Physical and Online ExhibitShields Library - Lower Level
The Fleetfield Gallery features a rotating selection of dog-themed art donated to the UC Davis Library by the Sheila Grant Fleetfield Dog Museum and Library. The entire collection includes more than 500 pieces of art and hundreds of books about dogs collected by Grant, an animal behaviorist, professional dog handler and lifelong dog lover.
The Fleetfield Gallery is located on the lower level of Shields Library, to the right of the main staircase.
Sheila Grant (1950-2017) devoted her career to teaching families how to lead, train, communicate and live in harmony with their canine friends. She worked with people who had problem dogs and helped their owners learn how to work with them. Those who knew her best say dogs would instantly take to her and do what she told them because they recognized her as a leader. Then, she would teach the dog’s owner to handle them.
While she could work with almost any dog, Grant was particularly passionate about Afghan hounds and greyhounds, both of which she raised and showed in professional dog shows. Most of her dogs were dual champions both in the show ring and in coursing, a type of competition that simulates hunting. Together with them, she won many competitions across northern California, Oregon and Nevada.
Grant also volunteered at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine for many years. While she liked small animal surgery best, she would tell a story about the most exotic animal she had the opportunity to work with there: a tiger.
Sheila’s passion for dogs was inspired by her childhood growing up on a farm in Illinois, surrounded by four-legged friends. At one point, her family had 24 farm cats. Later in life, her passion evolved from cats to dogs. During her career working with animals, she also trained llamas.
In addition to her passion for animals, Sheila Grant had a degree in fine arts. Over a span of 40 years, she amassed a museum-quality collection of dog-themed art in a range of materials and styles.
The collection includes fine art from around the world, rare historic artifacts, pop culture icons, and everyday objects such as bookends, dishes and even an illuminated sign from a Greyhound bus station. Many of the fine art pieces are in porcelain or bronze. A few are pieces Grant created herself.
Some of her favorites she bought from an artist studio in England called Elite. The artist designed the trophy for an English greyhound coursing event each year, as well as other greyhound-themed artwork. Grant traveled to the studio to pick up items for her collection and, says her husband, the artist “sold her everything he had left.”