I have worked at the Chicago Tribune, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel and Grand Rapids Press. I have met athletes such as Michael Jordan, Calvin Johnson and Cal Ripken Jr. over my 30-year newspaper career. My exploits in sports coverage have taken me from my hometown of Muskegon, Michigan, to the sidelines of the NBA Finals and a press seat at the Women’s World Cup.

Yet, some of my most satisfying moments were meeting the Jack Russell terrier from the PBS show “Wishbone” or Sadie, the Scottish terrier who won Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Show in 2010. My favorite interviews were with authors John Grogan (“Marley & Me”) and Jim Gorant (“The Lost Dogs”) and Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan. Recently, I wrote a story about Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.

My sports journalism career began in Muskegon and also included a stint in Springfield, Missouri. It ended as sports editor at The Grand Rapids Press in 2011. Yet, my passion for journalism and especially for pets has not waned. It is my hope that Press Unleashed will educate, inform and entertain readers with pet-related news, issues, products, pictures, links, opinion and events.

I welcome questions, comments and recommendations. And, yes, even criticism. I don’t pretend to know it all, but I’m happy to share what I do know and solicit advice from experts.

— Mary Ullmer




  1. This is excellent information and a website like this is greatly needed in West Michigan for the thousands of people who own and love their pets. Thanks for creating this page.

  2. Mary-
    Sharing my home and my life with two rescues, this project really appealed to me. I enjoyed the stories of people who have found ways to bring their love of animals into their businesses. I would love it if you would add a column with a trainer to give advice on behavior issues and understanding and communicating with our dogs better.

    • Thanks, Kristin. Always looking for feedback. We certainly will consider a behavioral column for upcoming issues; we realize it’s important for pet owners to understand how their pets’ mind works! Mary

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