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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 “...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Chloe Chronicles, Part II: New Dog Homecoming
By the time I adopted Chloe in 2004, she had already had at least five homes. Or so I’m told. (One can never be 100 percent sure of a shelter dog’s history.) By the time I adopted Chloe, I myself had had at least five homes, too. More like 50; I can’t say for sure because I honestly haven’t counted. For years, I’ve been telling myself that I’ll count all the places I’ve lived once I’m actually/...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
My Dog Believes in God
There is a tippy little table in the living room that terrifies the dog. On occasions too numerous to count, this table has lurched at him. He gives it a wide berth and a sideways eye. And when it goes for him, he tucks his tail and scrabbles for cover under the dinner table. There is a malevolent lamp in the den. And a moment ago, there was a spoon on the edge of the counter that, at the...
Dog Culture: Tributes
Lenny
1993-2011
We adopted Lenny from our city’s shelter, twelve years ago when he was seven years old, past the age when many consider a dog to be adoptable. It was serendipitous for both Lenny and myself that I was even at the shelter that day. We had two girl dogs (Callie and Nellie) so I wasn’t really looking for another dog. But I was concerned about a Pit pup, and went there to check on her. Luckily she...

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