief that, “You can always become a secretary”. While typing paid the bills, writing was her second greatest love. Her first was dogs. Unfortunately, since her parents put the kibosh on pet ownership (with the exception of a pair of dime store turtles) Andrea spent her early years “borrowing” neighborhood dogs. Many canine friends of dubious origin and ownership found their way to the Brown family’s front yard, where young Andrea, yielding a gentle, yet commanding demeanor and a large box of Milk Bones, would teach them to sit, stay, and fetch.
As Andrea’s adult life emerged, her husband and children remained constantly on alert to see what new pet would be joining their household at any given time. From shelter dogs to purebreds, fish, guinea pigs, cats, parrots, and iguanas, the animals usually outnumbered the humans. Then Murphy, the Airedale Terrier arrived. 6 Months old, smart, stubborn, adorable, and substantially in need of some doggy etiquette, Murphy ate carpets, furniture, and shoes, kitchen counter surfed, excavated an entire garden, and mercilessly taunted people and pets alike. A dog trainer was summarily hired. Andrea’s long-time penchant for working with dogs was once again set in motion, and with commitment, positive reinforcement, and love, Murphy subsequently became the perfect family pet. So exceptional were her newly acquired manners that Murphy – once the scourge of the neighborhood – regularly accompanied Andrea on visits to local nursing homes and hospitals, and brought abundant smiles and comfort to all who met her. Soon Andrea was invited to apprentice with that same dog trainer, and a new career was begun. She became a professional dog trainer.
Andrea never abandoned her love of writing, however, and worked simultaneously as a freelance journalist. Later, an additional opportunity presented, and for ten years, she authored a weekly newspaper column. She considers herself fortunate to be able to blend her dog training experience with her journalistic skills – two careers that she proudly combines in a straightforward, comprehensive, sometimes humorous, but always practical book, The Complete Guide to Airedale Terriers.
Andrea enjoys spending time with her family and assorted pets, and when she’s not at the keyboard, studies piano, Spanish, tai chi, and collects vintage toasters. She continues her on-going quest to find the perfect lobster roll. She resides in the historic, seaside town of Ipswich, Massachusetts.