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Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Pogo Eats Strangers
The taming of a pugnacious pup.
Illustration by Heather Horton
“Pogo eats strangers,” or so I was told, and when I first met him, he exploded. Barking, growling, snarling, lots of teeth, lunging—all the tricks that make scary people go away. To all that, he added a four-foot, straight-up-in-the-air jump, which explained why he was named Pogo. He looked like a small red Chow: lots of russet hair, thick muscular body, curled tail, short, Jack Russell legs (...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Watered Down
…but not out in LA
Black Lab
While walking my dog Ilia one morning, I run into our lovely neighbors Bea and Barry and their cadre of five (!) dogs. “Let’s go down to the river!” Bea suggests. Sounds good, I say, and off we go.  Upon arriving, Barry notices a guy tossing stuff into the river and walks down the steep embankment to the water’s edge to inquire as to why said stuff is being tossed. The guy pretends not to speak...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Return to dog
Second child means second chance for dog love.
Dog Illustration
NO ONE WOULD DREAM of asking a woman walking her dog: So, when are you going to have another one? There isn’t the presumption that a singleton dog is lonely, or will grow up with some terrible maladjustment, perhaps diagnosable,without another dog in the family. I never felt committed to the demographic destiny of two-point-something children. One was not merely enough; one was extraordinary....
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Daisy and Pumpkin
Giving new meaning to the term “assisted living.”
Pumpkin and Daisy Dogs Illustration
My sister left me a phone message : “I think Mom has had a stroke.” It was shorthand for us, a message my sister and I have exchanged many times, whenever our mother was particularly difficult or unreasonable.“Having a stroke” meant our mother was irrational, belligerent, mean, needy or any of the other possibilities that crop up regularly between women who care too much for each other. If I...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Dante
Memory as an antidote for loss.
Dante - Catherine Ryan Hyde
Kennel man says, “Ever had a dog before?” “When I was a kid we had a Cocker Spaniel.” “This ain’t no Cocker Spaniel.” The dog is in a run by himself. He doesn’t have to share with other dogs. Because he won’t. “What kind of dog is he?” “I dunno. No kind of dog. Every kind of dog. Got some hound, maybe. Maybe not.” He’s yellow. Very short hair, not shiny or lustrous. Strong looking. Ellen...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Dog of the Day
Day care diva earns her title.
Three Dogs Art
My dog Maeby has always gotten good grades. Every evening when I pull into the driveway at the doggy day care center that she attends,Maeby, a fluffy Aussie/Lab mix, is waiting for me, along with her daily report card.   Although it is fanciful thinking that one day the center might provide classes in “The Mailman Is Only in It for the Pension and Not Your Territory, Therefore the Barking...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Chloe Chronicles, Part I: New Dog Homecoming
Sight Unseen
The Chloe Chronicles
It’s not unusual these days for perfect matches — between humans and humans, animals and humans, even animals and animals — to be made online. Typically (in the Match.com department, at least), the humans actually meet before agreeing to make a full-time/ lifelong commitment. So is it crazy to adopt a dog you’ve never actually met face-to-face? I did exactly that. I adopted my dog Chloe before I...
Blog: Guest Posts
Things I Love About My Dog
A list in progress
She likes to use my ankle as a chin rest. She is fond of nectarines. She smiles. She really does. An empty yogurt container can entertain her for the better part of an afternoon. She has no problem with sleeping in. She responds to several nicknames including Carlie, Noodle, Noosie, Noo-del, Rosemarino, Carleen, Carlata, Shamu and, occasionally, Le Pamplemouse. Before I met...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Dognapper in the Desert
I didn’t go on a pilgrimage through the holy lands of Israel and Palestine expecting to return as an international dognapper. Yet in the desert east of Bethlehem, just outside of a fourth-century monastery, that’s exactly what I was about to become. I’d been watching the local boys for 15 minutes. There were three of them, about nine years old, give or take a year. Dressed in dirty jeans and...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Chloe Chronicles: What's in a Name?
When I adopted my dog Chloe sight unseen from a shelter in Michigan via Petfinder.com, she came with the name of Buffy. And she certainly looked like a Buffy in her profile photos—sweet and soft and eager to play. A dog who would buffer your emotions, and remind you to stay soft and gentle and happy yourself. But somehow I could not see myself—a then-edgy New Yorker—calling out the name “...

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