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Culture: Stories & Lit
Learning to Love Louie
Same breed, different dog, new challenge.
Our first Standard Poodle, Sophie, was everything you assumed when you just read the words “Standard Poodle.” A reincarnated 1920s flapper girl with an apricot coat and long legs, Sophie was always ready for a party, and her prance told you she was well aware of her charms. Our second Standard Poodle, Buddy, was a black-and-silver puppy-mill rescue with oversized paws splayed from years of...
Culture: Stories & Lit
How Labeling Affects How We See Our Dogs
The Power of Name-Calling
Our new Golden Retriever puppy is nearly six months old and her learning experiences are our learning experiences. Five times a day, she whimpers to go out; five times a day, we tell her Not now, Maisie. All three of us are learning what to expect from one another concerning patience. Even though she is our fourth Golden in a long line of beloved dogs, the art of dog training and the...
Culture: Stories & Lit
Freddie Flealoader
It’s a summer day in 1994. Smoke drifts lazily toward the pale blue sky, its woody aroma penetrating the house. Looking out the kitchen window, I watch my husband Bill clear some of the acreage that will be our back yard. Bill drags a tree limb toward the fire. Carrying a small branch in his mouth, a stray dog follows close behind. He places the limb beside the fire, then follows Bill to retrieve...
Culture: Stories & Lit
A Youthful Folly Leads To A Career Saving Animal Lives
Mother, Mutts and Mercies
Patches joined our family as a puppy when I was two, so she was 13 when I accidentally killed her. She was a mutt and looked like the RCA dog, all white with a brown patch over one eye, but 10 pounds bigger. She had 13 puppies in her first litter, which I took to mean she was Catholic, like our family of nine kids. Patches licked everyone who came to the house: the Fuller Brush man, the Bourbeau...
Culture: Science & History
Interview with author of No Better Friend
Robert Weintraub talks about Judy, a remarkable dog
We recently talked with Robert Weintraub, author of No Better Friend, our favorite book of 2015. This remarkable story about Judy, the only canine POW of World War II, has won the praise of many critics, and was selected, too, by NPR’s Maureen Corrigan as one of last year’s best. This inspiring (and harrowing) story reminds us just how inimitable our bond is with dogs. Q: No Better Friend is...
Culture: Stories & Lit
Learning the Meaning of Shelter
Picking up the pieces after a breakup
Musician, writer, actor, Portlandia creator, Carrie Brownstein is an alt-scene megastar. The following excerpt from her memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, picks up after the split up of her band Sleater-Kinney, and we see her putting her abundant skills to help shelter animals. Instead of playing or thinking about music, I dove into my volunteer work at the Oregon Humane Society, which is...
Culture: Stories & Lit
The McBickly Accord
At just after noon today a spokesperson for the McBickly family indicated that, following months of negotiation and many setbacks, an agreement had been reached between the McBicklys and their dogs, three Beagles, that would curb the Beagles’ explosive response to drivers from FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service. The dogs, who represented themselves in the talks, signaled their contentment by...
Culture: Readers Write
Poem: Paw Prints
One morning a woman was walking on the beach with her dog. While she was walking she remembered all of the animals that had come into and gone out of her life. The woman stopped, but her dog walked on. She turned toward the ocean, and saw in the waves the faces of every animal she had ever known. She thought of all the animals who would never see the ocean, never run free, never know...
Culture: Stories & Lit
Pug in Assisted Living
An elderly Pug needs a little help with the day-to-day.
I recently put my dog, Jack, into assisted living. I knew it was time: he has escalating hygiene needs, he wanders, he is confused and he often puts himself in harm’s way. The assisted living facility is lovely. It has wide windows, many of them facing south and east, which let in the warm, chunky beams of sunlight in which Jack loves to nap. There is a pleasant, fenced-in green lawn where he can...
Culture: DogPatch
Authors Speak: Alex Kava
Alex Kava talks with The Bark about her newest character, Ryder Creed, and his dogs.
Alex Kava has been crafting intense murder-and-mayhem-fueled novels for at least 15 years. Fortunately, her heroes—FBI profiler Maggie O’Dell and, most recently, former U.S. Marine and K9 handler Ryder Creed—are up to the task of bringing down the villains. Like many of the authors whose books catch our eye, she writes dogs into the plot, not as afterthoughts but as fully realized characters....

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