by AMY LEHRER | photo by Zeena Gregg Photography

Dog Tales

Kari Sherman and Carey Laubenberg met at the Torrey Highlands dog park. Pets, Max and Luther, and owners, Kari and Carey, bonded instantly. Within a year, these pet owners with similarities – same first name, age, sense of humor, and need for a new job – wrote their first book, self-published, created a website, and embraced social media. Kari shared, “This was quite a feat for two people with no writing background and a dread of current technology intimacy.” Their mantra for marketing the release of their first book, True Tails from the Dog Park, is “go big or go home.” “We have placed a long shot bet and hope our horse will come in,” related Kari.

The stories, humorously narrated by Max and Luther – dogs who have become best friends – within True Tails from the Dog Park, took place at local dog parks and dog beaches. Each story is meant to entertain and provide advice for dog owners. “The beautiful illustrations by Julie Ann Stricklin,” revealed Kari, “are inspired by the original Winnie the Pooh cartoon series and add a touch of whimsy to the book’s overall feel.” Recently released on Oct. 15, True Tails from the Dog Park can be purchased at,, and


Their love of dogs inspired Kari and Carey to write their book and support dogs. Max is Kari’s first dog as an adult, and she has learned much about him and his needs. Carey has owned numerous dogs. Both authors recently participated in the SNAP Bowling for Animals charity because they both advocate spaying and neutering pets to prevent overpopulation animal suffering.

Before meeting, both women desired new careers. Kari had earned a dual major in accounting and finance and worked as a CPA and financial reporting manager for over twenty years. Carey, a personal trainer, had successfully opened and managed a gym with her husband Steve.

Both authors offer advice for anyone interested in writing. Write about a passion, recognize that writing takes discipline, and write with a partner. Collaborating and editing each other’s work objectively allows both writers to improve their skills.

Plans for more books are underway. Kari and Carey have almost completed True Tails II and plan to release it next May. They then plan to write a third True Tail book followed by Max and Luther’s Guide to Travel and Entertainment and a series of Max and Luther children’s books.



Name: Kari Lynn Sherman
Profession: CPA, Certified Public Accountant
Community: Del Mar since 2004
Interests: Reading, golf, hiking, watching football,
and traveling
Favorite Local Spots: Del Mar Dog Beach, Brigantine restaurant, Torrey Highlands Dog Park, and Unleashed by Petco in the Del Mar Highlands Town Center



Name: Carey Laubenberg
Profession: Pilates instructor, personal trainer, partner Max and Luther Publications
Community: Carmel Valley since 2006
Interests: My husband, my dogs, running
Favorite Local Spots: Del Mar Dog Beach, Torrey Highlands Dog Park, Rendevous Chinese restaurant