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Culture: Readers Write
Q&A with Shawn Kobb
Unpublished writer sees ink as a finalist in Bark’s 1st Fiction Contest
“Street Dog,” about a homeless man and a stray dog, is Shawn Kobb’s first published story (Bark, Sep/Oct 2010). Kobb, 33, was one of three finalists in our first fiction contest earlier this year. In his non-writing hours, Kobb is a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, currently living in The Bahamas with his wife and their adopted Doberman puppy, which they adopted during a two-year stint in Ukraine....
Culture: Readers Write
How I Found My Dog
Parvo puppy found us
This is Riley. She is a 5-month-old Pit Bull mix. She found us on a cold and blistering midnight in February. My partner and I were living in a one-bedroom apartment with two cats, not looking for a dog until we purchased our first home. When she stuck her little block head through our back porch, she was soaked and shivering with bones sticking out all over and a perfect burn mark on her little...
Culture: Readers Write
How I Found My Dog
Bear in the backyard
One June day in 2006, I opened the door to our back deck to take my marvelous mutt, Furio, for a walk. As soon as his paws hit the wooden slats, his hair raised and his body froze in fear. Then I saw what Furio was looking at: a big black bear underneath the deck. I rushed Furio into the house and came back outside to make sure my eyes weren’t fooling me. Sure enough, there was something very...
Culture: Tributes
Sidehill’s Mab
Queen of the Celtic Fairies and Beguiler of Men
“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” Will Rogers, 1897-1935   Sidehill’s Mab, Queen of the Celtic Fairies and Beguiler of Men, is now gossiping with Dancer Dawg, Roscoe the Ratador, and Buck(le) Bear about the challenges of living with me. They are talking of misplaced leashes, late dinners, damned cats (and more damned cats), hours in the back of...
Culture: Readers Write
A Dog by Any Other Name
The science and art of naming your dog or Sometimes, what you say is what you get.
“His name is ‘Baby,’” Helen told me as she stroked her dog’s massive black head. “Baby” weighed in at about 65 pounds, was seven years old and had bitten 13 times. The last bite had been to Helen, when she tried to stop an attack on her disabled son. Needless to say, we had a lot to talk about, and one of the topics was her dog’s name. Helen explained to me that Baby had always been “her baby,”...
Culture: Readers Write
Q&A with Don Katnik
Finalist in The Bark’s 1st Annual Short Story/Fiction Contest talks furry muses
A fictional haven called Dog Island is the setting for Don Katnik’s story, “The Stepping-Off Place” (Bark, Summer 2010), which was one of three finalists in our first-ever fiction contest. A wildlife biologist, Katnik shares his 200-year-old home in Maine with his wife Misty and dogs Copper “The Rocket” and Jedzia Dax. Katnik, 44, took a break from writing, home-improvement projects and dancing (...
Culture: Readers Write
Letters to the Editor: Issue 57
Kennel Club Documentary Strikes a Chord “The Cost of Perfection” (Oct. ’09) was an excellent article and oh so timely. But let’s be clear that the fault is not only that of the breeders. When judges reward the dogs with exaggerations, then everyone jumps on the bandwagon. This leads to the ridiculous extremes that prevail in the show rings and then the whelping boxes. It takes a great judge with...
Culture: Tributes
In Tribute to Maggie Mae
Maggie Mae is buried – there just beyond my kitchen window
  Maggie Mae is buried – there just beyond my kitchen window under the summer canopy of ancient apple trees   Appropriate don’t you think? Her round head, round eyes framed in apples, her greeting a dizzying  round go round.               Today the wind picked up             and a dozen apples fell             one split in two revealing             A chambered heart--necessary dark...
Culture: Readers Write
Q & A with Bim Angst
Winner of The Bark’s 1st Annual Short Story/Fiction Contest
A brindle-furred Pit Bull is one point of a complex, mid-life love triangle in Bim Angst’s contest-winning story “Village Dogs” (The Bark, April/May 2010). In the piece, a man and a woman stutter-step toward one another, in large part, through their feelings about the dog. The result is an authentic and poignant look at how people—often aided by their canine co-pilots—come together. On the eve of...
Culture: Tributes
Machisma
Doing life on her own terms
“She doesn’t have much time,” my mother said over the phone one April morning, “you should come down this weekend.” My dog, an almost 17-year-old white, coal-eyed Bichon Frise, who had been part of the family since she was four months old, was dying. Whether it was a recently-found tumor or a long-hidden hormonal imbalance, the problem was neurological, and Dr. Cohen told us there was little he...

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