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Blog: Show & Tell
Put Fido on the Phone
On-call for roundup work
My mother was born 1916 to immigrant parents; her mother was from Hungary and her father was German. She grew up in New Brunswick, N.J. Fido—who was, I think, a Border Collie mix—was their pet, but he was also a working dog, and he took his job quite seriously. My German grandfather was a butcher, and in those days (the 1920s), worked right next to the stockyard. Sometimes things would get a...
Blog: Show & Tell
How I Found My Dog: The Right Dog for Me
The list goes out the window when the perfect dog comes in the door
I used to stop at Point Isabel, a sprawling off-leash dog park after work for my minimum daily requirement of canine affection. On occasion, a dog owner would ask why I didn’t have a dog. “It’s complicated,” I’d say, remembering the dogs I’d had in my life. Job, child, husband, aging parents, a weedy garden, house in need of constant repair—the dog wound up being just another burdensome...
Dog Culture: DogPatch
People Who Matter: An Interview with Doris Day
April 3, 2012, marks the 88th birthday of Doris Day — adored for her nonpareil career as a singer and actress, and equally admired for her dedication to animal welfare and the creation of the Doris Day Animal Foundation. In 2006, Bark had the opportunity to interview Ms. Day by phone, and was joined by singer Nellie McKay, an incredible singer and animal activist in her own right. She said "Call...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Rex in the City XXIV: Board Approved
A little herbal help for Rex’s party nerves
It’s always stressful to throw your first adult party, and it can be even more stressful if you have a really hyper, poorly trained (or rather, imperfectly trained) dog. It was the year 2000 and Ted and I had just moved to a 350-square-foot apartment in Brooklyn. This was a big step up for us, given that our previous apartment was only 300 square feet. You might be shocked at that number, but we...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Howl: The Cattle May be Lowing
But two hounds get it said
The tree is decorated, the stockings are hung, the Yule fire burns low and, according to an old tradition, at midnight on Christmas Eve … the animals speak. COMET (Beagle, about age four): You think that’s Alex Trebek’s real hair?AJAX (also a Beagle, somewhat Comet’s senior, waking): What? C: Alex Trebek. You think that’s a hairpiece?A: I’ll tell you who wears a piece is that Bob Barker.C: No...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Studying the Dog
A friendly pack is scaling ivory towers on campuses worldwide
Spinoza defines far and near like this: far he said, is the constellation of the dog in the night sky, and near is the animal who barks—the distance between abstraction and reality, the ideal, elevated theoretical realm and our earthly, immediate lives. So it is surprising to find that, at colleges and universities—bastions of abstract thought—scholars are closing the gap on what dogness means,...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Dog Is My Co-Dependent
Reflections on the role of dogs in modern life
How does one own a dog without becoming a dog person? The answer, I suspect, depends upon whether or not you have a dog and the degree to which you’re inclined to buy into the idea that pet ownership, like child rearing, isn’t what it used to be. Of course, most things aren’t what they used to be, but when it comes to the relationship between helpless creatures and responsible adults, many of us...

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