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Culture: Stories & Lit
Zuzu Lives!
I got the call while I was on the Amtrak Acela, headed from New York City back home to Providence: Zuzu, our nine-year-old Bichon, had gotten into a bag of leftover Halloween candy, passing up the Dots and Smarties and eating just the chocolate. She was sick, our babysitter Amanda told me. Shivering and panting. I knew chocolate could be toxic to dogs. But how much would it take? I Googled dog...
Culture: Stories & Lit
How I Found My Dog: Tarnish
A dog adopts a family, receives her name and claims her chair
Tarnish entered my life in Eugene, Ore., in 1949. I was nine years old and my parents and I were living in an apartment complex on the outskirts of town. I played frequently in the surrounding fields and woods, and it was there that I was adopted by a bedraggled, homeless Golden Retriever. Initially, she would not let me touch her, but as the days passed and our bond grew, it became clear to me...
Culture: Stories & Lit
Part-Time Puppies
Socializing pups for guide-dog program satisfies on many levels
Puppy
Okay. So my motives weren't entirely altruistic when I signed on to be a “puppy socializer” for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. I had just learned that I wouldn’t be able to breed Callie, my Golden Retriever, as I had hoped, and I was feeling bereft. I needed a puppy fix—bad. My three daughters were clamoring for their own dog (Callie, they pointed out, was mine). This program seemed to offer the...
Culture: Stories & Lit
Be Gentle: I know my dog is old
A call for improving our etiquette with older dogs.
Like everyone else in a society loudly lamenting a decline in civility, I recognize there are new breaches of etiquette every minute. On any typical day, cell phones alone account for the rudeness factor going off the charts. But I believe there is one type of impolite behavior among adult humans that goes pretty much unchecked. I’ve been guilty of it myself and slinked away feeling really stupid...
Culture: Stories & Lit
Dogs Make a House a Home
In the 10 years that my dog Rex and I have been together (and that constitutes nearly the entirety of his life and a quarter of mine), we have moved 10 times. The reasons for this had more to do with indecision than instability, but I admit it wasn’t ideal. We went from a farm in rural Nebraska (Rex’s first place of residence, hence my ongoing guilt that his life has been all downhill from there...
Culture: Stories & Lit
Love, Squared
Nine years ago, when our family got our first dog, I never could have imagined the number of lessons he (and eventually they) would teach us about love, connection and responsibility.   As a child, I didn’t have an opportunity to understand the bond that could exist between humans and canines. My parents didn’t think of dogs as pets, much less as members of the family. Neighborhood dogs came and...
News: Show & Tell
How I Found My Dog
Little Big Dog
Dink is half-Chihuahua, half-Mini Pin. She is a little over a year-old now. She came into my life as one of the rescue angels at a pet clinic where I worked when she was about six- to eight-weeks-old. Someone had left her to die, abandoned in a cardboard box after crushing both her front legs.    In spite of the severity of the injuries inflicted upon her by humankind, this little blessing was...
News: Show & Tell
The Winter Baby
You can time the moment you fall for your next puppy as much as you can time the moment you fall for anyone. Thus, Bisquick joined my family last November. He is our first winter baby. The six previous dogs who blessed my life were chosen—or, in the case of the first of three consecutive childhood Luckys, won at a raffle—in warmer weather. Their training took place during the first warm breaths...

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