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Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Tula
The challenges and rewards of a new pup.
Perhaps she knew this was to be a lifetime position: For her first few days at home, Tula was a portrait of angelic calm. She accepted a leash and trotted next to me down the block, sitting quietly on my foot when she encountered anything new. She bunny-hopped through tall grass. She cocked her head at crickets. She talked to her toys, not with a bark but with a woo-woo. “You will love her,”...
Dog Culture: DogPatch
Off The Leash
Cell Phone Lady
Dog Park Illustration
That spring, my new park friend Hayley lectured me about talking on the cell phone at the dog park. “I like to leave my phone at home,” she volunteered to me, when she saw me having an animated conversation with my brother in Philadelphia. “How sad to be miles away while Toby is playing joyously at your feet.” Ultimately, I was persuaded. The idea of a daily intermission from the virtual, a spot...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Canis Mythicus
A creation story that makes sense
Canis Mythicus A creation story that makes sense
Once upon a time, back in my teaching days at Minnesota State University in Mankato, the Chair of the Agronomy Department, Dr. Mohammed Azad, lived in the modest white stucco house clinging to the James Avenue hillside like the American middleclass clutching by its bloody fingernails to its disintegrating economic status. Mo had two PhDs—agronomy and hydrology—so I called him Dr. Dr. I often...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
The Lowdown on Life with Three Dachshunds
It never fails to amuse all of us when all 12 pounds of Molly intimidates all 25 pounds of Baxter. And it is often. If Baxter even looks at Molly’s rawhide bone while she’s chewing on it, out comes a deep, serious growl from Molly. It’s a sound you would think impossible to come out of such a tiny muzzle. It’s almost like there’s a pit bull hiding behind the couch, and it’s throwing its growl....
Dog Culture: DogPatch
Interview Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
Dogdom's Grande Dame
Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
The 80-plus-year-old writer Elizabeth Marshall Thomas has a new book, A Million Years with You: A Memoir of Life Observed. We had the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her amazing life and her observations of the natural world. Bark: What first drew you to dogs?Elizabeth Marshall Thomas: Our family always had dogs. I grew up with dogs, and one of them, a Newfoundland named Mishka, was...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
A True Romance
Dog laying by tree
If grief stops the clocks, turns time into that thick substance it feels nearly impossible to trudge through, joyousness has the opposite effect. Tee’s first job in our household was to enact his own boundless sense of JOY, to get the moments of our day to tick forward once again. We really needed him in this regard. As we’d explained to the women at the shelter, we were depending on him to keep...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Dog Leading the Way Home
Lessons for a service dog in training
Illustration of homes
Jake piper’s making slow sense of the Home command. I’m not sure how much he’s really got it. He follows Puzzle readily when she leads us home, but I notice that he is clearly following her. He is a moment behind her dance steps, always, and doesn’t appear to be making any choice of direction. When I give him a handful of trial runs beside her, I realize that as long as she is with us, he will be...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Only a Dog
Examination of the enduring bonds.
You didn’t know how much you cared. Hell, she was only a dog. Nothing special. A Heinzey-57 varieties. Just a mutt. But she … Six months after your dog died, you still can’t talk about her. You turn your face away, embarrassed and perhaps ashamed of your tears. Only a dog. On one particularly bleak morning, Anne told me, “I wake up and Zippy’s gone and I wish I was dead too.” “Only a dog”: that...
Blog: Editors
A Lit Favorite: Bruno Schulz
Bruno Schulz was one of the leading Polish Jewish authors of the 20th century, although he only wrote two collections of stories during his lifetime. He was born in 1892 in the town of Drohobycz in what is now the Ukraine (but was, at one time part of Austria and then Poland). The town of Drohobycz  is currently hosting an art and literature festival to honor him. He has been acclaimed as one of...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Nimrod
A Bark Classic Favorite
  I spent the whole of August of that year playing with a splendid little dog that appeared one day on the kitchen floor, awkward and squeaking, still smelling of milk and infancy, with a round, still unformed, and trembling head, paws like a mole’s, spreading to the sides, and the most delicate, silky-soft coat. From the moment I first saw it, that crumb of life won the whole enthusiasm and...

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